by  Raymond Reynolds member of the Lake Hopatcong chapter
Photos by Bob Kays

I was introduced to wooden boats at an early age. My wife became a boater when she married me. At the time of our marriage I owned a 1942, 17′ Century Sea Maid. I sold it a few years later. It would be 20 years before we began looking for our next wooden boat.

As part of our search, we joined the Lake Hopatcong Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (LHACBS). At the 2016 show we saw a boat we liked. It was a 1946 Chris-Craft, 17′ Deluxe Runabout named Wood-Ya. We came away with the owner’s name and address.

In April 2019 I wrote the owner and inquired as to the status of the boat. I asked that if he ever considered selling it to please give me a call. The timing was right. He telephoned and advised he was thinking about selling the boat.

Two days later my wife and I took a three hour drive to see Wood-Ya. Upon our arrival she looked just how we remembered her. We quickly closed the deal and became the new owners of Wood-Ya.

In searching her history, we learned she was delivered on February 28, 1946 to J. K. Bakker Lake Mohawk Sparta N.J. Lake Mohawk is only seven miles from where the boat now makes her home. We have not found any information regarding J. K. Bakker.

Our first summer with Wood-Ya was an exciting one. She was entered in the June 2019, 45th Annual LHACBS boat show. We came away with a First Place award and Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club Commodore’s Choice.

Our greatest pleasure from Wood-Ya comes from using her. She has participated in our Chapter’s Cruise Nights and “float-in” movie. She is a regular for a cup of coffee or two scoops of ice-cream at Lake Hopatcong’s Main Lake Market. In addition to her owners, she has brought many smiles to family and friends who have enjoyed cruising the lake with her. Life is about making memories and Wood-Ya has been the source of many wonderful ones.


    • Thanks Cindy. Congratulations to you and Ken on your new Gar-Wood, Fluffy. I know we will be seeing it in our club’s summer cruises around the lake!

  1. A little more history on Wood Ya.
    She was discovered on Lake Besek in Middlefield, CT by John Rau in the summer of 2008. She was worn out but complete, including the original engine. Restoration began that winter here at Farm River Woodworking and was finished just in time for the 2014 Southern New England show where she took home the Best in Show trophy. I’m very happy to see Wood Ya has found such a good home.

    • My wife and I are thrilled to be the owners of Wood-Ya. We thank Farm River Woodworking for the excellent restoration.

  2. We Love Wood-Ya! Glad it’s being enjoyed at Lake Hopatcong, NJ. Also in her heritage, she was restored In Connecticut by Farm River Woodworking and Restorations a year after her sister boat “Park Avenue.”

    • Thanks Paul. We hope to bring Wood-Ya to the Southern New England, ACBS Chapter, Essex CT boat show some day. If “Park Avenue” is there, maybe we can be dock mates.

    • On second thought, let me be the first to invite you to bring “Park Avenue” to the June 17 and 18, 2022, 47th Annual Lake Hopatcong Antique & Classic Boat Show in Mount Arlington, N.J. In the near future, you will be able to find the Registration Packet on our club’s website: Seeing “Park Avenue” and “Wood-Ya” together again, would be a real crowd-pleaser.

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