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Boat Show Breaking News

Dear Friends,

I usually don’t write a newsletter and then a week later do it again. However, there is the adage that old news is no news. Margaret and I just got back from the Mount Dora ACBS Sunnyland Boat Show. I have been a member for a very long time; there are chapters all over the U.S. but this one is one of the best! I can remember when this was a small show tucked in the corner of the town of Mount Dora. It was really just a one day show.

The antique show was a bigger deal – they blocked off the streets since they were the same weekend. The town didn’t see the boat show as a great asset so there was little accommodation for the show and little room to grow. It was time to find a new place and it had to be close to the lakes. Right down the way, the sleepy small town of Tavares said yes, they would host it.

This has been a great thing for both the town and ACBS. They were made for each other. I have watched the town change and grow and the show this year was the biggest and best show they have ever had. The show now is a four-day event starting Thursday and Saturday is standing room only. So what changed? This year the Amphicars were back in full force. An antique and classic car show was added with woody wagons being the central theme. Then there was the SCAMPY program, which is centered around getting kids involved in boat building.

This year these kids built hydroplanes. Heck, I'd like to build one myself. Learn more about the program on page 26 of the Sheerline edition below:

As one of the instructors told me, the plans are right out of Popular Mechanics from the 1950s. Three sheets of plywood, a couple of 2x4s, screw, glue and paint. It's a great first boat to build. They look cool with the kids picking the colors and they go really fast.

And there's something else, the kids bring in their parents - young fathers and mothers in their 30s and 40s into wooden boating. What a brilliant idea to bring in younger people to these shows!

The survival of these great wooden boats has to start somewhere.

Our generation is winding down and it’s time to wind up the next generation to appreciate and love wooden boats. And the kids love building these boats. One kid dragged to the show with his parents will speak to another kid who actually built one and want to do the same. It's a no brainer. I want to build one. I have already started looking for plans.

The SCAMPY program should be a national part of the ACBS. I can see kids from all over wanting to get to Tavares, Clayton, and Beaufort – or wherever - to be a part of this. Besides, they will fit on the roof of a car or in the back of a pickup!

The Sunnyland chapter has their secret weapon – smart, retired folks that love boating! At their ceremony dinner there was over 300 people in attendance. As the emcee spoke he said he wanted to thank the over-200 people that volunteered and made the whole show possible. 200! Wow, that’s an army of people!

We are getting ready for the Beaufort Show on May 6th, It’s a darn good show. The museum and friends are working hard to make it even better this year – it’s the 43rd annual one and is set on the scenic waterfront of a coastal town founded in the 1700’s. The awards have even changed from beer mugs to engraved mahogany plaques, something beautiful to display. We want you there! You can go to their website at

A short two weeks after is the Triangle ACBS show in the beautiful town of New Bern, N.C., which is just up the road from Beaufort. This old town is built on the fork of two rivers, the Trent and the Neuse. It’s a new show with great members and well worth being there. Besides, all great shows have humble beginnings. That show is on Saturday, May 20th, and you can contact Alan Hill at 252-514-8525 for more information about that show.​​

If you would like to join us for both shows we are offering free boat and trailer storage at Moores Marine – and you can also check out some of our cool projects in the works! I am very excited about what is next and I want to thank the Sunnyland chapter for raising the bar! It works!

Until next time,

Jim Moores

P.S. I told Lou Jezdimir I wasn’t writing about him in my next letter, so I won’t, but boy does he have a great Chris Craft! She is a triple-cockpit 1926. There might be some photos of “Bay Horse” gliding the canals or cruising on a plane. Thanks Lou!

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