The 35th annual Antique and Classic Boat Show was held Saturday, June 25, at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club. The judges meandered through the crowds of spectators, interviewing skippers about their boats and the restoration and preservation process. Owners of classic and antique boats to go great lengths and expenses to locate original parts needed to maintain their crafts. For many, the hobby is more like a second job, with the dividends being a personal victory. The yacht club grounds were teeming with excitement as owners of the 40 boats displayed in the show, which was sponsored by the Lake Hopatcong Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, showcased their vessels. The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club has hosted the show for the past decade, opening their doors to the public.
“To host this event is one of the highlights of the club. We open our doors to the public, inviting them in to see our beautiful and historical club house and grounds as well as the boats in the show,” said Ken Heaton, Vice Commodore. “There is nothing like that view of the lake from the yacht club grounds.”
Heaton and his wife, Cindy, also had a boat displayed at the show. In fact, the couple’s 1947, 18-foot deluxe utility Chris Craft named "Uncle Charlie" won in the Best Memorabilia category.
Special features of the Heatons’ boat is the decorated interior, complete with zebra-print carpet, leopard pillows, and buck skin pelt engine covers, including moose antlers.
The Heatons believe they are the third owners. They named the boat after Cindy’s uncle Charlie who gave the boat to them as a gift on Ken’s 40th birthday.
“He didn’t just have the boat delivered to us, he actually drove the boat himself, right up to the dock. We were so surprised,” said Cindy. “We later found out that the original owner was also named Charlie and died at a young age. His family was very moved by the name we chose…. So it was a fitting name for our boat.”
Some of the boats on display Saturday were original to Lake Hopatcong. Most were wooden lake boats, and all have their own story and history.
Sam Hoagland, member of the Lake Hopatcong chapter of Antique and Classic Boat Society, is the third owner of a 1913 Mathews, Launch wooden boat whose longevity—in the wooden boat world, that is—includes some many years on Tupper Lake, Upper Saranac Lake and Lake Hopatcong. Hoagland’s prized vessel is rumored to have provided enjoyable lake rides to at least three U.S. Presidents over the many decades.
Best in Show went to Donald Ploetner’s "Sophisticated Lady."
Best Restored was awarded to Natasha Kadimik’s "Mr. White."
Best Preserved went to Seth and Renee Katz for their "Ms. Mohawk."