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Our Boat Show Chairman Mr. Terry Fiest would like to share the email below from Mr. Bob Tweedie, Director of Economic Development from the City of Tavares on the latest information regarding our show venue. Terry and the show committees work very hard to put the biggest and best show on each year. If you have questions prior to the registration that will go out the first part of January, Please do not hesitate to call Terry.
This was an email Bob Tweedie sent out in response to one of our members email.
I am in receipt of your email below and thank you for your inquiry. The City has selected, through a Request for Qualifications procurement process as required by Florida Statute, Haskell Corporation for the design/build project to reconstruct the Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina facilities destroyed by Hurricane Irma. We have issued a contract and Notice to Proceed on the design, due diligence, permitting phase of the project on August 1, 2018. Under the terms of that contract Haskell has 240 days to complete this phase of the project. Upon completion of this phase of the project, by the end of March, 2019 Haskell will have secured all necessary permitting on behalf of the City and provide a detailed construction plans, construction cost and construction schedule. Upon acceptance and approval by the City’s insurance Carrier, which is funding 98% of the cost of the project (including design) the construction phase contract will be required to be brought to City Council for approval at a scheduled public City Council meeting and a notice to proceed for construction will be issued upon approval and execution of that construction phase contract with a completion date based upon the construction schedule provided by the contractor and agreed upon by the City. The date of construction commencement and completion will be determined upon completion of design and subsequent contract approval/execution.
Although permanent docks/facilities will not be completed in time for this year’s Sunnyland annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, scheduled for March 22-24, 2019, the City is working with a temporary dock vendor and the insurance carrier to provide floating temporary docks for the boat show, as it did last year. It is anticipated that the floating dock boat capacity will be larger than last year and the layout will provide for individual boat slip docking as opposed to the linear docking of last year’s show . City staff is coordinating/communicating this effort with Terri Feist and the boat show leadership team and has made a commitment to providing them with the temporary dock layout and boat capacity by the beginning of January. We will continue to update the boat show leadership team as with any and all new developments and schedules related to the rebuild of the permanent facilities and the temporary boat show docks. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly for any additional information.
Bob Tweedie, C.M.
Economic Development Director
City of Tavares
November 23, 2018
The Harris Chain Cruise, Picnic and Wine Tasting event will take place on Saturday February 23rd, 2019 and has become one of most anticipated events that Sunnyland puts on each year. Launch at Gilbert Park in Mount Dora and enjoy a relaxing day of boating on the Harris chain of lakes. The cruise will end back in Lake Dora at Seals and Connie McCarty’s home for a barbeque lunch. You are welcome to attend even if you do not have a boat as many do every year. Please see the attached registration form, print it, fill it out and mail it with your check to Jack Bingham 19651 Eagles View Circle, Umatilla, FL 32784.
The next Sunnyland Board of Directors meeting will be held on Friday February 22, 2019 prior to the Cruise and Wine tasting event on Saturday February 23. The meeting will start at 12:30 pm in the Grandview Room at the south end of the main lobby of the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora. All Sunnyland members are encouraged to attend the meeting. Please visit the Sunnyland website “Events” Click Here at for more information.
It was a beautiful weekend for our Annual Meeting and Banquet in Mount Dora. The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a boat repair clinic at the Old Time Boat Company hosted by Ingrid, Gary and Doug Sherb. Doug and Gary explained some of the important clues to look for when considering the purchase of a boat that has been previously restored, particularly when epoxy was used for the restoration or construction.
The Friday evening cocktail reception kicked off the weekend festivities at the Mount Dora Yacht Club which was our venue for the weekend activities. Sunnyland members enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages while reconnecting with longtime friends and fellow members. Live music throughout the evening enticed many folks to take a spin or two out on the dance floor.
Saturday morning started at the Yacht Club docks with a gathering of ten boats that took part in the chain of lakes boat run and lunch stop at the Lake Harris Hideaway water front restaurant. The weather for the day was sunny, cooler and a little breezy in the morning but made for a pleasant day on the water. Arrival of the boats before noon at the restaurant ensured that we had plenty of dock space for our group. The boats looked beautiful gleaming in the sun and all of the patrons at the restaurant were compelled to take a stroll down the docks to admire the impromptu classic boat show.
The Saturday evening Banquet Dinner was well attended again this year which is likely attributed to the great venue and centralized location with water frontage and private docks on Lake Dora on the Harris chain of lakes. Dinner was again catered by the nearby Pisces restaurant and annual awards were presented to end the evening
The Annual Meeting started at 9:00 am Sunday morning and many topics and important chapter happenings were discussed. The meeting ended around noon with members saying their goodbyes and looking forward to the upcoming Sunnyland events. This is always a fun weekend of activities and we hope to see you here next year.
The 2017 Sunnyland Crew
FESTIVALS OF SPEED has once again invited our Sunnyland ACBS members to show their boats at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes on December 2nd, 2018. We all had a great time last year and we won some really great awards! FESTIVAL OF SPEED has agreed to COMP our attendance saving us all the normal $50 entry fee!
This is a huge honor and a great venue as the show includes the very best in classic and antique cars along with Modern supercars. There will be top notch vendors there from the car world along with food vendors and lots of luxury brands.
Set up on Saturday, Dec 1st between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The address is 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32837
The show is Sunday, Dec 2nd from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.
Don’t miss showcasing your boat at this beautiful event
HERE IS HOW TO REGISTER
To register your boat, please click here http://www.festivalsofspeed.com
The site will show the opening page.
Click on Car Registration and it will then give you an option to select “car registration form”
Fill out your name, and info on your boat. Be sure to put ACBS in the comments along with other information about your boat (to save the entry fee)
Select the event you want (Orlando 2018)
Select if you want to display only or be judged
Under body style, describe your boat (19′ runabout, as an example)
Send a message with info on awards or a short history of your boat if you want
Hit “upload” if you can send a photo of your boat, but not required
Hit the register button.
You will get a display that says “message sent”. It may then ask you to pay the registration fee, which you can ignore. You will get an e-mail back from Festivals of Speed that says thanks for registering and they will get back with you to confirm your registration. That may take a day or so.
ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC WOOD BOATS
AMPHICARS ON DISPLAY
WOODY CARS ON DISPLAY
MARINE NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET
ANTIQUE OUTBOARD MOTOR CLUB DISPLAYS
FLORIDA GLASPAR CLUB DISPLAY
HOME MADE ICE CREAM VENDOR
ROGRAM FOR YOUNG KIDS ON BOAT BUILDING
FIELD OF DREAMS WITH WOOD BOATS FOR SALE
The Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival is in its 38th year and is the largest classic wood boat show in the U.S. Our footprint is over a third of a mile long and we usually have 250 – 300 boats on display. Our gate attracts 8 – 10 thousand people and there is literally something for everyone at our event. Our nautical flea market has more than 80 vendors with many hard to find marine parts for sale. We will have several stunning outboard motors on display as well as numerous race boats. Our annual event is in conjunction with spring break and is the kick-off show for the boating season. People from all over the U.S. attend our show and we have representation from over 26 different states. We have several corporate sponsors that make our show a success and they offer many marine products for our vintage boats.
October 21, 2018
It was a beautiful day Saturday on the shores of Lake Mirror for the annual Lake Mirror Concours show in Lakeland. We had our usual Commodore tent area set up that provided a nice area along the shoreline to kickback, relax and spend time with our friends. This is a one day show on Saturday, but there is a small group of mostly past presidents that have gathered on Friday evening for years to have dinner at the local Cattleman’s Club next to the show venue. This year in the water we had Gerald Dake who brought his 1947 Chris-Chris Sportsman “Odyssey”, Bill Hancock with his 1959 Sebino “Fantasma”, Bruce Kester with his 1962 Correct Craft ski boat “Skidaddle” and Steven Bickart with his 17′ Chris-Craft ski boat. On land display next to our Commodore tent was Mark and Lori Yahn with their 1942 Chris-Craft 17′ Special Runabout along with Terry Fiest and his beautiful 1956 21′ Stancraft Torpedo “Glacier Girl”. This is a car show but I have to tell you our boats get the attention. The car guys frown on anyone touching their metal but most of us love when the spectators put their hands on our wood and just smile.
When Having A Shot Was Encouraged While Driving – 6 Passengers, 6 Shots
October 16, 2018
It was January 2nd, 2011 and I had been boatless for three months before finding this true gem. The boat was an unmolested late 1957 19’ Chris-Craft Capri hull number CP-19-668 that had moved through several different warehouses out of the weather for the last 30 years. The Capri was sitting on its original Holsclaw trailer with both axles sitting on their old tire rims.
This was a boat project I dreamed of. I wanted a boat that I could fully document and preserve the original history of it. I starting the documentation process, creating a database with an index so that I could catalog each and every part with a description, condition, quantity and attach photographs. The database was broken down into all the major categories such as engine, hardware, wiring, steering, upholstery, instruments, fasteners and miscellaneous. Before any parts were removed, photographs of the part and assemblies were taken while they were still intact. As each piece was removed another photo was taken to show its exact location along with its fasteners, wiring or fittings. Each screw was documented for size, length and type as it was removed and bagged. All wire staples and clamps were documented for size and types and again bagged for later use or search for NOS. As the parts were removed and documented the database started to take shape showing what parts and assemblies needed rebuilding or replacing.
It was very important to preserve all original components of this boat and reinstall just as it came from the factory. I did have a new 5200 bottom installed but the balance of the restoration was to originality with over 95% of components and wood reinstalled. The restoration was completed in three years with over 400 photos and 92 pages of documentation compiled during the process. This is a small synopsis of the research needed to preserve our wooden boats and it could not have been done without the help of many people who I have come in contact with around the world.
Knotty Blonde was finished four days prior to the 2014 Sunnyland boat show and received the Best Chris-Craft award from the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club. Knotty Blonde was also featured on the cover of the spring issue of the Brass Bell.
October 9, 2018
I currently have this boat at a restorer in Southern Minnesota. I am considering upgrading the power from a 2cyl. 10 hp Kermath. I will need to do some work on the boat around the engine compartment that has been dismantled.
We sure hope to see Dave and IDA at our Sunnyland Show in March.
October 4, 2018
October 2, 2018
This week we will take a little trip down the street to our Sunnyland Presidents home and catch up on a beautiful 1942 17′ Chris-Craft Special Runabout project he is working on. Now in our owners words…
This is a boat that I am working on at my home shop in Tavares, Florida. It’s a pre-war double cockpit forward model that was offered for only one model year in 1942. There were a total of 241 hulls built. The interesting thing about this particular boat is the completion date on the hull card which reads 12/8/41, the day after the December 7 Sunday morning attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The photos are just a few recent shots of the project and the deck is now in the process of being replaced. The rest of the hull has been completed which included new keel, chines, lower stem, lower transom framing and all but one of the bottom frames which were either cracked or oil soaked in the area beneath the engine. The bottom is laminated and the hull sides utilized most of the original planks which were run through a planer and glued on to plywood. The original book matching of the planks in clearly evident and I wanted to retain that look.
September 25, 2018
With the sale of Little Nell II, a 1946 25’ red and white Chris Craft Express Cruiser, I knew I needed another project and came to realize a U22 was what my wife and I needed. Our friend, Tom Flood had found a white-sided U22 near his home in Cedarville, MI. which could be bought. So in 2002, I flew to Cedarville, we met the owner, a deal was stuck, money changed hands and arrangements made for the boat to be brought to Florida.
As is the case when a boat is brought to The Temple for restoration, we start by removing the bottom and replacing frames with white oak as needed. The keel and chines were replaced, 6mm Okoume plywood laid down with 3M5200 on the frames. Spanish cedar planks were embedded in 5200, fastened with silicon bronze Reed & Prince screws. After fairing, several coats of Smith’s CPES were applied before AWL Grip barrier coat and red color coats applied.
The hull sides were removed, 4mm Okoume applied, over which cedar planks were applied, embedded with West System epoxy. Again, silicon bronze Reed & Prince screws were used as fasteners, with West fairing compound used to fill holes prior to fairing.
