MILLERSPORT – Fortunately, boats are waterproof. Afternoon storms squelched some of the attendance for Saturday’s Antique Boats on the Canal event in Millersport, but Buckeye Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society President Keith Eschbaugh considers the event a success. “We’re seeing growth over last year,” he said. “Early in the morning, the crowds were there.” The event, which used to take place at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club, featured dozens of classic wooden boats and classic automobiles.
“The Antique and Classic Boat Society would like to extend a hearty thank you to everyone involved in the planning and execution of Saturday’s boat and car show along the Millersport canal,” said Eschbaugh. “This event was possible through countless hours of work by volunteers who planned and met for almost a year.”
Eschbaugh thanked Shawn Carter and the Millersport Lions Club, Millersport Fire Chief Bill Yates and fire department personnel, Millersport Police Chief John Shirk and officers, the Millersport Village Council, Millersport merchants, the Buckeye Lake Museum, Buckeye Lake Marina, Arshott, chief judge Michael Lloyd, and the other judges from the ACBS North Coast chapter— Ryan Reeb, Jeff Watson, and Belinda Runkle.
“Kudos to the boat committee and everyone who participated or volunteered because without their assistance and support, Saturday’s event would not have been possible,” said Eschbaugh. He said most of the participants who displayed boats and cars stayed until the rain, answering questions and interacting with crowd of approximately 300. “A fun time was had by all who braved the humidity and rain to attend the boat and car show on the canal,” said Eschbaugh.
Boat awards were presented to the winners at a reception in the American Legion Hall. The awards included: Most Original/ Best Preserved was awarded to Jared Eschbaugh for a 1948 Old Town canoe; Jeff Runkle received awards for Best Post- War Utility for a 1962 Chris Craft (Peaches), Best Post-War Runabout and Committee’s Choice for a 1955 Chris Craft Capri (Princess), and a People’s Choice Award for a 1940 Chris Craft (Elizabeth’s Dream). The Captain’s Choice Award went to Ted and Connie Lewis for a 1947 Layman; Best Lyman was awarded to Bernie LeMay for a 1960 Lyman (Wood Vibrations); Mike Smith was awarded the Best Century for a 1958 Century (Termite’s Delight); Best Chris Craft was awarded to Mark Boyd for a 1947 Chris Craft Deluxe; Best Pre-War Runabout was awarded to Bruce Pickering for a 1936 Chris Craft (Liebechen); Best Outboard was awarded to Bob Haynes for a 1957 Sabre; Jason Hammond received a Best Non-Powered Award for a 1922 Thompson canoe; and Best Non-Wood was awarded to John Sproat for 1966 Sea Ray (Summer Wind). “For the first time, skippers voted and chose their favorite car, and this award went to Darrell Riggs,” said Eschbaugh. “Again, a huge thank you to everyone involved.”
Buckeye Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society member Dave Levacy estimated the crowd would’ve been closer to 1,000 if it weren’t for the storms. “Even with the rain, they did pretty well,” he said. Levacy was extremely happy the storms brought no hail, which could’ve been devastating to the boats and cars. He said the weather reports of storms kept some people who lived further away from participating. “There’s next year,” said Levacy, optimistically. Next year’s show is June 16 at the same location.
There will be another opportunity to view antique boats this summer during the annual Antique Boat Show Regatta at the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club on Saturday, Aug. 20. The regatta is free and open to the public.