Welcome To The Thousand SmIslands

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Randy McKendry’s Shepherd “Miss Geneva: with daughter Emma at the helm on the Thursday evening cruise.

Here is part one of the Clayton report from Kent O. Smith and there is more to come next week. I smell a East West Shoot out with Tahoe. Maybe we can make a Claytoe show. The largest show in North America.  Anyway, enough of my ramblings and bad ideas that are just good enough to fill another day here in Woodyboaterville. Take away Mr Kent O.

Boats arriving at the museum on Thursday.  The Gar Wood on the right is the Joe Turcotte tribute boat.

Thousand SmIslands

It’s always a treat to escape to the Thousand Islands in upstate New York for the annual boat show where the scenery is like nowhere else.  This year was the 58th show hosted by the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton; the turnout was great, the docks were full and land displays were abundant.  But what makes this show one of the special ones is seeing many of the same boating friends year after year – smiles in the islands – SmIslands!

Museum ride boat “Zipper” – well – zipping along the river.

Typically the weather this far north is warm and pleasant, though this year we suffered through near record high temperatures and oppressive humidity.  That didn’t distract too much from the fun, but the lines at the beer wagon were longer than usual.

ay Glenn’s 22’ Shepherd.  This is the boat was on in St. Michaels MD when we took a wave over the bow that soaked me and my cameras!

The multiday show begins on Thursday with boats and vendors arriving.  There was a welcome reception Thursday evening with enough food to call it a supper.  After the reception, folks boarded museum ride boats as well as personal boats for a sunset cruise around Grindstone Island.  During the cruise, you will see many beautiful quaint cottages and also modern mega mansions, each with lovely boathouses.  You will pass through some Canadian waters and go underneath the International Bridge.

When you live on an island and the boat won’t get you to the mainland fast enough, you might as well have a chopper.

When your daughter drives, you know you’ve taught her well.

Sadly, with the hot humid weather, the sky was mostly gray for most of the cruise.  Right near sunset time, the sun did peak out and we enjoyed a little after glow on the horizon.  Three museum ride boats participated in the trip; “Zipper,” a 1974 41’ commuter style boat,  “Gadfly,” a 1931 Hutchinson limo 33’, and the “Miss Thousand Islands,” a 30’ Hacker Craft triple cockpit.

Museum ride boat “Miss Thousand Islands,” a 30’ HackerCraft.

Friday and Saturday are the main show days, with judging taking place Saturday morning.  Hagerty youth judges were out in force as well.  The list of awards winners can be viewed here:  https://www.abm.org/index.php/events/antique-boat-show-and-auction/   I was thrilled to see that “Black Beauty,” a 1947 Gar Wood Deluxe runabout won Best Restored Classic.  I completed that restoration in 2009 for the late great collector Chris Johnson.  The boat was factory ordered with black sides and decks and a white interior.  Current owners Marty and Cathy enjoy the boat on Canadaigua Lake.

Nick Arnone’s ’59 Coronado flying over some waves.

Little pink BOAThouses for you and me.

A Lyman kissed by the brief sunset.

Randy and Uncle Wes on the 6AM run to A-Bay.  I’m in the rumble seat in the bow.

Sometimes things just line up and you know all is right in the world for a moment in time.

When I arrived Thursday afternoon my friend Randy asked me to join him first thing Friday morning for a video shoot.  The YouTube Channel “Mahogany & Chrome” was in town for the weekend to film an episode.  At 6AM, we hopped in Randy’s 22’ Gar Wood Speedster “White Knuckles” and blasted 11 miles down river to the boat house for Boldt Castle in Alexandria bay to meet the film crew.  Rides like that are priceless!

Museum ride boat “Gadfly.”

It was wonderful to see old friend Forrest Bryant on the dock.  Forrest is the Co-Creator and Co-executive Producer of “Mahogany & Chrome” and prominent member of the Heartland Classic Chapter of ACBS.  Forrest and I go back over a decade when I managed the replacement bottom on his HackerCraft while serving as Production and Resoration manager at Hacker Boat Company.  The crew onsite consisted of the show host Tyler Harcott, Co-creator / Director David Vickers, two camera operators, a drone operator and a dedicated sound man.

Hey, look over there!  It’s a boat show!

This morning’s shoot included three boats; Randy’s Speedster, a very early Fry launch and “Vagabond King,” a Hutchinson triple cockpit.  It was really neat to see these guys work together to capture some great footage and get the interview shots needed to make the episode.  Later, the crew was onsite at the museum to film boats and people there as well.  I introduced them to the Turcotte family that builds the modern Gar Wood boats, folks well deserving of being interviewed about their impact on classic boating.

Camera operator Scott Jolley getting the point of view shot.  Scott is also their drone pilot.

Behind the scenes, “Mahogany & Chrome” crew working on the “Vagabond King” shoot.

Behind the scenes from the chase boat, Boldt Castle boathouse in the background.

Mahogany & Chrome” host Tyler Harcott cupping his ears to hear instructions from film director.  He and owner Drew McNally are wearing wireless microphones to record the interview while underway.

