With all the talk on Woody Boater recently about restoration methods, restoration shops, show boats vs user boats, power options, etc we haven’t spent much time talking about how folks are actually using their antique & classic boats. During the summer many fellow Woody Boaters simply enjoy using their boats as much as possible, often for recreational and family purposes, and river cruises – used just as they were meant to be used.
Here’s a few great examples.
Brian Toye from Lake Oswego, Oregon wrote in to tell us how he uses his 1930 17′ Custom Dual Cockpit Runabout – “Zoomer”
Brian wrote –
Matt & Texx – After reading the comments on the Sindbad story, I had a thought. I have been reading all of the stories on your site for quite some time now, but I do not really recall ever seeing something about ‘how’ we use our boats.
Yea, there are shows and judging and cruising and all that, but what about nuts like myself and our family who use our boat to tow our kids on tubes. I even have pic of our craft towing skiers in the 60’s. At our big Lake Oswego show last year, there was a woody towing the three skiers from the past putting on a great show, but really, that is it. Is that what most folks use their boats for nowadays – giving rides and just cruising ? Here are some photos of how we use our antique wooden boat during the summer.
Myself and my brother in law getting ready for some tubing last summer, Willamette River at Lake Oswego. (I do sit down when we begin to tow.)
More tubing on the Willamette River – teaching the kids about boating safety, watching out for the rope, etc. Basically, learning to be safe and responsible boaters. They love the boat and the fun, but they must also learn to respect and honor the power and dangers that the sport includes.
My son and I getting ready to troll for Kokannee on Odell Lake in Eastern Oregon. Trolling with a V-8 on a alpine lake in our 1930 woody – caught five fish !! (summer 2010) There is something about hearing the rumble of our V-8 at 6am in the morning while trying to catch fish – towing about 8 ft of shiny tackle and the sort. Mighty tasty those Kokannee.
Zoomer towing skiers, on Lake Oswego, circa 1960’s, while owned by the Coan family. I love his flotation device. He is not even wearing the 1960’s donut thing. And he just did a dry dock start! Crazy.
Thanks Brian, it’s great to see the 1930’s Runabout still being used and enjoyed after 80 years. You can see more history of “Zoomer” in the story that Woody Boater published last September by clicking here.
Chad Durren is a long time fellow Woody Boater and the proud owner of “Lily” an exceptional 1952 18′ Chris-Craft Sportsman. After a 5 year restoration, she was re-launched in May 2009 and has won numerous awards since she was restored. “Lily” (shown below) on display at the Clayton Antique Boat Show in 2010, where she won for Best Post-War Utility under 20ft Restored.
Here at Woody Boater we often hear the views of some folks who prefer “User” boats over “Trailer Queens” or “Show” boats. Chad Durren doesn’t see it that way, and believes that there is no reason why a boat cannot be both a “User” and a “Show” boat. And if the boat is properly cared for and maintained, it can be used for both purposes.
Some folks in the antique & classic boating hobby enjoy attending a few boat shows each year, to share their boats with others and participate in the social aspects of the events. Here’s Chad and his father March aboard “Lily” during the popular boat parade on Sunday afternoon in Clayton, NY.
But the majority of the use that “Lily” gets each year, which is considerable, isn’t at boat shows. It’s with his family and friends at their cottage on Pleasant Lake, in Three Rivers, MI or for other boating outings throughout the year.
So… Lake boat, show boat, concours boat, user boat, nice user boat, 100 ft boat, etc. Maybe we have to define exactly what some of these terms mean and adapt them to the Woody Boater dictionary for future reference.
Or would it be easier to just call them antique & classic boats?
Update – Here’s a few shots of Phil’s Weld Wood Runabout “Betty Boop” for comparison to “Zoomer”
Also a shot of the original vintage hook on “Zoomer’s” aft deck that we use to tow water skiers & tubers, etc. The stern is to the right. It is clearly missing something as that hole at the top serves a purpose. Hopefully someone will have an idea. (You can click on the image to enlarge, hit return to go back to the story)