By Alexandria E. Ferguson

Several boats originally built in the 1940s and 1950s bobbed in and out of more than 3 billion gallons of water on Lake Norman while the Lady of the Lake looked on.

On Sept. 8, the Blue Ridge chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society hosted the 15th annual Charlotte Antique and Classic Boat Show.  Consisting of about 275 members from the Carolinas and Georgia, the Blue Ridge chapter donated all sponsorship money to Marine Cpl. Garrett Carnes, a Mooresville native wounded in Afghanistan.

“The first month that he was home, it was hard for him,” said John Carnes, his father and a former Marine.  “He was hallucinating.”

Carnes lost his right leg below the knee and his left leg above the knee in a blast caused by an IED (improvised explosive device) during a search of an abandoned castle.

“We’ve raised several thousand dollars,” said Ed Longino, boat show chairman.  “As an organization, we’re serious about giving back to the community and sharing the history of antique boats.”

Larry Heckner, owner of Masonboro Skiff Company, drove from Wilmington to attend the event.  He brought the Macomber 15, an all-wooden boat handcrafted with white oak and tropical African sapele.  The boat is also hand planked with cypress and fastened with silicon bronze.

“People from 45 to 85 have fond memories of wooden boats,” said Heckner.  “It is our goal to continue to build those memories because wooden boats are loving, endearing and warm.”

Also on display was a 1950s Chris-Craft. Owner Al Olsen said he has taken his boat all over the country from Georgia. He bought it 2008.

“Restoration took one year,” Olson said.  “Although I kept some of the original pieces, the restoration cost me $40,000, but it is worth about $75,000.”

Awards presented

In addition to the displays, several awards were presented.

• Best of Show to Miss Alice, a 1958 Chris Craft Continental owned by
Alice Forbis of Charlotte.

• People’s Choice to Miss America IX, 1930 Garwood Harmsworth Race Boat owned by Chuck and Diane
Mistele, of Bluffton, S.C.

• Looks Expensive to ME! to Northern Reflection, a Ema-Rold Triple owned by Tom and Joyce Neff of Milledgeville, Ga. The one-of-a-kind boat was built in 1939.

• Best Chris Craft to Slow Dancing II, a 1948 Chris Craft Sedan owned by Tom and June Riggle of Oakwood, Ga.