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Classic boat owners ready to seas the day

Published on

Pam Wright

Vintage boats will be on view when the Bluewater Chapter of the Antique Classic Boat Society stages its 6th annual boat show on Saturday.

“It will feature 30 boats of all shapes and sizes,” president Gerrit Dykhouse said of the show at Sarnia Bay Marina.

“There’s something for everyone.”

Most of the boats date from the 1920s to 1950s and are built of South American mahogany, Dykhouse said.

Painstakingly polished and varnished, the restored boats are a testament to the detailed craftsmanship of a bygone era.

Maintaining the old engines and motors is also a labour of love. Owners cherish their boats and don’t seem to mind the ongoing upkeep they demand, Dykhouse said.

“There’s a whole culture surrounding vintage boats.”

It’s not unlike the way classic car owners feel about their machines, he added.

Some early model fiberglass boats will also be on display.

The Bluewater region has a special link to vintage watercrafts. Many were built at the once thriving Chris Craft company in Algonac Michigan, located along the St. Clair River across from Port Lambton.

“(Chris Craft) was the heart of the wooden boat industry,” he explained, noting some of them have made their way around the world.

Dykhouse said he saw one of the vintage Chris Craft runabouts while visiting in Colorado. When he told the disbelieving owners the boat was made in Michigan, he showed them the plate that authenticated where it was made.

Dykhouse said it took a phenomenal amount of work to build the boats, and it takes a lot of effort to restore them.

The event runs Saturday, July 23; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

A ceremony takes place at 4 p.m. when a People’s Choice and Kid’s Choice awards will be handed out.

Arrangements are also being made for visitors to go for rides on some of the vintage crafts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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