ESSEX — The Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) of The Antique and Classic Boat Society will present the 31st annual “Mahogany Memories” boat show on the grounds and docks of the Connecticut River Museum (CRM) on Saturday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The show will feature numerous examples of the finest classic wooden and fiberglass boats commonly seen in this area in the last century. Boats built by Chris Craft, Century, Lyman, Gar Wood, Elco and many more will be showcased. Boat owners will be on hand to talk about their boats, exchange ideas and share the joys of using and preserving these beautiful “woodies” and other memorable classics.
The SNEC president David McFarlin notes, “SNEC members are always excited to participate in this show at the Connecticut River Museum. They all work hard at restoring and maintaining these wonderful boats and enjoy showing them to the public.” Christopher Dobbs, CRM Executive Director comments, “We are pleased to host this incredible regional show that celebrates the heritage of fun on the water. It is a wonderful event for all ages that builds interest and appreciation for the wooden boat tradition. ”
Schuyler Thomson and Frank Christinat from the Canoeworks in Norfolk will be demonstrating and involving show participants in a series of wood bending exercises as they build a new boat. Also on display will be last year’s build, a 14-foot canoe and some other interesting canoes.
The CRM’s Boatbuilding Workshop will be on view throughout the weekend. The workshop, geared towards first-time boat builders, allows participants to work with experienced volunteers and go home at the end of the weekend with a 12 foot rowing skiff. The museum commissioned Paul Kessinger, a local wooden boat builder from Guilford, Conn., to build the first CRM 12 in 2014. Kessinger says, “This is a perfect activity for adults or families. Best yet, you will get years of enjoyment out of rowing your skiff.” Reservations are required and interested participants should contact the museum as soon as possible.
The Mystic Seaport Ship Modelers (MSSM) will return to show off and possibly launch several of their models. This group is a special interest group comprised of Mystic Seaport members and staff. It was formed in 2012 to promote ship modeling and related activities at Mystic Seaport and in the surrounding area.
New this year, several classic cars from the mahogany boat era will be on display. Many of them with mahogany dashboards, chrome hardware and elegant brightwork are reflective of period boats. One fascinating automobile on display will be a 1929 Cadillac 341B Town Sedan that was impounded as part of the Lindbergh infant kidnapping, saved from a junkyard, and housed in a barn for 51 years before being finely restored.
In addition, marine supplies, artwork, clothing and boat merchandise will be available for purchase and a raffle will be held at the end of the show. This year’s sponsors include the Connecticut River Museum, Essex Savings Bank, Ashcroft Inc., Cooper Capital Specialty Salvage, Middle Cove Marina, Northeast Laser and Electropolish, CCJ, Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance, Island Cove Marina, Clark Group, New England Chrome Plating, Inc., Heritage Marine Insurance, and ki Advertising.
The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main St. on the historic Essex waterfront. For more information on the Mahogany Memories Antique and Classic Boat Show and other CRM programs and events, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.
# # #
Photo Caption: On display will be the 1929 Cadillac connected to the Lindbergh infant kidnapping. Photo courtesy of Tom Tkacz.