Reconnecting With Friends On Cool Fresh Water – Late Live-ish From Lake Hartwell

The view over the transom as the group left the marina, headed for lunch up the lake. It was such a thrill seeing the wake behind us after a long winter of cold, rain and work.

Long time fellow Woody Boater Kentucky Wonder reports in from Lake Hartwell, this group is a wonderful and very active gang of Woody Boaters and a sure sign, summer is here. Take it away Mr Wonder.

Charles Mistele takes passengers for a quick run in Miss America IX. There is something about the contrast between the uniqueness of Gar Wood’s creation, and the mass-produced background boats and docks.

More than 3,000 people came out to view the 56 boats.
35 Antique and Classic cars, 24 Art and Craft Vendors, 2 food trucks.
We asked the people to vote on their favorite boat, and of the 48 boats in the water, 47 received at least one vote, so we had something for everyone to enjoy.
The Thursday early arrival cocktail party was attended by 54 people. 52 people riding on 25 boats enjoyed our hour long Friday Lunch run and 107 enjoyed a BBQ ribs and pulled pork dinner at the boat barn that evening.

A pleasant surprise in the newly renovated Hampton Inn in Hartwell was the original photography used throughout the rooms and lobby areas. Many images feature classic boats, like this one in our room. The registration on the boat in the photo is 2009 Michigan. Local Hartwell area photos were by William Powell. Well done!

My biggest recollection of the weekend is about the friendships among Blue Ridge folks, and their hospitality toward new members and the people attending the show as visitors. They help everyone who put a boat in the water, and offer rides to anyone without a boat. At several meals, I saw members make a deliberate attempt to sit with new people attending the event.

Boat Show visitors (free admission, BTW) we encouraged to lend their talents painting an old gray hull. Children loved the opportunity to write their names on something. Not sure what happens to the boat now, though.

I have always felt that when the public is invited to a boat event, the owners of the boats should be there to answer questions and encourage people to look, touch and understand why we enjoy our classics. We should also listen to their stories when they relate their own memories of vintage craft from their past.

Al Olsen pilots Popeye, a 1917 Truscott Cabin Launch, back towards his home on Lake Hartwell. Al entertained the Thursday arrivals with a well-documented photo show of Popeye’s voyage through the Erie Canal last fall. He rebuilt the boat in record time, finishing it just before the Erie tour got underway.

Our boat was one of the first ones people came to when getting out on the docks, so we were the Welcome Wagon of sorts. I talked all day, and really did not have time to take photographs of the great boats at the show. As John said, there was a wide variety of boats, enough so that nearly every boat got at least one vote in the People’s Choice ballot box.

Tommy Watson takes a couple of guys out on a run in Roaring Twenties, his 1947 Chris Craft Gentlemen’s Racer. Tommy told me about the boat’s history over dinner on Saturday night, but the brandy Old Fashioned and subsequent Maker’s on the rocks blocked my memory of what he said. I think it’s been covered on WoodyBoater before.

Even though the trip home was nine hours of driving through rain, the trip was well worth it, considering that we got to reconnect with good friends, and do so while floating on fresh, cool water.

A boat or car show would not be complete if there weren’t groups of men staring at an open engine hatch or car hood.

Bill Lovejoy is both pilot and steward, taking care of his passenger as they set out in his 1947 Old Town Square Stern Canoe.

The boat show featured lots of vendors, from food to clothing to deck chairs to real estate. When watching this scene, I was reminded of a Seinfeld episode where he talks about how women shop for clothes, by putting the dress in front of them, and sticking out one leg. It happened just like he said.

Considering that my week started with snow falling on my head, I stayed away from the shaved ice stand. It did a pretty good business, judging from all the cups of shaved ice I saw being carried onto the docks.

The Hartwell Antique Boat show is held annually at Hartwell Marina, and the south end of Lake Hartwell. Here is a beautiful depiction of the lake. If I lived there, I would buy it in an instant.

Sweet Marie is a 1939 Chris Craft barrelback. Sweet Marie is for sale. She, a 1933 GarWood and two Shepherds were all on trailers, waiting for buyers. You should have had your hitch in Hartwell to take advantage of the opportunity.

Modeler Bill Moyer, right, talks to show goers about the nautical miniatures at his booth.

Another detail of The Boat Barn. Nice lamp conversion.

More than 100 people attended the Friday night BBQ dinner at Julie and Dennis Moor’s Boat Barn. Cedric Martin again in charge of BBQ ribs. That dude knows how to work a grill.

This is the windshield of the Sea Skiff with the swim platform/storage shelf. The wasp nest is not original to the boat, but it’s been there a while now. The cleaner stripes on the glass seem to be created from water dripping from the corrugated roof overhead.

OK, this is a new one on me. I have never seen a limousine made from a 1960’s Pontiac station wagon. Can’t say that again.

I never thought of a swim platform as a storage shelf, but this one is working pretty well in that capacity.

The Boat Barn also features hundreds of models and other automotive and boating memorabilia. Seems to me that it would take a very busy person a long time to collect everything.

Project boats and cars lined up in Dennis Moore’s Boat Barn. The place is a gearhead’s delight.

Dottie White looks out from her 1963 Chris Craft Sea Skiff during a boat ride on Lake Hartwell. She and the others aboard Lucky E’Nuff certainly were treated to a beautiful afternoon out on the water.

