‘These Are Classic’

Antique Boat Society To Host Annual Show

The “Margaret” is a 1938 Hacker-Craft Triple Cockpit owned by David Lawson Jr. Originally purchased by his father: David Lawson Sr., the boat will run under its own power for the first time during the Chautauqua Lake Antique & Classic Boat Show. P-J photos by William Mohan

BEMUS POINT – An annual event will include some unique boats this weekend.

As part of the 21st annual Chautauqua Lake Antique & Classic Boat Show, more than 40 boats are expected to be on display Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to boats, there will also be events throughout the day including a basket auction, voting for the best boat, vendors and similar activities. The show is hosted by the Chautauqua Lake Twin Tier Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will involve vessels of all motors, sails and horsepower.

“Right now we have 31 boats (registered),” CLTT chairwoman Diana Hopfinger said. “We’ll have some people who will just watch the weather and they will just show up.”

While the boats will be on Chautauqua Lake, activities will also be held in Lakeside Park between the Hotel Lenhart and the Village Casino.

Sail and motor boats will be among the types participating.

“These are antique and classic boats so they are typically older boats,” Hopfinger said.

The ACBS classifications for boats and their motors falls into five categories and are based on their manufacturing years.

Historic boats are designated as boats built up to and including the year 1918. Antique boats are described as being built between 1919 and 1942. Classic boats have been manufactured between 1943 and 1975. Late classics are boats built after 1975 and including the 25 years prior to the current year. Contemporary boats are wooden boats built in the last 25 years.

In addition, ACBS also designates boats as preserved or restored in two distinct categories. Preserved boats are classified as having retained more than 60% of their original wood in their decks and hulls. Restored boats are designated as having less than 60% of their original wood.

Registration for the boat show will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at a designated tent in Lakeside Park. Dock Space will be available at the Village Casino and CLTT docks near the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry.

CLTT members will be on hand at the boat launch at the Bemus Point Fishing Access Site to assist registrants in entry and exit of boats from the lake. Members will also be available to assist participants at the Village Casino Docks. The show will begin at 10 a.m. Displays will be in water at the Village Casino docks and on land in Lakeside Park.

Other launch sites for the event are located at 19 Avon Ave. and 21 Boulevard Ave. in Celoron, 531 E. Terrace Ave. in Lakewood and 4459 Route 430 in Bemus Point.

Other events include a basket auction and vendors in boat chroming, scenic photos and acrylic painting. The Lawson Center will also have a booth at the event.

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A Chinese basket auction involving 40 baskets and ballots for a People’s Choice award will begin acceptance at 10 a.m.

At 1 p.m, a youth judging program for children ages 8 to 14 will take place. This event is designed to associate youth with the history of antique and classic boats. The participants will each rate a boat based on various details of each craft and through meeting with their owners. Each participant will receive a hat, T-shirt, and badge from Hagerty Marine Insurance. Qualifying participants are asked to meet at the CLTT information booth before 1 p.m.

At 2 p.m., a show of horsepower will take place with each boat from lowest to highest.

At 3:15 p.m., the drawing for the Chinese auction and the results for the People’s Choice Award will be drawn.

Participants will be from Chautauqua County region as well as from out of town. Among the boat manufacturers highlighted this year in addition to Chris-Craft are Starcraft, Trojan, Giesler and Garwood.

“We’re excited with the different boats that are coming this year,” Hopfinger said.

The feature boat for this year’s show is a 1938 Hacker-Craft Triple Cockpit by David Lawson Jr. called “Margaret.” The boat was originally built in Chautauqua County using plans created from Hacker-Craft. However, what makes the boat unique is that for the first time in its life it will move in water under its own power. The only time it was in the water was when it was towed between Bemus Point and Jamestown on Chautauqua Lake for restoration.

Asked when the boat came into his family, Lawson Jr. said that he was uncertain of the circumstances. However, the family is certain that they came from the founder of the Hacker-Crafts, John Hacker. At the time, Hacker was selling plans for boats to make ends meet during the Great Depression.

“I know he (Lawson Sr.) had plans of some sort from John Hacker. My dad probably saw an ad in Read-It Magazine and bought them from there,” Lawson Jr. said.

Named after Margaret Lawson (David Jr.’s mother), the boat is 22 feet long. It is powered by a 1926 Scripps Model F-6 six cylinder, 330 cubic inch engine which is capable of 133 horsepower.

The engine was built in Detroit by Hacker and was one of five to six that was delivered in 1926.

A unique feature of “Margaret” is that it’s steering wheel is located on the left hand side of the boat. Normally, the steering wheel is on the right side of a boat.

After being in storage for nearly eight decades, the boat was brought to the Lawson Center and restoration commenced with Lawson Jr. and help from Lawson Center volunteers, Andy Robinson, Tom Calalesina, John Marsh, Craig Dininny and Jerry Stanton. It was partially restored in Jamestown before being brought to Bemus Point.

Today the boat is in museum quality and is awaiting its final application of chrome to the front hull area as of press time.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Bemus Bay Water Toys, Holiday Harbor, Lawson Boat and Motor, Century 21, Chautauqua Brick, State Farm Insurance, Davidson’s Restaurant, Evans Wines and Liquors, Stanton’s Garage Inc. and The Village Casino.

For more information on the annual CLTT boat show, visit cltt-acbs.org, email 2019boatshowchair@gmail.com or find CLTT-ACBS on Facebook.