Share Your Thoughts On A Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Event In Florida?

Boathouse Resturant 4

The Boathouse restaurant under construction in Florida

There is a small section on the Chris Craft Boat Buzz that is info from the club. On that section is usually some cool stuff that most folks don’t read. A little note showed up from the club asking if having an event would be a good idea. You know, a big Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club event.

Boathouse resturant 2

There is plenty of dock space. Still yet to be constructed. The exposure for the classic boat culture would be HUGE.

To add to the thread it was suggested that the new Boathouse Restaurant in Florida at Disney could be a fantastic venue. A rough date was thought up. October, and so folks were asked if this might work. And then reached out to us, to ask the Classic Boat Community what they thought….Sooooo get out your calculator, do the math and comment away. The Chris Craft Antique Boat Club is looking for your feedback.Good idea, bad? Time, Location? Let it rip..  You can read the Boat Buzz thread HERE. Or just comment.

boathouse resturant4

This will be a destination for many in the lifestyle, as one of the worlds top classic boat themed restaurant. The CCABC could be part of it all?

HERE is the thread if you don’t have the energy to click the HERE link!

Your Club wants to plan something exciting – A series of Gatherings of Club Members and their Chris-Craft boats. The Board of Directors now has a Special Events Committee to study possibilities of having these in various parts of the country each year and to begin planning the first such event in 2015.

Now, think of a place that perhaps would be “Over-The-Top” for such a gathering, a place that you may never dream could be possible.

How about Walt Disney World in Orlando? An “In-Water Chris-Craft Antique Boat Show “ at the bran-spanking new Boathouse Restaurant in the Downtown Disney Area with docking facilities for as many Chris-Craft boats as we want to bring, well almost; I’m sure there are limits. But 50 boats would be no problem, and they can accommodate many more if needed (150?), according to the Boathouse owners.

Committee member Donald Ploetner II is presently working with the Boathouse people who will coordinate this with Walt Disney World. But before he can go much further we need your input. A tentative date would be sometime in October. An ideal date may be just before Columbus Day. The plan is to conduct a 3 or 4 day event beginning on Thursday or Friday through Sunday. We think that this venue sounds incredible. What do you think? Sound interesting?

For this to become a reality we need your support. Let us hear from you. If there is enough interest, Don and the committee will begin planning this event in earnest. As with any event, the logistics, activities, accommodations, costs, and reservations will call for a few volunteers.

Chime in here with your support. Let’s do this!

On behalf of:
Special Events Committee,
The Board of Directors
Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club

44 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    On the plus side, the venue would be very cool. Not only the restaurant, but plenty of hotel options, lots of things for the familly and significant other to do etc. I am surprised they will let us drop our own boats in their lake. I imagine it will be all or mostly no-wake-zone, but it would still be fun to drive from the former Downtown Disney (restaurant) over to some of the other resorts on the water like Saratoga, Old Key West, and Port Orleans.

    On the down side for me is it is a heck of a drive without towing, and longer with a boat in trail. Flying to Orlando for a couple of days is not a big deal, but bringing a boat would add days to eaither end and likely mean a full week or more. It would be tough for me to make that commitment in the warmer months including October.

    Perhaps if it was timed to tie in with Tavares 2016, either a few days before or after, it would be much easier to justify a block of time and the effort to bring a boat to attend bith events.

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:


      I’m not sure they would. Back when Dale Tassel was Sunnyland President and I was on the ACBS Board I got a nice proposal from Disney and we took it to an ACBS annual meeting. They said nobody was interested in boating in Florida. In 2001 ( the week after 9/11)Terry Fiest and I took a Disney proposal to ACBS at their annual meeting in Memphis and we couldn’t even get on the agenda. I tried one more time and was then told that Disney had worked out an exclusive agreement for use of the lakes with one of the major boat companies or outboard manufacturers, I forget which, and we could no longer bring our woodies to their lakes.

      But if central Florida is desirable then there may be an option. Sunnyland used to do a very successful annual Fall gathering at Cypress Gardens where you could run at full speed. Legoland has since bought the place and made quite a tourist attraction out of it. I have long since quit playing with tinker toys and haven’t had the desire to go there but I read recently where there are one or two new hotels in the planning stages. Since these people seem quite tourist oriented, it just might be an option for this sort of thing.
      Just my thoughts.

