For the first time in a decade, Skaneateles-based Mid-Lakes Navigation Company will have a presence at the New York Boat Show, taking place Jan. 4 to 8 at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
Mid-Lakes Navigation will join the New York State Canal Corporation in its efforts to promote the New York State Canal System — comprising the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego and Champlain canals — as a vacation and travel destination for both boaters and land-side visitors alike.
On display as part of the Canal Corporation’s exhibit will be the Canadice, a 33-foot-long Lockmaster canal boat from the Mid-Lakes fleet.
According to Sarah Wiles, co-owner and director of marketing for Mid-Lakes Navigation, the decision to attend was not taken lightly. “It’s an expensive and time-consuming proposition, but once we decided to go, things started moving rapidly,” she said. “Nearly the entire year-round staff, including the family members and office staff, have put on their work clothes and picked up sanders, grinders and brushes to get the Canadice ready for the show.
“Each Lockmaster in our fleet comes home to our boat barn near Skaneateles every five years for a major overhaul, in addition to receiving regular maintenance each spring,” Wiles added. “This year, the Canadice will get just a little extra care!”
The boat, which weighs 10 tons, will be transported to New York by Lockview Marina & Transport, of Cayuga.
The Canadice and Mid-Lakes’ nine other traditionally styled Lockmaster canal boats were designed and built at the Borodino Boatworks between 1986 and 2001 specifically for self-skippered charter on New York’s canals. They are rented by families, couples and friends, who cruise at their own pace for a week or partial week after receiving a comprehensive driving lesson and tips on where to go.
“The Canal Corporation could not be more pleased or proud to be joined by Mid-Lakes Navigation for the world’s greatest annual boating event,” said Brian U. Stratton, director of the New York State Canal Corporation. “Their participation, and the presence of the Canadice on the convention center floor, will have a major impact on the success of our exhibit and generating traffic for the New York State Canal System in the 2012 navigation season.