Well, after months of anticipation, the classic boating season is finally here (at least in Florida) and today we are joining up with some fellow Woody Boaters for a day of cruising on the Southbound St. John’s River Cruise in Central Florida. And the forecast for today is Sunny 81 degrees (Feels like 84 degrees – 28.8 C for our friends in Canada) with a few thunderstorms.
We arrived in Palatka, Florida on Monday, which is the stopping point on the river cruise route on both Monday and Tuesday night. The popular St. John’s River Cruises (north before the show and south after the show) are organized in conjunction with Sunnyland ACBS Chapter Wooden Boat Festival on Lake Dora, in Tavares, Florida.
The nice folks from the Sunnyland Chapter ACBS have been organizing these cruise events for a number of years now, and they have it figured out… Keeping in mind that organizing boaters can be like herding cats some days! The South Cruise runs from From Sunday, March 17th to Thursday, March 21st and covers some fantastic waterways throughout central Florida.
The boats began to arrive to the docks of the Palatka Quality Inn mid afternoon on Monday, so we snapped a few shots of the classic boaters as they pulled in to the docks to give you an idea of the wide range of boats that are participating in this years event.
One of the greatest things about this event is the wonderful cross section of classic boaters who attend the event from all over the country and the impressive range of classic boats that participate every year. This is also a great opportunity to visit with old friends and make some new friends along the way. Here’s the stats – based on the most recent sign in sheet:
Over 65 Participants Total – 22 Captains / 43 Crew from 17 US States & 3 Canadian Provinces
23 Boats Registered – from 13 US States & 2 Canadian Provinces
St. Michaels, MD
Sioux Falls, SD
New Fairfield, CT
East Lake, OH
St. Louis, MO
Fleming Island, FL
Rockland, Ontario, Canada
Glen Williams, Ontario, Canada
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
9 Boat Manufacturers Represented
Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company
12 Boat Lengths Registered
15′, 15’8″, 17’5″, 18′, 19′, 20′, 22′, 23′, 24′, 26′, 27′, & a 28 footer.
Here’s a few more examples of some of the unique boats that will be joining us on today’s section of the cruise – And hopefully we will get a chance to photograph some of these beautiful boats doing what they do best throughout the day today.
Stay tuned for a full report from the St. Johns River Cruise on Wednesday here on Woody Boater. Then on Wednesday afternoon, we travel south to Tavares, Florida to set up for the Sunnyland Wooden Boat Festival at Wooten Park, on the shores of beautiful Lake Dora.