MOUNT ARLINGTON - The Lake Hopatcong chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society hosted its 39th annual boat show this past weekend. The four-day event, including the ACBS International Board of Directors’ quarterly meeting, took place at the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club in Mount Arlington and included a public viewing and competition on Saturday.
Evaline, a 1940 Chris Craft and another Katz-owned boat, took first in its class, Antique Runabout Preserved.
Best in Show Preserved went to Diva, a 1966 Riva Junior, owned by Peter and Rose Takvorian, who summer in Hopatcong. Diva also won its class, Classic Utility Preserved, receiving the only perfect score of the day.
Approximately 40 boats from around the world participated in the judging, said Bob Rice, head judge, adding that the “diversity of boats in the show makes it difficult to pick a Best in Show.”
“There are some beautiful boats,” said LHACBS member and judge Stu Miller as he peered into the cockpit of a 19-foot 1951 Chris Craft, with clipboard in hand.
Miller and fellow LHACBS member Peter Panos judged the eight boats registered in the Classic Utilities category. It is the category with the most entries, said Panos, because “these are the most common boats still surviving.”
“This is going to be tough. We might see only a half point difference between first and second place,” he said of the 100-point scoring system.
“We could potentially see one or two perfect scores today,” said Panos.
Participants began arriving to the area mid-week, some from as far away as Canada and California. On Thursday evening, Marty Kane, president of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, was the guest speaker at the opening night dinner.
Friday was reserved for the female chapter members who took in the lake, stopping at five lakefront homes, during a boat tour offered by The Jefferson House. Along with the tour, Friday also saw Kane speak about historic homes around the lake.
“We don’t have lakes like this where I live near Lake Erie,” said Marilyn Demalin.
“I think I like this lake better than Lake Tahoe,” said Jan Johansen, a Bakersfield, Calif. resident. “Northern California doesn’t equate to what you have here in this part of the country. This is amazing,” she said peering out from inside Sam and Jerrie Hoagland’s historic boathouse.
“This event is fantastic. The lake is gorgeous, the weather is fantastic,” said Karen Harrison from Calgary, Canada. “What impresses me the most is the history, which is what we don’t have in our part of Canada. That makes it. To understand the history behind it tops it off. I think we’ll have to come back,” said added.
The boats were the stars of the show on Saturday, drawing hundreds of visitors to the yacht club throughout the day. Visitors were mingling with judges, judges were questioning boat owners and boat owners were proudly sharing their ownership stories with anyone. Awards were given out at a dinner Saturday night.
Early Sunday morning about a dozen boats assembled for a parade around the lake.
“We’re so excited to show off our lake. We want them to leave with a sense of the history of the lake,” said Susan Pocsik, co-chairwoman of the house tour event.
"The international board members left very happy," said LHACBS member Bob Kays. "They loved the lake, they loved the atmosphere."