2015 Antique Wooden Boat / Porsche Show
April 18, 2015
By John Budinich
Photographs by Peter Wrenn, Ed Macatuno & John Budinich
Group Photo of Porsche Crew
Group Photo of Porsche Crew
Amazing Woodwork
Amazing Woodwork
Porsches on Display
Porsches on Display

April 18 was the date for members of PCA to join members of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society for the 4th annual combination Antique Wooden Boat & Porsche show at Hartwell Marina in Hartwell, GA. Porsche owners appreciate classic lines, timeless design and exceptional engineering. With this in mind, it was a natural fit to combine Stuttgart's designs with those of Gar Wood, Chris Craft, Arista Craft and other famous wooden boat builders.

Meeting in Anderson
Meeting in Anderson

Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake, covering 56,000 acres with 962 miles of shoreline in South Carolina and Georgia. It is one of the biggest and most popular lakes in the southeast. The Antique Wooden Boat show has been one of the major events on the boat show circuit since 1993. This was the fourth year that members of the Carolinas and Peachstate Regions of PCA were invited to participate. The main event was held on Saturday, and started early as PCA members from across North and South Carolina gathered for breakfast in Anderson, South Carolina. The morning started chilly and overcast and we hoped the forecasts were wrong for rain throughout the day. The caravan of 10 Porsches then drove along some interesting two-lane roads of western South Carolina and around the eastern edge of Lake Hartwell in Georgia. Even with a few intermittent showers, spirits remained high for a good day.

Staging at Belks
Staging at Belks

We met other members of the Carolinas and Peachstate Regions of PCA at the staging area in the Belk shopping center parking lot, two miles from the marina. While the PCA group was gathering, Hartwell marina became the home for 48 antique and classic boats.

At 9:30 am, the Porsche group formed up for the drive to the marina. The show organizers arranged for a police escort down the main road in Hartwell, through the town square and into the marina. It's not often you get to see and hear 29 Porsches roaring down a two lane road with a police escort. Many thanks go out to the Hartwell Police for their assistance in keeping the parade together and for seeing what the Porsches could do! At 10:00 am, the show officially opened to the public. The Porsches were arranged in front of the marina building for the "land" portion of the "land and sea" display.

Elegance on the Water
Elegance on the Water

Things started looking up as around 10:45 the sun came out and temperatures warmed up. The rains held off until after the show was over, which made for a very enjoyable day. Over the course of the day, there were the Antique and Classic boats to view, Porsches of all years and models to check out ranging from Tracy Pellett's 1956 Speedster to Ed Macatuno's 2015 911 GT3 and PCA members and boat owners to meet. Other activities included a youth cardboard model "Float-a-Boat" challenge, youth judging of antique boats, radio-controlled boats for kids of all ages to test their watercraft skills (provided by Southeast Modelers), food vendors to sample and boat rides on the lake. PCA members were offered rides on a number of the antique & classic boats in the show. The boat's owners showed members how well the boats performed and provided an opportunity to step back in time on boats from the teens through the 50's. There was even a boat cruising the lake that was built in 1903. When not on the water or on the docks answering questions, many of the boat owners were in the display area in front of the marina examining the Porsches and asking owners about their vehicles. Almost all models of Porsches were represented and we heard lots of positive comments from the boat owners and show attendees.

The Mighty Miss America IX
The Mighty Miss America IX

Now let’s talk about some of the "Stars of the Show". From the boat side, once again the "Miss America IX" was on display and plying the waters of Lake Hartwell. This mahogany Gar Wood boat was built in 1930 and was the first boat to break the 100 mph barrier - in 1931! The boat was built and driven by Gar (Garfield) Wood himself, over a measured mile course in two directions. Current owner Charles Mistele, who has owned the boat for 45 years, explained how the record was set using two experimental twelve-cylinder Packard engines making a total of 2200 hp. The boat now sports two GM motors making a total of 1100 hp, because the Packard engines were appropriated by the US Government and used as prototypes for the PT boats in World War II. Those motors were not returned after the war but the boat is still very fast to this day, capable of hitting triple-digit speeds. When Charles started it up and took it out on the lake, the sound could be heard and felt throughout the marina.

Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties
1958 Chris Craft
1958 Chris Craft

Another beautiful example of fine craftsmanship was the Holiday 25 on display. This boat displayed exceptional woodwork, including the compound curves present in the roofline of the all-wood cabin. It also had multiple inlays of various colored woods in the main cabin area and on the table in the aft section of the boat.

Porsches on Display 1
Porsches on Display 1
Porsches on Display 3
Porsches on Display 3

From the Porsche side, every one of the vehicles in attendance was special. The GT3s, Turbos, Boxsters and Caymans on hand, drew many positive comments for their sleek lines that mirrored some of the lines of the boats on-hand. Even my 944 received some positive comments from show attendees. I would like to personally thank all of the Carolinas and Peachstate members for bringing their Porsches out to the show and answering all the questions the attendees had about the cars.

All in all, the event was another great success from both the boat club and PCA perspective. Mother Nature even cooperated by allowing the sun to come out for the duration of the event when all indications were for rain. The Porsches and boats were a perfect combination and as I said in the opening of this article, both appealed to the same basic interests. The officers of the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society feel the combination of their boats and our Porsches are a perfect mix. They have asked us to make this event a permanent addition to our calendar.

If you are in the area of Hartwell, Georgia next April, look for this multi-region event on the Carolinas Region, Peachstate Region and Zone 3 calendars. The combination of engineering excellence, graceful lines and timeless design applies equally well to the Antique and Classic boats and to our beloved Porsches. Additional photos from this event can be found on the Carolina's Region website at www.carolinas-pca.com.