Boa-Ski snowmobiles were very popular models offered from 1968 through 1978. The Canadian company was virtually a fusion of some smaller former Sno-Jet suppliers. Boa-Ski designed and developed many innovative sleds from the tiny “Baby Boa” (MK 0) to the powerful race-inspired Cobra and SS family. If you want to learn all about these vintage sleds, or even consider buying one, you are in the right place.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled everything you need to know about vintage Boa-Ski snowmobiles into this post!
Boa-Ski Snowmobile History
The legendary Boa-Ski was founded in 1967 by Joseph-Aime Morin and his friends in La Guadeloupe, Quebec.
Mr. Morin had experience in this business since his shop had been producing parts for Sno-Jet. Besides this shop, there were some other companies in La Guadeloupe that were also part suppliers of the same manufacturer.
Mr. Morin brought these small companies under one roof and established Boa-Ski. The brand quickly became popular in Canada as well as in the northern states of the U.S.
For the 1968 season, the company manufactured about 1350 sleds. Except for the decals and the paint job, these early Boa-Ski snowmobiles were almost identical to rival Sno-Jet sleds.
Boa-Ski sleds were powered by 300cc-600cc Hirth engines and they had codes like A-1 to A-6. For the next model year, these codes were replaced, and the company offered 7 different models:
- Standard 15 – (Hirth 300cc, 15 HP)
- Standard 19 – (Hirth 300cc, 19 HP)
- Deluxe 15 – (Hirth 300cc, 15 HP)
- Deluxe 19 – (Hirth 300cc, 19 HP)
- Standard 23 – (Hirth 372cc, HP: 23)
- Standard 28 – (Hirth 493cc, HP: 28)
- Standard 36 – (Hirth 634cc, HP: 35)
As the names suggest, the Standard models were the entry-level sleds in the lineup. The number in their names referred to their engine power.
In contrast, Deluxes were more advanced machines that offered more bells and whistles. These models featured an electric start, heated seat, speedometer, wood grain dash, and more durable bumpers.
The 1969 Boa-Ski Deluxe was offered with 15,19,23,28 and 36 HP engine options.
Surprisingly, some of these early sleds were marketed without engines. Some dealerships on the East Coast installed Sachs engines in them while others were sold without power sources.
In 1969 Giffen Recreation Company acquired Boa-Ski and owned it until 1972.
For the 1970 season, the entire Boa-Ski snowmobile lineup was renamed again. The Standards were marketed as MK I, while the Deluxe name was replaced for MK II.
Along with some minor changes, the gas tank was completely redesigned. Instead of its metal predecessor, which was fixed to the tunnel, the new plastic tank was removable.
In the same year, the company released the all-new 1970 Boa-Ski Cobra. It featured the new 18” track and storage compartments under the seat and in the backrest.
A racing version of this sled was also developed called the “Coffin Racer.” This name came from the design of the hood as unlike regular models, it opened on the side of the sled.
The sled was powered by a 793cc Hirth triple, which cranked out an amazing 80 HP.
The Golden Age
Just like for the entire snowmobile industry, the best year for Boa-Ski was arguably 1971. The company employed about 350 people and produced 40,000 sleds.
Boa-Ski also introduced an entry-level model designed for female and younger riders. This tiny sled was marketed as Boa-Ski MK 0 but due to its small dimensions it was referred to as “baby Boa.” It was available with three different engine options from 225cc up to 295cc.
According to Boaski.com, for 1971 the company already had more than 1,200 dealers along with some distributors. This large network covered the East Coast and the Midwest, and many provinces of Canada.
In 1972 Boa-Ski was sold to the American firm Alsport Inc. The Ohio-based company manufactured summer recreation vehicles, and snowmobiles seemed like a good addition to the company’s offering.
The manufacturer claimed to have an outstanding “785-day” selling season, SnowGoer reports. It actually meant a 180-day selling season for snowmobiles, 210 days for motorcycles, and 365 days for trikes.
For the 1973 model year, the Boa-Ski lineup was completely redesigned. The sleds got a more aerodynamic design and the “frog-like” round headlights were dropped.
