Southern New England Chapter Celebrates Their 34th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show!

Friday July 13, 2018 kicked off the 34th Annual Southern New England Chapter Antique and Classic Boat Show at the CT River Museum in Essex, CT.  The weather was just about perfect – slight breeze and not too much humidity!  Boats started arriving around noon and with the help of Mike Sorensen, Bill Sorensen, Danny Ross and Ted Boynton, we were able to get everyone in the water (or on land) with little or no stress!

The museum’s exhibit “Thirsty River – 400 Years of Drink, Life and Reform in the Connecticut River Valley” was open to SNEC Show participants.  The Hogo Rum Bar featured rare and specialty rums and drinks and was quite a hit.  The bar was run by Steve Gencarella, the Museum’s Resident Folklorist and he was more than happy to talk about the rums and spirts of the Connecticut River Valley.  I saw many people with rum drinks in their hands!

This year we decided to forego our typical cookout and instead went with “The Big Green Truck PizzaCompany!  Some of our chapter members had been to other events where they were present so we decided to try them.  The pizza truck is circa 1946-48 and comes completely equipped with brick oven, tables, etc.  It was very interesting to see this all unfold in the parking lot!

Well – you won’t believe how many combinations you can come up with on a pizza pie!  Some of the favorites were mashed potato, caramelized onions and bacon, (a crowd favorite), BBQ chicken, clam and shrimp, vegetarian, the choices were endless.  Just as soon as one pie was finished, another was out of the oven – an endless flow.  You could even request a “special” pie and they would make it up.  We also had a simple mixed green salad, espresso and cappuccino and six flavors of gelato for dessert!

Saturday’s weather was just about perfect and the remainder of the boats arrived, the ships store, raffle prizes and silent auction were set up. Every year we open the raffle and silent auction up to the general public and it is interesting to see some of the strategies people use with their raffle tickets!  We did very well with our store and raffle and we thank the chapter members and many area merchants for their contribution to the raffle.  I believe we had a total of 50 prizes on raffle and 9 on silent auction.

We had many vintage cars on the lawn as well and that was a big draw.  Two of our chapter members brought car/boat combinations; many pictures were taken and the crowd continually flowed among the cars, boats on the lawn and boats in the water

Donahue’s Madison Beach Grille again provided wonderful hors devours and a buffet dinner.  From crab cakes, lobster mac and cheese, grilled flank steak, chicken, salmon, potatoes, salad, summer vegetables and two wonderful desserts – you definitely didn’t go hungry!  Good Medicine Rx from Southbury provided 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music during cocktails and dinner.

After dinner Chapter President Lynn McFarlin thanked the participants for bringing their wooden and classic boats.  Lynn explained that this year’s show had a smaller amount of boats due to vacations and other activities, but we still had a diversified selection with a few boats that had not been exhibited before. Lynn also thanked the many volunteers who, without their help, the show wouldn’t be the success that it is.  This is a very large undertaking and team work and coordination are definitely necessary!

Lynn advised that on Saturday September 29th Chapter Member Charlie Hand will be conducting a Fall Cruise on the Connecticut River; more information will be forthcoming.  Our Annual Dinner will be in November at Gaetano’s Main Street Tavern – again – more information to follow.

Chief Judge, David McFarlin thanked the judges and explained the judging rules to the audience.  He said this was the first time that he could remember when all 12 of the boats that had registered to be judged won!  There were a number of first-time winners and needless to say – they were thrilled!

2019 will mark the Chapter’s 35th Annual Show; the date will be announced shortly.  Please remember, we are always looking for volunteers – please contact Bette Heinzman (email: if you are interested in volunteering. – Bette Heinzman, Chapter Secretary


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