  2. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    I dont have a CC so not an issue but october is not a good time when your north its time to put all the boats away. still working on julie to convince her that Evaline would be a nice CC to put in our boat house, But so far its not working.

  3. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    no chris craft here, sounds like we wouldnt be included!

    lets do it right! have a “woodyboater” outing there!!!
    where all us step children are welcome

    matt could you arrange?

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Jim has it right, arrange for all us Northern guys a safe indoor storage location down there, and we can leave our boats till Tavares.
      The ACBS Board is looking for a 2019 location, this could work, the timing is right, for long range planning. All the bugs could be worked out with three annual events in 2015 thru 2018.

  4. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    Iam required by the code of all things Chris Craft to comment on today’s header picture. It’s one of my favorite Chris Craft pieces of hardware and part of Second Love’s dash board. While Iam at it lets plug a couple sponsors. Rod Graves did the plating and Dale Kocian did the gauges. I love that dash but I find it interesting that that emblem was not centered on anything.
    I think the new restaurant and docks at Disney would be the perfect venue for a show whether it’s the Chris Craft Club, Sunnyland Chapter or the ACBS International Show. Even if it’s the Chris Craft Club, why restrict it to Chris Craft boats only? The last I knew you didn’t have to own a Chris Craft to be a member of the club. The more mahogany brethren (or glass) the better in my opinion. Iam sure Disney would want it scheduled at a slower time for them which isn’t ideal for families but what kid would remember a week in school longer than remembering a week at Disney. We try to do a couple long distance shows a year but if I were to trailer from Michigan for a show at Disney I would probably forfeit Tavares or the International to do that. Would I be willing to do that? Absolutely! After all Disney is for old kids too.

  5. Eric
    Eric says:

    Would be a great destination for an ACBS, CC club, Woodyboater or any boating enthusiast event. The only downer is there’s a 4mph speed limit on the man made lake, but with a foot and a half of ice up here to get to soft water…anything sounds good.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I think the idea is GREAT and the location fabulous. I am thrilled the CCABC is perusing this kind of event. I have not read anywhere that it is limited to CC’s, so those that are using that as a reason need to re-think maybe.

    I do see some of the challenges with October, but there is no way you will satisfy everyone, so the real question is “Are there enough participants to make it doable?”

    I think Jim’s suggestion of storage in Florida has merit.

    All in all this years vacation schedule is very full and my boss is getting a little edgy about taking off too much time, so I don’t think I would be able to participate this fall.

  7. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    The venue sounds really great but the fact that you can’t really run your boat, which to me is what it’s all about, takes away from the whole experience. It’s more like an indoor show that’s held outside, I think we can come up with something better than that.
    Some real lakes, something off the beaten path that hasn’t been done yet, for example, here in the upper state of South Carolina there is Lake Jocassee, non commercial, beautiful clear water, surrounded by mountains and there is great accommodations, if you reserve in advance.
    An in water boat show, so-to-speak, and there doesn’t even have to be any judging, just a good time with the people that you have something in common with.

  8. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    I don’t care for the exclusive title of shows. CC, Gar Wood, Riva. We are all in the same boat , so to speak. The world famous LA roadster show held at the fair grounds in Pomona, Ca figured it out years ago. All hot rods and classic cars are welcome but roadsters are the only ones judjed.

    • Tuobanur
      Tuobanur says:

      I agree, if you are going to all the work involved in having a show, open it up to all classic/antique boats, the more the merrier.

  9. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    My thoughts are posted above in a reply to Matt. Having once been a meeting planner in my circuitous career, and since I live in Florida and even at my advancing age, still have contacts here, I’d be willing to work in it one more time if there is an interest.

  10. Fred B
    Fred B says:

    Disney being who they are makes me wonder what they would charge the boat owners for the privelege of being able to make them more money than they would otherwise without the show. Rumor has it they like making money. Lots of it.

  11. Chuck Crosby
    Chuck Crosby says:

    I really doubt that I would bring my boat from the west coast unless this event was tried to either the Sunnyland show, the International, or my dream cross country trip of the US & Canada towing my boat and stopping at all the great places that I experience vicariously via Woodyboater.

