Peter Cavill of Brisbane, Australia and the Marguerite, a 27-foot Gold Cup racer that he built himself.
(Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
WOLFEBORO — Drawing a lot of attention at the 43rd annual Lake Winnipesaukee Antique and Classic Boat Show held at the Wolfeboro Public Docks on July 30 was a 27-foot replica of a 1922 Gold Cup racer which was built in Australia and is currently making the rounds of classic boat shows in the United States.
The Marguerite is immediately recognizable due to the Australian flag that it flies and the unique unstained mahogany which attracts curious wooden boat enthusiasts wherever it goes says Peter Cavill, 59, of Brisbane, Australia, who built the boat in 2008 after he retired from the hospitality industry.
"I love boats and had built a few plywood boats myself. I thought it would be an interesting project that would take half a year. It actually took me two-and-a-half years,'' says Cavill, who says he enlisted some help in the form of supervision from experienced boat builders to to help guide him through the process.
"I had never seen a Gold Cup boat before but I liked the way they looked. The best part is I got the plans for free off the internet. I think there have been 10 of these boats built from those plans," says Cavill, who named it the Marguerite in honor of his mother, who died in February of 2015 but lived to see the boat completed.
"When people look at it, they can't believe the light color of the blond mahogany. They've never seen anything like it before. That's because they're used to seeing the dark-stained mahogany on American-made boats. But we like to celebrate the different styles of mahogany, and leaving it unstained but varnished creates a really different look," said Cavill.
Last winter he shipped the boat to the United States in a 40-foot container on a cargo ship and had it brought it to New Hampshire for some work, including replacing the motor with a 615-cubic-inch V-8 Big Block Chevy motor, which he says has greatly improved the boat's performance.
With the weather still cold in New Hampshir,e he and his wife, Helen, had the boat towed to the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival in Tavares, Florida, and since then they have taken the boat to number of antique and classic boat show, including Clayton, New York, and James River in Virginia.
"It's been a lot of fun going to these boat shows and seeing the reaction to the Marguerite," said Cavill.
The Winnipesaukee Antique and Classic Boat Show, held in Wolfeboro for the first time this year, drew 58 entries, the largest number in four years, and featured classic wooden boats from earlier eras, including Chris Crafts, Garwoods, Hackercraft and Century.
The show was held at the public docks at Weirs Beach in Laconia for nearly 30 years, starting in 1974, and was moved to the Meredith town docks in 2003.
Among the wooden boats which were on display last weekend were two boats which were made right in Wolfeboro at Goodhue and Hawkins, Regina, a 30-foot Laker owned by Howard Newton, a summer resident of Alton, and Keen Kutter, a 36-foot Laker owned by Richard Hapgood of Tuftonboro.
Newton said that Regina is one of only six known Lakers that were built in Wolfeboro and that it dates back to 1913. It is unique in that it has an oak rather than mahogany deck and is an original boat which is 99.9 percent unrestored.
The 36-foot long Keen Kutter was built around 1915 for Thomas Plant, who built Lucknow, now known as Castle in the Clouds at around the same time. It was the longest Laker ever built and reportedly was named for the shoe-cutting machinery developed by Plant.
Another boat on display was a 1921 Long Deck Launch built by the Ditchburn Company, which was located in Canada. The boat is now owned by Robert Brian Hennessy and Abigal Adams of Tuftonboro.
Adams said that they acquired the boat last year and that this year's boat show is the first time they have shown it.
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Peter Cavill of Brisbane, Australia and the Marguerite, a 27-foot Gold Cup racer that he built himself. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
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The 43rd annual Lake Winnipesaukee Antique and Classic Boat Show drew 58 entries and hundreds of spectators to the Wolfeboro Public Docks. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Abigal Adams of Tuftonboro in her 1921 Ditchburn Long Deck Launch. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Two boats which were in Wolfeboro at Goodhue and Hawkins, Keen Kutter, left, a 36-foot Laker owned by Richard Hapgood of Tuftonboro, and Regina, a 30-foot Laker owned by Howard Newton, a summer resident of Alton. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Keen Kutter, left, a 36-foot Laker owned by Richard Hapgood of Tuftonboro, was built in Wolfeboro at Goodhue and Hawkins. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
The steering wheel and front panel of the Keen Kutter. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)