By John Seal, Publicity Chairman, Smith Mountain Lake Chapter
Photo Credits: Steve Miller and John Coffman
The SML Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society recently held a Snoop Tour, where over 20 of our members snooped around the workshops of 3 of our members to see their various projects and treasures.
Our first stop was in Lynchburg at Tony Gowen’s shop in a beautiful Quonset building and other storage areas. Inside his shop were restorations in process on a 1954 18’ Chris Craft Riviera and a 1938 Ford pickup with a flat head V8 engine. In storage were multiple antique boats and cars needing minor to major fixes to continue their stories.
We then returned to the lake and visited Mark and Jennifer Thompson’s amazing basement workshop. We saw the substantial progress they’ve made on the total, ground up restoration of “Pink Lady”, a rare, 1929 26’ Chris-Craft triple cockpit. The quality of the work on this boat will no doubt lead to many best of show and craftsmanship awards when it is completed.
Our last stop was at John and Beth Coffman’s shop where we had a great lunch and got a close look at the 1948 22’ Chris-Craft Sedan that they acquired about 3 months ago. It is already running and been tested on the water, but there are still several things they are working to complete. John works steadily on multiple projects, including another members’ 1960 18’ Chris-Craft Cavalier and a few of his own boats.
John is working on the Cavalier for Jim McCloskey, a relatively new member, who wants to restore his dad’s boat that was left to him after his dad passed. It spent several years in his mom’s garage, as Jim didn’t have a place for it, but when his mom passed he couldn’t let go of all of the family memories associated with it. John has the motor work completed on it, but has more work to do on the exterior to get it in the shape Jim desires. (Sorry that we don’t have a picture handy that shows the entire boat.)
The other two boats are both John and Beth’s with the Correct Craft being the barn find they bought this spring. Their 1950 18’ Chris-Craft Riviera has been in process for a while, but the rebuilt engine was just recently completed.