Today we have a delightful report from correspondent Kentucky Wonder, which features some delightful people, delightful classic boats, delightful photos, on a delightful lake in north Alabama. By the way did we mention the dee-witeful 1931 Dee-Wite runabout? – Texx
2015 Lake Guntersville Antique and Classic Boat Show
Story & Photos by Kentucky Wonder
Last weekend, Anne and I ditched the workload, hitched up the boat trailer, and headed south to Alabama. The Garmin GPS navigated us through the dusk and dark to Guntersville, a town neither of us had ever heard of before reading this year’s Antique and Classic Boat Show flyer. To be honest, we almost cancelled in the weeks prior because of the pressing concerns of owning our own small business. We are now glad we kept the date.
The show was hosted by the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club and sponsored by The Dixieland ACBS Chapter. The Yacht Club had excellent facilities for holding the show, with room for all 25 boats in attendance. Their goal for next year is 50 boats, and there is room to do that. The show was being held concurrently with an antique airplane show at the nearby airport, and several activities in the town of Guntersville itself.
We missed Thursday’s activities, but launched Friday morning with plenty of time to get settled in before the lunch cruises were to begin. There were two cruises offered, one short and one long, but a thunderstorm effectively killed the cruising mood. So we hopped into cars and went anyway. The crabcake sandwich at The Docks in Scottsboro was excellent! After a couple of clear hours boating that afternoon, the Yacht Club offered a time to mingle and sample favorite hors d’oeuvres. Then on to a wine tasting in town and finish the evening having oysters provided by The Bridge Cafe.
Saturday morning, the City of Guntersville started up their free shuttle service between the Yacht Club, the Airport and their quaint yet modern downtown area. Breakfast in an airplane hanger was provided by the Experimental Aircraft Association chapter, and was the hottest pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs and BACON I can remember. Just a great southern breakfast. (Fruit was available for sensible people like Alex)
We took a slow walk around several World War I fighters, classic flying trainers, and a couple of aeronautical oddities that I do not remember seeing before. Now I know how people feel when they come to look at our boats. They do not know what they are, they just know they are simpler and more beautiful than today’s offerings.
The show was free for the general public, and was well attended, especially given the persistent overcast and occasional sprinkle of rain. Most of the boat owners were accessible to answer questions about their particular craft, and knew enough about the surrounding boats to cover if the owner had to slip away. Several boats took people for rides after the show hours were over. Our hobby was represented well.
Saturday evening featured a dinner of barbecued pork and chicken, cooked by members of the Yacht Club right there on the grounds, with all the appropriate sides for a southern feast. The grill had been burning all weekend, and it was good to have the taste in one’s mouth instead of being teased by just the smoky scent. The hosts of the evening thanked the guests for coming, and offered special recognition for a few of the boats and their owners.
Those recognized were photographed together by LGYC photographer Jeff Henderson, and they are, standing left to right-
Bud Ongman – Blairsville, GA
Historian’s Award, 1966 Old Towne Sailing Canoe
Jill Dyas – Dunwoody, GA
People’s Choice Award, 1906 Ray Laker Launch, “Sora”
Ed Stone and Marcia Elkins – Huntsville, AL
Golden Classic Award, 1971 58′ Chris-Craft Roamer, “Grand Slam”
Nancy Wilson, Guntersville, AL
Silver Classic Award, 1961 Century Raven, “Ravena”
Anne Leazenby – Owensboro, KY
Chairman’s Award, 1949 20′ Greavette, “Eau! Canada”
Dianna Ratliff – Guntersville, AL
Best in Show, 1931 Dee-Wite, “Au Revoir”
Alan Alred – Guntersville, AL
Best Chris-Craft in Show, 1954 Chris-Craft Sportsman, “Fussy Gus”
We came away from the Lake Guntersville show impressed with the Lake, the Town and the People. Friends were made, and so were reservations for next year.
On a personal note, we were lucky enough to finally meet Lance Wilson, who lives in the area, and had just finished the restoration on Dianna Ratliff’s Dee Wite. Lance was involved in getting our 1949 Greavette imported from Canada more than 20 years ago, and has helped direct it to new caretakers when necessary. It is Lance’s hands that have kept it from becoming another lost old boat.
Special thanks to Kentucky Wonder for sharing this delightful report with us today. Also special thanks to the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club for hosting the event and The Dixieland Chapter ACBS for sponsoring the show, and the help from all the dedicated volunteers who make these local shows possible.
From the story today, Lake Guntersville and the surrounding area looks like a fantastic venue for a classic boat show – one we hope to check out in the near future.