Lake Dora Wednesday – A Play Day Before The Big Sunnyland Antique & Classic Boat Festival

After months of anticipation, we are finally in Florida for the big Sunnyland Antique & Classic Boat Festival this weekend. This morning we stopped by Wooton Park and the nice folks from the Sunnyland ACBS Chapter were there in full force setting up the tents and flea market areas, getting ready for the show – a beehive of activity. But it was 85 degrees and the lake was calling… a call we just couldn’t ignore.

So a few of us got together and decided to spend the day on the water, kind of like a Woody Boater play day. Jim Frechette phoned to invite us for lunch, Paul & Karen Harrison jumped in “Kabot’s Habit” and John & Kim Kadimik called and before we knew it we were cruising across the lake in search of one of those classic, Florida style drive-in (float-in), dockside restaurants. Jim Frechette said “I think I know where we can find one of those, follow me…”

Oh, but first – A quick pit stop in Tavares for some $4.00 a gallon Go Juice, and off we went in Jim’s beautiful 1940 Chris-Craft Red & White Express – “Old Paint”, what a great classic boat.

Best way to navigate the lakes, just follow the “Witch’s Cap.”

Many of the lakes in the area are connected by these narrow canals that give you an opportunity to jump from lake to lake and also get a glimpse of some great Florida wildlife.

And some fellow Woody Boater’s heading towards Tavares for the boat show. Why drive to the show if you can take the boat…

Fellow Woody Boater’s John & Kim Kadimik are down for the show this year from New Jersey with “Wah Hoo” a classic V-8 powered Chris-Craft Ski Boat.

Oh – The V-8 was thirsty for some of that Go Juice too, but the best part is you can fill up at the restaurant… It’s not every day you can get this much happiness from pumping gas, only when your filling up a classic wooden boat I guess… 

Jim found the restaurant he was looking for, he said “Now this is my kind of place” – John laughed and replied, “We have been coming here for 10 years, it’s the best joint in town!”

And after filling up on some classic lakeside “Onion Burgers” we were back on the water…

“Old Paint” is one of those vintage Chris-Crafts that you simply never get tired of looking at… I was having trouble deciding which photo to include here, so I thought, what the heck – why not just use both…

Then through another narrow canal with an interested spectator on a log, he wasn’t thinking about onion burger’s…

Navigating the canals is interesting and can, at times, get busy. But everyone just smiles and waves as they pass each other in a semi-orderly fashion.

We arrived back at Woody Boater HQ just in time to meet Matt and his wife who arrived with a special guest “Thayer IV” in tow. And it didn’t take long for the folks to gather around the famous U-22 to see her in person for the first time. If you want to see “Thayer IV” – She will be on display at the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club tent all weekend, and as many of you may already have noticed, she has quite a history. She’s Barn Fresh.

And last but certainly not least, just as it was getting dark, one of the most well known Woody Boater’s in the area, Bob Forbes stopped by to check out “Thayer IV” which brought a big smile to his face. Bob was instrumental in establishing the Sunnyland Boat Show here in Tavares many years ago and just loves these old boats.

Hmmm… No swim ladder in the first shot, and then the swim ladder appears in the second shot. What’s that about I wonder?

Tomorrow, we will be reporting live-ish from the boat show as it gets ready to open to the public, and we will also be reporting from the ACBS Symposium / Workshop. So stay tuned to Woody Boater for updates.

Mike Mayer – Wish you were here buddy, where ever you are tonight… (ET – Phone Home…)


13 replies
  1. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Awesome fellas! That is such a great post. Have a brilliant weekend and remember to show a Century every now and then.

  2. anonymous
    anonymous says:

    Will the Thayer IV be promoted like Hendricks did in the 80’s as THE Thayer IV or will it be said that it is one of the 3 boats used in the movie, as the facts now appear to support?

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Woke up to snow and this post today. At least the post made me smile. Thanks for the pictures. What a great way to start.

    • anonymous
      anonymous says:

      Your site confirmed the throttle shot was 1802, right?
      If I recall, there were other shots that could have been 1802 as well. I am only using your information when I say 1802 was in the movie. Have you changed your mind on the throttle shot and you now only feel it possible 1802 was in the movie? The throttle shot in your investigation is what proved to me that 1802 was in the movie. Facts are facts whether posted anonymously or not.

  4. Allen Willey
    Allen Willey says:

    Yeah Matt…..where are the boater Babes ??? Glad you included some wild life scenes because quite frankly the other days 100+ comments go to be a croc ? Enjoy, jealous we’re here in Michigan with 4″ of snow and ice and 20 something temperatures.

  5. Pete
    Pete says:

    Old Paint is going to be the top of the show in my book. I can’t wait to see her tomorrow. It will be good to see the BUZZ GANG also.

  6. mossport
    mossport says:

    Having spent 20+ years restoring/repairing/using a 1947 25′ Express Cruiser/Red & White. I have yet to find a more comfortable and usable day craft.
    The lines that became the Express Cruiser are as Classic as there is and they began in the ~30’s and the lines remain traditional to this day. Often wonder what happened to hull #223; she gave 20+ great years.

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