Check out the “Mahogany & Chrome” YouTube channel and stay tuned for the Clayton episode:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfvjeMWAQ3vdXvbNu6jP4IQ/videos

On the docks at the museum.

The Mary Street pier next to the museum is undergoing some reconstruction and as a result was closed so there were not as many classic cruisers as in years past, though there were some on the outer seawall.  

Interesting Chris Craft pre war utility hardtop.

One afternoon, the museum ride boat “Teal,” a 28’ Gar Wood triple cockpit, was coming back in from a cruise with a handful of passengers onboard.  There was a mechanical issue as the boat neared the dock – it suddenly would not shift out of forward!  The quick thinking captain was able to steer away from the dock to avoid other boats, then kill the engine so the boat lost speed before it bumped into the seawall.  Fortunately no one was hurt and the boat was not damaged, but it is a good reminder to be prepared for the unexpected when boating, anything can happen.

Suwanee” is part of the museum collection donated by the late Bob Cox.

When the docks get crowded, you shoot the details.

“Wild Goose” is part of the museum collection.

A classic Raveau racer with a big Merc.

Classic Mercury.

“Pastime” is part of the museum collection.

Judges hard at work.

Hagerty youth judges.

he quintessential 13’ Boston Whaler.  I had one – when I was fifteen, Dad launched us (my best friend and I) just north of New York City on the Hudson River, then met us three days later at Crown Point on Lake Champlain.  My first solo river run, no radio, no cell phone, just a baggies full of dimes to make calls with!

“Pardon Me” is always a crowd pleaser.

The helm on a new Gar Wood Streamliner.

Classic Elco cruiser on the seawall.

The 28’ single step Gar Wood hydroplane “Griffin” is part of the Lee Anderson collection.  She has a rare Glenn Curtis power plant.  Sadly they only ran her from the ramp to the dock and back.  I’d love to photograph her at speed.

1940’s HackerCraft instrument panel detail shot.

Phil Bougie built this 22’ Hacker racer himself over a period of 25 years.  Stay tuned for running shots of it.

Chris Craft XK-19 dash details.  And yes, we got running shots of it too.

Pretty much any classic boat is a “GEM.”

Dash of the “Running Wild,” one of two runabouts that local Roy Stanely built in the 1920s.  This one is powered by a Liberty engine.  The other runabout was “Comet” which is part of the museum’s collection.

A large Gar Wood racer that has a Whipple supercharged motor.

Chris Craft pre war 17’ split cockpit.

The awesome prow of the “Pardon Me.”

A beautiful show day at the docks.

There was an excessive amount of algae and weed in the river this year.

Well that wraps up the basic boat show report from Clayton.  But wait, you say, “Where are all the action boat shots that I typically share?”  Well my friends, you’ll have to stay tuned for Clayton Part Deux coming to Woody Boater in the near future.

Randy’s speedster…speeding!  So stay tuned for the Part Deux early morning action photo shoots…

As always, I would like to thank museum Executive Director Rebecca Hopfinger and Events & Communications Coordinator Caitlin Playle for their hospitality each year.  The show is one of my favorites and I look forward next year’ event – and another Thousand SmIslands!

Here is a link to the Antique Boat Museum info here:  www.abm.org

And of course, a standing slow clap ovation to Mr Kent O. Smith, Jr and his report. WOW! More info HERE at KAOS Imagery

14 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Great and extensive report with wonderful photography of what looks like it was a fantastic event. Having cruised that area a few years ago it makes me want to go back for some more. When we were there it was very high water and “no wake” in many areas. Glad that is now over. I hope that Part Two will include a picture of the other Black Beauty. I guess that name must instill perfection in a watercraft!
    Thank you both Mr. Smiths for sharing with us!

      • ART
        ART says:

        The images of Pardon Me or as I knew her as lockPat when I was a wee minnow here on Harsen’s Island. She was moored about ¾ mile from our summer cottage, but my girl friend lived next door to her mooring dock. Mr. Lock would normally take her out on Wednesdays and of course us kids would hang around hoping for a ride, which thankfully, more than a few times, he would take us along. It sure was an impressive riding craft, doing 60MPH and throwing a massive 4 to 5 foot wake.

  2. Greg Rice
    Greg Rice says:

    Sorry. Thought the first image did not load. Here is another image of the same boat in a different setting.

  3. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    “I had one – when I was fifteen, Dad launched us (my best friend and I) just north of New York City on the Hudson River, then met us three days later at Crown Point on Lake Champlain. My first solo river run, no radio, no cell phone, just a baggies full of dimes to make calls with!”

    The joys of life, before unscrupulous lawyers, their unethical clients who refuse any form of personal responsibility & greedy insurance companies ruined things.

  4. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Thanks for the great pictures Kent. Nice to see Marks gorgeous Coronado ‘ Raccoon ‘ arriving at the show.

  5. Andrew Colerick
    Andrew Colerick says:

    I guess I didn’t go to the same show in Clayton.

    Thought turnout was rather disappointing.

    30-45 minute dock walk was enough. For a celebration of Chris-Craft, it was lacking.

    Where were the Capris, the Holidays, the Rivieras, the Cobras?

    I’m not the only one who felt this way..

    Apologies if this comes across as negative!

Comments are closed.