Milestone for PI wooden boat show

A week from today will be a milestone for the Presque Isle Harbor Wooden Boat Show.

For 25 years wooden boat aficionados have gathered together at one of Lake Huron’s most scenic ports to show off their craft, swap stories and share their enthusiasm with an adoring public.

“I’m a car fanatic, and these beautiful boats have car engines … big car engines” said Lisa Martin, who is treasurer, public relations manager and general “go-to gal” of the committee that organizes the show. “I like the people, from the boat owners to the people who visit the show.”

Martin said in the past there have been people from as far away as Australia who have visited Presque Isle Harbor, and regularly there are folks from Canada who come and visit. She is expecting between 50-60 boats this year at the harbor and if the weather holds, it should make for an exciting show.

Listening to Martin, it quickly becomes apparent that the show is the perfect excuse to bring together a group of people who really are passionate about their boats. And make no mistake, these boats are beautiful and built by craftsmen who were as much artists as they were boatmakers.

But it’s not just boats. This year the Sunrise Corvette Club, Crankun T’s from across state and the Alpena Aeromodelers RC Flyers Club will join in the festivities. Thus, in addition to the boats you will be able to see vintage Corvettes, Model T Fords and miniature motorized boats and aircraft.

Also Saturday a very special person — Lawrence Syrett — will be presented with a special plaque. Ninety-six years young, Syrett has been involved with the U.S. Coast Guard most of his life, and the plaque will recognize him for that service. At 10 a.m. a Coast Guard flyover will occur to coincide with the award presentation.

Martin said she enjoys the atmosphere surrounding the event, as there literally is “something for everyone” from young children to grandparents. In addition to the vintage boats and vehicles there also will be arts and crafts, events geared to children and lots of good food.

Personally, I don’t need much of an excuse to visit the Presque Isle Harbor. In addition to enjoying the beauty of the harbor, there always is a visit to one, or both of the lights in that area. When you throw in the wooden boats — and their rich history in Michigan — it makes for an easy way to spend a day next weekend there.

For the founders who had the vision to establish the show, “thank you.” And to all who have volunteered to continue the show for 25 years this year, “congratulations.”

Bill Speer can be reached via email at bspeer@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 354-3111 ext. 331. Follow Bill on Twitter @billspeer13.