Fairing the hull is very important and in retrospect, I could have done a better job. We had recently purchased a Fein sander/vacuum with a 6” diameter sander. It is very good in collecting the dust created when sanding a large project such as this. We were very impressed. In addition, I sanded with a long board, short board, going through the various grits of paper stopping with 180 grit, thus allowing the wood enough “tooth” to hold the stain and paint. All decks and furniture is made of Philippine mahogany using Don Dannenberg’s formula, using stains by Interlux, two parts of #573 and one part of #42. T quote Don, “It creates a deep, rich, warm color which is neither too dark nor too red”
We have had good luck using Interlux #100 build-up varnish, finishing up with four coats of Schooner. The paint used was also Interlux, applying four coats of primer with sanding between coats, followed by three coats of one part urethane before taking the boat to Lance Wilson for the final coats of varnish and paint that were sprayed on.
Since I replaced the original Chrysler M engine with a Crusader V8, restored by Skip Lewis of Cleveland, OH, The motor box had to be redesigned using Okoume plywood with a ½” plywood top. Blue marble Marmoleum was used for the flooring to accompany the blue vinyl upholstery. White cedar was used for the celling boards, they were treated with Min-Wax wood conditioner which prepared the wood to receive stain evenly. However, I did not use stain but chose to have the amber color of the varnish provide the color in the ceiling boards and dash.
In July 2005, we started a 6,005 mile trip towing the boat behind our Surburban. We attended shows in Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa. I have found the boat to be easy to handle and with the second permanent seat, to be user friendly when hosting guest. In August 2017 Viking found a new family and home on Lake Nona in Orlando.
September 18, 2018
Cantiere Sebino is located in Paratico, Italy and produced wooden runabouts during the 1950’s through the early 60’s. Fantasma is thought to be the only Sebino registered in the United States. The brand was built on Lago I’Selo in northern Italy, near Lake Como.
This particular boat is one-off example of their 6 Meter model, originally commissioned by the Braun family of Austria as their family ski boat which spent most of its life at their castle on Lake Attassee. Once acquired, Fantasma was shipped to Detroit in 1995 where the hull underwent a total restoration at the famed Mayea Boat works, while the engine was totally restored by Mike Murley.
Fantasma means Phantom in Italian. Since the boat took 12 years to restore, when it came time to name it, the name was picked because nobody in the family had ever seen the boat. Sebinos are often mistaken for Riva boats which share many of the smilar lines and were made literally across the lake in the village of Sarnico. Noted Riva Expert Alan Weinstein, the Riva Guru, was amazed to discover that the Sebino hardware, while visually similar to Riva, was totally unique to the Sebino.
While the hull underwent a total restoration at Mayea Boat works, Mike Murley painstakingly restored the unique small block Chevrolet marine engine originally designed and built for Cantiere Riva and sold through Riva to Sebino where it was reconfigured. The boat runs in excess of 40 mph and incorporates the classic Italian sun bed in place of a rear seat.
Today, Cantiere Sebino still exists but no longer manufactures wooden boats. They do however store and maintain a small fleet of the original Sebinos for a few prominent European customers.
September 17, 2018
September 11, 2018
My family purchased this boat and trailer new, when I was 12…
This 1962 18’ Holiday came off the Cadillac, Michigan Chris Craft line on Nov. 27th 1961. The $3,995 original bill of sale lists both my mother and my uncle who bought it new from Marsh Marine on Lake Manawa in Council Bluffs, Iowa. This boat and its original trailer have never left our family. The picture below is of me (the current owner) driving the boat when I was twelve years old. I also have 1960’s 8mm family movies of this boat on Lake Okoboji. Iowa. If only I could have aged as well.
More than three years of loving labor have gone into preserving this family heirloom and its original Snoco tilt tongue trailer with its original baby moon hub caps.
Over 3,786 screws were carefully removed… one at a time.
The keel, stem and each frame was removed, cleaned and refastened. The boat was then painstakingly reassembled with “preservation” the priority.
Everything you see was originally installed at the factory including 100% of the interior upholstery, 100% of the top deck / interior white vinyl, and 100% of the side / transom planks. Even the four bottom lifting strakes were preserved and incorporated into a new West System bottom for safety reasons.
The 185 H.P. Chevy 283 cubic inch engine with its water cooled generator and Paragon transmission is also the factory original and has never needed to be rebuilt. The boat had 236 original hours when the preservation effort began. Even the flags, fuel dip stick, E-Z blow fog horn and hand bilge pump are the factory originals that came with this boat in 1962 and are listed on the original build sheet.
This preservation is dedicated to my uncle Art, who took immaculate care of this boat and influenced so much more in my life than just a passion for this boat,
Owners: Riley & Judy Warddrip
Clearly this Chris Craft will now live well beyond its 57th birthday on Nov. 27th, 2018. More importantly we hope this Chris Craft will be cherished for generations to come.
Special thanks to the many talented friends who gave me so much advice and help preserving this classic Chris Craft!
I especially want to thank: Dick Daly, Al Engel, Tom Flood, Stan Peterson, Jerry Valley, Lance Wilson, Roger Wolfe and Mike Yobe
September 4, 2018
While reading the Sunday newspaper a few years ago, I saw an ad for a 1954 16’ Dunphy boat and trailer. I was looking for a project like this one and contacted the seller to make an appointment to see the boat. After seeing the boat, I made an offer to purchase it and the seller accepted. I brought it home and then tried to figure out what I was going to do with it.
I had seen a picture online of a previously restored Dunphy at Macatawa Bay Boat Works in Saugatuck, Michigan. The owner had requested Macatawa Bay to redesign the boat into a “gentleman’s racer” style. I was determined to use their photo as a plan to restore the boat that I had purchased.
After returning from Florida back to Wisconsin, we built a dolly and flipped the boat over to begin working on the bottom. After using lots of paint and varnish remover, we were able to remove all old paint, fair the bottom and apply 2 coats of CPES for preservation purposes. Then we applied a few coats of white marine primer and then a few more coats of Petit green and turned the boat over to begin the change to a modified “gentleman’s runabout”!
