Port Huron Boat Show History

2017 Port Huron Boat Show - Post Show Wrap-up

We could not have asked for a more perfect day for a boat show as the sun shone and the temps stayed in the 80’s with a nice breeze! A perfect September day in Michigan! With an increased number of registered boats and a record number of free boat rides (416!) all indications point toward a spectacular showing in store for next year when Port Huron plays host to the 2018 International Boat Show and Pre-Events, “Boat the Blue”!

Practice for the 2018 International Boat Show went off without a hitch!

The Michigan Chapter’s Port Huron Antique and Classic Boat Show organizers pulled out all the stops this year and is in full "practice mode" to ensure a smooth and enjoyable time for all boaters and participants in next year's 2018 International Boat Show in Port Huron. Participants enjoyed glorious weather and over 50 registered boats of a great variety. 416 free classic boat rides were enjoyed by the public. Big thanks to our captains who volunteered their boats, fuel and time to introduce people to the wonder of a classic boat ride. Not to be outdone by the runabouts giving free rides, the classic cruisers offered free tours during the show exposing people to the "other world" that is a classic liveaboard cruiser! Participants also enjoyed the ability to walk just a few minutes into town for restaurants, shopping and taverns. The Pavillion and vendor tents anchored the show along with a live band with music and announcements piped along the entire length of the show docks.

The day went by in a blink! We are so happy there will be two days of boat show plus pre-events to fully absorb all the goodness of Port Huron and the beautiful surrounding waters next year. Hope to see you "Boatin' the Blue" next year! www.boattheblue.com

2016 Port Huron Boat Show

The Port Huron Boat Show for 2016 will be held September 9-10 the weekend after Labor Day at the River Street Marina on the Black River in Port Huron. Come get a sneak preview of the home of the 2018 International Show. This year's show will once again feature free boat rides, toy boats for kids to paint and play, knot tying lessons and an after glow party at our brand new pavilion. We are also pleased to announce that the ratio stations WPHM and SWAQ will be on site to broadcast our show to the public.

This should be an exciting event as the new pavilion will be ready, construction is scheduled to begin in April. This new facility will greatly enhance the boat show, providing a covered space for many activities during the show. Two members of the Michigan Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and Port Huron residents, LeRoy Stevens and Mark Walker are largely responsible for this terrific project. It will be a great asset to Port Huron for many years to come.

Activities for boaters kick off on Friday morning September 9th with a drone photo shoot featuring vintage boats and continue in the afternoon with a cruise down the St Clair River to Marine City for a presentation by Gary Kohs on his Titanic model and then to St Clair for dinner at the Voyageur.

The public boat show is Saturday, September 10 at the River Street Marina on the Black River between the 7th and 10th Street bridges. Again this year free antique boat rides will be offered from 11 am to 2 pm. This has been done for the last two years and has proved to be very popular with the public.

The feature boat for this year's show is the Chris Craft Commander. These are a range of fiberglass boats, mostly cruisers made by Chris Craft. The 38' Commander Express Cruiser was the pivotal boat in the development of fiberglass technology by Chris Craft. It was the first of all fiberglass cruisers made by Chris Craft. Its production bridged the gap from the past to the future. It proved to be a tremendous success for Chris Craft resulting in the production of subsequent sedan and sport fisherman models. Ultimately, many different models of Commanders were built some as small as 19' but most were cruisers all the way up to 47'.

The 38' Commander was built in 1963 and debuted at the 1964 New York Boat Show where it caused a sensation. At the time, none of the other main line motor yacht builders were building in fiberglass. The Commanders were known for having " bullet proof " hulls. They were probably over engineered as Chris Craft wanted to make sure that this new product innovation was successful. Many of these boats are still in service today, more than 50 years after they were built and the bottoms are still standing up.

2016 Winner's List

Class Boat Owner
Mayor’s Award “The Old Lady”, 1957 30’ Chris Craft Sea Skiff Geof Kusch
Power Squadron Commander’s Choice “Maiden Michigan”, 2013 16’ home built Dave Higby
Michigan Chapter Commodore’s Choice “Jazzy”, 1948 17’ Chris Craft Deluxe Runabout Steven & Meladee Tuzinowski
People’s Choice “In the Mood”, 1939 17’ Chris Craft Double Cockpit Runabout Mark Edmundson
Best of Fiberglass “Glass of 68”, 2009 23’ Adams Craft Custom Racer John Adams

2016 Schedule:

Friday, September 9th pre-events schedule:
  • Drone Photo Shoot - Contact Chris Herbert at herbcm@gmail.com or 810-434-1525 to participate
  • 7AM: Captains meeting at the pavilion at River St. Marina
  • 7:30AM: Depart for the drone photo shoot
  • 8AM - 10AM: Drone photo shoot will take place under the Bluewater Bridge

Pre-Event Titanic model presentation and dinner at the Voyageur - Contact Lee Stevens at 810-987-3755 or ljstevens@stevensarchitects.com
  • 1PM: Captains Meeting for pre-event at the pavilion at the River St. Marina
  • 1:30PM: Depart River St. Marina for cruise to Marine City. You may go by boat or car.
  • 3PM: Titanic - building of an icon exhibit and presentation by Gary Kohs @ The Mariner Theater
  • 4:30PM: Depart for St. Clair

5PM: Dinner at the Voyageur. Seating is limited to 60 people. Advanced reservations are required by completing the registration form on the website or by contacting Lee Stevens.
View the Gallery


Check out the post-show report by Greg Lewandowski with pictures by Chris and Craig Herbert on Woody Boater:

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Post-Show write-up

The Blue Water Antique and Classic Boat Show (soon to be officially titled the Port Huron Boat Show) is in the history books and was a great success thanks to the dedicated planning committee and volunteers! Free boat rides for over 200 people were a hit as was the live music. The excitement is building as this will be the location for the 2018 Annual Meeting and International Boat Show - we will be ready! See you next year!

2015 Port Huron Boat Show

The 2015 Port Huron show began with a cruise down the St Clair River from Port Huron to St Clair for dinner at the Voyageur. As we were sitting in the Voyageur, we saw one of the boats in our group that had left later drifting down the river. The boat had engine trouble and was drifting with the current. You all know what a current there is in the river. Mark Walker ran to his Sea Skiff and was joined by several other members and motored out to take him in tow. Towing a boat in no easy matter and at times the towed boat has a mind of its own. In any event, they managed to get the boat back into the St Clair marina.

For the Saturday Show, the weather was great except for a short rain shower. Some 55 boats were registered. In the show last year, free boat rides were offered and over 200 rides were given. The practice was continued this year and 160 rides were given. The number was down due to the weather. The boat rides were a very popular item and for many of the riders it was not only their first time in a classic boat but the first time in a boat period.

The theme for this year's show was race boats and we had Miss America X in attendance along with 2 modern off shore race boats. The contrast between Miss America X and the modern boats was quite striking.

Winner's List

Class Boat Owner
Mahogany Outfitters Award for the best fiberglass boat N/A Gil Nichols
Power Squadron Award 1947 23’ Hacker Craft, Current Fling Jon Weller
Commodore’s Award 1949 30’ Hacker Craft, Loup Garou Dave and Julie Schaitberger
People’s Choice (a tie) 35’ John’s Bay / 23’ Chris Craft, Ya Ba Dee Pete and Leanne Wicken / Nicodemus and Mark and Gail Walker