    That said, this discussion thread made me think of the great, or not so great food wise, outdoor dining/ waterfront view restaurants on our lakes, rivers and byways.

    At Tahoe, my favorites are Sunnyside, Garwoods (next to Sierra Boat), and WestSide Cafe if you have sufficient cash. I also have enjoyed the Barrelback on Wallon Lake, Michigan and (forgot the name) East side of Kueka Lake by the Y in the Finger Lake Region NY. I think this would make a great discussion thread. We could post pictures from our favorite waterfront restaurants. Attache picture of my parents getting ready to push of from Garwood’s pier.

  12. John A. Gambill
    John A. Gambill says:

    I would have no interest at all in this venue considering that we could not run the boats. Being able to trip in your boat at a show setting is a big part of what a show should be all about and what makes it fun for all. I would never drag my boat all the way to Florida from Michigan and not be able to use it a little.

  13. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    A huge topic of discussion these days is how to bring new members into the hobby. A lot of classic boat shows draw spectators that already have an interest in old boats. Boat shows connected to other events or in busy resort towns get us good exposure to new people. The Disney venue would give us an opportunity to expose our hobby to a whole new group of people who happen to be at the same location at the time of the show.

    I also think that there is a trend in the restaurant world to use classic boats as a theme as mentioned above by Chuck. Add to his list Boatwerks here in Holland.

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Our Water Wonderland Chapter gains additional exposure from non boaters each year in Traverse City at our Boats on the Boardwalk. Because it is the same weekend as the big Film Festival is going on in town only one block away…

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      Ed, I posted a story on Woody Boater about the Boatwerks in Holland, MI back in late ’07 or early ’08. It’s a fabulous place. There is a mural of the old Chris-Craft Holland factory with several large cruisers coming off the end of production lines through giant doors. If I knew how to link the story here, I would.

  14. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Many members of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club have expressed their interest in organizing local get-togethers in various areas of the country so that our members can literally “get together”. Our Special Events Committee is trying to respond to these members by proposing the subject event; not intended to be a Show as such, but a Gathering of Club members. It was never intended to be any more than a regional Club Gathering, the first of other such Gatherings of Club members in other parts of the country next year, and beyond.

    The committee asked Matt to post the above information on Woody Boater as a means to feel out the possibilities of such a Gathering at the new Boathouse Restaurant at Walt Disney World in late 2015. I’m sure the committee will take all of the comments made here into consideration in determining if this event is feasible, and if such an event should be open to all marques in order to make it a success.

  15. Nautilus
    Nautilus says:

    Personally, I’m not much into docking my boat all day long and I wouldn’t be interested in going through all the time, trouble and cost necessary to simply plop my boat into the water for a static boat show. My idea of an antique boating event is simple: boating, not “parking.” Any venue that offers “free range” for opening throttles would be preferable. Aside from the “look at me” opportunity, I don’t see any inducement for boat owners to participate…unless Disney offers to split the profits.

  16. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    In my first and second proposal to ACBS I argued that 100,000 ( maybe more now ) people would come to Disney each day and see the boats…Many would take still and movie photos and show them back home, giving the hobby more exposure that it could possibly get any other way. The idea didn’t fly then and judging from the comments above, it looks like it doesn’t fly now…..Although if “parking” the boats is a big objection, then as suggeted earlier Leggoland might be an option and still give the hobby a fair amount of exposure.

  17. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    The exposure would be incredible….no question. It wouldn’t be practical for boats more than 4 or 5 hours away to participate but there are enough “local” boats to make this fly. I support the idea and would take one for the team if there was a static event like this closer to home.

  18. Rick
    Rick says:

    With enough notice (6months) I’d go as long as we could use the boats. 4mph is not much slower than Panther probably goes anyway. I think it could be way cool.

  19. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    Al, I hope the CHris craft antique boat club has a gathering at Disney. CC is the everymans idea of a classic boat so it would certainty appease the Disney crowd. And the thought of a picture of Wilson with goofy is priceless. I doubt if the dozen woodyboaters who commented are truly representative of CCABC members. The club needs to have a gathering, go for it!

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      Tommy, better yet a picture of Wilson water skiing with Goofy. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

      Texx, I don’t do Facebook but I know it has quite a following. Maybe Don P could post on there.

