Live-ish From Day 3 Of The St. John’s River Southbound Cruise

Chris Craft racing runabout 1953

Dennis Friesel and crew enjoy a great day of cruising in their 1953 Chris-Craft 19′ Racing Runabout.

REPORTING IN FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA – Day 2 & 3 of the 2015 St. John’s River Southbound Cruise had a little bit of everything. High speed cruising on open-flat water, low speed cruising on the twisty river sections, great food, a dip in Silver Glen Springs, and an unexpected dip for a Greavette Sunflash. Here is today’s report from fellow Woody Boaters Chris & Julie Bullen. – Texx

1972 correctcraft

A very attractive 1972 Correct Craft joined the group for the southbound cruise.

Central Florida Serves Up Some Great Classic Boating
Report and Photos by Chris & Julie Bullen

The second day of the 2015 St. John’s River Cruise South started out with more clouds and cool weather; it was up Dunn’s Creek to Crescent City and lunch at the Sprague House, great spot for a bite.

1971 Lyman Jack Beatley - Copy

Jack Beatley and crew under cover in a beautiful 1966 Lyman.

I have to say the creek was a hoot for me as the speed limits were not regulated and the bends were sharp. On the way to lunch that “kid-in-me” came out and I passed a few boats as I raced up the creek. It was like back in the day when the limits on my river did not exist, but better with more twists and turns. The return trip after lunch was calmer, we cruised slower and admired all the Florida wildlife.

1932 Chris-Craft

Veteran classic boater Dr. Bob with Les Rue, Victor Fabricius (also known as Floyd R. Turbo), Patrice & Russ Anderson on board “Just Right” a 1932 Chris-Craft Triple.

Wednesday morning (our third day on the river) was not a good day for all our boaters. We awoke to a engine that wouldn’t turn over. It was Roger working on his 1959 Thompson again. Unfortunately Roger had been working on the engine the day before without much success. He tried everything but sadly he finally had to pull the boat out.

1985 henry skiffcraft. Terry Sharp  patriot.

Terry Sharp in a colorful 1985 Skiff Craft “Patriot”

We were off to lunch in Welatka today, making our way up the river. Shrimps R Us put on a fabulous buffet with loads to eat.

Back on the water we enter Lake George with flat, open water for us to cross (a nice change from Stormy Monday). A stop at Silver Glen Springs for a dip and rest was just what was needed to soak up the glorious Florida sunshine that finally decided to join us. After a swim, chat and laughter we took off to Aster on the final leg of the cruise.


The gaggle of classic boats rafted together at Silver Springs for some well deserved rest and relaxation.

This is where the second boat dropped out with a Big Bang. The 1968 Greavette Sunflash hit a wave after we got passed Lake George and instantly sank in about 25’ of river.

we lost the greavette

Unfortunately – we lost the 1968 Greavette Sunflash, but everyone safely made it out.

Fortunately they were surrounded by fellow classic boaters with the cruise and the boys were plucked out of the water with most of their articles saved from the boat. A line and buoy were attached to the bow and GPS coordinates pinged which will help with the recovery and raising tomorrow (Thursday).

 (site of sinking and rescue)

Fellow classic boaters were quick to respond and offer help at the site of the sinking and rescue.

Many stories of past boat troubles and sinkings were talked about around the tables at the Blackwater Inn over dinner. With a couple of empty slips at the waters edge and a few extra boys snuggling in with friends (someone forgot to make reservations)…

Tomorrow is a new day and more (safe) adventure awaits our gang for our last day on the river and fingers crossed it’s all sunshine and smooth waters.

Chris & Julie Bullen

our leader

Southbound cruise leader Guy Marvin, in “Majestic” his cool 1936 Chris-Craft Triple.

Special thanks to St. John’s River Southbound Cruise leader Guy Marvin, the volunteers and the Sunnyland Chapter ACBS for organizing this wonderful classic boating event.

Also to Chris & Julie Bullen for sharing their experiences and photos with us here at Woody Boater.

Matt has arrived in Tavares and will be reporting live from the big Sunnyland Boat Festival for the next few days.


22 replies
  1. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    I am confused this morning , I see some beautiful wood boats in water not hard and white. I see people having fun in said water and not shivering. I guess I must be dreaming. Don’t wake just yet……. oh carp I am awake, it 33 and raining. Have fun all !!!

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Good thing the rapidly growing Florida crocodile population hasn’t migrated that far North yet. I hear sunkin boaters is their version of bacon!

  3. Sean
    Sean says:

    Feelin’ the pain for a sister that has found the deep. The good news is wood will float again.

  4. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    They don’t call them GREAVEtte s for nothing….. I wonder if the battery was strapped down properly… Jim Moore learned that lesson the hard way in Greenwood Lake a few years ago.

    I’m glad everyone is safe!

  5. Norman Kitching
    Norman Kitching says:

    Great pictures am living the trip from my computer. WHY did the sunfish go down ? Would like to see Riot and Fascination at speed.

  6. Sean
    Sean says:

    Yes, I’d love to know the cause (to inspect similar areas) of the hull breach.

    Here’s Riot from last fall at speed

  7. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    You know what’s better than cold rain or snow? Cold rain AND snow at the same time!

    You fools in Florida have no idea what you are missing!

  8. Chris Wade
    Chris Wade says:

    I really like that shade of blue for the Skiff Craft hull. As the former owner of a 30′ Skiff Craft, (first of 2 30’s ever built in Plain City, Ohio, and predecessors of the 31′) I can really appreciate the brand for there quality. Not known for great styling this blue gives a totally different first impression. I would love to see more of this boat, please 🙂

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Chris – Thanks for chiming in. I also think that color combination on the Skiff Craft looks great. Hopefully it will be at the Sunnyland show and we will see a few more shots.

      The big all-yellow Lyman 28′ Sportsman we found at the Algonac Boat Show a few years ago first turned me on to creative color combinations for lapstrake models. I’ll see if I can find a shot of that Lyman in my archives. – Texx

  9. Texx
    Texx says:

    These shots of “Just One More” were taken by Chad Durren during the 2011 Algonac Boat Show. This is a 1965 28′ Lyman Sportsman powered by Twin 220 HP Grey Marine V-8’s owned (at the time) by Donald & Pat Hall from Harrison Township, MI.

  10. Texx
    Texx says:

    Another shot of the 28′ Lyman. Love the interior. This big Lyman has it all and to me is the ultimate lapstrake.

  11. Chris Wade
    Chris Wade says:

    Floyd & Texx, Thanks for the response. That is one great looking skiff. I will have to scan some old photos this evening and show you the 30′. I added teak decks, mahogany ceiling boards and a bunch of other cool stuff. Wishing I was in Tavares!!!


  12. terry sharp
    terry sharp says:

    Thanks for the kind comments on my skiff craft ( Patriot). We are new to the classic boat world two years. We love the boat and the folks in the group.
    Terry and Debbie Sharp

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