July Fourth entertainment begins next Saturday, June 24, at On Tap at the Harbor. The 42nd annual Antique and Classic Boat Show kicks off the festivities. A fun-filled family event, it runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. On Tap at the Harbor is on Portage Lakes Drive in Coventry and fronts West Reservoir. As always, admission is free.

Today’s sponsors, the Antique & Classic Boat Society/North Coast Ohio Chapter (ACBS/NCOC) and the Portage Lakes Historical Society (PLHS), expect more than 50 vessels. Both locally and from around the country, boats will be docked along the waterfront for viewers to admire. This display of past elegance and craftsmanship from America’s skilled boat manufacturers draws boat lovers from all over.

The ACBS is an international organization devoted to the preservation and recognition of all personal watercraft. More than 55 chapters are scattered across North America and Europe. The North Coast Ohio Chapter has over 130 members who are very active in restoring, showing and using their unique vessels. Many will have boats on display at the show.

Beautiful boats will be displayed, both in the water and on land, including great fiberglass and vintage wooden classics built by Chris Craft, Lyman and other manufacturers.

Eighteen awards in various categories will be acknowledged by judges, including the ever popular "People’s Choice Award" in which the viewers vote for their favorite. This annual award is managed by the PLHS. In keeping with tradition, judges will also award the Ned Mohrman Memorial Trophy for the best Portage Lakes boat and owner.

According to a news release from the show’s sponsors, "there will be a breakfast buffet served by On Tap." An awards banquet will be held at the Turkeyfoot Island Club, June 24 at 5:30. The public is invited as long as reservations are made no later than 24 hours before. Awards will be presented after the meal. For show and registration information feel free to contact the show chairman, Gil Maringer, 216-310-7475, or email Gil at: gbmaringer@juno.com .

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning one of these classic beauties, bring along your checkbook and your best bargaining skills. A "Field of Dreams Sale Lot" with some of these boats will be available for that nautical lover who can’t seem to shake that dream.

There’s a growing interest in original fiberglass boats which became popular in the late 1960s as wooden boat production diminished due to shortages of mahogany, production costs and a quest for easier boat maintenance. Those earlier model fiberglass boats had unique designs influenced by the finned automobiles of the late 50s and 60s. Some of those boats will be displayed.

One unique fiberglass boat, the Silver Arrow, represents Chris Craft’s early attempt at making a fiberglass boat. With the hull material, spruce wood, and the outer layer, fiberglass, it was made for two years, 1958 and ‘59. The 19-foot boat only came in one hull color; silver, hence the moniker. At the time, no one could have guessed these boats would become popular with a cult following. There were only 92 built and they all came with the same Tango Red & White interiors. 

One of the best examples of the Chris Craft Silver Arrow will be on display. It’s just the 50th one made by Chris Craft and is owned by Aaron LeDonne of Ynot Yachts in Pittsburgh. His restoration and boat building company has restored this boat to a state of perfection. It is truly a beauty to behold.

Come early. Enjoy a lavish breakfast buffet and dockside dining next to these gleaming chrome and sparkling, varnished, floating works of art. The always popular collectable show posters and t-shirts will be on sale. Over 50 fine local businesses and organizations have sponsored this unique event, one of the longest running antique boat shows in the U.S. 

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