52nd Annual Boat Show at the Antique Boat Museum-Clayton, NY

Lee and I journeyed up to the 52nd Annual Boat Show held in Clayton, NY the weekend of August 5-7.  If you have never been up to the Thousand Islands, this is a must to put on your “bucket list”!

437The show opened on Friday August 5th to heat, sun and humidity and lots of boats!  This year’s Marquee boat was the “Dispro” (i.e., the disappearing propeller boat) and they were well represented with approximately 21 boats of various lengths and manufacturers and years. Chapter members Gail and Wes Van Dine had their 1950 Greavette Dispro named “Bounty” displayed on land with a great collection of period memorabilia, seat cushions, etc.  All the Dispro’s exhibited, be it on the docks or on land, always had people milling about, taking pictures and speaking with the owners.  Ian Dickerson, an authority on Dispro boats, gave a very interesting talk and used the boats on land to show visitors the various differences between the manufacturers.


Saturday again dawned hot and sunny and despite that, there was a very good crowd throughout the day.  Judging started early and it was nice to see that there were exhibitors there who were experiencing their “first” Antique Boat Museum Show.  The “Youth Judging”, sponsored by Hagerty Insurance drew a large number of kids and it was great to see the next generation of boating enthusiasts!

Antique Boat America started the boat auction right on time and although it was hot, bidding was spirited and all but 3 boats sold.  The highlight of the auction was a 57 foot, 1924 Smith and Williams Motor Yacht named Kensington – a very large boat!

Sunday brought the awards ceremony and the Marquee was recognized throughout the ceremony.  I am pleased to say that Wes and Gail’s boat “Bounty” won for Best Canadian Boat Other Than A Shepherd – congratulations!  Our trip home was somewhat uneventful (with the exception of the 2 hour traffic delay) and Lee and I look forward to the 53rd annual show in 2017. – Bette Heinzman, Chapter Secretary

Fall River Cruise

Arrangements have been made to have lunch at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Essex and then take a delightful cruise on the Connecticut River!

Here are all the particulars:

Date:   Saturday September 28, 2013

Docking Info:  Tie up at the CT River Museum Docks

Time:   Meet at 12:00 noon at the CT River Museum docks and travel to the Corinthian Yacht Club for lunch at 12:30 p.m. – it’s a short distance!

Cost of Lunch:  Each person to choose from the yacht club menu and pay for their own meal.

Cruise:  After lunch, participate in a group cruise organized by Steven Haines who will provide a chart of the waterway.

Remember – You can join us for lunch even if you don’t bring a boat – we hope that many of you will participate on Saturday September 28th.

Any questions, please contact either Lynn Mc Farlin (email: Lynn.McFarlin@rrd.com) or Steven Haines (email: haines@centerbrook.com).

Boats of Venice

We just came back from a vacation in Italy and we wanted to share some of our thoughts about Venice in relation to its boats and waterways.

The city is known for its unique public transportation system. No motor vehicles are allowed in the city so everyone gets around by water taxi, waterbus (vaporetto) or on foot.

Vaporetto on the Grand Canal

Vaporetto on the Grand Canal

A water taxi will pick you up at the airport or train station and transport you and your luggage to your hotel. We entered the city via the Lagoon and the Grand Canal in a water taxi from the airport. What an entrance…………….

These water taxis are almost all wood, and they appear to be marine plywood versus mahogany board; they are approximately 28-32 feet, and are propelled by pump jet (similar to the PBRs of the Vietnam Operation Markettime in the Delta fame) or the Hinckley Picnic boats. I’ve never seen such boat handling as these drivers did. They could maneuver their taxis between buildings, in a canal of maybe 12-14 feet wide, with 90 degree corners, and get around each other, or multiple gondolas without touching either the building or the gondola. From afar, many appear to look pristine, be they white or natural wood. Upon getting up close and personal, some of them were fairly beat up from hitting against the pilings when they were stopping to get a fare, or when tied up overnight and all the other boats were creating wakes.

Wooden Water Taxi Underway

Wooden water taxi underway

We saw only one conventional inboard in the four days there, and it was in pretty good shape. They are everywhere in Venice. The larger ones will sit 12-14 people comfortably. Venice is truly a wooden boat lover’s paradise. I was ready to sign up for “taxi school” after only two days there, but I couldn’t sell the program.

Of course no visit to Venice would be complete without a ride in a traditional gondola serenaded by live music. We glided through the centuries old canals, under famous arched bridges, past lavish palaces and quaint piazzas. These long, narrow, flat bottomed boats with a high prow and

Gondola in motion

A gondola in motion

stern were designed specifically for the Venetian canals and made in unique shipyards called Squero. It takes many years of apprenticeship for gondoliers to learn how to deftly propel them along the canals. The Squero, once many in number, made all kinds of traditional boats for the Venetian shipping business that was essential at the time for the Venetian Republic’s prosperity. But now very few, with their highly skilled artisans, remain. There are currently 425 gondolas and gondoliers licensed to operate in Venice.

Gondola Repair Shop

Gondola repair shop

Black is the obligatory color, since a local law was passed to reduce how the rich and noble over-decorated their personal craft. The comb on the front of the gondola is made of iron and serves not only to balance the boat, but it is the symbol of gondolas and Venice. The six comb teeth represent the six Venetian districts.

In case this article is more than you want to know, pack your bags and experience Italy in person. Also if you can’t find him in the years to come, Cliff’s next career will be “water taxi captain”. Somehow I don’t think an Irishman in Italy is going to cut it………………..but one never knows.

Water Taxi at Taxi Stand

Water taxi at a taxi stand

Cliff and Patty McGuire