Since Dunphy had installed a marine plywood deck which had decayed a bit, I removed it but left the supporting deck framework. We used 3/8” African mahogany for the mid and front decks along with the gunnels over a layer of 4 mm Okoueme. We also had to design and build a mid-deck as this model did not have one. Here are a few photos of the work in process.
We used Interlux Chris-Craft red filler stain on all mahogany that included the topsides, seats along with the inside of the hull. Petit green was also used for the interior floor of the boat along with some white oak strips for decorative purposes. Captains varnish was used for all brightwork on the boat. The sides of the hull were primed and painted with Petit beige.
I located a used 1957 35 hp Johnson “Javelin” motor to power the boat and had it primed and repainted by a former employee of Mercury Marine who specialized in outboard restoration. We had the trailer sandblasted, primed and painted by a local area contractor.
All in all, we were pleased that the final product turned out as planned. The name of the boat became “Miss Gimlet” as my wife Carol is a fan of those at Wisconsin Friday night fish fries.
August 28, 2018
You may have noticed that we have been featuring an “Owners Story” on our website for the last couple of months and we would like to hear yours. We all have a story to share about our boat and our members are interested in hearing about how you acquired your boat, the restoration, historical significance’s and any other details you would like to share.
If you are a Sunnyland member take a few minutes and write to us and tell us your story.
Please enclose the following information when sending us your story:
The write-up should be kept to 300-500 word count
Word document file format
Calibri 11 font size
Enclose 3-5 nice photos in a jpg format. If sending from your iphone send in “Large” size
Enclose your name, the name of your boat and year, make and model, your email address and phone number in case we have any questions
Send your story to Pete DeVito at email@example.com
August 21, 2018
I never had the desire to own a boat larger than 20’ before a fateful day on the St. John’s River. It was during the north bound Sunnyland Chapter cruise in 2006, that my 1939 20’ Lyman encountered the tail end of a north bound tornado between Palatka and Green Cove Springs. The tornado crossed the river directly in front of our path and set in motion a series of headlong waves that almost filled the boat. Sensing the trouble I was in, I turned the boat west toward shore, so that my passenger and I would have a chance to swim to shore if necessary. This was a big mistake because now the waves were coming from astern and crashing over the transom flooding the boat even more. Nearing shore, still afloat, I turned the boat south away from the storm to run parallel with the shore just in case we went down. During the time it took for all this to transpire, the tornado moved across the river and things started to return to less of a panic. We bailed out the boat, turned back in our original direction and proceeded on our path to the Crab Shack for a late lunch.
It was after that adventure I determined that a bigger boat was in order if I was going to do the river trip again. Smaller boats do work in big water but I guess I was looking for a little more comfort as well. The search for a bigger boat led me to a former member who was selling a 24’ Shepherd with twin V-drive Chrysler 105 H.P. Aces. He had acquired the boat years before at the Clayton auction. At first, I thought I could get away with a refinish and be good to go. This turns out almost never to be true. Upon bringing the boat into Gary Scherb’s “Old Time Boat Company”, where I spend most of my weekends working on any one of my boats, I started to remove a few of the interior components. What I found was typical of a 60 year old boat in that the frame work had worked loose and the bottom was showing its age with gaps that would swell if given enough time.
One thing lead to another and somewhere between 8 and 10 years later, I had replaced just about every part and piece of the boat with the exception of about 60% of the basic framework. What wasn’t replaced was removed, reinforced and sealed. The twin motors were replaced with a single 454 which required a complete reworking of the engine stringers and rudder system to accommodate the single motor. The interior was reconfigured to turn it from a Canadian lodge guest delivery boat into a comfortable cruiser. Doug Scherb planned and constructed the custom windshield based around old Hackercraft side panels that Tom Flood had donated to replace the original, now Plexiglas, windshield.
The boat was completed just before the 2016 north bound river cruise and we worked out the kinks as we went along. This was not the best time to learn about the boat but we had a great trip after all that work. My plans are to use the boat on the river in the coming years. My thanks to Gary and Doug Scherb for all of their great advice and help along the way.
August 19, 2018
The location for the August Board of Directors Meeting was the Orange County Sportsman’s Association Club located on Lake Sheen in Windermere. Lake Sheen is a 565 acre lake and a part of the beautiful Butler Chain of Lakes which consist of 13 lakes connected by canals.
After the meeting a lunch was enjoyed at the club in the picnic area and then off to enjoy the afternoon boating and swimming.
August 12, 2018
Our members find it interesting to see the different boat projects happening throughout our chapter, so we want to post these restoration projects. This time around it will be located on our website for all to view.
If you are a Sunnyland member and you are working on a boat project, please let us know your name and what make, model and year of the boat you are working on. Let us know when you started and when you project to complete your boat. We are interested in your project and would like to post all the projects that are currently happening throughout the chapter. Please send your information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy Marvin III
August 7, 2018
I came across Majestic in the early 90’s when taking one of my Correct Craft Skiers over to Mark Brundick’s at Cummer Boat Company for repair. Mark proudly pointed her out to me and encouraged me to climb aboard and check her out. I refused saying I had no interest in wooden boats. Just fix my Correct Craft. As time went on and I frequented Mark’s shop, that wooden boat began to grow on me. I came to find out she belonged to Larry Mullins from Palm Beach Gardens. Here her story gets a little vague for me. As I understand, she was originally delivered to a family in Maine. She took her name from her engine, a Chrysler Majestic. That family used her until the patriarch’s death in about 1960 at which time she was transferred to his sister who kept her for a couple of years before replacing her with a brand new Chris Craft Super Sport.
She was sold to another family in New Hampshire who used her for a few more years until her engine failed. And somewhere along the way during this period she got to visit the bottom of Lake Cobbosseecontee in Winthrop, Maine. At some point thereafter she was left exposed to the weather.
In the late 80’s our Gary Sherb picked her weathered hull up, put her on a flatbed trailer and brought the old girl to Florida. He put a new bottom on her and she was sold to Larry Mullins. Larry had her restored to her beautiful former self and enjoyed her for a few years before another beautiful wooden boat caught his fancy and he placed her with Mark Brundick for sale.
