Last Saturday during the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival at Lake Dora, the kids inlisted in the Hagerty Youth Judging Program had their chance to learn the art of judging antique boats. Once again for 2011, Terry Ross and her crew of volunteers from the Sunnyland Chapter ACBS successfully organized the popular Youth Judging Program. Prior to actually judging the boats, the kids have an opportunity to build and paint their own model boats which gives them some exposure to working with their hands, personalizing their work. Then they slip in to their matching Hagerty shirts and hats, and receive a 10 minute safety course which included fitting and adjusting their PFD’s supplied by the US Coast Guard.
The 16 kids were very focused on the task at hand and asked great questions along the way. They all take score cards that list a number of specific questions they are encouraged to ask the boat owners such as the operation of the horn, type of exterior and interior, engine, etc.
The kids are taught to never board the craft prior to asking permission to board from the owner. This year a total of eight boats were selected for judging, consisting of wooden boats, fiberglass and even a steel boat this year. Here they are gathered around “Rum Runner” and the boats owner was answering questions as they considered the correct scores for each category, which are filled out by the kids and passed in after each boat to be counted once the judging was completed.
Then the judging team moved on to an early Mullins metal launch that they were all invited to climb aboard. The owner was just great with the kids, answering all their questions. Notice the young girl testing out the horn. The owner made it clear to the youth judges that the old Mullins Launch was 100 years old… and also made even more clear that he has not the original owner, we all laughed…
The Hagerty Youth Judging Program was great fun, and some of the things the kids ask make it very enjoyable. After the kids heard the loud un-muffled big block Chevrolet motors in Miss America IV we moved on to beautiful Chris-Craft cruiser, and of course, their first question was “Can we hear your engines please?” – and when the owner started the quiet, smooth running Chris-Craft engines mounted deep in the hull, one of the kids commented “That sounded Pitiful!!”
And after all the score cards are handed in, the young judges adjourn for some well deserved icecream.
Thanks to Terry Ross and her crew for organizing the successful Hagerty Youth Judging Program again this year, thanks to Carla & Chris from Hagerty Marine for supporting the program, and thanks to the boat owners for helping with the program. I sincerely enjoyed volunteering with Terry Ross and the kids for this wonderful program.
This year the youth judges awarded the first place prize to “Rum Runner”.