The snipe “Venture” was built in 1939 at Point Breeze, N.Y. by Winfield Scott Hoot in a barn that is now owned by Gene Christopher. Gene told me that when he purchased the barn he did find a set of snipe plans but had no idea of there significance and let them go. Winfield’s grandson, Bob Hoot of Albion, recounts that the boat was built in the second story of the barn. Bob was not sure how the boat was taken out when completed. He does remember that in that barn was the original Lighthouse sign.
Winfield’s son Alvara Hoot had returned from service in WWII and became a member of OOYC. He sailed Venture with much success winning the Burrow’s and Walter Dayton awards. Sadly, he died in a car accident at age 24. The Venture would go on for many years after capturing many more trophies with other skippers. (see Snipes at Oak Orchard).
The snipe, Venture has had a long and prestigious history. Today she is the only surviving snipe from the golden-days of Oak Orchard Yacht Club’s small sailboat racing. Much of Venture’s history is well documented in the racing records. Thanks to the folks at the Oak Orchard Lighthouse Association her memory will be kept alive for generations to come. See Snipes at OOYC for more information.
Alvara Hoot holding, possibly the Burrow’s, or Walter Dayton award.