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.