In the intervening time the boat really began to grow on me and I could see Laurie and me riding around in style in Majestic. One day when the price got right, I called my oldest son, Guy IV, and we decided to make an offer on Majestic. Larry accepted our offer and we were in the wooden boat business. The first event I remember taking her to was Homosassa Springs where I recall making a fool of myself trying to get used to handling our new toy.
That was in late 1994 and we spent the next year learning about our new wooden boat hobby and getting to know our new group of friends in Sunnyland and the ACBS. We also spent some time getting to know Majestic. While she was originally powered by a Chrysler Majestic engine, she is now powered with a Chris Craft Hercules MBL producing 158 horse power pushing her along at a respectable maximum speed of 40 MPH, pretty amazing for this old girl. She is very comfortable cruising at 25 MPH, a good speed for cruising!
In 1996, Majestic made her first St. Johns River Cruise under the leadership of Cruise Director, Dean Guy. Dean announced his retirement as Cruise Director at the end of that Cruise and in my euphoria after my first Cruise, I volunteered Laurie and me to become the new Cruise Directors. Since nobody else stepped up we got it by default. Surprise! Surprise!
Twenty-three years later Majestic has led every St. Johns River Cruise, South, and in some years both the South and the North Cruise covering more than three thousand miles on the St. Johns River which amounts to something over four hundred hours running time and many more hours socializing with our friends. While one must take into account that many participants are repeat customers, Majestic has led the way for more than twenty-two hundred individual participants in the boats over the years. And in all those years she has been a faithful participant at all the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festivals, taking part in pretty much all the activities.
July 31, 2018
It was in the spring of 2015, while I was still recovering from pneumonia when I received a phone call from Brian Bettinger. He was on his way to New York for the summer. We had been looking at a 1948 Century as a project boat that we could build here in Eustis. He suggested I take another look and I did.
The seller had purchased the Century in 2006 in Wisconsin where it had been stored in a warehouse since the 1960’s. He then took it to New York where he had a 5200 bottom put on, had the 75hp Gray-Marine Phantom 4 rebuilt, and had a new transom put in and then it was stored away again for another 10 years. He finally brought it to Florida and put the boat up for sale. Brian and I purchased it and I brought the Century home to Eustis and stored it in my garage for the summer. On my return in the fall, I assessed the pile of old wood that at one time was running on Brown Lake, Wisconsin in the 50’s. Brian was still in New York when I started in on the old girl. Once the old interior was removed, I started on the new mahogany covering boards.
Using the old wood as a pattern I traced out new covering boards, new floors, and seats. When Brian got back to Florida he started on the decks, transom, side planks and motor box. We must have worked 5-6 days a week all winter. We had to order the new interior covering boards that are Alaskan Yellow Cedar, a very clear pretty yellow wood. This Century was an all cedar built boat as many boat companies used cedar for a lack of mahogany during and after World War II. The cedar decks are also a pretty wood with small knots that give the wood character. We also had all the original hardware which we sent out to Space Coast Plating to rechrome. The original colors of the boat were white sides with red bottom and a baby blue boot strip and varnished decks and red upholstery.
Century made this model 1947, 48 and 49. 1950 they were built out of mahogany again.
Next we went to work on the motor. Though it was rebuilt it had not been run since the 1960’s. We up graded to a 12volt system, new water pump, restored gages, etc. With a few adjustment the motor was off and running and back in the boat. We launched the boat on Lake Dora February 2018 for the first time and it was the first time in the water in over 60 years. We ran the Lakes to build up some hours.
It is fun to bring an old wood boat back to life. We are lucky to live in the Mt Dora area where there is a wood boat support system made up of Sunnyland members that have a love of old wood boats. We took our Century to Amelia Island in April for a Festival of Speed Show and won the Great Gatsby Award for the restoration.
July 29, 2018
The Sunnyland Chapter of the ACBS is now taking nominations for our upcoming election to be held the first weekend in November at our annual Board of Directors meeting. The Sunnyland Chapter Board of Directors is run 100% by volunteers and we would like for you to consider running for one of the open positions this upcoming election. Since Sunnyland covers the entire State of Florida, we would like to have representation from the entire state. Please support your chapter by running for one of these positions.
We will have the following positions on our 2019 ballot:
(2) Two – Two Year Directors
2nd Vice President
Please contact Pete DeVito at email@example.com if you would like more information.
July 25, 2018
We summered on Cape Cod and like many who did, I was a sailor. I kept my sailboat in a beautiful little harbor on Buzzards Bay. Moored nearby was a beautiful triple cockpit Chris Craft that I always admired. Many of us “old men” try to regain our youth by acquiring the toys we either had or wish we had. I have the cars. Even though the closest I ever came to a power boat was a small outboard on the back of my dingy, I wanted a mahogany speedboat. When we started looking for a home on Lake Dora, it being the perfect location for such a boat, I decided that now was the time and began the search for a ’55 or ’56 Chris Craft Capri.
I had been searching E-Bay, Craigslist and the dealers when a friend called and said – you’re looking for a Capri, there is a guy on Lake Beauclaire who has one for sale, let’s go look. The Capri is a 19′ boat; in ’55 & ’56, however, Chris Craft built two hundred (200) 21′ footers. It is reported that, in 1955, Chris Craft built six (6) 21′ Capris with the legendary Chrysler Hemi engine. For 3 years I had been searching for a relatively common boat and find a rare one (1 of 6) the next lake over from Lake Dora where I live.
I decided that I would not name the boat unless I could find the original name, and, that name wasn’t something stupid like Patty’s Dream or Daddy’s Toy. In the early (chrome bumpers) Corvette world, if you know where the car originated from, and, if the car was not a base car and/or the origination point was a small town, you can usually find someone who knew the original owner or someone who knew the car. Having experienced this with my ’67, I decided to try to find the original owner of my boat the same way.
From the Mariner Museum documents, I learned that my boat was delivered in 1955 to Lake Hopatcong. Being a rare boat, I sent an inquiry to the president of the Lake Hopatcong Chapter of ACBS seeking a lead to an “old timer” who might remember the boat; he never replied. I tried again, this time to the vice president of the Chapter. A few weeks later, I got a call from the vice president wife seeking a picture and more info. That night they were having their annual lobster dinner and my request would be a great topic of conversation. The next morning she called saying that it was a great topic of conversation and that, if I could confirm a change that the original owner made to the boat, there was an “old timer” who knew the original name.
