By Ginger Henry

Special to The Lake George Mirror, Printed May 26, 2023, Reprinted here with permission from The Lake George Mirror.

As kids growing up in the 1950s in Hague [NY], my brothers and I spent summer weekends watching our dad race his DU stock utility boat on the circuit in the northeast, including the nearly 150-mile Albany-New York City race on the Hudson River. Dad’s first such boat, bought in the late 1940s, was named Miss Timarine to promote his marina on Black Point Road in Ticonderoga.

A newspaper clipping from the summer of 1949 describes Dad’s mishaps in that year’s Hudson River race. Race boat drivers need the right tools. Lacking them, they need a healthy measure of ingenuity. When the hull of his boat cracked just south of Poughkeepsie, Dad fished a piece of driftwood out of the river, beveled it with his jack knife, and stuffed in the crack. Just a few miles further on, the boat was taking on water again. As the reporter wrote, Miss Timarine was quickly becoming Miss Submarine. Pulling over to shore, Dad enlisted the help of a couple of spectators. They cut and flattened a tin can, which he nailed over the crack and was on his way again. Alas, it wasn’t long before the boat completely swamped, and he had to give up any hope of finishing the race. In fact, he was lucky to get the boat to shore before it went under.

Raveau boats became renowned in the Albany-NYC races, winning time and again in their classes. Soon Dad decided that a Raveau was the boat for him. He had gotten to know Marcel Raveau and purchased a DU class boat, which he named Gingerly. It was also about this time that he and some friends in Hague – Charlie Fitzgerald, Dick Bolton, Bob Hoyt, Ray Laundree, Bernie Clifton, to name a few – decided to reconstitute the Lake George Regatta Association and start holding stock utility outboard races in Hague. Charlie Fitzgerald also soon bought a Raveau, which he aptly named Havin’ Fitz.

Billed as the largest of its kind in the east, the 90-mile marathon drew drivers from as far away as Michigan and Wisconsin, who came to compete for prize money and trophies. It was a 15-mile course, and the drivers – or at least those who finished – went six laps. Marcel Raveau also often came to watch his boats compete, staying with us in our home. The regatta event quickly mushroomed. The $2,500 in prize money attracted 62 boats in 1955. In 1956, entries nearly doubled to 109, and 1957’s $3,500 in prizes attracted a total of 143 boats. Most years, fewer than half the entries completed the race. Engine failure, cracked hulls, flips, and injuries were among the mishaps that plagued the drivers. The boats pounded mercilessly even on calm days – and invariably, the waters of Lake George were the roughest of the summer on those August race weekends.

A 1958 press release described that year’s conditions for the marathon. “Although none of the three previous marathons have been run on smooth water, nothing in their past experience prepared the drivers for the conditions they encountered on Sunday. Two- and three-foot rollers surged down the lake, driven by a south wind that at times reached velocities in excess of 30 miles per hour. Many boats, particularly the AUs and BUs, were unable to get on plane and were swamped before they reached the starting line. Only eight of the 98 boats that started completed the race, with six additional boats flagged off the course because of approaching darkness.”

Of the classes competing in the marathon, the DU boats were the fastest. They averaged speeds of 40 mph over the 90-mile course, reaching speeds of up to 60 mph. In 1959, Dad bought my older brother Johnny an AU Raveau, which he raced at the ages of 12 and 13. When he turned 14, he was eligible to race Gingerly, a DU class boat. My younger brother Ed raced the AU in 1964, the year he turned 12, and also the last year of the Hague regatta. The glory days of the Hague Regatta were over. But they are not forgotten.

And now for the rest of the story – about the race boat returning to Hague. In 1982, Ed trailered Gingerly out to his home in Wyoming, with grandiose plans of restoring her. There she languished in his barn for 40 years. When our cousin John Beekley [ACBS Adirondack Chapter Member] expressed a desire to return Gingerly to her roots, Ed jumped at the chance to bring Gingerly back to where she belongs. He trailered her and her original motor across the country and back to Hague last summer. Since then, the expert craftsmen at Mountain Motors in Hague have been restoring Gingerly, and an expert mechanic – and former race driver – from Illinois overhauled Gingerly’s original Mercury Mark 55H motor. And so this summer, if you hear a buzz and a cranking whine out on the lake, if you hear a hull slapping hard against each wave, you might just be carried back to the days of your youth – assuming you were among those lucky enough to experience the glory days of Hague 90-mile outboard marathons.

Additional Information from Ed Becker and the Adirondack Chapter:  

Our 49th Annual Lake George Show will be held August 25th-26th and we have some big news this year! We have now become a regional Lake George event, allowing our members from around the entire area and the public more opportunities to participate in and enjoy the boat show.


Last year, thanks to Ed Scheiber, we expanded our 48th annual boat show to include a Friday morning pre-show event in water and on trailers in Bolton Landing. This was very well attended by our members and spectators. So, this year we are adding a similar type of event in Hague at the Hague Park, which will run simultaneous with the display in Bolton.

Mountain Motors, one of our Lake George Boat Show Sponsors, is helping to organize this event and are the ones responsible for restoring Gingerly for Adirondack Chapter member, John Beekly. We plan to have her on display at the Friday morning display in Hague.

For more information on the Adirondack Chapter’s events, please visit, or download the registration form: 2023-Final-Registration



  1. In addition to piloting ‘Sterling, V’, my former Chris-Craft on LG (pictured above in lower right corner), I live on the Hudson opposite Albany, just north of the Albany Yacht Club’s former basin (now Corning Preserve I-787 Park) where these races began. Seeing ‘Gingerly’ among other pictured small craft on LG, I recall how well one got along with 16′ or 18′ with a 25 or 30 hp engine on the Lake in the 50s (we did, just fine). But, I shudder at the thought of piloting that size boat on the Hudson, especially once south of the Rondout Creek at Kingston. That’s a lot of river from there south and you had to be a brave soul to tackle it in anything smaller than a 36 foot cruiser or similar craft. The 4-5 ft bow wave rollers from a fuel barge could upset your day!
    Thanks for a great story and I look forward to seeing ‘Gingerly’ in person this summer.

  2. Summers were spent in Glenburnie, straight across the lake from Hague. The race was always the high point. Used to race ASH and BSH, but would have loved to race a DU!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.