Clayton O. Smith Jr – Part Deux – And It Just Keeps Getting Better


Early morning sun lights up the boathouse.

Thanks to Kent O. Smith Jr for sending in another amazing report and amazing photos from this past weekends big Clayton show, as Texx put it, Kent has a way of turning a boat show into an art gallery .Take it away Kent

Finally, the wind lay down; Sunday morning was full of glorious sunshine. Not many folks were on the docks early, most were probably still experiencing the after effects of the previous night’s block party.


The stunning Curtis V12 in Miss “Detroit III”

One of the early risers was Jeff Senecal who owns the Ventnor racer replica. Around 7AM, he lit the monsterous engine off, the echos from the boathouse literally woke half of the Clayton residents. Jeff offered to do some fly bys so we could get some shots at speed.


Some of the Senecal family aboard “Patriot” for an early morning joyride.


“Patriot”, a Ventnor replica racer, roars out on the river.

Syd Marsden saw we were going to shoot some photos and decided to join the fun. Syd and I way back, I shot pics of him running Bill Morgan’s “Delphine IV” at the raceboat regatta in 1996. Syd asked me for some copies of those shots. That was in the film days, it wasn’t as easy as emailing a file. Well, for 19 years, Syd has been asking me for those copies and I still forget to send them


Syd Marsden’s 1925 Hacker 25’, “Black Witch”


Syd rebuilt “Black Witch” about 23 years ago. Nowadays, the family uses it all the time, even towing the kids on the tube!


The deep transom mount rudder allows for easy maneuvering, even backing up.


Black Witch” has quintessential John Hacker lines.

Running boats are contagious – you just get showed out at the dock all weekend. Keith Kipp fired up his “hot” 454 in “Lady Shores” and did some high speed passes as well. For a brief while, he and Jeff got into it racing each other up and down the bay.


Keith Kipp spent six years building his Miss APBA racer, “Lady Shores.” It was launched for the first time this spring.


“Lady Shores” is powered by a 454. Keith says the motor “is a little hot.” It sure is, it ran 60 mph this morning.


Boys will be boys….some spur of the moment morning racing.


Jeff Senecal’s “Patriot” pushing hard to catch up on the straightaway.


Keith vacuum bagged the African mahogany planking on “Lady Shores”


Look for “Lady Shores” and many other vintage racers at the Lake George Gold Cup Festival on September 17-20.

The Ynot Yacht guys cranked up the Hornet for a blast. They kindly gave rides to a number of people. All this action was happening before the brunch and awards ceremony. Once the banquet started, things quieted down until the parade.


Ynot Yacht’s 1967 Donzi Hornet 19 out for a morning blast.


The 415 ci. Nagel Special V8 launches the Hornet over a wave…Don Aronow would be proud!

The Parade – a Clayton tradition. A fireboat leads the parade shooting off it’s water cannons. As the exhibitor boats pass the pier, they hold up a number and an announcer reads off the boat specs and owner. Many spectator boats watch and things can get a little tight, but fortunately, there were no incidents.


A spectacular 1952 Chris Craft express cruiser, “Sachem.”


“Razzle Dazzle” is a Turcotte built Gar Wood 28 triple.


This Baby Gar just came to watch the parade.


How cool is woody boating? So cool even your dog has to wear shades!


Relative size – the 26’ racer passes a seaway freighter


“Daydreamer” is a replica of a 1940 Chris Craft barrel back.


I could hear some Lynard Skynard blasting out of “Freebird”


Jack Rifenberg’s amazing Hutchinson Commuter 42’, “Not Forgotten”. Restoration by Gar Wood Custom Boats.


“Trillium” is a Lyman Islander with dual side steering stations.


“Miami” is a 1915 Consolidated Speedabout 25’


“Nezzie” was built in 1948 by F S Crate and is 26’


A boat show isn’t complete without a super cool Century gullwing.


“Pooch” is a perfect little Lyman hardtop.


Unfortunately, Miss Detroit III had an oil pressure issue and needed a tow home.


A nicer than new Lyman outboard.


Another Turcotte built Gar Wood 28’


Boat show smiles!

That’s a wrap on the 2015 Antique Boat Show in Clayton. If you have not attended this show, it is really worth going. Not only do you see the exhibitor boats, but the museum has a great collection of it’s own spread out through several buildings.
Many thanks to each of the boat owners that offered to do some flybys and a very special thank you to Mike Folsom, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Antique Boat Museum for graciously giving me all the access I needed.
Happy Woody Boating!

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

    Thanks again Kent O! Great reporting!

    I think the load ratio in those race boats give an unfair advantage to Keith.

  2. Texx
    Texx says:

    More fantastic photos – thanks Kent O.

    During the Muskoka show last month, fellow Woody Boater and friend Tom Keyes introduced me to Keith Kipp and his spectacular boat “Lady Shores”. Keith then offered to take me for a ride which was a wonderful experience. Thanks again Keith & Tom.

    The three of us are currently working on a feature story about the evolution and construction of “Lady Shores” for a feature story on Woody Boater. I was worried that we may not have enough photos of her running in the water for the story – looks like Kent O. Smith has come to our rescue again. – Texx

  3. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Another morning spent drooling over the keyboard. The access Texx and Kent get to shoot all these fantastic photos is only part of the process but the subject placement, lighting, exposure, shutter speed, lens and focal length all come into play to get these fabulous shots. And this doesn’t take into account shooting from a bouncing boat that you are fortunate to be able to shoot from with the owner who may or may not understand photographers needs. Well done and kudos to all involved.

