EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects the names of Scott Ramsey's brothers.
There will be close to 100 gleaming beauties on display this weekend at the Toledo Yacht Club -- masterpieces of the unique craftsmanship of a bygone era, where the marriage of fine wood, chrome, and glass often resulted in a museum-quality union, regardless of the decades that have passed since these craft were first launched.
And there also will be one bedraggled looking old hulk at the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show -- a 1927 Dart that was likely once the preferred rig of a rum-runner, since its chrome had been painted black so the coast guard could not see it.
The Dart, built by a company that moved its operations from Lima to Summit Street in Toledo in 1928, is 22 feet long and essentially in its original, weathered, and aged condition. Still visible are the faded federal ID numbers, likely applied after the boat was confiscated on its final Prohibition-period booze run.
Every ding and dent is still there, and when she goes in the water at the show this weekend, Scott Ramsey of Ramsey Brothers Restorations in Toledo expects there will be a few leaks.
"We want people to see the character of these boats," said Ramsey, who, along with his brothers Dave and Chris, operates the restoration business and a brisk online trade in parts for antique boats.
"Since a lot of Darts were built here in Toledo, this is a really neat part of the city's background. There is a lot of waterfront history in this city, and we tend not to reflect on that real well."
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The boat show, in its sixth year, has championed that history, and attracted a larger flotilla each time. It quickly became about more than just fine, old boats.
Maritime memorabilia vendors and collectors are part of the event, as well as artisans that specialize in nautical-themed work. There also will be antique cars on display, live music throughout the weekend, and vintage raceboats.
"We expect there to be a very wide cross-section of boats, with some from the early 1900s up through some replicas, and a lot of connection with Toledo's boating history," Ramsey said. "Our whole vision is not to just promote antique boats, but to sell the fact that we are a riverfront community."
A 1930 Chris Craft will be one of the featured showpieces, as will a 1955 Correct Craft Atom Skier owned by Nate Duricek of Perrysburg. Duricek has restored several old boats, sharing the projects with his father, Chuck, and the pair took the winter of 2004-05 to bring a 1978 Ski Nautique back to life.
Nate Duricek found the Atom Skier in a garage in Findlay where it had been neglected for at least 20 years, rotting away and covered in raccoon droppings. It has been meticulously restored and is now used to pull skiers around on the weekends.
"You learn so much more about what you own when you do the work yourself," said Duricek, a Rossford native and St. John's graduate. "To take something that was really complete garbage and make it into something gorgeous again -- that is pretty cool. When you finish, it's almost like having a piece of art, but it's not hanging on the wall where no one can see it."
The Ramsey brothers, all Springfield High and University of Toledo grads, see some of the appeal of the older watercraft in the fact they are not perfect, assembly line cookie-cutter models, but each unique.
"We try and restore these boats as accurately as is possible, to preserve that particular era. And restoring these accurately will help get you the feel for what they ran like," Ramsey said. "A lot of people have the misconception that these were all precision made, but that's not the case. They are often temperamental, and all seem to have their own personalities."
Information and details on the Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show are available at the toledoboatshow.com Web site. Ramsey expects the show, which opens at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, to bring out a flood of antique boat owners and enthusiasts.
"It's surprising how many of them are around here, in this area. Some of these boats are really beautiful, and some of them just have a lot of character," Ramsey said. "These things just stand out, each in their own way."
GOOSE HUNT DRAWING: A lottery drawing will be held on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. for a special permit-only early goose hunt at Maumee Bay State Park. Interested hunters must submit a postcard to: Special Goose Hunt, Maumee Bay State Park, 1400 State Park Rd., Oregon, OH 43616. The hunts will be awarded to parties of two hunters per blind and take place from Sept. 10-12. Applicants need to include their name, address, and phone number, and the name and address of their hunting partner. Only one card per hunter will be accepted, and the winners will be notified by phone.
Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: email@example.com or 419-724-6068.