Thirty years since its last appearance, the newly restored Pat II — one of the few all-electric passenger vessels in the country — returns to Skaneateles for the 43rd annual Antique and Classic Boat Show this weekend.
The show, one of the most popular of its kind in the Northeast, will be held from 3 p.m. to dusk Friday, July 23; 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday, July 24; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 25. Admission is free. The event is organized by the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation (also known as the Skaneateles Foundation).
The Pat II, a 39-foot launch, delivered mail to summer residents along Skaneateles Lake from 1956 to 1991. In 2014, it was acquired by the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. There, it underwent a painstaking seven-year restoration, and is now used as a cruise vessel and teaching tool. The Pat II will be in Skaneateles July 21 through July 25; complimentary rides will be offered to the public each day. For reservations, visit midlakesnavigation.com.
Among the 70 or so other boats on display will be mahogany runabouts manufactured in the early 1900s by Chris-Craft, Hacker and Gar Wood, launches, sailboats, canoes, rowing craft and race boats, many restored to their original condition.
Dave Couch, president of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, invites visitors to “take time to walk down the pier and view the beautiful classic boats tethered in the slips, then stroll through the land displays in Clift Park. Many of the exhibitors,” he noted, “have traveled hundreds of miles to be here, to afford others the opportunity to get up-close and personal with these grand old boats.”
Highlights of the weekend include:
• A boat parade and fly-by, led by the Skaneateles Fire Department and the Pat II, starting at 3:15 p.m. Saturday.
• Musical performances by the Diana Jacobs Band from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and the Soda Ash Six from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.
• A display of antique model boats by the Syracuse Model Boat Club from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• A youth judging competition, sponsored by Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance, to “spark kids’ passion for wooden boats" at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
• A knot-tying demonstration at 11 a.m. Saturday.
• A photo shoot and spectator cruise aboard the Judge Ben Wiles at 10 a.m. Sunday. The Judge will leave from the Mid-Lakes Navigation dock in Clift Park and make a slow tour of the north end of Skaneateles Lake while exhibiting boats make random passes and provide opportunities for action shots. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $5 for children younger than 13 accompanied by an adult. For reservations, visit midlakesnavigation.com or call (315) 685-8500.
• Raffle drawings at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. First prize is an experience package from Mirbeau Inn & Spa. Additional prizes are a $500 gift certificate from Rasa Spa, a stay at the Holiday Inn in Auburn with breakfast, a $100 gift certificate from Mid-Lakes Navigation, a downtown Skaneateles basket, a toy wooden boat filled with lottery tickets, a framed 2021 boat show print, a $50 gift certificate from Gilda’s and $25 gift certificate from the Patisserie, a Skaneateles Antique and Classic Boat Show sweatshirt and a toy wooden boat filled with candy. Tickets are $5 each, $10 for three and $20 for 10, and are on sale at the chamber and the show.
Judging of the boats, in 35 categories, takes place Saturday morning. Throughout the weekend, visitors to the show will cast their votes for the highly coveted People's Choice Award, sponsored by Doug’s Fish Fry, which will be presented at 1:45 p.m. Sunday.
Although the children’s boat painting activity will not be held this year, boat painting kits will be sold at the registration tent and coloring pages featuring the Pat II will be given away.
The poster for this year’s show is a watercolor version of a photo taken at the 2019 show by Finger Lakes Chapter member Anne Sherwood. Posters are $10 and are on sale at the show and the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce at 22 Jordan St.
In anticipation of the show, a 1928 Penn Yan cartopper is on display at M&T Bank in downtown Skaneateles.
M&T Bank is the show’s presenting sponsor. Contributing sponsors are the Sherwood Inn, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards/1911, Brinson Marine, Doug’s Fish Fry, Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Amber Spain-Mosher, Finger Lakes Insurance Agency, Gar Wood Custom Boats, Hagerty Insurance, the Inns of Aurora, Katz’s Marina, Blue Water Grill, Jacobs Press, Tory 4 Seasons, Holiday Inn Auburn, Johnny Angel’s Heavenly Burgers, SECNY, Skaneateles Festival, The Bond 1835, 1st National Gifts, cate&sally, Cayuga Tree Service, Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club, Emma + James Boutique, Gilda’s, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Janice M. Miller, Architect, Mid-Lakes Navigation, Sea Culture Brand, Skaneateles Artisans, Tops Friendly Markets, Valentine’s Pizza & Deli and Wirth’s Automotive. Media sponsors are The Citizen, Group M Communications and WRVO Public Media.
The show is accessible to people with disabilities.
All COVID-19-related guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York state will be followed.
Sandi Mulconry is founder and principal of Group M Communications, a public relations group in Skaneateles. For more information, visit skaneateles.com.