Lake Dora And The Elephant In The Show!



Okay, here we go, yesterdays story on the Lake Dora show got me some behind the scenes emails. NO DOCKS YET? What the hell? That pretty much was the tone of the messages. No one is impolite enough to mention it in the comment section. But it is out there. Since the hurricane the docks at the Lake Dora event at Tavares, were destroyed, and it appears that they wont be rebuilt. For 2 years? Now say what you want, the city planners? The fact that the hurricane trashed docks all over the state? I am certain there is a reason. A good reason. Maybe part of a larger plan, which can be done all at once. But regardless of why, the real question is. Is the Show worth going to with out a boat? or have a land display?

Do not sit on that boat!

Last year the numbers were down. And many people came to support the club. One heck of a club BTW. Now. Here is the shocker. I had more fun last year than years before. I parked our smaller boat on the beach right behind the tent, and there was a ton of folks having fun. After all, its 80 in March. Rides to the Palm gardens were common place and folks just were having fun. It also wasn’t a mad house and you had a good opportunity to really appreciate friends and boats.

Good strong docks are always appreciated

Don’t think for one nano second that Terry Fiest and the team there isn’t going all out to make sure its a fun time. So, this year. Come. Bring an open mind, and you will have fun. We are either planning on the new Photo Boat or Stinky. Last year the Sunnyland gang put in some temprary docks which were fantastic. So now we have talked about the pachyderm in the room!

15 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    First and foremost I want to say that the Sunnyland Festival is fantastic and well organized regardless of docks. They have to be one of the most active chapters of the ACBS.

    I have partaken in the Sunnyland Festival for the past five years. IMHO it is much more enjoyable with a boat in the water. Last year we went to Palm Garden by car, it did not feel the same.

    Sandi and I decided not to attend this year long before we knew the situation regarding the docks. It played no factor in our decision to forgo the event this year.

    Happy Boating!

  2. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I an going and taking a Whirlwind that I got there at the Field of Dreams, I never did like getting a space on the docks, felt it was expected that I would hang out there too much talking to folks, when as we all know, I like Going Boating…and what a place to do so! After one year on the docks I reverted to sneaking onto the beach….tippy toe around the gators and it is great. All that said: Tavares must step up if they are to keep us. If I was the mayor or whomever down there I am sure I would have to ask a couple of fiscal questions. How many docks like the previous MANY do we need for the rest of the year? Sure, floating docks can come out…but that cost too and they had the roll up and down the concrete pilings expensive type etc etc. I am sure they know how much $ the festival net to the town….decision time I think, and we need to know it pretty soon. Troy not coming might have the same impact as a hurricane…at least in the laughs dept. oh well….He is planning out the Great Loop and I am pushing his ass on it.

  3. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    Rich and I are expecting we will probably be parking the boat on land this year at the show. We are renting that condo for the whole month of March on the St. John’s in Welaka and will have the boat in a slip there. Planning on either the south or north bound river cruise, maybe both. There are other things to occupy us and I am planning on attending ACBS meetings on Thursday. Hopefully, we can encourage Tavares to step up by showing our enthusiasm.

  4. Paul H
    Paul H says:

    I would suggest that, without a firm commitment to have a full compliment of permanent docks in place by the 2020 show, the chapter will be forced to seriously consider relocating the event.

    It’s a boat show, after all and they need docks and if Tavares cannot provide them, other locations can and/or will. I know this has been discussed already but I think the hope was that Tavares would have got its’ act together quicker than it has. It’s a carrot in front of the nose thing – “yes, Terry, we’ll have the docks by such and such a date”. “You will? Great, we’ll start planning!”. Three months later “Oh, about those docks….”

    Fifteen months after heavily used and important town infrastructure was destroyed, there is no replacement plan agreed upon? That speaks to administrative deficiencies (that’s as benign as I can get) to me, and just how long can the chapter tolerate it? Not much longer, I would suggest. I have also heard that the docks and damaged property were very well insured, so I don’t think money is the barrier. So, what is it? Somebody better informed than I can tell us what the real problem with getting new docks is. Political infighting over facility design?

    I support the chapter and the show every year and I will continue to do so, even if they are forced by local political indifference and bureaucratic nonsense to relocate the event. It would be a shame but their hand is being forced.

    • Jeff Funk
      Jeff Funk says:

      Good comments Paul, and I concur. I heard a ‘rumor’ Tavares is planning a new marina at the location of the recently installed ramp just west of the current show location, and that’s the reason for the delay on the docks. This relocation is to relieve the risk of boat/sea-plane collisions in a congested area. Take it for what it’s worth. If this rumor is accurate I fear it will be much longer before Tavares has any permanent docks…and this great show will suffer more and more each year as a result.

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    So first we learn that we need to beach the boats and watch carefully to avoid stepping on gators and snakes while getting in and out of the water. Now you are telling me that there will be elephants there and therefore I also have watch my step for calf deep dung piles? Eeeek!

    I am with Paul, a second year is already a stretch. I sure hope this is not a discussion yet again next year.

  6. Greg W
    Greg W says:

    We here on our busy little lake in Ohio have several capable lake contractors. A 2 year wait for quality work on large projects is not unheard of. And that is not considering a recovery from the devastation suffered throughout the entire state. Manpower and supply resources remain in short supply. I suspect Tavares is not the only entity awaiting service. Our hobby may be the center of our universe but may not be for everyone involved and affected. Perhaps we need to cut em a little (extended) slack.

  7. briant
    briant says:

    Bunk. And trailer bunks. Shortage of labor and supplies? It was a hurricane…not WW2. That cannot be the hold up. A two year wait?

    I think Paul hit the nail….it has been my experience in life that if something needs to happen or to be taken care of, one qualified person will most often get the job done – fast and with positive results.

    When there is more than one schmuck, or God-forbid a committee, there will be endless meetings, sign offs, permits, public input meetings, expensive and often worthless exploratory contracts, feely good team building beach trips, yadda yadda yadda.

    The result? The job will take years to complete and will be crap.

    Appoint one person and then get the hell out of the way. You’d have a full set of replacement high quality docks in three months or less. Stat.

    • john Heiderich
      john Heiderich says:

      Is there any way of getting information directly from the city on what is happening? One year Ok, I can understand but now it”s the second year. Did the city approve that “Master Plan” they showed us last year? Are the new docks going to be in the same place as the old ones or are they going to be down at the new launch ramp by the trailer park?

  8. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Sort of typical we are having this important question HERE….and have not heard anything from ACBS. We are the real stakeholders let’s get some answers. Gloves off my previous post….
    As above: Find out what the town intends…put one person in charge…and the docks will be in by THIS year. Lots of torn up stuff down there to be sure…but any marine contractor would love to have this all at one spot big job as opposed to lots of pain in the ass small ones. Logistics would be good on a project of this scale. Git er done! John in Va

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