on a Member
My name is Tom
Strongman. My wife, Betty, and I live in Cape Vincent,
NY where Lake Ontario flows into the St. Lawrence
River. We are avid lifetime boaters and are active
members of the Antique Boat Museum. We are also members
of the Thousand Islands and Finger Lakes Chapters
of ACBS. I am a retired New York State law enforcement
officer and have been a judge for the Thousand Islands
Boat Show for the past three years.
For the last
49 years, my family has owned a marina on the Hudson
River just south of West Point Military Academy. My
wife was born on the Hudson at Nyack, NY and spent
many years boating and fishing with her father who
fished for shad for a living.
We own a 1961
27-ft. Chris-Craft open utility Sea Skiff which we
use constantly. Because of its size and interior layout,
it has become the official shuttle launch for the
TI Chapter's many rendezvous usually held on one of
the islands in the Thousand Islands region of the
built in Algonac, MI and was sold new by Mercer's
Marina in Clayton, NY to John Howe, Sr. of Rochester,
NY and Clayton. The boat spent its first 20 years
cruising and fishing the St. Lawrence and the eastern
end of Lake Ontario. In the early '80s, it was sold
by Mr. Howe to a river fishing-guide from the Alexandria
Bay area where it stayed for the next six years. By
this time, the boat was 26 years old and had fallen
into a state of disrepair.
John Howe, Jr.,
who was twelve years old when his father first bought
the boat, somehow managed to buy it back from the
fishing guide, and moved it to Cornell's Marina in
Henderson Harbor, NY. John, Jr. was an avid fisherman
and over the next few years, he did a lot of work
on the boat to get it back to normal condition, including
installation of a 285HP Crusader V8 engine.
In June 2000,
a family illness forced John, Jr. to put the boat
up for sale. Interested in selling to it to someone
who would really appreciate it, he didn't advertise
its availability. In July, while Betty and I were
looking at an old Lyman at Cornell's, we noticed the
boat for sale. I called John, Jr. that evening and
made plans for a water test later that week. After
a cruise to North Pond, we agreed on a price and I
had the boat moved to Stony Point Marina in Cape Vincent.
Over the next
few years, I completely refinished the hull and replaced
all the deck hardware and fittings with stainless
steel. The boat is 99% original wood and is equipped
for fishing and cruising. Drawing on my Native American
heritage, Tomahawk was chosen for its new name.
We entered the
boat in the TI Chapter's Boat Show in Alex. Bay in
July 2002, and came away with the award for Best Utility.
The following year, the boat won the award for Best
Chris-Craft at the same show. In 2005, instead of
putting the boat in another show, I re-varnished the
interior and installed new upholstery. That effort
yielded another Best Utility Award at the 2006 TI
Tomahawk is a
classic and also a work in progress. It gets a lot
of use and tons of tender loving care, and is well
known on the river for its beauty and performance.
We hope to enjoy the boat for many years to come.
and Tom Strongman