Skaneateles, New York 23rd Annual Finger Lakes Antique & Classic Boat Show
by Cheryl Brintnal
lAntique & Classic Boat Magazine
November-December 2001 Volume I. Issue 6

Something for everyone - There is a "festival" feeling in the air when the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society holds their Annual Boat Show.  Skaneateles is an extraordinary, historically rich, visually stimulating "Main Street" community that gives one hundred-ten percent to anything they do.  You may not always be able to depend on the weather; last year it was cold, blowing and rainy.  This year it was perfect.  But you can certainly count on Finger Lakes to put on one of the most entertaining boat shows you could either participate in as a boat owner or attend as a spectator.

Participants are made to feel welcome by the Chapter members from the moment they arrive.  Although the boat ramp is a few miles from the docks, Club Volunteers are there to assure a safe launch.  If you need assistance, they will even make arrangements to take your trailer to a secured location and store it, then deliver your vehicle downtown while you enjoy a leisurely boat ride on Skaneateles Lake.  Just don't panic when you look into the water and see the rocks on the bottom, they really are twenty-plus feet down; the water is deceptively and deliciously crystal clear.

Picturesque rolling hillsides surround the lake as you make your way to Clift Park at the extreme northern end which is also the heart of the Village.  Skaneateles was first settled around 1795.  The Village incorporated in 1833 and was known for its teasel growing.  Teasel (I'd never heard of it either) was used to raise the nap on woolen cloth; it has a rough exterior that pulls the wool fibers apart, giving wool its soft, fuzzy feel.

The Village of Skaneateles is very proud of their historic roots, and offers guided tours during the boat show weekend to the many points of historical interest.  Indeed, Clift Park was once the site of Packwood's Carriage factory.  Originally, a wooden jetty extended out into Skaneateles Lake where travelers could access steamboats that traveled the lakes.Today, the jetty is a luxuriously wide mason promenade that extends several hundred feet out into the lake.  The docks for the show are not permanent as the lake freezes in winter, so each spring wooden docks are installed and taken out again at the end of the season.  This dual walkway, one for the boaters and, with the jetty being about eight feet above, allows the spectators a unique, unobstructed perspective of each boat.

Chase Gazebo is in the heart of Clift Park and was the site of several functions during the show.  Band concerts, guest speakers... even knot-tying lessons taught by "the extreme" Coast Guard.  I didn't ask what the "extreme" meant - but I FINALLY learned how to get that stupid rabbit out of the hole, around the tree and back into the hole!  The Gazebo was crowded with people using every pole, banister and rail to tie knots on with the instructor standing in the center ... it sort of looked like an adult "time out".  He also gave safety tips and excellent 'spring line' examples explaining the theories in detail. THANK-YOU  Syd"'Bruce" Marsden

People Choice Award Triple Time
1937 25' GarWood
Doug's Fish Fry, the annual People's Choice Award Sponsor, is located around the corner on Jordan, but get there early, their fish sandwiches are legendary. 
Just below the Gazebo, the Syracuse Model Boat Club displayed their incredible replicas.  Attention to every minute detail is evident in each of these powered and non-powered scale models. A demostration of the radio controlled models delighted young and old alike.

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