We talked the next day; delightful man; we must have talked two hours. Although I had reversed the change the original owner made, I confirmed to him that I had pictures which prove that a Morse throttle had been installed to replace the factory aviation throttle. He then told me who the original owner was and the name – Copperhead. He also gave me the name of the second owner who, being a best friend and neighbor with the now deceased first owner, might have insight as to why the boat was name after a snake.
I wrote to the second owner, who called me and was very pleased to know that the boat existed and was still being used and enjoyed. He confirmed that the boat was named Copperhead. When I asked about the name he replied: you know that a Copperhead is a venomous snake, do you know what else a Copperhead is? During the civil war, a northerner who sympathized with the south was called a Copperhead and the common caricature of the day in newspapers and magazines was a person surrounded by snakes. The name on my boat is done in copper foil; the “C” is a copperhead snake; the name ends with crossed union and confederate flags; let the reader decide, is the boat named after a snake or a sympathizer!
July 24, 2018
The Kissimmee Boat A Cade is an annual small boat event that has taken place every year in June since 1949 and starts in Kissimmee on Lake Tohopakaliga. This is one body of water in the State you have to boat on. Hundreds of boats travel together and go to a wide variety of places. They stop at marinas and campgrounds along the way and enjoy the great outdoors. It would be great to have a group of our members join in one year for a cruise.
Take a look at the Kissimmee Boat A Cade website if you are interested in more information.
A few photos from the past
July 19, 2018
Recently while touring the British Isles my wife and I stopped off for a few hours and toured the Majesty’s Royal Yacht Britannia. The minute we stepped aboard, we felt like there should have been a waiter with cocktails, food and all that other stuff that goes with royalty.
The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched April 1953, it is 412 feet long with a beam of 55 feet. She can cruise at 22 knots with a range of 2,400 nautical miles. Now this is where it gets interesting. It has a crew of 271 along with 1 platoon of Royal Marines. When the yacht enters a port or stays in port while the Royal Family was onboard, the Royal Marines would dive twice a day in search of mines or explosive underwater devices.
When we entered the engine room it was spotless and mostly original. The fellow giving us the tour told us that when General Norman Schwarzkopf inspected the yachts engine room prior to his retirement the general said that’s a beautiful staged engine room now I want to see the real engine room. The last two hidden jewels to see were the Roll-Royce Phantom V state car from the 60’s that was kept on deck ready for the family transportation and the beautiful Royal Barge to tender ashore.
Early Photo of Britannia
June 26, 2018
Like most collectors my eyes are always peeled for a forgotten, hidden gem. For me those are the best finds. For many years I drove past a 17’ Higgins Sportster tucked in a barn on an old Gainesville family’s property visible only in the winter when the vines covering the fence had died back. The owner was a friend of my father-in-law and that opened the door for conversation about the boat. “Jack, how about selling me that boat”?—“Nope, I’m going to fix it up someday”. How many times have I heard that statement!
Jack’s health was slowly deteriorating, and I knew the boat would continue to sit. Every time I would see Jack I’d ask the same question, and I got the same reply. That went on for over 20 years. About 3 years ago I ran into him and his wife in a restaurant and again the question was asked. Jack looked at me and said, “George, I’m not going to sell you the boat,—-I’m going to give it to you”! His wife looked at me and said, “You’d better get over there and get it quickly before he changes his mind”, and I did that afternoon.
We estimate it is a 1948 model with a Chrysler Ace engine. The boat has a curved dash and was originally purchased by another old time Gainesville of whom the son Tom is a friend of mine. When I contacted Tom about the boat Tom told me his dad ordered it from Higgins and drove to New Orleans to pick it up. It is now at my shop awaiting a restoration after I finish my 17’ Chris Craft Sportsman.
June 24, 2018
We would like to introduce our new membership chair but before we do, we would like to thank Mr. Ray Garratt and his wife Valerye for the past 12 years they chaired our membership committee. Through these years under the leadership of Ray our chapter grew to be the largest in all of ACBS.
Now let’s get to know our new membership chair Mr. Don Johnson
I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I met my wife, Sandy, on a blind date in 1971 and we were married within a year. We have two children. Our son, Lonnie, and his family live in Carmel, Indiana. Our daughter, Kelly, and her family live in Rising Sun, Maryland. I was the Environmentalist for a Nuclear Power Plant for 40 years.
Boating for me started in 1955 on the Cedar River on my grandfather’s 1947 Thompson. In the mid 70’s Sandy and I traded our 1963 Corvette Coupe with our friends for their 1967 Larson cutty cabin and we then spent 40 years boating out of Guttenberg, Iowa, on the Mississippi River. Over the years we owned a variety of boats, some of which Sandy knew about and others that I somehow bought and thought I could keep secret until she and our daughter realized there was something more than just bushes down in that tree line at the very back of our property. Currently I have a 1959 Century Coronado that has just completed restoration this past winter by Old Time Boat Company.
I have served for various boating organizations and clubs over the years including Commander for the Cedar Rapids Power Squadron and Commodore of the 611 Yacht Club. I joined ACBS in 1995 and served as Vice President, then President of the Clear Lake Iowa Chapter. I joined the Sunnyland Chapter in 2006.
Upon retiring in 2011, Sandy and I built our new home in The Villages, Florida. We became full time residents after selling our summer home in Guttenberg, Iowa, in 2014.
Other hobbies include rerecording music from various mediums onto CD’s for my own Music Library, and having a few remote control cruisers that I cruise with the Villages Model Boat Club. In addition, I’ve been involved with the National Council of Corvette Clubs for the last 50 years. Sandy and I have owned at least 20 of those plastic toys over the years. We enjoyed showing, racing and dragging those cars.
I look forward to serving the Sunnyland Club as Membership Chairman and hope that I can continue the great work of Ray Garratt, who for the last 12 years, has kept the ship righted for the very fantastic club we now enjoy.
