And so it was, as so it goes ! I do have to admit I was slightly apprehensive about attending this show as it seemed there wasn't as much interest from our members as I thought there might be ? Maybe it was because we weren't doing any actual boating like we do at so many of our meets ? Or maybe it was because there was a registration form to fill out in order to participate ? Or maybe it was all the rain we've had that DAMPENED ( pun intended ) the spirits ? What ever the reason all I can say is I was wrong !
The hour was about 6:30 Saturday morning, I had loaded the truck and boat the night before as I'm sure our other members that came did also. So being ready to go at that early hour all I really needed was the morning stimulation of a cup of Java to start me on my way, a quick stop at the corner Speedway provided me with the motivation.
The drive down to Portage lakes is a fairly familiar and an easy one that takes about an hour + - depending on the traffic. I arrived at the Pics restaurant ( our set up location ) hoping to meet up with some of the other guys that had registered to attend. If you've never been to this particular area of the lakes and weren't familiar with the docks and surrounding patios of the restaurants, it's hard to imagine or describe exactly what is there, even though our coordinator and President of the local NCO Chapter of ACBS, Dave Nau, had done it in detail, it was still a bit of a surprise when I arrived. And may have been the other part of my apprehension. When I arrived and walked down to the dock area I was greatly relieved to see John Hagerman unloading his car of the motors he'd brought. John knows the area very well and I was hoping he would be there to lead us over to the launch ramp ! Once we unloaded the Banner, stands and poles, John suggested we take the boats to the ramp to launch as Dave had asked if we would have all the boats at the docks and tied up by 8:30.
I will try to describe the layout of the area. Picture a four story building (the Pics restaurant ) located on the water with a curved dock area that can accommodate about 50 + - boats tied up in the slips. A curved cement walk way at the water edge with a low 3ft high rock wall about 6 - 8Ft wide behind it boarders most of the area of the docks, with a couple patios with tables and umbrellas where the restaurant is located. Dave had explained there would be an area that we would have on the patio where we could set up our display of Antique Outboards. Unfortunately, the restaurant decided to change plans a bit to accommodate the expected crowds and filled the area with more tables and umbrellas ! Dave and their team of NCO members figured out a great alternative location for our display that worked out very nicely ! Behind the walkway wall is a stone section that was wide enough to set up about a dozen + outboards with our Banner behind the motors ! It worked out great !
John lead us to the launch Ramp area where we met Paul Wood with his boat and a load of motors on board. Once on the water we proceeded to the Pics Restaurant area, It is a no wake area all the way over to the restaurant and takes about 20 -30 minutes to get there ! John had brought his Peterborough boat, the Maggie, with his beautiful "58" 18hp Evinrude ! Paul had his LoanStar with a Mercury 9.8 and I had my Arkansas Traveler with my freshly rebuilt Oliver 15. A couple of our other members that brought their boats were, Al Gammon with his fiberglass boat with one of his 100hp Merc's, and Mike Conner with his aluminum fishing boat and his 25hp Mercury outboard. The ride over to the dock area was very relaxing as the sun was shinning and you could tell it was going to be a beautiful day !
As we arrived at the dock area the NCO members had directed us to the docks that we were assigned. The public had already arrived even though we were there slightly ahead of schedule or maybe close ! John and I had premium locations front and center which was fine for John's Maggie but my old Ark was not a spit and polished show boat, with peeling paint, rough wood gunwales, dents and dings in it's aluminum, and the Old Oliver with it's faded paint, it looked a bit out of place between all the Mahogany and fiberglass beauties ! But Dave had said they wanted boats that you might have seen back in the early days when Portage Lakes were mostly undeveloped ! So maybe they thought the old Ark fit the picture ! They had placed me parallel to the wall right behind Dave's beautiful 15 ft MFG's with it's 35hp Mercury ! While I was tying up to keep from hitting Dave's boat a couple people stopped by asking about the old Oliver wanting to know what kind of motor it was as they had never seen one before ! And that my friends is what cinched it for me, we were in the right place at the right time with the right boat and motor !
The show consisted of many Beautiful Wooden boats, Century's, ChristCraft's Peterborough's and many FiberGlass Outboard powered boats some I had never seen before ! Being the show's featured Hi-light was Outboard Motor powered Boats, my feeling is it was a total success and if asked to join with the NCO chapter again I think it would be an honor !
We will be posting pictures and video's to our WRC web site, wrcoutboards.org as soon as we can get them in there ! Hope to see you all at out next meet at jack Deck's !
Till then, Remember ~ Keep the Blue Smoke Flowing