By Walt Stashkiw, Publicity Chairman

AKRON OHIO: What would make a perfect day for a boat show—gorgeous boats, perfect weather, and great crowds? All three occurred on Saturday at the 46th Annual Portage Lakes Antique and Classic boat show held at the docks of Picks Restaurant and Smoke on the Water in Akron. Forty-seven boats were on display form 9AM to 3PM with the docks filled with viewers. The restaurants served food and drinks all day while boat owners and the public enjoyed the sunshine. Many people came by boat, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards to view the boats from the water.

Boats joined the show and competed for awards from all over the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania. The boats were built as far back as 1929 and as recent as 2020. Construction ranged from wood to metal and fiberglass. The judges had a difficult job in several categories due to the attention paid by owners to every detail. Judging was under the official structure of the rules of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

Among the boats this year and featured at the show was DYNAMITE, the last of the “ride” boats from the Chippawa Lake Amusement Park in Chippawa, Ohio. This 26-foot 1950 Hacker Craft operated on Chippawa Lake thrilling people from 1950 until the park closed in 1978. It is estimated to have carried over 200,000 people during its operation at the park. The boat was restored by two of the local North Coast Ohio Chapter (ACBS) members. One of the pilots of the boat from 1964 to 1968 attended the awards dinner and filled in many of the missing facts about the boat. DYNAMITE walked away from the show with a special recognition award of Most Historically Significant Restoration.

The always popular collectable show posters and t-shirts were on sale all day.  Over 60 local businesses and organizations sponsored this unique event, and it is one of the longest running antique boat shows in the country.  Along with the North Coast Ohio Chapter of ACBS our co-sponsor of the show is the Portage Lakes Historical Society. 

The day was capped off with a “sold-out” awards dinner at the historic Turkeyfoot Island Club in New Franklin. Guests enjoyed drinks on the patio during the social hour and a dinner buffet followed by the awards presentation. The perfect day was followed by the perfect evening.

The show is sanctioned by the Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc. (ACBS), an international organization devoted to the preservation and recognition of all types of personal watercraft with 54 chapters throughout North America and Europe. The North Coast Ohio Chapter (NCO) of ACBS with over 100 members manages this show and is very active in restoring, showing, and using their unique boats. Many of these members had their boats on display at this show.


Plans are already underway for next year’s show.






1 Comment

  1. Margie, Joe, Elaine & Steve from NFACB attended and had a great time! Nice venue, friendly people and perfect weather made our weekend awesome. We highly recommend this show and plan to attend again in the fiture!

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