Antique wooden boat show Saturday

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — For Bob Forman, one of the organizers of this Saturday’s 18th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show and Classic Car Show on the Naples Causeway, the local event is a ritual he looks forward to each summer.

He and his wife share an adoration of fixing up antique boats.

Over the years, the Formans have purchased classic wooden boats with an eye on the restoration process ahead of them. Together, they have put in the long hours to strip, repaint and varnish each craft until it was worthy of a boat show. They have driven down the seaboard towing their “labor of love,” and headed for Dora Lake and the renown classic boat show in Mt. Dora, Fla.

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WHAT: 18th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show, and Classic Car Show

WHO: Sponsored by the Mountainview Woodies Boat Club of Maine

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with rain date of Aug. 7

WHERE: On the Causeway, off Public Boat Docks

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This weekend, the couple will drive their vintage watercraft across Long Lake to take part in the boating activities that coincide with the exhibition.

Today and Friday, the 18th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show and Classic Car Show will be moving into place for Saturday, according to Forman, president of the Mountainview Woodies Boat Club (MWBC) of Maine, the vintage boat club that sponsors the exhibition.

Public viewing occurs Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with vintage vehicles displayed in the parking spaces along the Causeway, and classic wooden boats moored along sections of dock temporarily placed off public-access docks on the Causeway.

The abundance of antique vehicles and boats has a habit of turning heads, according to Forman.

“Everybody loves the old boats. You wouldn’t believe the waves you get and the thumbs up,” he said.

“I think antique cars look great, but they’ll look even better parked on the new blacktop, and because the Causeway in general looks better,” he said.

The classic cars will be staged in the parking area in front of the public boat launch. “We liked the idea of parking them back-to-back, and maximizing usage of the space.”

The boat club sells posters, T-shirts and hats to commemorate the annual event. MWBC elects not to fundraise by selling fast food because club members don’t want to compete with local eating establishments.

On Friday evening, a ritual will take place that is fun for boaters and landlubbers alike, Forman said.

The boaters line up en-masse to go through the Naples swing bridge to Brandy Pond, where a parade takes place, according to Forman. Then, the crowd witnesses how fast an old boat can go.

“People drop a flag, and everyone races up the lake,” he said.

Forman enjoys seeing the influx of vintage boaters, who arrive via local lakes, or haul their boats by trailer across New England states.

“It’s an eclectic mix — a combination of nostalgic people who enjoy the craftsmanship of the wooden boats and people who remember them as a kid. Usually, it is older people,” Forman said. “Some of the people buy them restored and ready to go. For some of the people, the love of the boat is not only using it, but also the restoration process itself. I have restored mine myself, which is fun.”

Currently, he owns a 1953 Chris-Craft, a 1949 Century and a 1954 Yellow Jacket, all three of which will be in this weekend’s show.

“Once, it is restored, it is restored. It’s a labor of love, rather. And, I am always thinking of something new to put on it, or it’s being tuned up or polished,” said the Naples resident. “It’s not like a new fiberglass piece of boat where you gas it up and go. It’s more like a floating piece of furniture.”

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