Skaneateles, New York
23rd Annual Finger Lakes Antique & Classic Boat Show
by Cheryl Brintnal
& Classic Boat Magazine
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.
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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