Clayton Kent O Smith Jr Style – Part 1

Who doesn’t love a Packard?

Today we feature part one of a two part series from famed photographer Kent O. Smith Jr. Clayton is a stunning area, but through Kent’s eye, beyond magical. Its always exciting to feature Kent’s artwork. And stay tuned tomorrow for an amazing look on the water from Kent.

First light, 54th annual show.

Like I said, who doesn’t love a Packard?

Modern Gars

Pink is my favorite color

Scale – Lyman vs freighter

ACBS founder Joe Flemming gets a ride on Juno

Gar Wood Guys enjoying the river

Ride boats at dawn

All hail the Vagabond King

Boathouse dawn

River contemplation

Differences in beam

Birth of a boat show

Because I can

Couple of volunteers and an intern…river pals

24 replies
  1. Jimbo
    Jimbo says:

    A novice question ?
    Why do some boats have the steering wheel on the right & others have the wheel on the left ? Is there any rhyme or reason ?

    • charley quimby
      charley quimby says:

      Early boats used automotive steering boxes that employed a “Pittman arm” which was located outside the driver’s side of an automotive frame. Boatbuilders simply used the same style of steering box, but located the box and arm on the right-hand stringer, so the arm could push/pull the rudder linkage rod. At least that’s one explanation I heard some years back… CQ

  2. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Great shots !…Make me feel like I was there….Wonder why my instamatic won’t give me shots like that…

    • Kent O
      Kent O says:

      Thanks and great meeting you too. Look forward to photos of your southern hemisphere boating 🙂

  3. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Wonderful shots! Replying to the question re: The placement of the helm in the boats – Early powerboats took small engines designed for other uses, turned them around with the flywheel forward for two reasons – 1) lower profile and 2) use the flywheel to start the boat, sometimes by hand or crank. Gasoline motors are traditionally LH (counter-clockwise) rotation when viewed from the back. Turned around that becomes RH rotation at the front of the motor, which in a boat is toward the stern, and where the gearbox/shaft is hooked up to drive the propeller. Early boats were narrow and when power was applied, the rotation of the propeller would
    cause the boat to list to port, so the helm was placed on the starboard side to counteract that tendency. Between the hardware and the weight of the driver, the boat ran on more of an even keel. That became the traditional placement in smaller vessels. For years, engine manufacturers built reverse-rotation motors for the marine industry, so that the tradition could be maintained with motors converted with the flywheel aft rather than forward. That is the long answer: Simply put, the rotation of the propeller determines the placement of the
    helm. 🙂

    • Philip Andrew
      Philip Andrew says:

      Now that is a fascinating, and now that you’ve described it, entirely logical explanation.
      Matt and I were discussing this very thing on the weekend. Thanks Dick.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Great explanation Dick (as always), thanks! I think Matt should start a new monthly column named (wait for it…) “Have A Question About Classic Boats – Let’s Ask Dick”

  4. SteveH
    SteveH says:

    Very nice!

    Couldn’t make the show this year. Sorry to hijack but did anyone attend the auction and recall what the two Hutchinsons (22ft) went for…..always liked those boats.

    SteveH from the Buzz

  5. Johnny V.
    Johnny V. says:

    I didn’t stick around for the second one, but as I remember the first one went pretty cheap-like 3K. I didn’t look it over real well as I need to get rid of boats, not buy them, but seemed like a lot of boat for the money. Remember though, the buyer pays 10% buyers premium and 8% sales tax, so a $3,000 boat becomes a $3500.00 boat. Not sure if the auction results are listed on line.

  6. SteveH
    SteveH says:

    Thanks Johnney. Didnt see anything online other than “sold”. I am going to inquire. Lots of nice boats with no reserve – more so than in the past.

    If I was in the market (and there) and the price was stalling around 3 I would have started itching. Nice piece of River history to steward.

  7. Drew McNally
    Drew McNally says:


    Thanks for the great shot of the Vagabond King. A magical weekend in the Thousand Islands. Can’t wait till next year.

    • Johnny V.
      Johnny V. says:

      When we first started coming to Clayton in the late ’80s I remember what I thought was a sister ship to Vagabond King called “Lazy Lady”. Is it still around?

      • Drew McNally
        Drew McNally says:

        Yes the Lazy Lady is still on the St. Lawrence on active duty. Built in 1926 by Hutchinson for the Dewart twin boys at the Keewadin estate. The boats were built at the same time and are near replicas. There is a great picture in the ABM Library files of both boats racing against Snail in the 1926 Alexandria Bay Chamber of Commerce Race.

Comments are closed.