It’s March and winter never seems to leave. This year especially, we had some nice weather in February and the groundhog said it was to be an early spring. Then old man winter got the giggles and brought back the cold and the snow. 

There is a special place to go in March to get away from such madness. For 30 years Sunnyland Chapter and the folks in the Lake district of Florida have been putting on a huge event. It seems to be a combination of several factors all working together that are not likely to be duplicated. It’s the first show of the year and its held in a place that’s warm or, hot. There are a bunch of snowbirds living in the area that have a passion for classic boats and it’s a great community

 of people willing to jump in and volunteer. They also get a lot of support from the city of Tavares. It therefore attracts folks from all over the U.S. and Canada. It is so popular it’s sold out. Many of the locals, well most, except for maybe 3 boats, leave them at home so we all have a chance to come.
The event actually starts a week before the show. Many arrive on the Saturday before the show to launch their boats in the St Johns river. We arrive in Jacksonville and put our boats in at the Florida Yacht club. Guy and Laurie have been members there and use that as base camp. Sunday is a test day to make sure your sleepy boat is in good working order as we travel over 100 miles in 4 days down the St John’s to Sanford. The sights

boatshowdockfood and comradery make for a memorable trip. Some have done the trip all 30 times and Guy has put on the trip himself for 20 years. That’s a dedicated group.By the end of the trip its Thursday, we pull out and head straight to Tavares and put the boats back in the water, on Lake Dora. The show is setting up and will be in full swing Friday morning. The boating is not over, this is not a drag our boat 1600 miles and look at it at the dock event. Friday Gerrald Dake heads a large flotilla as we go for a boat ride through the very cool Dora canal. The same canal that the filming of the African queen was located so you know it’s very junglely looking. Once you pass through the Dora canal you’re on to Lake Eustis for a short bit then onto the Dead river which leads to Lake Harris where you find Hickory Point park – our destination for a yummy picnic lunch complete with pulled pork, BBQ chicken and live music.Saturday brings a normal boat show atmosphere. However, since we are here for 3 days we have time to take in a seminar in the Tavares city hall and its air conditioning. Yes, it’s time for a break from the sun but who’s complaining. Seminar’s go on all day so pick one that is of interest then after go sit on a patio and have lunch or a refreshment and relax with your friends. Sunday the last day of the show - it’s all gone by so fast and now ma

ny are ready to load up - by noon the haul out of 120 in water boats that are all trailered in goes very smooth - my boat is always better on the trailer for the ride home then the ride down.
Wait - if you’re not ready to head home Gerald is off to the St johns River for a north bound cruise -yup another 5 days of boating with friends. Maybe next time for us.
Thanks to all those Sunnyland members who tirelessly put on a show for all ACBS members around the country. Terry Feist has been the show chair for 20 years and was honored by Hagerty at this year’s event. It’s been another great start to the boating season thanks to Sunnyland.



 An Important note in Photo 3( above). This is Jeffery Breen in his first boat build. He took home most outstanding contemporary boat at the show Congradulations to him.  

For more photos see our facebook page  




not so deep here