Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016
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Fans of classic wooden boats relish the ride

About 100 pre-1970 watercraft on view in the Marina District

  • Dart-speedboat-at-boat-show

    A Dart, a speedboat made in Toledo between 1928 and 1933, draws some attention from passers-by at the boat show Saturday. The Dart manufacturing plant was located on Summit Street.

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  • 1915-Mosquito-gunboat-Pat-Joe-Waldvogel

    Pat Waldvogel, left, and his brother, Joe, look over a 1915 Mosquito gunboat on display during the fifth annual Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show at the Toledo Maritime Center in East Toledo.

    <The Blade/Lori King
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1915-Mosquito-gunboat-Pat-Joe-Waldvogel

Pat Waldvogel, left, and his brother, Joe, look over a 1915 Mosquito gunboat on display during the fifth annual Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show at the Toledo Maritime Center in East Toledo.

The Blade/Lori King
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John Detzer of Maumee described the allure of the gleaming wooden-hull boats filling the docks at the Toledo Maritime Center in two words: the ride.

“It’s a heavier boat,” he said, standing next to his 26-foot 1969 Lyman Offshore. “They don’t bounce. They just cut through the waves.”

His was one of about 100 boats from 1970 or earlier on display Saturday at the fifth annual Toledo Antique & Classic Boat Show, which continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday off Front Street in the Marina District.

Among the stars of the show were a number of Toledo-made Dart speedboats, which were built between 1928 and 1933 by the Dart Boat Co. at a plant on Summit Street.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to see more pictures from the boat show

Jack and Liz Speck of St. Clair, Mich., were admiring a fully restored 26-foot Dart at the show. The Specks have owned their own 26-footer since 1976 but didn’t bring it to the show this year.

“It’s fun to see something restored so beautifully,” Mrs. Speck said.

Mr. Speck said the Darts — which were custom-built — were perfectly suited to Lake Erie.

“Lake Erie is shallow. It gets rough, so you have to have something that can take that,” he explained. “The Dart is a pretty well-built boat.”

Sponsored by Ramsey Brothers Restorations, the Great Lakes Historical Society, and the S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker Boat Museum, formerly the S.S. Willis B. Boyer, the boat show has been growing each year since it began in 2007, said Paul LaMarre III, manager of maritime affairs for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

The port authority and the Great Lakes Historical Society are working on a plan to establish the National Great Lakes Museum at the Toledo Maritime Center. As part of the plan, the Schoonmaker will be relocated from International Park to the Maritime Center, where it will be visible from I-280.

“Our goal is to create the Smithsonian of Great Lakes history here,” Mr. LaMarre said.

Chris Gillcrist, executive director of the Great Lakes Historical Society, said the group hopes eventually to bring 40,000 to 60,000 visitors a year to the museum.

“There’s this great history here, and we’re bound and determined to make sure every American knows about it,” he said.

Dart-speedboat-at-boat-show

A Dart, a speedboat made in Toledo between 1928 and 1933, draws some attention from passers-by at the boat show Saturday. The Dart manufacturing plant was located on Summit Street.

THE BLADE/LORI KING
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Visitors to the boat show could take a free shuttle to the Schoonmaker, which is undergoing restoration work. Mr. LaMarre said it will be the last opportunity to tour the lake freighter this year.

Saturday’s sunshine and blue skies made the boat show particularly appealing. With music by Ragtime Rick and the Chefs of Dixieland wafting through the summer air, visitors were taking in the boats, cool refreshments, and a few more unusual sights.

Bill Hill of Temperance was getting plenty of looks — and questions — from people checking out his 1947 Fleet Cabin Car, which was hitched to his 1949 Ford “Woody” station wagon.

The Cabin Car, an all-wood vintage camping trailer, was manufactured after World War II when metal was still scarce. Forget the flat-screen TV, shower, and air-conditioning. The trailer had a simple lounging area, cabinets, and a rear storage compartment.

It suits Mr. Hill just fine.

“They just have a warmth to them,” he said. “It’s cool. It’s got a design that brings you back to a day when times were simple.”

Kelly Sisung of Carleton, Mich., was sprawled out on an extra-small ice boat next to her own 12-foot wooden ice boat.

“We sail on the ice,” she explained, summing up what the boat does.

A member of the Toledo Yacht Club, Ms. Sisung, 22, said she’s been sailing on the ice all her life, mostly with her father, Dennis, off Maumee Bay in Point Place. They enjoy coming to the antique boat show every summer.

“This is my Dad’s fourth year,” she said. “It’s interesting. We get some really cool stuff here.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-724-6129

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