      • Wilson
        Wilson says:

        Al: You want to see a picture of Wilson water skiing ?…Go to the Chris Craft Archives and look at the cover of the December 1987 Brass Bell

  20. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I don’t see families, who’ve paid big money to get to “destination Disney” and ride the rides or see the attractions, taking time out with their kids to see the boats instead of the attractions. Although my daughter says they have car shows at “downtown Disney” where you don’t need a park pass to access, a positive. But cars can have more places to ride. Late October, you’d have huge crowds for Halloween at the park as well as the marathon – so difficult to get accomodations and that runs up thru Jacksonville as thats Fl/Ga Gator Bowl Game (worlds largest cocktail party). I’d say another location – I like Wilson’s suggestion, the former Cypress Gardens, if its held in that vicinity. Otherwise pick an existing venue in the summer and add CC Jamboree to the celebration.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      With approximately 2,000 members / viewers on the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Facebook page – would there be any benefit for the club to post this question on the Facebook page? This may provide another cross section of opinions from people who may not follow Woody Boater or the Boat Buzz Forum. – Texx

  21. Terry Fiest
    Terry Fiest says:

    This is a great opportunity to bring your boat to Disney and enjoy all the perks that go with it—-Wilson and I have tried for years to do something there and this may be an opportunity. The Sunnyland Chapter would want to get involved and there is a lot we can do to tie it together. It should not be limited to just Chris Crafts, its an opportunity to show case classic boats in a beautiful setting. Focus should be on families—kids and getting everyone to the Magic Kingdom with a boat. There is a big Car and Boat show that we are involved with on the weekend of October 16 & 17in Lakeland—-The Lake Mirror Classic. Our chapter is committed that weekend. The idea of storing boats can be accomplished. Several of our members in the Mount Dora area can provide storage. Orlando is full of “less expensive” motels and if Tickets to the Magic Kingdom are provided to participants with Boats, you will get a good contingent from Florida. Bottom line, The Sunnyland Chapter would certainly get involved. We can discuss the concept at the Sunnyland show when we are all there—Our show is 54 days out!!

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Terry: You think this idea will fly ? My primary contacts at Disney are all gone but I’ve still got some secondary ones…I could check and see if their restriction on outside boats has expired. As we agree the exposure would be unsurpasable…Unless we could get in an ad during the Suoer Bowl game

  22. Matt
    Matt says:

    That’s perfect terry, what if we all do it together and call it the last gasp event. Not a show but one last time to party before winter. Offer winterizing service and fun things to think about over winter. Awards can be for an entire years worth of stuff. Make it the end of the year fun!

  23. Alex
    Alex says:

    I shan’t attend. Too costly and too far to trailer. Besides, there’s plenty of goofy going on right here in Northern Michigan.

    As for whether this would help or hinder the classic boating community, I think once the initial wow-factor is thought through, the answer is neither.

    Exposure could be high or low. And the quality of exposure (visitors) could be right or not. So what. The only thing that matters to the classic boating community is how much of that exposure will translate into tangible “good things” for classic boating. By that, I mean new owners, new restorations, higher valuations, etc.

    Those who commented above about the awesome potential exposure need to remember that “sales” are irrelevant. It’s “profits” that count.

    My instinct is telling me Disney would profit the most from such an event. In fact, they could be the only party who would profit. More food, drinks, and souvenirs sold. More tickets bought. More hotel rooms filled (solely by boat owners).

    If a group of classic boat owners want to show up with a Disney invitation, or if come club-sanctioned event is to go on there, fine. I sincerely hope the boat owners who would choose to go have a great time.

    But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking Disney’s “Boathouse,” or a boat show event onsite, will do great things for classic boating. In my view, it will have zero impact.

  24. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    If any of us in this avocation (other than a handful of pro’s) were concerned about profits we would find a different way of spending our money other than on old boats. It’s good to think about exposure to non-hobbyists when planning a new event but I don’t think that it should necessarily be the top priority item on one’s list of do’s & don’t’s. The subject event may or may now not yield big dividends in the category of promotional value, but so what! It’s a fun opportunity that has been talked about in the past, but wasn’t possible until now. Now it seems to be an interesting possibility, even if it turns out to be enjoyed only by regional hobbyists.

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