“It felt for a while like we were seconds from disaster,” said Mark Miller, organizer of this past weekend's Spring Lake Wooden Boat Show. “The weather forecast was showing rain all day. I had people panicking and calling me, asking if it was canceled. Friday, it was just bleak.”
By Saturday morning, the sun came out and Miller decided the show must go on.
“It turned out to be one of the best shows we've ever had,” he said. “The quality of boats was just fantastic and we had more vendors than we've ever had.”
More than 40 vessels were on display for the in-water and on-land event at Mill Point Park.
Miller said he also appreciated having some antique vehicles on display.
“It's kind of a treat when you have an old boat come and you have something neat towing it as well,” he said.
Here are the show's winners:
*Best Outboard: On a Lark, a 1956 MFG 15-footer owned by Joe Mulvihill, Caledonia
*Best Non-Power: 1950 Old Town canoe owned by Russ Hicks, Eaton Rapids
*Best Inboard, 18 feet or less: Blue Eyes, a 1946 Garwood 16-footer owned by Nicki, Meagan and Mollee Pifer of Port Sheldon Township
*Best Inboard, more than 18 feet: Julie Anne, a 1932 Hackercraft 20-footer owned by Joe Whitset, Platte Lake
*Best Lap Strake Inboard: Gram’s Boat, a 1961 Lyman 21-footer owned by Milo DeVries, Spring Lake
*Best Owner Built: Virginia Park, a 2012 Great Lakes 17-foot launch owned by Reff Reinhart, Holland
*Best Contemporary: 2011 Carolina Express owned by Dan Paul, Grand Rapids
*Best Century: Driftwood, a 1963 Century Resorter 17-footer owned by Dan Carlson
*Classic Glass: Wet N Wild, a 1956 Barracuda Sportster owned by Bob and Deb Parker, Kentwood
*People’s Choice: Abby J, an 1898 16-foot launch owned by Milo DeVries, Spring Lake
*Captain’s Choice: Pine Cone, a 1968 St. Pierre Dory 18-footer owned by the Harrington family, Muskegon
*Best of Show: Julie Anne, a 1932 Hackercraft 20-footer owned by Joe Whitset, Platte Lake
Tongue firmly in cheek, Miller said he gave the weather forecasters the “Best Fictional Storytelling” award.