RPMs, oil pressure and a little amperage, indicators of a happy cruising speed.

Brown Eyed Girl smooths out the lake in front of us as we follow in her wake. Two years ago, it was the only boat that attempted the Friday lunch run in very windy conditions. The weather this year was much more conducive for everyone in the group to make the hour-plus cruise each way.

Gerald Dake and Dan Gyoerkoe run southbound on Lake Hartwell after lunch on Friday. The boat is Gerald’s 1947 Chris Craft U22.

Ed and Sarah James cruise in their 1971 Riva Junior, named Ciao Baby. It was voted the Skippers Choice by show participants. It always gets my vote.

Stephanie Ryan checks traffic as the group nears its lunch destination on Friday. Stephanie’s 1960 Dorsett Catalina, named Sunburn, is always a crowd favorite. It won the People’s Choice award, voted by people attending the show.

A wave comes from Joel Neff as his 2012 Hacker Racer Reproduction blasts past the slower boats in the group.

Ray Glenn waves to onlookers as his 1958 Century Coronado is towed to dock by Bob Churchill in his 1962 Chris Craft Sea Skiff. Ray’s Century had a fuel delivery issue.

A huge thanks to Kentucky Wonder for taking the time to report in!

28 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. More fun than painting and repainting! So, which boat didn’t get any votes? I hope it got an award for that achievement!

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Great story on what was clearly a great event. This group looks like they really know how to put together a boat show. It just made the bucket list for a future trip down South. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Question for Tommy (sexiest man in WoodyBoaterville) Holm:

    Why do so many stories seem to have a Chris-Craft towing a Century in them?

    Looks like a GREAT show and fun time!

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:


      I think it is because the Century guys put so much effort into keeping the bilge pumps running, they sometimes forget to keep the engine running. 😀

  4. Rob
    Rob says:

    The mass produced boats in the background are ready to use in 15 minutes. Quite a contrast indeed!

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Those boats can also be used to do a number of things Miss America either can’t do or you wouldn’t want to do with her. I am sure most of their owners would love to take a spin in the old racer but wouldn’t trade boats for their normal usage. It reinforces the point that we all need multiple boats and they don’t all need to be pretty and made out of wood.

  5. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Realize I only sent one picture of Apalachicola show the same weekend, which is admittedly is not a big as Hartwell but thought it worth “honorable mention.”

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Wilson, I think if you can get to 4 or 5 photos, Matt can make a story out of it. To get a story out of a single photo, it would have to be either an incredible shot or be extremely bizarre. Or be a really slow week when the only alternative is a toilet seat and a zipper pull.

      Someone else had to be there with a camera. If not, do what the news media would do and send in some pictures from other shows and events. Matt will never know. Most of us won’t either until the truth comes out in the comments, but by then it will be too late.

      • Wilson
        Wilson says:

        As you say, it is a smaller, even tho in its 20th year, show but since they were on the same weekend I thought he might include it in a “weekend wrap up”…But hey !….Matt does a great job so who am I to fuss.

        • Matt
          Matt says:

          okay for all of you wondering here, what the deal is with Apalachicola, sorry. It was one boat in a parking lot. I will update here so you all can bask in the glory of Apalachicola. I honestly did not believe it put the town of Apalachicola in its best light. But it is what it is, and now you may all plan your trip next year.

  6. Craig A. McIntosh
    Craig A. McIntosh says:

    …the blue ridge people had everyone at the hartwell show voting for ‘people’s choice’ and they were keeping a close tally – with said, what boat actually won?

    • Kentucky Wonder
      Kentucky Wonder says:

      The People’s Choice winner was Sunburn, the red Dorsett Catalina. I overheard teenage girls walk up to it and say “Awwwww….it’s SO cute!”

      Its accessories also bring to mind the argument about bumpers versus fenders. Sunburn’s fenders have bumpers, if you know what I mean.

  7. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.) says:

    Great pics. Nothing like a wooden boat show to get you excited about boating season. I have been out of cell /internet service for a.few days. It was fun catching up on the last few days. I was on a boat, but unfortunately it was not wood.

  8. Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says:

    I am in agreement with m-fines view that we all need multiple boats and they don’t all need to be pretty and made out of wood. First boat in the water every year at the cottage is my trusty 17 foot aluminum outboard which hopefully goes in this weekend. We will still be boating among the ice flows after the longest winter in history in Alberta

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Great shots and story KW, thanks for the coverage. Glad you had a safe trip back especially after dragging your boat through all those back roads in the mountains and then interstate back through the mountains again.

  10. Wudagud
    Wudagud says:

    I made a delivery this morning and my GPS told me to turn down this street. I got a smile on my face

  11. Phillip Jones
    Phillip Jones says:

    Sorry I wasn’t there to provide an entertaining though probably awkward photo of me getting into some kind of jam, but with good reason. Unfortunately the last time I was at Hartwell I injured myself at the dock doing something very stupid, and never really got over it. It has finally caught up with me in a very bad way. Will probably require surgery within the next few weeks. But hey I’m good, got to heal up for the International show. I did hate not being able to attend the show this year. Great show and super people, even you Cunningham. :):):) alies Dr. Disaster :):):)

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