1938 Gar Wood with an experimental painted-canvas deck in forest green!

This incredible ’38 Gar Wood triple features a factory-spec canvas decking, painted a dark blue-green. It also has, according to the owner, the first stern-drive system in a production boat. Add the innovative walk-about rear seating, and you have one special Gar. “Blythe Spirit” won Best in Show Preserved for Michael and Elaine Jakubowski.

Thanks to fellow Woody Boater by Rich Marschner and photographer Carri Marschner for reporting in better late than never from last weeks Skaneateles show.  This show is always the week before this weekends huge Clayton Show. Stay tuned for that big report coming in. Kent O. Smith Jr is our trusty reporter this weekend! Woohoo. Great photos!

Get out on the watta!

Get out on the watta!

Last weekend’s show on Skaneateles (say “Skinny-AT-less) Lake, sponsored by the Finger Lakes Chapter of ACBS and the town’s Chamber of Commerce Foundation, seemed likely to be a warm-up for the big ACBS National event in mid-September just across the lake at Skaneateles Country Club.

The club and location of the big International show in September!

The club and location of the big International show in September!

But this 36th annual show turned out to be a full-sized, all-out event, running from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, with the docks open all evening.

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Maybe the cutest boathouse of all time.

Maybe the cutest boathouse of all time.

The length of the show was matched by plenty of on-shore activity in the adjacent city park, including lots of live music.  Land displays matched up nicely with the in-water boat entries — about 40 of each on land and afloat.

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Syd Marsden’s 1926 Hacker Craft, “Black Witch,” with an externally controlled tiller. We have been on Black Witch and it cuts through the water like butta

Saturday offered a boat parade and “fly-by,” with more than two hundred attentive and applauding onlookers in the park.  Sunday featured a photo-shoot, with a passenger ferry taking camera-happy guests out into the bay to shoot the various boats as they zoomed around.

The 20-foot runabout "Pippin II" was built in 2013 at Reet Boatworks, Mayfield NY.  Power: a 330 hp Mercruiser Scorpion.

The 20-foot runabout “Pippin II” was built in 2013 at Reet Boatworks, Mayfield NY. Power: a 330 hp Mercruiser Scorpion.

This 1910 Fay & Bowen, "Elizabeth Ellen," was the People's Choice award winner.  Note the forward wheel, but Dick Sherwood is steering with a second wheel to his left, back amidships.

This 1910 Fay & Bowen, “Elizabeth Ellen,” was the People’s Choice award winner. Note the forward wheel, but Dick Sherwood is steering with a second wheel to his left, back amidships.

The wheel in case you missed it.

The wheel in case you missed it.

One amazing fact about this show:  there were 14 early boats in the water — about twice the ratio of pre-war to classic boats you might typically expect among 40 boats.  And they weren’t just any pre-war boats, as you can see from the photos.  There were not just one or two but three 1941 and ’42 Chris-Craft barrel-backs — two identical 19s and one 17-footer which took Best Restored Antique Runabout.

1941 CC 17-foot barrel winner (dammit!) "Believer"was dredged up from the bottom of the Niagara River in the mid-50's and stored until restoration in the mid-90's.

1941 CC 17-foot barrel winner “Believer”was dredged up from the bottom of the Niagara River in the mid-50’s and stored until restoration in the mid-90’s.

 

The Roosevelt family compound...home to several generations of the President's relatives.

The Roosevelt family compound…home to several generations of the President’s relatives.

A 1957 Larson, with matching Evinrude. Very cool paint trick to blend the engine with the boat. NICE!

A 1957 Larson, with matching Evinrude. Very cool paint trick to blend the engine with the boat. NICE!

Not to minimize the modern boats here:  there were classy new interpretations of antique and classic runabouts built in 2000, 2011 and 2013 — and one little hot-rod of a pocket racer called “Mighty Mouse” that flew across the lake at the speed of a jet-ski…but with ever-so-much-more cool!

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17 Responses to “Late Live-ish From The Skaneateles ACBS Show Last Week. Wow!”
  1. m-fine

    Stern drive? I think that is supposed to be the first production V drive. Blythe Spirit was the winner of best in show in Hammondsport, and also the far more coveted Tobler’s choice award.

    • Greg Lewandowski

      M-fine
      When I saw your earlier report on this boat, I assumed it was a late reproduction because of the V drive and cockpit configuration. Finding out it is a true classic puts it in a whole different league. A truely very rare boat.

      • m-fine

        With a 9 week old bear cub, I mean puppy, in tow, it was hard to talk much with anyone about their boats, let alone take good notes. As Tobler’s obedience and stamina improves I should be able to get more depth for future reports. At least that is the plan 🙂

        • Alex

          Take heart. He already has better obedience than a 7 year old Salter.

  2. Greg Wallace

    The Gar Wood with the green canvas decks is superb and “Hats Off” to the owner for keeping her that way. As I recall, however, there were earlier production stern drives. Eddy Marine is one that comes to mind. Some photos of the drive system would be cool.

  3. m-fine

    By the way, if the international show is at the country club and not the town park, ignore my suggestions on where to stay within walking distance. Unless your idea of walking distance is more like Alex’s than mine.

  4. Greg Wallace

    Thanks m-fine for the pic and clarification on the propulsion system. There were earlier v-drives as well even from Gar Wood. From photos awards well deserved.

  5. Doug Pope

    I grew up in Skaneateles and we made the trip from Maine (with Rumble) to see the show and catch up with old friends. The quality of the boats on display was very high, both newish and old. Blythe Spirit had my “peoples choice” vote. But what a hard choice it was.

  6. Michael Jakubowski

    M-fine is correct. v-drive it is. As I understand, Blythe Spirit is the first 22′ triple cockpit with a v-drive. This comes from a June 1938 Chrysler Corp add for the “V-Reduction” in Motor Boating Magazine which features factory photos of Blythe Spirit.

    • dreed

      Mike,
      Tell the story of how you rescued it from a pasture. Kudos to you for saving this one from the burn pile so we can all enjoy it’s beauty. Thank you! Maybe M-fine could do a feature story on it for us.

    • m-fine

      Mike and Dreed,

      I would be happy to take more pictures and write a full feature on Blythe Spirit if Mike and family are interested.

      I can be reached at [email protected] or found on Hewetts point, about 5 miles south of Penn Yan on the eastern shore.

    • m-fine

      Mike and Dreed,

      I would be happy to take more pictures and write a full feature on Blythe Spirit if Mike and family are interested.
      I can be reached at mfine(at sign)m-fine.com or found on Hewetts point, about 5 miles south of Penn Yan on the eastern shore.

  7. floyd r turbo

    Dick Sherwood’s launch is fabulous and he’s very committed to the ACBS. He was their chapter’s newsletter editor for years as well as dedicated director. I salute your commitment Dick and your launch.

  8. Philip Andrew

    Oh my lord how beautiful is the boathouse in the header this morning. Arghhhh your architecture is sublime. Better than the boats for me today. Tomorrow I will love the boats more iI promise but today…. wow that home.

  9. Rich Marschner

    Ain’t it the truth, Phillip…the more I gazed at that structure, the more the fine details revealed themselves. I just had to have a shot to remember it for myself later on…then I sent it on a whim along with the other pix to Matt, and he fell for it, too. So, given the unbridled power he wields, header shot it became.