Southbound St. John’s River Cruise – It’s Where The Classic Boating Action Is Today

St. John's River Tuesday 104

Oysters & Pearls – 1930 Chris-Craft 22′ Model 101 Triple – St Louis, MO

The Tuesday leg of the Southbound St. John’s River Cruise was everything we thought it would be and more. Fantastic weather, Fantastic (flat) water, Fantastic people, Fantastic boats, Fantastic food, and Fantastic cruising all day. We joined Jim Staib from Fine Wood Boats in Illinois and his crew from Wisconsin on board “Lucky 7” – a 1951 Chris-Craft 22′ Sportsman.

The day started in Palatka, Florida and we set a course south for Crescent City via Dunns Creek & Crescent Lake. Although the original forecast was for thunder storms, the weather was perfect with flat water all day.

St. John's River Tuesday 161

Kabot’s Habit – 1965 Chris-Craft 24′ Sea Skiff – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

It was great to see everyone shooting photographs of the classic boats out on the water…

St. John's River Tuesday 34

C-C Classic – 1930 Chris-Craft 26′ Upswept Triple Cockpit Runabout – Dunwoody, GA

Fellow Woody Boaters Bob Johnshon & Victor Fabricius were on hand with “Just Right” sporting fresh varnish and running sweet.

St. John's River Tuesday 24

Just Right – 1925 Chris-Craft 26′ Triple Cockpit Runabout – Excelsior, MN

The slower sections of the river provided lots of opportunities soak up the sunshine and check out the local wildlife along the shoreline.

St. John's River Tuesday 94

Mahogamous Affair – 1953 Chris-Craft 19′ Racing Runabout – Unionville, IN

St. John's River Tuesday 99

Rush Hour On St. John’s River Cruise

St. John's River Tuesday 140

Poquito – 1956 Shepherd 18′ Model 105 – Rockland, Ontario, Canada

Our friend (and fellow Woody Boater) Royce Humphreys and his crew from Iowa came up from behind in his very cool, all original 1969 Donzi 18′ 2+3 powered by the original Holman & Moody Ford 302 V-8. Royce knows these classic Donzi boats very well and was feeling a little frisky, so we pulled out the camera and captured the action. From the expression on his face, I’m not sure his passenger in the front cockpit knew what he was getting into but it was all in good fun, and Royce is a very qualified driver…

St. John's River Tuesday 78
We were very excited to learn that Mike Hagen joined the St. John’s River Cruise this year with his spectacular 1929 28′ Chris-Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout named “Fascination” – but on Tuesday morning when we went down to the dock, the cover was still on the boat and he told us that he was joining one of the other boats for the day cruise… So no photos for Woody Boater today. But fortunately for us, Royce filled in for Mike in his new Donzi…

St. John's River Tuesday - Slot 2 054 - Copy
We learned later that Royce and Mike has a bit of rivalry going on this year, here’s the story from Gary Vissor.

Chris-Craft Triple “Fascination” & Mike Hagen

Texx – In case you hadn’t guessed, the competition between the Lake Okobojie, Iowa crowd for photo credits on Woody Boater is reaching a fever pitch. “Fascination” is really taking a razzing for the Donzi 18 making the Woody Boater website yesterday. You have no idea how far this gets under his varnish so anything you can do to bolster the joke of classic plastic verses wood (“took the Donzi a few day to soak up”) is appreciated.

My brother Royce Humphreys (the brace, knee surgery 6 weeks ago!) bought that boat sight unseen from his bed, picked it up on the way down to Florida and dunked it last weekend for the first time! And it runs!!! I couldn’t get the trailer out of Indiana without blowing up a hub much less all the way to Florida and then run here the whole week! Beyond luck. So do your part, it will be much appreciated…

By the way, the site is fantastic, a great read every day and the photography is outstanding, you guys should be very proud.

Gary R. Visser

Thanks Gary – Hopefully these photos of the Donzi will do the trick for you and Royce…

St. John's River Tuesday 52

St. John

St. John

Notice that Gary Vissor was also shooting from the Donzi today, here are a few of his images which are great! Thanks for sharing them with us Gary.


Photos courtesy Gary Vissor


Photos courtesy Gary Vissor


Photos courtesy Gary Vissor – As we were shooting him in the Donzi, Gary was shooting us…


Photos courtesy Gary Vissor

The lunch stop on the cruise was the historic Sprague House Bed & Breakfast Inn in Crescent City, Florida – Which was established in 1932. The food was excellent and the hospitality was first class. If you are ever in the area, be sure to check this place out.

St. John's River Tuesday 180


Fellow Woody Boater spotted at the Sprague House

While in Crescent City today John Kadimik and Karen Harrison decided to try their hand at being “Water Moccasin Wisperers” – Not sure how that worked out for them, but they did arrive back at the hotel in Palatka at the end of the day so…

St. John's River Tuesday 177

St. John's River Tuesday 123

An ideal day for some rest and relaxation during the cruise.

St. John's River Tuesday 197

Despina – 1957 Shepherd 27′ Express Commuter – Glen Williams, Ontario, Canada

St. John's River Tuesday 195

1991 Gar Wood 28′ Twin Engine Triple Cockpit Runabout – Clover, SC – Yes It Is

An interested spectator sunning himself on a log today… Still has a full set of “chompers” just in case…

St. John's River Tuesday 256

St. John's River Tuesday 178

Lucky 7 resting at the dock in Crescent City.

Thanks again to Jim Staib for inviting us along on “Lucky 7” for the cruise yesterday, it was absolutely great! A very memorable day of cruising in Florida. On Wednesday (today) we are heading over to Tavares to begin setting up for the big Sunnyland ACBS Wooden Boat Festival at Wooten Park. Hope to see you there, and stay tuned for more upadtes that the show.

Also a big thanks to everyone from the Sunnyland Chapter ACBS for organizing the Southbound Cruise. Great work!


16 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    We wish you were here with us this week Philip… We know you would love it here. Royce is a Century guy like you…

  2. Tom
    Tom says:

    Texx it was great to put a face to a name. I am glad you got my best side. You saved your camera.
    Jerry Wilkin in the Garwood Yes it is! is on his 25 th St Johns cruise.
    Have a great day in Tavares we will enjoy the day on the St Johns.

  3. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    The Donzi rocks! Temperature is +2 F here in Minnesota right now. NO boating today.

  4. 72hornet
    72hornet says:

    Tex, thanks for the fun day on the water, but after trailering 1500 miles from Iowa, it is my preference to actually use my boat. Our philosophy is to “Run what we brung!” I am sure that my good friend Mike will get some camera time with Fascination! Ready for another fun day on the water!

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      I gave Mike a couple of shots about that down on the dock yesteday morning myself – but we’ll see the big triple out there in about 90 mintues.

  5. Gary Visser
    Gary Visser says:

    One thing about Mike Hagen, never square off for a fight with varnish brushes, Facination (and Edward II) always show the best in preparation and owner care.

  6. Chris B.
    Chris B. says:

    Those are some fantastic shots! Those boys in the donzi are having to much fun. Must do that cruise maybe next year

Comments are closed.