Portage Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show featuring rare Chris Craft Customs
|The 37th annual Portage Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show will take place June 30 at the docks at the Harbor Inn and Hook, Line and Drinkers. Shown are boats at a previous show.|
|Photo: Krista Galloway|
This year’s event will feature one of the largest displays of Chris Craft Custom Runabouts, along with more than 50 restored wooden and classic fiberglass boats, as well as canoes and sailboats, according to show Chairperson Bud Long.
Boats will be in the water and will come from Virginia, Michigan and Ohio, according to Long.
He added that both pre-World War II and postwar Chris Craft models will be available for viewing.
The prewar models were known for their iconic barrelback design and double and triple cockpit layouts, Long said. The boat show display will include one of the rarest models — a 22-foot-long 1939 triple cockpit Custom named “Sashay” that is owned by John and Kim Vorhies, of Green. Only 24 of these were ever built, and just nine are known to exist today, according to Long.
The boat show’s postwar model will be a 20-foot double cockpit Custom, which was Chris Craft’s way of celebrating the end of the war, according to Long.
While the final orders for assault landing crafts for the military were being completed, company boat designers believed that when the war ended, the demand for exciting and powerful newly designed pleasure craft would increase, said Long. The boat’s blonde deck stain accents started a fashion design that was copied by other manufacturers and continued to be used by Chris Craft in many of its later models, such as the Rivieras, Capris and Holidays, until the wooden boats were phased out of production in the late 1960s, according to Long.
Priced at nearly $4,000 in 1946 through 1949, only 366 of these boats were built, according to Long. They included expensive leather upholstery, double engine hatches, a three-way rolled transom, 330-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine and more than 75 pieces of chrome and polished stainless steel. It is estimated that only 150 to 170 still exist today.
Boat show organizers also said the show will include two Chris Craft Custom boats to be seen together for the first time since they were built — “Legend,” owned by Gil and Cheryl Maringer, of Green, and “Waterlogged,” owned by Gary and Shirl Gondek, of White Lake, Mich.
Both boats came off the assembly line together at the Chris Craft factory in Cadillac, Mich. Each had a number of owners, and “Legend” was almost scrapped, according to show organizers.
The boat show will be followed with awards to be presented in a variety of categories at Turkeyfoot Island Club. The awards will include the “People’s Choice Award,” selected by visitors to the show who will be invited to cast a vote for their favorite.
Admission to the boat show is free, and the show will be presented rain or shine.
The show, billed as one of the oldest in the country, is sponsored by the North Coast Ohio Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and the Portage Lakes Historical Society, according to show officials.
For more information, contact Long at 216-409-6863.
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