Besides these external changes, the new sleds came with several advanced features. For instance, the 1973 Boa-Ski SS featured slide-rail suspensions, chrome skis, a steel tunnel, and a fan-cooled Kohler twin engine.
The Boa MK 0 (baby Boa) also got a new design and was renamed MK 230.
Boa-Ski snowmobiles were popular among racers as well. The racing Boa-Ski sleds were powered by free-air Kohler engines and featured a lightweight aluminum tunnel. These machines were often referred to as the “Boa Alsport Racer” (BAR).
The mid-‘70s was a tough period for each snowmobile manufacturer. The mild winters and high oil prices led to shirking demand, which caused many brands to disappear from the market.
Boa-Ski made every effort to stay afloat and introduced the advanced SS family in 1974. These sleds came with many innovative features like foldable headlights, hydraulic disk brakes, slide-rail suspension systems, and a floating clutch.
The company’s slogan for the season was “Man’s best friend in the snow” while the ad showed an all-new SS Boa sled along with a St. Bernard dog.
Unfortunately, due to poor sales figures, Boa-Ski struggled to stay profitable. Because of this, for the 1975 season, the company only made a few tweaks to their sleds.
Besides declining demand, another issue that Boa-Ski had to face was constant warranty issues. Unfortunately, the SS line didn’t prove to be reliable, which resulted in a lot of unexpected costs.
The company tried to manage some changes on these sleds, but they didn’t actually help sales.
Although Boa Ski survived the worst years of the recession, they couldn’t become profitable. The company was on its knees and in 1967 was acquired by J & B Manufacturing.
To the greatest regret of many fans, this new owner could not save the company either, which finally went bankrupt in 1977.
However, there are rumors that some models were sold in 1978, but they were actually assembled from leftover parts.
Boa-Ski Snowmobile Models
Over the years the company designed and manufactured several amazing sleds, but the most famous Boa-Ski snowmobile models were as follows:
- 1968 Boa-Ski A-1 – A-6
- 1969 Boa-Ski Standard 15, 19
- 1969 Boa-Ski Deluxe 15,19,26,28,36
- 1970 Boa Ski MK I and MK II
- 1970 Boa-Ski Cobra
- 1970 Boa-Ski Coffin Racer
- 1970 Boa-Ski Mark I and Mark II
- 1971 Boa-Ski MK 0 (“Baby Boa”)
- 1972 Boa-Ski R/T
- 1973 Boa-Ski SS 340 and SS 440
- 1973 Boa-Ski Grass drag racer (“BAR”)
Boa-Ski Snowmobiles for Sale
Since they haven’t been in production for decades, Boa-Skis have become aged vintage sleds. But surprisingly, they still appear on the trails and even in vintage racing events!
Thanks to their advanced features and powerful engines, they are still popular among younger sledders.
Let’s face it, today’s sleds are quite expensive and feature very complex systems. In contrast, vintage sleds are much easier to work on and much more affordable as well.
If you are in the market for a vintage sled, you have plenty of classified sites to choose from. You may find a Boa-Ski snowmobile for sale on Craigslist, eBay, or one of the snowmobile classified ad websites.
Also, you may want to visit some Boa-Ski snowmobile forums or even Facebook groups. You can find some good deals along with a ton of valuable info about these iconic sleds on these sites.
Takeaways – FAQs About Boa-Ski Snowmobiles
As a takeaway, we’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions about Boa-Ski snowmobiles under one roof!
What Years did Boa-Ski Make Snowmobiles?
Boa-Ski snowmobiles were marketed from 1967 through 1978, however, production stopped in 1977.
Why did Boa-Ski Stop Making Snowmobiles?
Boa-Ski left the snowmobile market because of low sales numbers. In the mid-‘70s the entire snowmobile market was hit by high oil prices and poor snow conditions. These resulted in a declining demand which caused a lot of snowmobile manufacturers to go bankrupt. Boa-Ski was sold twice over the years, but the new owners weren’t able to save the company either.
When did Boa-Ski Stop Make Snowmobiles?
To the greatest regret of many fans, Boa-Ski stopped making snowmobiles in 1977, but a few models were sold through the 1978 season.