Today we are fortunate enough to get this surprise report in from the Aderondacks from Kent O. Smith. Like in the headline. Okay, smart afts.. Here is your story.. Okay, it;s his story and his captions. I am merely the vessel today. Take it away Mr O. Smith.
Nestled in hills of the south central Adirondacks is the quaint town of Old Forge, which typically holds the distinction of being the coldest location in New York state each winter. Aside from it’s touristy water park, it a pretty quite town and has been the location of the Fulton Chain Rendezvous for thirty years.
The Fulton Chain consists of four interconnected lakes and a channel to the pond in Old Forge proper, spanning a distance of about 10.5 miles. It’s home to lovely small Adirondack style camps though over the years many of them have been upgrade to McMansions.
While vacationing in the area, several early members of the Adirondack Chapter thought it would be a good location for an antique boat show. The story, as I heard it, three boats attended the first “official” show and recruited a fourth local boat that weekend.
The most recent event saw about 45 boats in attendance. Sadly, the 2020 and 2021 shows had to be canceled due to Covid, so folks seemed eager to get back to it. They were blessed with a sunny blue sky 74* no humidity day.
The show is largely organized by the Hornick family; wife, sons, and extended family of the late great Paul Hornick, a well loved member of the Adirondack Chapter – and – Robb Kidd, son of Dave Kidd who was an early ACBS member and International President.
The greatest thing about the Fulton Chain Rendezvous is how laid back and mellow it is. Everyone is so friendly, the relaxed casual atmosphere is most inviting. The local American Legion caters the event with $4 hamburgers and sausage patties. At the Saturday evening banquet at the VFW, you can expect to pay about $5 for a mixed drink. It’s a show that won’t break the bank especially in today’s inflationary world.
There is a welcome reception Friday evening at no cost, donate what you feel appropriate. Show day is short and sweet. It officially opens at 10AM and at 2PM, the boats depart the docks and parade from Old Forge Pond through the channel to First Lake. From there, it’s up to you – head all the way down to Fourth Lake or back to the docks.
During the show there are free boat rides around the pond. The “Adironduck,” a small kit boat that the chapter built over several workshops, is onsite to give rides as well, especially to children.
The boats that attend range the whole gamut. Many are local to the Fulton Chain and have been user boats in the same family since new. But you will also see show boats and folks that traveled from well out of town.
You would be hard pressed to find a more relaxed and enjoyable boat show anywhere in the country. It’s well worth the trip at some point in your boat show travels.
The Adirondack Chapter will be hosting the 48th Annual Lake George Rendezvous on August 26 -27 and will feature a 100th anniversary tribute to the legendary Lake George Gold Cup raceboat “El Lagarto” so consider attending. As always, many thanks to the Hornick family and Rob Kidd for all their hard work over more years than we can count.
And a special thank you to Ed & Gayle Bobowicz from the Niagara Frontier Chapter for graciously offering to be the photo boat for the on water activities, and the wonderful boat ride thereafter.The aerial images are courtesy of Rod Spratting.
Kent O. Smith, Jr. / KAOS Imagery