  4. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I sure hope you photogs get some time to enjoy the show because shooting it is total involvement in the camera work.

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I just noticed that I think this is essentially the same boat that I have listed on the Woody Boater Classified. Nice to see them showing up at a show like clayton.

    (photo by Kent O Smith Jr.)

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      I see the boat Troy in ANE is listing is a Westfield Custom – the deluxe model of the 15′ 8″ MFG boat. My dad owned two Westfields over the years, so I’m well familiar with them. Mine is the 14′ 4″ Niagara (base model), with a Horizon Blue deck, as shown in Clayton.

      It was a wonderful show, and maybe because of those MFG lapstrake-syle molded hulls, my “Little Blue” fit in with all the Lymans. And you are right, it was great to see some other non-wood boats at the show.

      Brian Gagnon, ACBS president, while we were on Rock Island for the picnic, told me ACBS is really wanting to encourage ACBS members with non-wood boats to show them in shows such as this, including those with smaller outboard boats, and fully participate in all ACBS activities. I believe him! It’s all good!

      Kent, great job with the pix! In the photo of Zipper in Part 1, on its way to Rock Island, I’m the guy in the blue shirt sitting in the bow holding his cap in the wind, with my beautiful wife next to me. Fun times!

      • Bert Harris
        Bert Harris says:

        Dave, I hate to tell you buy they completely ignored the non-wood boats even though they were judged. I was hoping you would get the trophy but alas, there was no trophy for non-wood. So maybe the words of Brian Gagnon were just hot air. I will not support this show next year. There are too many other shows that will appreciate the effort to bring non-wood.

        “Brian Gagnon, ACBS president, while we were on Rock Island for the picnic, told me ACBS is really wanting to encourage ACBS members with non-wood boats to show them in shows such as this, including those with smaller outboard boats, and fully participate in all ACBS activities. I believe him! It’s all good!”

        • Dave Nau
          Dave Nau says:

          I really don’t think Brian was blowing smoke. Just last fall, there was an article in Rudder about Brian recently purchasing a fiberglass Chris Craft Sea Skiff, in part to make a statement about fiberglass boats in the organization. So I stand with what I wrote.

          Also, there was a trophy for “Best Non-Wood Boat” at the Clayton show this year. I don’t want to toot my own horn here, but rather want to show that there was a place for non-wood boats. My 1966 MFG Niagara “Little Blue” did get the award, consisting of both a plaque and trophy, for “Best Non-Wood Boat”. It’s a pretty ordinary general-purpose family-oriented runabout from the 60’s, but it’s in very nice unrestored condition. I not only feel there is a place at such shows for non-wood boats, but also for smaller outboard-powered craft, and looks like the folks there agreed.

          I’ve been in ACBS for less than two years but I have already seen so many changes regarding non-wood boats. I think those changes will only strengthen the hobby over time and it really is all good, in my view. It’s a fantastic hobby and this will just open things up some more. In the meantime, wood boats will likely predominate for some time, maybe for all time, and that’s OK too.

          In my book, the most important thing is to just get out on the water and have some fun. I also plan to come back to Clayton sometime in the future, and encourage everyone in this hobby to attend a Clayton show at least once in their lifetime.

  6. Kent O
    Kent O says:

    Thank you all again for the kind comments!

    Texx – we are planning on some drone shots and footage of Lady Shores at the Gold Cup in Sept.

    Floyd – I’m gonna send you a chamois to mop up your keyboard, sorry about that 🙂 And yes, we photogs enjoy – we get to go boating (usually with cocktails) as well as have some one on one time with owners to get to know the boat(s).

  7. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    Great show coverage with stunning photography… Thank you!

    I have to say that’s the best-looking DONZI I’ve ever seen…I’m goofy for partial-white bottom paint (a la Riva), and now after decades spent around road-racing in Elkhart Lake, WI my brain is fully conditioned: the striking Gulf-Porsche Racing livery can only mean one thing- Baby Blue and Orange screams ‘Stay the hell outta my way!’

      • floyd r turbo
        floyd r turbo says:

        One year Brian Redman actually went on the southbound St John’s RIver Cruise with a friend of mine, the late Fred Thomas, a reconstructive facial surgeon, who put Brian back together after an racing accident. Having also been a IMSA GT and Formula5000 fan, seeing Redman on a Lyman with Fred left me so speechless and dumbfounded that I forgot to take any pictures. I still have autographed race programs from Road Atlanta where he raced F5000 and IMSA races.

      • Grant Stanfield
        Grant Stanfield says:

        Hmm…I just asked Siri and that bitch declined to answer.

        Not sure…but if I was Brian Redman I’d have buried my cat under this ‘monument’ @Siebken’s?

        I’ll bring a shovel, gardening gloves and a Hefty bag with me when I go back for the vintage races next month!

        • John Baas
          John Baas says:


          LOVE Siebken’s! Not sure if it is still there, but look inside of the carousel for a pile of stones and cross. On the cross are the words, “Here lies Brian Redman’s cat”. I walked the whole 4 miles once. Amazing what you see at 3 MPH!

  8. thomas dial
    thomas dial says:

    the last few days I have been seriously thinking about selling all my boats and everything to do with wood boats. I haven’t looked at woodyboater for several nights cause I was just sick of everything wood. after looking at all these beautiful pics of great boats and people tonight I realize I can’t stop. even thou things seem to break or go bad more often with these old boats I still love them. thanks wooodyboater.

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