Scott Ramsey, his brothers and family are passionate about wooden boats and the classic boating hobby… So passionate that once again this year they have taken on the huge task of organizing the 2012 Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show, which has been relocated to the historic Toledo Yacht Club. Scott and his brothers Dave & Chris also operate Ramsey Brothers Restorations, a leading antique & classic boat restoration shop in Toledo, Ohio.
This non-ACBS show contunues to grow, and has become a very popular event in the Toledo and surrounding area, with close to 100 antique & classic boats expected to attend this year. But what makes this particluar show unique is the wide range of vessels on display, from traditional wooden runabouts and utilities, to big cruisers, to hydroplanes, and even some local ice boaters will be on hand again this year.
Also, if you are in the area or planning to attend the Toledo boat show, Toledo Navy Week 2012 is also under way, in conjunction with commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, and packed with events demonstrating the mission of the U.S. Navy and their proud heritage.
The Toledo Yacht Club is among the oldest yacht clubs in North America. The club was founded in 1865 when two rowing clubs, the Undines and the Naiads, joined together and turned their attention to sailing. The first club house was erected in 1878 on Gard Island near the mouth of the Ottawa River. The Toledo Yacht Club was incorporated on October 3, 1885.
In 1890, a more elaborate structure with sleeping rooms and a second floor was built. In 1896, a rival club, the Ohio Yacht Club, unsuccessfully attempted to take over the Toledo Yacht Club’s Gard Island lease. Later that year, the two clubs merged under the name Toledo Yachting Association, maintaining city quarters in the Neptune Building in Toledo, Ohio.
When Bay View Park was developed, a twenty five year lease was granted to the Toledo Yachting Association, and a wood frame club house was erected at the present site of the club in 1903. In 1904, the club readopted the name Toledo Yacht Club.
In 1906, fire completely destroyed the club and all of its historic contents. By 1908, a new steel reinforced concrete Spanish style clubhouse was built on the site. This historic building still remains basically the same, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1976.
Among the fleet of wooden boats at the event this weekend in Toledo will be this rare 1927 22.5′ Dart Jr. manufactured by the Indian Lake Boat Company. The Indian Lake Boat Company relocated it’s operation from Lima to Summit Street in Toledo, Ohio in 1928. In 1928, a group of businessmen, headed by Admiral Webb C. Hayes, grandson of President Hayes, purchased the rights to build the Dart boats, which then operated under the Dart name until late 1933 when operations finally came to an end due to the Great Depression.
Woody Boater reported on this very cool Dart Jr. this time last year when fellow Woody Boater Jim Staib from Fine Wood Boats spotted it and sent us photos from the 2011 Toledo Boat Show. We spotted it again in June at the Algonac Boat Show in Michigan, which is where we snapped these images. This unrestored 1927 Dart is owned by Ramsey Brothers Restorations.
Dart boats were known for their speed and the speculation is that this boat, with it’s black painted wood and hardware may have been used by bootleggers during the Prohibition to transport illegal liquor. The faded federal ID numbers (CG-819) on the hull sides are claimed to have been applied after the Dart was confiscated by the authorities for future identification.
I spoke to Scott Ramsey by phone yesterday about the upcoming Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show, and asked him if they were planning to show the Dart Jr at the show again this year. Scott said that the boat was currently soaking up and they were planning to bring it over to the show by water on Friday morning.
I also asked Scott what they were planning to do with the Dart in terms of preservation or restoration, and he said they were still undecided what to do… He went on to say that the boat has so much history and “Visible Character” that it would be a shame to change that. They even have the original engine that came with the boat.
Scott said that they have applied one coat of satin varnish on the boat to simply preserve the existing paint and patina, as it was beginning to flake off in a few areas.
The reason we decided to feature this particular unrestored boat as part of this story today, is not only for it’s remarkable originality, history and patina – but also because of the great cross section of comments we received earlier this week (on Tuesday’s story about Cyclone) in regards to preservation vs restoration.
Some viewers commented that highly restored wooden boats may not necessarily represent the true condition of the boat “As Delivered from the Factory” back in the day, with perfect book matched mahogany planks and multiple coats of polished varnish – and I understand that. Other viewers commented that preserved wooden boats were more desirable, also with varying levels of preservation, a high percentage of original wood and multiple coats of polished varnish. Some viewers also raised concerns that high level show boats often become trailer queens and may never be used, which I consider to be “owner preference.”
If you are involved in the antique & classic boating hobby, you may have heard or read about these rare, unmolested “Barn Find” wooden boats that have surfaced over the last few years. Some of those boats have yet to be restored or preserved simply because the owner is faced with the dilemma of “what is the right thing to do with the boat” and how will this effect it’s value? Once again, this is “owner preference.” But quite often nothing gets done to the boat because the owner can’t decide what to do…
If it is dead original, or a historically significant boat like the Ramsey Brothers Dart Jr. – Do you:
- Preserve it with the absolute minuimum amount of varnish and woodwork saving the original wood, even though the original wood could be fatiqued and potentially dangerous? (i.e. Don Danenderg’s investigation story)
- Preserve it as a high quality preservation project with re-plated hardware, bottom upgrade, high level engine restoration, multiple coats of polished varnish, etc?
- Completely restore it with new (safe) wood, restored power, modern technology and materials as a show quality boat?
We would love to hear your comments on the subject. And let’s be clear, the Ramsey Brothers can do what ever they want with the Dart Jr. – they own it… But it’s always fun to debate this topic with our viewers.
Here’s the event schedule for the show and for more information, you can Click Here to go directly to the show website.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
2012 Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show
Friday, August 24
12:00pm-5:00pm Boat Show Set-up
6:00pm Welcome Party / Private tour of S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker for Participants
Saturday, August 25
9:00am-5:00pm Boat Show Open to the Public:
In-Water/Land Displays/Car Show/ Marine Memorabilia Flea Market
12:00pm-3:00pm Performance by Ragtime Rick and the Chefs of Dixieland
6:30pm Patio Party
Sunday, August 26
8:00am Pancake Breakfast
9:00am-3:00pm Boat Show Open to the Public:
In-Water/Land Displays/Car Show/ Marine Memorabilia Flea Market
10:30am Chapel Service at Bandstand
11:00am-1:00pm Live Music
•Best Inboard Runabout
•Best Inboard Utility
•Best Outboard Utility
•Best Non-Powered Small Craft
•Best Classic Car
•Best Model Boat