Hagerty Youth Judging Program – In Full Swing At The Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival


Last Saturday during the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival at Lake Dora, the kids inlisted in the Hagerty Youth Judging Program had their chance to learn the art of judging antique boats. Once again for 2011, Terry Ross and her crew of volunteers from the Sunnyland Chapter ACBS successfully organized the popular Youth Judging Program. Prior to actually judging the boats, the kids have an opportunity to build and paint their own model boats which gives them some exposure to working with their hands, personalizing their work. Then they slip in to their matching Hagerty shirts and hats, and receive a 10 minute safety course which included fitting and adjusting their PFD’s supplied by the US Coast Guard.

The 16 kids were very focused on the task at hand and asked great questions along the way. They all take score cards that list a number of specific questions they are encouraged to ask the boat owners such as the operation of the horn, type of exterior and interior, engine, etc.

The kids are taught to never board the craft prior to asking permission to board from the owner. This year a total of eight boats were selected for judging, consisting of wooden boats, fiberglass and even a steel boat this year. Here they are gathered around “Rum Runner” and the boats owner was answering questions as they considered the correct scores for each category, which are filled out by the kids and passed in after each boat to be counted once the judging was completed.

The group also stopped by the Hagerty tent to have a group photo by Chris Schmaltz (Information Technology Executive) with Hagerty Marine Insurance.

One of the boats scheduled to be judged was Miss America IV, which is powered by Twin 454 Chevrolet inboard motors.

Then 3 kids were selected to sit in the aft cockpit while Chuck Mistele fires up the twin big blocks. The sound of the loud engines certainly got their attention!

Then the judging team moved on to an early Mullins metal launch that they were all invited to climb aboard.  The owner was just great with the kids, answering all their questions.  Notice the young girl testing out the horn.  The owner made it clear to the youth judges that the old Mullins Launch was 100 years old… and also made even more clear that he has not the original owner, we all laughed…

Then we paused for a group photo.

The Hagerty Youth Judging Program was great fun, and some of the things the kids ask make it very enjoyable. After the kids heard the loud un-muffled big block Chevrolet motors in Miss America IV we moved on to beautiful Chris-Craft cruiser, and of course, their first question was “Can we hear your engines please?” – and when the owner started the quiet, smooth running Chris-Craft engines mounted deep in the hull, one of the kids commented “That sounded Pitiful!!”

And after all the score cards are handed in, the young judges adjourn for some well deserved icecream.

Thanks to Terry Ross and her crew for organizing the successful Hagerty Youth Judging Program again this year, thanks to Carla & Chris from Hagerty Marine for supporting the program, and thanks to the boat owners for helping with the program. I sincerely enjoyed volunteering with Terry Ross and the kids for this wonderful program.

This year the youth judges awarded the first place prize to “Rum Runner”.


6 replies
  1. Bjorn B.
    Bjorn B. says:

    Great article Texx! My kids had a great time being part of the show. When asking my 8 year old son why he gave Miss America IX’s engines a score of 1, “They’re too loud”… Oh well, I have some work to do….

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      Bjorn, I recognized your son in some the photos. When I saw him Saturday morning in the parking lot he was super excited about getting to the show and participating in the Hagerty Youth Program. He was too cute for words.

      Hey, Chuck cranked those engines for us and I agree with your son, they are “loud”.

  2. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Great program! Thank you Hagerty & Terry. I’m hoping my little cousin Sadie will participate next year. She has driven my boat & is a veteran of several Sunnyland cruises with her Grandpa.

  3. Chris
    Chris says:

    Great shots Texx!! Hagerty is honored to be able to promote this program exclusively to ACBS Chapters in the U.S. & Canada. I want to personally thank Terry & her crew from Sunnyland, who have this program down to a science. Also to all the boat owners who so graciously allowed their boats to be included in the Judging. This is all about planting the seeds of memories & desire for the next generation of classic boat owners!!!

  4. Terry Ross
    Terry Ross says:

    Thanks for YOUR HELP too Texx! And HUGE THANK YOU TO THE YOUTH JUDGES & my Sunnyland helpers! Just so everyone knows — it is my absolute PLEASURE to do stuff with the kids! We need moe YOUNG PEOPLE to LOVE OLD BOATS! The Youth Judging sponsorship by Hagerty is wonderful! Sea Tow’s help is wonderful! And the “kid participants” are the best!!! So thank you to all and we look forward to seeing y’all in 2012!!! Terry Ross, Sunnyland fyi– TimePiece (Magri’s boat) came in 2nd —it was first place last year!! close with Miss America!! Thanks BOAT OWNERS too!! 🙂

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