Let’s travel a little to the north to Blue Ridge Country
June 19, 2018
With summer in full swing and lots of our members retreating to the north, it made me think of the great boating they have planned with their home chapters. Since the 4th of July is just around the corner and we will all be celebrating the Red, White and Blue, I thought it fitting to share one of the greatest 4th of July events I ever attended. The date was July 4th 2015, the location was Lake Rabun, Georgia. This was not just a regular ole 4th event, it just happened to be their 100th anniversary. My wife and I had front seats at the local church pavilion hanging over the water viewing what must have been 100 of the most beautiful wooden boats parading around the lake. Lake Rabun is a part of the Blue Ridge chapter and this area of Georgia is a piece of heaven you won’t want to leave.
Don’t forget to stop by Hall’s Boathouse. It is just up the road around the corner.
June 17, 2018
Glacier Girl is a 1956 22 foot Stan Craft Torpedo Stern boat built in 1956 at Somers Montana on Flat Head Lake. The Boat is hull number 9 of 10 built from 1946 to 1956. Stan Young built these beautiful Torpedo Stern hulls in the winter and debut them in the spring of the year to attract customers to his business. They were all handmade and each year he made changes in the design. The big change came in 1954 when he added the “Bat Wings” and widened the transom design. There were only four built with the Wings and only three are known to exist. Glacier Girl was delivered in the spring of 1956 to the Lake McDonald Boat Company of West Glacier, Montana and operated as a ride boat from the south end of the lake at Apgar Village. A brochure obtained from the Glacier Park Archives reads as follows: “A sleek new 1956 Stan-Craft “Torpedo” Runabout operates daily from Apgar Village at the south end of Lake McDonald. Rides can be had at any time of the day during the summer season. An excellent view of the entire McDonald Valley is yours from this area and a ride on this boat could be one of the most remembered highlights of anyone’s vacation.” The cost of the ride was $1.00 per person.
The boat operated on the lake until the mid-60’s and remained in Montana for several years. Like most old wood boats, it passed through many owners and was eventually donated to the University of Oregon for a tax write off. The University sold it to an individual in Portland and he cosmetically made it into a running boat and after a couple of years he decided to sell it and I purchased it “Sight-un-seen.” Through a network of friends, it made its way to Orlando and underwent a total restoration. It has a new bottom, sides and decks. The side frames, covering boards, deck frames and shelf are all original. One of the most difficult challenges of the restoration was to remove all the steel screws and hardware. Stan Craft boats were built with steel fasteners because of the low moisture content in Montana. The restoration was a 3-1/2 year project and is an owner restored boat.
The original engine was a Chrysler 6 cylinder M47S, but that engine was replaced in the early 60’s and it is currently powered by a Indimar “Hammer Head” 5.7 Liter Corvette LS 1.
Many thanks to Terry Fiest for sharing this wonderful story on a very unique boat.
Joe Coleman and Guy Marvin
June 12, 2018
AMIKids Jacksonville was founded in 1973 as Jacksonville Marine Institute. It is a private nonprofit staff-secure day treatment facility for troubled children ages 14 – 18 who average six arrests prior to referral to AMIKids. It is funded by the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Duval County School Board and private donations.
AMI reaches out to address issues both in the families of the children as well as their impoverished neighborhoods. Most importantly AMI recognizes that succeeding in the classroom and possessing the skills necessary to obtain employment after graduation are essential.
Introducing Sunnyland’s SCAMPY Program into the curriculum fulfills a part of this latter goal in the sense that it provides the woodworking and construction skills that the children learn as they work with our volunteers building boats. These are skills which the children can take back to their homes, neighborhoods and prospective places of employment.
The AMIKids Day Treatment Program is the only one in the country that has been recognized by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the U.S. Department of Justice as having proven “promise”. 80% of AMIKids gain a minimum of one grade level in the program within 4 to 6 months. 74% of them go on to lead a successful, crime-free life. This is one of the most successful day treatment programs in the juvenile justice industry.
A program like this could not be successful without dedicated mentors like Joe and Guy. Our thanks to them for the many hours they spend at AMIKids each week.
What a rewarding experience for these kids
June 11, 2018
Most all of us that are at least 40 years of age visited the old Cypress Gardens at some point in their life. I was not old enough to walk the first time my parents took me to the gardens. As the years went by, I visited the gardens more times than I can count, each time it was as much fun as the first time. The ski show was the highlight, with the jumpers and the clowns, I guess I was just too young for those beautiful Southern Belles.
I grew up not far from Cypress Gardens on a beautiful white sand bottom lake. I learned to ski at a very early age and it became my primary sport growing up. Cypress Gardens made their own water skis just outside of Winter Haven and some of them had flaws that they could not sell. We would go down to the factory and pick through the skis and come out with the best in the pile. We would hunt for the newest skis on the market so we could brag a little. Kids today have a lot of water toys that are fun but I can tell you, skiing on a wooden Ski Skat trick slalom or a pair of shoe skis will put a grin on your face.
The Sunnyland Chapter held their annual meeting at Cypress Gardens for many years until the gardens closed in 2003.
June 3, 2018
The Sunnyland Chapter is currently in search of a Chapter Treasurer for 2019. After many years of dedicated service to our Chapter, our current Treasurer Larry Maloomian has requested that we find his replacement for the upcoming year. The candidate should have proficiency in Quick Books Pro software, a basic knowledge of accounting principles and would benefit from current or past experience in the business community. The Treasurer is an Executive board member and is chairman of the finance committee and as such is required to attend three quarterly board meetings and the annual meeting each year. Approximately 2-3 hours are required per week with more time needed in the several months surrounding the boat festival in March.
If you are interested in this position please contact Pete DeVito Capri@tampabay.rr.com or Bruce Kester firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have specific questions about the position, you may contact Larry email@example.com .
We look forward to hearing from you.
May 31, 2018
Photos by Kent Strobel
The SCAMPY shop is buzzing as the kids close in on the finishing touches to their boats. Summer is here and they are excited to get them in the water.
We applaud our SCAMPY mentors that dedicate many hours of their time to this program. We encourage our members to stop by the shop and see the fantastic work these kids are doing.
