The 35th annual Skaneateles Antique and Classic Boat shows will be held this weekend.
This year’s Antique and Classic Boat Show, held July 26 to 28 in Clift Park, will mark the 35th annual show for the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (FLC).
Hours are 3 p.m. to dusk Friday, 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
The show features more than 90 antique and classic boats — many restored to their original condition — and draws more than 10,000 visitors each year. But it wasn’t always that way.
At the first show, held in 1978 at Treman State Marine Park in Ithaca, 13 boats were on display. “They were scattered at the ends of four finger piers. It was a quarter-mile hike to see them all,” recalled FLC founding member and past president Bob Myllymaki. Just one boat hailed from out-of-state.
Today, exhibitors come not only from Central New York, but also from New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina and Canada. Displays range from mahogany runabouts manufactured by Chris-Craft, Hacker and Gar Wood in the early 1900s to launches, sailboats, canoes, rowing craft and race boats.
From Treman State Marine Park, at the south end of Cayuga Lake, the show moved to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in downtown Seneca Falls, the Ithaca Yacht Club and then Emerson Park, at the north end of Owasco Lake. It also made stops in Brewerton and at the Oswego Harbor before finding a permanent home in Skaneateles in 1995.
The show has stayed in Skaneateles, said Dick Sherwood, a director and past president of the chapter, because of “the excellence of the venue, where both in-the-water and land displays can be set up adjacent to each other; the strong support and organizational assistance provided by the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce; the generous and sustained support of our sponsors; and the cultural fit with the community.”