Reporting in from Ohio! Home of our pals at Antique Boat Center fellow Woody Boater Rich Marschner gives us a full and nice report of the Portage lakes Show! Take it away Rich..
Northern Ohio has been in a deep drought for months. So what happens at Portage Lakes in Akron on the morning of the 37th North Coast Ohio ACBS boat show? An angry, grey dawn with threats of thundershowers. We all gather at the appointed hour and place. Light sprinkles continue to speckle the decks for the first hour of the show, but then the sun breaks break out, temps soar to 90 – and all is well.
But on to the runabouts. Like a gaggle of Canada geese, blond-decked Customs that had cavorted on the lake in the early morning fog have now settled in along the docks at Hook, Line and Drinkers and the Olde Harbor Inn, where the restaurants’ 55 slips are just enough to hold all the woodies.
A first-time entry to our show is also a big crowd favorite – a 1983 20-foot Marinacci Torpedo, a teardrop-shaped fantasy creation in mahogany by Julius Marinacci of Tacoma, WA. He had worked for Western Boat Building Co. there in Tacoma, where he was very much involved in the building of their “Torpedo Flyer” 17’ runabouts introduced in 1948. Total production is estimated at 31.
On a whim, long after his retirement, Marinacci “scaled up” an original 17’ Flyer by 120% to this one-off 20’ version you see here. It is powered by a Mercruiser 350, producing 285 hp. Top speed is 50-plus.
Owner Clint Berkfield stumbled on the boat while looking on eBay for a Chris-Craft barrel-back. “I loved the Art Deco look with the “hot rod” influences. That day, I was on a plane to New Hampshire,” where the Marinacci had been shipped for restoration. “My wife Krista is no longer surprised by my quick decision-making. I bought her a Marquise diamond, which matches the shape of the boat.”
Which also may have something to do with the name on that shapely torpedo stern.
From Zanesville, Ohio, “Diamond Girl” takes the People’s Choice award, by a wide margin.
You can read more about Western Boat Building Co. and the Marinacci Torpedo in “The Real Runabouts, Vol. 5,” including an interview with Julius Marinacci by the author.
The judges’ first-place awards for our featured Chris-Craft runabouts are:
1. Classics under 20’: 1948 Chris-Craft Deluxe, “E-Z Money,” Joe Nemes, Akron, OH
Two other ‘48s finished 2nd and 3rd – and two of these three boats have consecutive hull numbers.
2. Classics, 20’ and over: 1948 Chris-Craft Custom, “Sea Three,” Mark McCarthy, Cincinnati, OH
3. Antiques, under 20’: 1941 Chris-Craft Custom, “Talaria,” Rich Marschner and Wiley Cornell, Cleveland, OH
The judges’ first-place awards in other classes include:
1. Fiberclassic: 1969 Chris-Craft Commander, “Afishinado,” Dick and Karen DeFazio, Bemus Point, NY
2. Early Contemporary Classic: 1983 Marinacci Torpedo, “Diamond Girl,” Clint Berkfield, Zanesville, OH
3. Most Original Preserved Boat: 1959 Chris-Craft Sportsman, “Cemack,” Bill and Carol Mack, Lima, OH
How original is it? Bill even has the spare spark plug — and the original, unwrapped roll of TP — that Chris-Craft included with the boat!
4. Classic Utilities Under 20’: 1968 Lyman, Bill and Lucy Hunter, Akron, OH
5. Classic Utilities 20’ and Over: 1963 Chris-Craft Holiday, “GiGi,” Sandy Neidert, Akron, OH
Lovely. All absolutely lovely, these boats.
As is the sunset.