Newsletter of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS

Volume 17, Issue 3 Newsletter of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS September 2007

UPDATED september 20th 2007 page 12

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by FLC President Rob Kid

Adirondack's last three owners from '59 to present. Left to right: Rob Kidd, Dave Kidd and Bud Brownell.

During the '40s, '50s and '60s, Big Moose Lake in the Central Adirondacks was home to a great deal of waterskiing talent. Among those skiers was young Richard "Bud" Brownell whose family owned a summer home in the East Bay of Big Moose Lake. In the summer of 1959, Bud was ready to purchase his first ski boat and began his search. The center of all the action on Big Moose Lake was Dunn's Marina which played host to annual waterskiing shows in which local talent would come up with new and different stunts each year to see who could outdo whom. While at the marina one day, Bud asked Joe Dunn for his advice on what kind of ski boat he should look for. Joe told him to find an inboard boat with a six-cylinder engine. Bud's search ended when he found a 1934 split cockpit Chris- Craft with a Chrysler Ace engine. Bud named the boat after his new daughter, Belinda, and enjoyed many hours of waterskiing behind it. One time Bud even tried out the floating ski jump anchored near Dunn's Marina. Later in the sixties, Bud took a job working at a private yacht club on Upper Saranac Lake where he set up a slalom course on the water that his wife, Lois, would pull him through after work at the club. When Bud moved to Colorado, the boat stayed behind in storage collecting dust for a number of years before Dave Kidd found it in 1978. During the seventies, Dave was busy snapping up vintage boats at bargain basement prices and he was able to purchase Bud's boat and trailer in good condition for $1,500. With other boats in his "fleet" to tend to, Belinda would have to wait awhile before seeing the water again. In the early eighties Belinda was renamed Adirondack and entered into its first Antique Boat Show at Lake George. Coincidentally, Bud and his daughter Belinda happened to be in the area that same weekend and stopped by the show. Bud told his daughter that if he should see a boat like their old one, he would point it out to her. As they walked along the dock, Bud said, "Now here's one like mine. Wait a minute, this is my boat!" This chance meeting would be the beginning of a long friendship between Bud and the Kidd family. Since the early eighties the Kidd family has enjoyed Adirondack on the Fulton Chain of Lakes in the Central Adirondacks. Again coincidentally, Bud Brownell now has a summer home on the Fulton Chain. Two or three times each summer Adirondack pays a visit to Bud at his dock so he can see that his boat is being well cared for. This past fall Bud was reunited with his boat at Big Moose Lake when present owner Rob Kidd trailered the boat to Dunn's Marina and met Bud for a ride around the lake. Bud narrated the trip, pointing out places of interest along the way that had special meaning, and told a few stories about the fun times he had had in the boat. One story told was of how he would approach his dock on skis. With the dock to their camp located at the end of a long, narrow bay, the driver of the boat would have to run down into the bay at speed and at the very last possible moment, turn the wheel hard and swing the rope and Bud over to the dock. With the exception of a new bottom installed with the help of the late Paul Hornick of Old Forge, the boat is almost 100% original. During the bottom replacement, no rot was found in the hull which is a testimony to the fine care that previous owners had given the boat. The Chrysler Ace engine that Bud had overhauled in 1966, still runs beautifully and the upholstery installed at the same time continues to wear well. The collection of boats assembled by Dave Kidd years ago were sold off one by one until he got down to this last boat at which time his sons Dave and Rob made him promise not to sell it. He kept his promise and now Rob enjoys Adirondack in the Old Forge area and at various FLC events. *The same Charlie Adams whose 1934 Thompson outboard was the subject of an article in the December 2006 Brightwork

Many thanks to Rob Kidd for providing this story. -Ed.