Old boats inspire love in their owners | Local

LAKE GEORGE – Something about old boats makes people fall in love.

Maybe it’s the beauty of the wood, the way it’s processed, or the nostalgia it causes.

“It’s really beautiful,” David Strobino said of his custom-built wooden boat.

Strobino, of Clayville near Utica, saw plans for a 1936 AA Apel boat in Motor Boating Magazine and couldn’t take his eyes off it.

“It’s not practical as hell, but I like the way it looks,” he said.

This particular boat was designed to compete in races, he said. An Apel boat set a world record in 1947, reaching 77 mph.

Strobino was one of the boat owners who displayed his boat at the 47th Antique and Classic Boat Show, held in Lake George on Saturday.

Pete Fish, of Fish Brothers Custom Boats in Queensbury, was showing off a replica of El Lagarto.

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“This boat runs like a dream, especially if it’s choppy,” he said.

“The rougher the water, the freer it is. It really comes to life,” he added.

El Legarto, which means the lizard in Spanish, has been dubbed the “leaping lizard of Lake George,” according to an article on the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum website.

The original ship was built in 1922 and won the Gold Cup in 1933, 1934 and 1936. Jon Bowers, grandson of Dick Bowers, who was a mechanic on the boat, said it was the first time that a boat won three of the races. It was also the oldest boat to have won a race.

Fish said the record of three wins stood for nearly three decades before being broken in 1966.

This replica of El Lagarto, completed in 2012, is the second that Fish Brothers has built.

Rich Rosselli of Trumbull, Connecticut and Hague said he grew up on the water. His family has vacationed in Lake George since he was a young boy.

He was showing off his 1963 Great Way Pacific 19ft. It was one of the first boats made by the Grady-White Company, which now only makes fiberglass boats. He picked it up from a former employee in North Carolina and took it apart and rebuilt it – a two-year labor of love. It was worth it, he said.

“I love the feel of the wood and the way it behaves. It’s functional art on the water,” he said.

Bob Wiggand of Glenmont was checking Trombino’s boat. He said he liked old things. He himself has a 1957 Chris Craft.

“Old wooden boats drive and behave well,” he said.

Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Contact him at 518-742-3320 or [email protected]

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