Live-ish From The 2017 Lake Chatuge Rendezvous – Over 60 Fantastic Photos

Love & Luck

A huge thanks to fellow Woody Boater Mike Maddox for doing Texx quality reporting in from Lake Chatuge and sharing his report here. OK, first, lets get out of the way how Lake Chatuge is said. I think this is right. SHA – TOOG, Like Shanana, and Tube, or Shannana in a tube. See lake Chatuge. OK, enough of the comedy warm up, take it away Mike.

“Love and Luck”, a 1937 Chris Craft Deluxe Runabout, approaches her slip as the show begins.

Thanks Woody, this month begins my second year as a member of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the ACBS, and the experience just keeps getting better. Last weekend, I attended the chapter’s 30th annual rendezvous on Lake Chatuge in Georgia.

Owner Kent Caldwell pilots “Love and Luck” as other chapter members are ready to help.

The show was held at the beautiful Ridges Resort and Marina. The marina’s covered slips made for a very comfortable show, keeping both the boats and attendees in the shade throughout the day. This year, I got to enjoy the great experience of photographing these beautiful, classic boats on the lake from aboard a 1985 Donzi. What’s even better, is that they actually let me drive the Donzi, too. It just doesn’t get much better than that. Here are some photos from the show.

Docked next to “Love and Luck” is Kent’s 1985 Donzi Classic 22, “Blue Bye U”.

Another view of the ’85 Donzi. It looks fast, even when it’s sitting still.

“Blue Bye U” is powered by a 425 horsepower 350.

Kent’s brother-in-law, who is also named Kent, took me out for my first ride in a Donzi.

Kent at the helm.

The guys even let me drive it, and it was a great experience. Kent and Kent, if you’re reading this… Thank You.

This is officially the fastest I’ve ever gone in a boat. W-O-W.

“PAL”, a 1918 Hacker Craft 21′ custom runabout. It’s amazing to think this boat will be 100 years old next year.

Note the registration number on the hull. “PAL” was the first motor boat registered in the state of Michigan.

Detail shot of “PAL”.

“Plane Crazy” is a 1937 Chris Craft / Gar Wood speedster.

“Plane Crazy” at the dock.


There were several pre-war and post-war Chris Crafts at the show, as well as this 1945 Century Deluxe Utility, “Winter’s Work”.


And, speaking of Century boats, here is a stunning 1948 Century Sea Maid.

The ’48 Sea Maid, back at the dock.

Cool bow piece on the ’48 Sea Maid.

1965 Century Resorter.

With so many of these beautiful classic boats at ACBS shows, it’s hard to have a favorite. Then again, it’s also hard to NOT have a favorite. “It’s Someday”, this 100% original 1958 Chris Craft Capri, always catches my eye.

“It’s Someday”, docked next to Miss America IX as the sun rises. Most Capris had bleached wood with a blonde stain down the center of the deck, but this one was custom-ordered with natural stain.

The Capri model line was preceded by the Riviera. “Knot Firewood” is a beautiful 1950 Riviera.

“Knot Firewood”, docked next to a 1948 Chris Craft Deluxe 17′ Runabout, “My Marijo” in the background.

“Knot Firewood” at play on the lake.

1947 Peterborough 15′ Utility, “Handy Boy”. In the background is the 1918 Hacker Craft.

The Peterborough, back at the dock.

“Handy Boy” is powered by an 18 hp Johnson Sea Horse.

“Costa Plente” is a 1947 Chris Craft U-22, powered by a 115 hp Chrysler Marine motor.

“Costa Plente” out on the lake.

Back aboard the 1985 Donzi, with Kent and his wife, LouAnn.

There was another Donzi at the show. This 1994 Classic Sweet 16 is called “FunDzi Rod”.

The Sweet 16 back at the dock.

The power plant for this second Donzi is a 275 horsepower Mercruiser 357.

AristoCraft boats are still made here in Georgia, and the company is still owned and operated by the Turner family. Here, Scott Turner and his family are set to take off in “Firecracker,” a restored 1955 AristoCraft Torpedo.

Just a few minutes later, the kids had fallen asleep.

Back at the dock, Scott gets under the hood of the Torpedo’s Merc 500.

Detail shot of the Merc.

More detail. LOVE the stripes

Bow detail of the 1955 Torpedo. What a cool combination bow handle / bi-color light!

Bill Turner and crew aboard a 2013 AristoCraft 25′ Holiday.

16-foot, 1957 Correct Craft Atom Skier.

“Centerfold”, docked alongside the AristoCraft boats.

“Meranti” is a 1958 Chris Craft 17-foot ski boat.

Okay, we need a break, you can get up and go to the bathroom now. We will wait for Ya’ll.

