Vintage boats and cars harken back to yesterday at the third Antique and Classic Boat and Antique Car Show this Saturday on the shores of Lake James.
Hosted by the Indiana Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, the show will be at the old Boat House Marine near the Jimmerson Lake bridge.
As in the past, according to co-president and Lake James resident Mike McBride, the day will feature old boats, old motors and old cars. Added attractions include the Angola Art Guild, which will display and sell art at the show. Dave's Lake Shack will serve beverages, and the Jimmerson Lake Association will cook chicken, both back from last year.
“We plan on having the old classic wood and fiberglass boats,” said McBride, adding the group hoped to have more than the 38 boat entries of last year. “While various boats are mainly made of mahogany, some of the skeletons (framework of the boats) are made of white oak.”
McBride said many of the wooden boat owners are baby boomers who grew up on a river or lake and knew these boats when they were young.
“As for myself, I was a woodworker for years and enjoyed the restoration part along with the usage of the craft, and of course, I love the fellowship of other wooden boaters and viewing all the beautiful boats at the wooden boat shows,” he said.
At the show the public is welcome to talk to the owners about their boats and restoration efforts, McBride said. The Antique Outboard Motor Club will even have a few classic outboard motors running.
“Last year when all the boats started their engines, what a sound that was,” McBride said. “The 'blub, blub, blub' reverberation of those old motors sure makes our generation – and older – smile. But the people standing behind the boats weren't smiling as much, since they got pretty wet!”
Wooden boat restoration is not a cheap hobby, McBride said, due to the variety of boats that are very expensive because of the limited production and style of certain crafts. Also, maintenance is a big issue as the craft needs to be varnished every three to five years and the paint on the bottom needs to be touched-up with routine cleaning.
According to Nancy McBride, the operations part is the same as with any boat: “It has to be winterized each fall by checking fluids and making sure the engine is drained or has antifreeze in it so it won't freeze,” She said.
Club member and Fort Wayne resident Jeff Funk has been a professional restorer and repairer of boats for more than 20 years and owns five wooden boats. Asked how much it cost to restore an old wooden boat, Funk said it could go anywhere from $1,000 up to and beyond $2 million.
“The most expensive boat we've done was about $125K – a 1929 24-foot Chris-Craft Triple Runabout,” Funk said, “and another expensive one we did was a 1955 21-foot Cobra, which was only made one year – 1955. That boat is also in the $125K range. Most of the boats we do run in the $30K-$50K range.”
The show also will feature the duo Jhonny and Sallie from the country music variety show “The Jhonny and Sallie Show.”