by Timothy Straker member of the Water Wonderland chapter
Growing up in the 70’s on Buckeye Lake in Central Ohio, I was always around classic boats. Sayre Bros Marina on Buckeye Lake was one of the oldest Chris-Craft dealers in the nation. Over the years, countless numbers of wooden boats were lifted over the seawall and sent to boathouses around the lake. Our house was no exception. As a kid, my dad and I made frequent visits to the showroom in our Century Coronado and always made time for a visit with the owner, Bud Sayre.
In 1972, a boat showed up in the showroom that mesmerized me a 1972 XK-22. As a seven year old, I’d never seen a cooler boat. I begged my father to buy it, but it wasn’t practical for a family of five, and besides, we were a Century family.
For the next 20 or so years, the XK changed hands several times, finding its way to different families around the lake. But I could always spot it under a boathouse door, pulling a skier, or hosting a sunset cruise.
In the early 90’s, the XK found a home in a nearby boathouse on Rownd Island, later called Bonding Island by its new owner, Dave Thomas of Wendy’s. Sayre Bros Marina knew of my fondness for 70’s Lancers and XK’s, so when the Thomas family decided to trade the old Chris-Craft in on a new pontoon, the marina asked if I was interested. I jumped at the chance, and my family purchased the boat from the Thomas family in 1994.
The XK joined my brother’s 1958 Coronado and my 1966 Arabian in the boathouse. In 2011, I moved to Saugatuck, MI and brought the boat with me. We now enjoy “Lady K” on the Kalamazoo River and Eastern shore of Lake Michigan, frequently cruising to nearby ports for lunch. Through the years, we maintained the boat in original condition and she served us well, however, in 2018 Lady K received a complete restoration by M/E Yacht Restoration in Holland, and Macatawa Bay Boat Works in Saugatuck. She’s powered by the original 350FLV, and sports original upholstery and unmolested dash and gauges. This Jim Wynn and Dick Avery design gets as much attention today as it did when new. Each season, the silhouette takes me back to that Summer day in 1972 when I first laid eyes on what I knew would be my future boat, as well as a forever connection to my favorite childhood memories on a lake in Ohio.