Sunday marked the final day on the busy schedule for the 2012 Algonac Boat Show, the Michigan ACBS Chapter’s premier boat show. With the static boat show successfully wrapped up late Saturday, the particpants of the show were ready, willing and able to get back out on the beautiful Michigan waters to exercise (and enjoy) their classic boats just the way they were meant to be used.
With smiling faces all around, at 8:00 AM on Sunday morning a gaggle of classic boats left the Algonac Harbour Club Marina for a fun cruise over to the historical 140 year-old facility simply named “The Old Club of Harsens Island” for Sunday brunch.
Almost every type of antique & classic boat could be seen joining in the cruise, from big cruisers, to pre-war runabouts, mighty lapstrakes to smaller outboards… it was very cool to be involved in this event and experience the camaraderie of all the fellow boaters at the show.
Matt hitched a ride over to the The Old Club with fellow Woody Boater Pete Beauregard in his 1955 Cobra and I had the pleasure of riding over to Harsens Island (joined by Richard & Kathy Gambino) on board Todd Eib’s gorgeous 1967 42′ Chris-Craft Commander, which can usually be found at the Detroit Yacht Club. (My first ever ride on a big Commander and it was fantastic – Thanks Todd!) We got the grand tour of this big cruiser on Saturday during the show, stay tuned for that story… She has a remarkable history being from Detroit.
And part of everyones pre-flight routine is knowing where the “Salty’s” and “Lakers” are along the St. Clair River. These things seem to sneak up on you if your not paying attention… The local boaters take them in stride as they all share the local water ways, but as this is my first time to Algonac, the sheer size of these giant freighters is a bit intimidating… (Thanks Carl for the clarification between the “Salty’s & the “Lakers”)
Another historical landmark along the shores of Harsens Island is the “Idle Hour Yacht Club” once known as the “Riverside Club” – Local folklore is that this is where Gar Wood (among other famous boat builders) would like to visit on occasion when he needed to get way from it all for a while…
The Old Club is an exclusive island community surrounded by the pristine, fresh water of the Great Lakes delta known as the St. Clair Flats. It boasts 50 summer residences, a 24 room historic hotel, a nine-hole golf course, three tennis courts, a trap shooting range, harbors that accommodate small vessels to grand yachts, an Olympic size pool and a clubhouse that offers gourmet dining and top level entertainment throughout the summer months. A country club for boaters that’s celebrating it’s 140th birthday… A very cool place for sure. You can learn more about The Old Club at Harsens Island by clicking here.
A good opportunity to get one more shot of my new favorite boat, “Sea Flow II” an amazing 1938 28′ Hackercraft Triple powered by a big Scripps V-12… Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service in Minnesota invited us to join him for the ride back to Algonac, to shoot some photos and Dave graciously offered to let old Texx take the controls for a while on the return trip, which was big fun… (Thanks Dave)
Then our friend Chris-Smith shared some great stories about the history of Chris-Craft and the Smith family back from in the day, which fit so well with the event in Algonac. Chris Smith will be celebrating his 85th birthday on July 4th next week over in nearby Holland, Michigan… When Chris was a young boy he thought that the fireworks on the 4th of July were for him on his birthday, which we chuckled about on Friday during the cruise aborad his Sea Skiff with daughter Joy.
Our hosts Greg & Marianne Lewandowski pulling out of The Old Club channel aboard “Water Lily” their perfect 1947 Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout. They made us feel right at home all weekend and we appreciate that very much.
Fellow Woody Boaters Bob & Ann Guldemond in thier recently completed Chris-Craft Kit Boat, cruisin’ back to the marina. Art & Mary Jane Armstrong from Harsens Island also had a very cool CC Kit Boat 1950 Chris-Craft Kit Boat at the show, and on Sunday they came over to The Old Club in “Molly O” their 1939 Deluxe Utility. We joined them for brunch and shared some fun stories together…
What can you say about “Black Beauty” that hasn’t already been said? This boat is truly remarkable inside and out, stay tuned for more images of this very cool 1957 33′ Chris-Craft Futura owned by Rick Laenen, one of ten Futuras known to exist today.