The Michigan Chapter’s 34rd Annual Where It All Began Boat Show will once again be held at the Algonac Harbour Club, home to the original Algonac Plant for Chris-Craft in Algonac, Michigan. Participants will enjoy three days of classic boats and classic boating in the historic waters of Algonac, the St. Clair River and Harsen’s Island.
Planning is in process, we will be announcing the featured boat soon. Registration forms will be available in the May Channel Marker and will once again be offered online for those who prefer that option.
Hope to see you there!
Fickle weather always plays a part in the June Algonac Boat Show. 2018 wasn’t any different. The weekend forecast promised uncertainty. Will it rain, or will it shine? Friday morning broke overcast and calm. Registration opened promptly at 8:00am and the show was on. After a Captain’s meeting under the Harbour Club water tower at 10:00am and conducted by John Adams, 19 boats and over 50 hearty souls started out on a 30 mile poker run throughout the St. Clair Flats. Finishing up at the Idle Hour Yacht Club on the South Channel of the St. Clair River all enjoyed lunch and cookies before making their way back to their wells and taking a short break before the Captain’s Welcome Party.
Although originally scheduled to be held outside under the water tower, the updated forecast of rain dictated moving the event into the building that was the original cruiser assembly line when Chris Craft occupied the premises. And the rains did come. Undeterred, captains, their families, and their guests enjoyed a well thought out and expertly planned event of light hors ’de oeuvres and desserts hosted by club member Joanie Graham and her staff. With background music provided from Roy Schoenherr’s playlist, it was a nice end to a busy day.
An overnight rain and early morning drizzle ushered show day in on Saturday. Vendors and Captain’s alike watched the skies hoping for sun. The radar images looked promising. And sure enough, the sun came out and it got hot. The show also heated up as captains wiped off finishes, more boats arrived, and the public came out to enjoy beautiful classic watercraft.
We were fortunate to have several new and unique boats attend this year. Exceptional boats from Canada, Illinois, Minnesota, Florida, Ohio, and Georgia were in attendance. A 1929 Morton Johnson 46’ Step Cruiser that came up from Florida on her own bottom, a 2005 Hugh-Saint 36’ Hacker Commuter Replica from Georgia, and a beautifully restored 1936 Greavette Triple Cockpit Runabout from Minnesota were shown as well as a professionally restored Century Coronado Hardtop and an early Chris Craft Continental with fins.
With outboards being the featured boat this year quite a few aluminum Feathercraft boats also came in on Saturday. We were extremely glad they did. While it is impossible to mention everyone, all the boats were beautiful to see and it is obvious their owners take a lot of pride in their appearance. All captains this year were treated to a commemorative hat pin and a safety regulated throwable cushion emblazoned with our 40th anniversary logo commemorating the founding of our chapter in 1978.
Free shuttle service was provided by the Algonac Historical Society to area restaurants, museums, and other points of interest from the Harbour Club throughout the day. Other activities on Saturday included a morning coffee tent, DJ, marine vendors, fun for the kids under the water tower, and a station where young and old alike could practice shaping boat paddles with a spoke shave.
From 11am-2pm captains provided free boat rides and cruiser owners offered tours of their boats. The ladies had Ships Store well stocked with new merchandise and did a brisk business. At 3:30pm winners of the poker run were announced. Four aces snagged first place and a $100 Visa gift card and a full house captured second for a $50 Visa card.
Because of the upcoming International Show in ten weeks, a non-judged show was planned. A few fun awards were passed out as well as “Best Outboard” and “Best of Show”.
“Miss Muskoka” entered by Bob Shaddock and David Watts was awarded both “Captain’s Choice” and “Veteran’s Choice”. The former was voted on by fellow captains and the latter chosen by veterans from VFW Post 3901 who each year graciously preside over our opening flag raising ceremony.
“Pete’s Choice”, selected by our hosts Pete and Carol Beauregard was the 1929 Morton Johnson step cruiser owned by Lou Jezdimir and the “Commodore’s Choice” selected by Commodore Jack Warren went to James and Rose Sanders for their beautiful black-hulled 1973 Lyman.
“Best Outboard” was selected by a three man committee of senior club members and was awarded to “Silver Spoon”, a 1957 Feathercraft owned by Chad and Kimberly Davis. The highest honor, “Best of Show” was selected by a panel of Past Commodores and was awarded to Will Stout and his classy Hugh-Saint Commuter, “Rumrunner”. The rain gods thankfully held off until about 7:00pm allowing everyone who was going home to load their gear and depart.
Sunday morning dawned cloudy and hazy with the river smooth for the run to the Old Club. Because of impending rainstorms, many travelled over by car but five skippers and their passengers donned foul-weather gear and shoved off for the forty five minute ride down the river. Running five wide and loafing along we were a classic site to behold, reminding all of us how special our area really is. When “Rumrunner” put the throttle down and left us all in his wake, it was a glorious sight to see as nothing was left but mist. At fifty plus MPH he ran circles around the rest of us for the remainder of the way to the Old Club.
After a fine brunch provided by Megan and the Old Club staff, guest speaker Dave Wrzesinski offered a nice presentation on some of the history of wooden hydroplane building and testing in the Saginaw Bay area including some old film clips from the 50’s and 60’s. At the conclusion of Dave’s talk, Commodore Jack Warren thanked the Old Club and all of our guests for attending with the reminder that in ten weeks we will do it all again at “Boat the Blue”.
The boat run back upriver to the Harbour Club was a wet one with rain most of the way but no one minded. After all, it was another fine ending to the Algonac Boat Show, spending time with good friends and making new ones.
Carl Garmhaus, Show Chairman