“Meranti”, at the dock…

…and out on the lake.

“Brown Eyed Girl” is a 1960 Chris Craft 24′ Sportsman.

“Forever Young” a 1962 Chris Craft Sea Skiff.

Detail shot of “Forever Young.”

“Forever Young,” running free on the lake.

…and in the marina’s No Wake Zone with the Donzi.

Another Sea Skiff, this one a 1961 called “Scene Changes”.

The 1961 Sea Skiff, back at the dock.

“Junaluska,” a 1965 Philbrick 22′ triple cockpit runabout.

Here she is, running wide-open alongside the ’85 Donzi.

The Philbrick, back at the dock.

Detail shot.

1965 Thompson.

1980 Elite Craft Riviera, “Fe Fi Faux Fun.” I didn’t get the boat’s name until I learned that the Elite Craft boats are actually fiberglass, manufactured to have the look of classic mahogany boats.

1995 Grand Craft, “Then & Now.”

2000 Baldwin Boatworks Speedster, “Peanut.”

There were other boats on display at the show, including this kayak…

…and wooden canoes…

…and other Chris Craft Boats…

…at various stages of restoration.

Kids and parents alike all enjoyed the annual cardboard boat building contest. Kids get 2 sheets of cardboard, and 1 roll of duct tape. They have 2 hours to create a boat from that. Then, they race them from the shoreline to the dock’s bridge, and back.

Sunset on Lake Chatuge. It’s a beautiful place for a boat show.

OK, dang! This could be one of the best reporting stories of a show in years. Wonderful photos, actual names that match the boats. Its got everything! Thanks again Michael.

24 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Thanks so much Mike. Your fantastical photos have completely erased the image of “HER” THUMB for my troubled mind. What a Show!

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Nice story and photos of some great boats at what looks like a wonderful event. Thank you Michael and Matt for sharing it with WoodyBoaterville!

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Great photos of some diverse and interesting boats. Not enough controversy to drive a lot of comments, but a great way to start the day.

  4. Mark
    Mark says:

    Nice to see the sun is out somewhere. Not here in the northeast. WTF.

    Great contrast of still and action shots.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Looking out my window now and it seems like the dark black clouds will soon give way to medium grey clouds. Seems like we are moving in the right direction…unless you are east of here.

  5. Jerri
    Jerri says:

    Mike, what fantastic photos of the event! It was a wonderful weekend with great friends.

    Weather predictions were that we were going to get rained on all weekend. However, it was gorgeous with cool summer breezes all weekend long. This was the 30th annual lake Chatuge Rendezvous, and the 25th cardboard boat build and paddle.

    In true Blue Ridge Chapter fashion, a good time was had by all!

    • Kent & LouAnne
      Kent & LouAnne says:

      Thank you Jerri and Terry and all involved for making this a favorite event with great friends, looking forward to many more. Thanks again, Kent & LouAnne Caldwell

  6. Tom
    Tom says:

    Great coverage and photos. Slight correction on “PAL” registration. It was the first “Historic Watercraft” …HW, registered in Michigan not the first boat registered.

  7. Michael M
    Michael M says:

    Tom, thank you for the correction about the registration number. PAL is a stunning boat, with such a rich history!

  8. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Thanks for the coverage, almost as good as being there.
    One of these days i’m going to make it seeing that it is almost in my back yard.

  9. Dennis J Mykols
    Dennis J Mykols says:

    I attended this show back a few years ago, with the Lyman. The Southern hospitality was so inviting, and the Smoky Mountains off your bow is a sight to remember.

  10. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    It is a great location and great show and seems to be getting better…One day we want to get back for another one.

  11. Lee A Wangstad
    Lee A Wangstad says:

    Great coverage showing the fantastic diversity that surrounds today’s boat show events. Very nice touch to show the boats out on the lake as well as detail shots at the docks. Man, this review has it all! Thanks for the entertainment with today’s coffee.

  12. Jennifer M
    Jennifer M says:

    Very nice photos! Thanks for sharing the Lake Chatuge Rendezvous with us, hoping next year to be able to take part!

  13. Scott turner
    Scott turner says:

    Mike, awesome job! The detailed report was spot on. Hope to see you again soon.

  14. Jim and Sandra McDonald
    Jim and Sandra McDonald says:

    Thanks so much Jerry and Terry for all your hard work and dedication to this wonderful show. Even though we weren’t able to put our Chris Craft in the water, we just loved visiting with everyone and, of course, seeing all the beautiful boats.

    Mike, you did a great job with the pictures!!

    We hope to see you at the Charlotte show and look forward to returning to the Ridges next year.

Comments are closed.