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Thousand Islands Boating – Classic Wooden Boats

May 18, 2012 by Mike

Wooden boat - 1940's Richardson

1940’s Richardson “White Cap” (photo used with permission)

You know, of course, from this blog that I spent years as a kid with my family on a steel boat at Calumet Island marina in the 60’s.  That doesn’t mean, however, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of wooden boats.  I did, and still do.  Which is what leads me to an interesting crossing of paths recently.  Bored one day, I was searching online for pictures of wooden boats, especially cabin cruisers.  You know them – Chris Craft, Richardson, Penn Yan, Pacemaker, Owens and others of the era.  Beautiful boats, beautiful in design and painstakingly crafted.  The look endures today, even among scores of capable fiberglass and composite designs.  Some fine examples of these classic wooden boats can be seen each year at antique boat gatherings such as the New England Chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society’s Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, and Clayton’s Antique Boat Museum Antique Boat Show & Auction.  So as I scrolled through pictures and sites, I came across a listing for a “1940 Richardson Used Classic Wooden Boat For Sale” and that’s where I stopped.  I gazed at the listing with photo, thinking “I remember boats like this in the 1000 Islands”.  I looked further down the page to discover her name – “White Cap”.  Something seemed very familiar.  I visited a page in this site I had written years ago and looked down the list of boat names I remembered as a kid.  There she was – the White Cap.  Some 40 to 50 years later, this beautiful piece of history crossed my path again.  I stared and drifted back – I can still picture Calumet Island marina as it was then, with so many families on so many boats on such a fine place at such a fine time.  I don’t have many pictures of the island from back then, but in my head I can see the boats, recall many of the names, and now thanks to the internet can again see a boat built in the 40’s, remembered from the 60’s, that’s still around in 2012.  My father’s boat, his steel boat, was surrounded by wooden boats at Calumet, like the White Cap, and it makes me happy to know that at least one of them is still around.

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