Norman “Red” Dotterweich at the helm of his new 1957 Fleetcraft on Lake Hopatcong

For those of you out in the midwest and out further west, when one hears New Jersey we unfortunately think of Snookie, and toxic waste dumps. The old joke…Why is New Jersey called The Garden State?” – “Because it’s too hard to fit Oil and Petrochemical Refinery State on a license plate?” The one thing that is for sure, is that the good folks of New Jersey have a killer sense of humor, a sense of place and a deep love of tradition and history. About an hr or so west on New York City lies Lake Hopatcong. Slightly North of Princeton and a million miles from the crap that unfortunately defines the state by many. And to top it off, some of the finest Antique & Classic boats in the US. The standards are through the roof. Why? One because of the small lakes in the area. And two because of the support system that surrounds them. And a passionate group of folks that keep it all going. One of them is our very own Woody Boater “ Have I Got A Calender For You”  Bob Kays. Who sent in his pick for the big Woody Boater “Whats your favorite Lake story”.. Here it is from Bob himself..

The Header photo is my Grandfather Norman “Red” Dotterweich at the helm of his new 1957 Fleetcraft, on my favorite, Lake Hopatcong. Grandpa purchased the houses on the Island in 1956. He liked the Fleetcraft because he got mahogany decks and a coral fiberglass hull. He liked the idea of less work on the boat. I have never seen another Fleetcraft and that was my first boat ride. Matt, take a look at Grandpa’s hat!

Young Bob in his trusty Canoe

A few more photos. Two shots of me in the early 60’s in our wooden rowboat and canoe.

The rowboat is long gone, but we still have the 1933 Old Town canoe.

A photo of my son Alex getting his start at the wheel of our first Chris, a 1957 18’ Holiday. The sunset shot was taken by Alex last summer and reminds us how a summer day on the lake ends. We dod have a long a rich boating history on Lake Hopatcong, the boats tying up is from 1909. Boats began racing on the lake in the early years of boating.


My Grandparents bought on Raccoon Island, Lake Hopatcong because of it’s beauty, but more important, because it provides time and place for our family to build memories.

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