I love Ohio summers. The cruising events abound. The uniqueness of them is something we will now discover. It’s not just classic cars although those are plentiful. This weekend in August, along with classic cars, it was classic boats. Yes, old, well-taken-care of wood boats. Mostly Lymans but also Chris Crafts and others including an aluminum vessel or two.
Huron, Ohio has a very active public boat basin that includes an amphitheater/park, large parking lot and, of course, boat docks. Directly across from the moored Lake Erie Freighters (remember our blog on those freighters), the boat basin houses full time. summer boats. and special event boats. For 4th of July, River Fest, Christmas in July and this recent weekend the Classic Boat, well, cruise in.
There were boats parked on the grass on their trailers, boats docked in the slips, boats moored along the walls. Beautiful, classic boats everywhere. It was difficult to take it all in but I tried.
The first couple of trailer perched boats I came to were replicas of both of dad’s boats. He had a 13 ft Lyman for awhile and then upgraded to an 18 ft Lyman—-just like these two. I was ready for a boat ride!
We launched that 13 footer every weekend into the Rocky River. Dad would back it down the ramp into the water, jump out of the car and crank the boat off the trailer while I held the line, jump back into the car and pull the trailer out from under the boat. Good thing it was a small boat because I wasn’t that big to be holding the line. I was just the only one handy. I lost it more than once but there was always some gent around to rescue me, er, the boat.
Dad got tired of all the launching and after awhile he docked it at Eddy’s Fish Shack & Dock. Eddie was quite the character. He loved fish but people not so much. He didn’t even smile at little girls. But, off we would go from the launch or the dock onto Lake Erie.
One time we had guests and dad just wanted to take them out into the lake a very short ways so they could say they’d been there. It was rough and the waves were mighty high for such a little boat. Dad managed to bring it around to dive into the waves properly, we got sprayed, well ok, soaked, but he managed to get us back into the calm river safely. It was a bit tense and scary for awhile.
That might have been when he decided to get the 18 footer although 5 feet wouldn’t have made much difference in those waves. We trailed that boat up along the lakeshore to Vermilion, Huron and Catawba. Sometimes dad docked it in one of the rivers but more often we trailed to Catawba to meet up with friends who owned a 33 foot cabin cruiser much like this one without the mural.
We slept on the cruiser or in someone’s cottage. The cruiser would anchor in a cove and we’d water ski off the 18 footer. Water, sun and sand!
During the winters the boat would come home and be parked on its trailer in the garage. But before she got stowed for the season dad would scrap and paint the outside of that wood and treat the inside, bow and rails. I always assisted. It was a fun way to grow up.
Here are more samplings of the boats at the cruise in. The Lyman Boat Club folks were out in full force that weekend and having a great time with their beautiful wood boats along with some classic but not so wooden boats.
The walls were filled with cabin cruisers.
As unique as this Lyman Boat Cruise In weekend was, the boats had some outright shinier competition. Along with the collection of classic boats came a collection of our favs….yep…you guessed it! Classic cars. It was a hot day and the sun bounced off those spit-polished classics in blinding flashes. They were some of THE most beautiful classics I have ever seen anywhere. Enjoy feasting your eyes on them here. The first one is car AND boat! Put on your shades before viewing!
Remember our favorite classic muscle car? Just like moms. These are two different ones.
It doesn’t get much better than this! And at the end of the day you might think this last photo is representative. It’s actually the sun at dawn behind the Lake Erie Freighters out over the Huron Boat Basin.