Jacob Bascom applies the first color coat on his Minimost 8’ hydroplane while his father Brad looks on with mentor Mike Yobe.
May 30, 2018
In from our Past President Lou Ronca
Photo’s by Traci Anderson
Sunnyland was invited to participate in this environmentally inspired program. The City of Tavares participates in a competition with other cities across the country in several categories one of which is organizational participation with the city. Sunnyland partners with Tavares in putting on the largest Antique Boat Festival in the country each March. In addition Sunnyland provides a youth boat building program which is open to local residence as well as communities outside of the area.
On May 22nd four members from Sunnyland made their boats available both in the water as well as on land display at the pavilion in Wooten Park. Captains Bruce Kester, Jack Bingham, Don Taylor and Don Kehr gave a brief talk about the history of their boats. A brief stroll through the park followed describing what takes place during the boat festival along with some of the challenges resulting from hurricane Irma. A brief video presentation detailing Sunnyland and its mission was made in the lobby of the pavilion by Lou Ronca. The entourage then was transported to the SCAMPY shop where mentors and student boat builders waited to talk about the SCAMPY program and their experience. The history of the beginnings of the program was discussed along with how it has become the premiere youth development program in ACBS. A discussion of the recent partnership with AMI Kids Jacksonville and Ft Meade Middle & High School expansion was presented along with a tour of the shop and interview with the students.
Overall the day was an extreme success but the topper for the judges was an unannounced boat cruise in Don Taylor’s Mr.”T” and Don Kher’s “Sea Lyon” through the Dora Canal and back to Wooton Park.
May 29, 2018
Our SCAMPY shop has doubled in size. The SCAMPY shop will now have an area to store boats that have been donated, boats awaiting repair or boats that will be kept within the program such as the first SCAMPY boat built. The much needed space will house the boats out of the weather until they are sold.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to donate to the SCAMPY program, please contract Lou Ronca at 407-493-8553.
May 28, 2018
Just in from our Past President Wilson Wright who attended the Apalachicola Show back on April 21st. Wilson had a few computer problems but he was persistent in getting us an update on the show. Wilson stated that the show this year was more cars than boats due to the weather. Pictured here is a 16′ 1964 Correct Craft “Maddy Boo” owned by Bruce Hall of Mobile, Alabama that won Best Wooden Boat. The car pictured with it is a 1950 Mercury convertible which received Best Boat and Car Combo.
April 21, 2018
The 2018 Vero Beach Wheels & Keels event took place on Saturday April 21st at the Moorings Yacht and Country Club. It featured collector cars and boats on land along with cruisers in the water at the marina. The weather was great and exhibitors and spectators had a great day. Everyone is encouraged to attend next year’s event.
April 20, 2018
The Kochman family of Oviedo, FL are restoring a 1958 14’ Delta Playmate mfg. in Oak Lawn, IL. Tracy, Mike and son Lance are SCAMPY alumni having previously completed an 8’ SCAMPY hydroplane. Doing restoration work is another phase of the SCAMPY program. They have been guided by mentor Mike Yobe and other mentors in the Tavares shop.
The beginning of the restoration in the Spring of 2017
Removing hardware with mentor Mike Yobe
Lance & Tracy Kochman prepping for bottom paint
Admiring the new bottom paint
The Sunnyland Chapter was well represented with ten outstanding boats winning four Waterford Crystal Trophies!
Participants left to right include: Don Kehr, Carl & Jeff Morgan, Don Johnson, Lee & Tim Hunt, Riley Warddrip, Brian Bettinger, Steve Rutigliano, Mark from Georgia, Bert Harris, Aaron LeDonne, Jamie Smith, Kathy Harris and Randy Mohr. (Jack Bingham not shown)
Trophies for “Best Boat” went to Bert & Kathy Harris and Aaron LaDonne for their fabulous Barracuda.
The “Great Gatsby” Award was won by Steve Rutigliano and Brian Bettinger for a 1959 Century they just finished.
Additional awards were won by new ACBS members Jeff and Carl Morgan with their 1957 Glaspar 17′ Cabin Cruiser for “Best American Classic” and Don and Teresa Kehr for their 1929 Sea Lyon took home the “Amelia Cup” Award.
It was great fun to display our boats at this “over the top luxury lifestyle” event which featured the BATMOBILE “Tumbler” as driven by Christian Bale in the movie.
There were dozens of Ferraris, Lamborghinis McClarens and to many classic cars to count. A personal favorite of our group was to meet Mr. Jack May, winner of the 1975 Cannonball Race from New York to California in 35 hours and 53 minutes in his 1973 Ferrari Dino.
Don Johnson’s recently finished 1959 Century Coronado.
Thanks to everyone who attended this wonderful event and represented our Great Sunnyland Chapter. We were able to recruit several new members to our chapter and a couple of new SCAMPY kids joined our Youth Development Program.
For more information about the FESTIVALS OF SPEED go to http://www.FESTIVALSOFSPEED.com
The Sunnyland Board of Directors have been aware of the need for better communication with current Sunnyland members along with a desire to provide a website that can accommodate more frequent and timely communications to existing and potential new members. Earlier this year a decision was made by the Board to update the old website. In order to construct a new website that provided the desired functions and look that we wanted, it was determined that new software was needed along with help from an experienced web designer to build it.
After many months of hard work the new website is now live. The site was built using WordPress software, a popular product that is widely used by many website designers due to its ease of setup and management as compared to some of the older software applications. This upgrade sets a foundation for Chapter communications going forward and has many capabilities that were either not available or were not practical to implement with our previous software platform including the ability to highlight both recent and upcoming events with fresh content such as photos, videos, event information, etc. More timely email communication is now also possible with the new system. And going forward, further enhancements including links to social media can be implemented in order to connect with a younger audience that relies heavily on electronic media for their communication and information sources.
The one thing that will remain the same is the Annual Boat Show registration software. This is a stand-alone application that has been retained and it will look and operate as it has always done in the past.
In the coming months you will see more activity and content on the site as we fill in the areas that lack information, photos, etc. We encourage all members to help us with that content and more detailed instructions will be forthcoming on how to send photos, videos, and other information in a format that is useable and visually pleasing to those visiting the site.
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