Silver Anniversary for Classic Boat Show

SIDE BY SIDE — A classic wooden boat is moored as an amphibious vehicle passes by. The 25th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show will be held on the Naples Causeway this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Jon March)

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Vintage wooden boats are often equipped with chrome rails and chrome hardware, silver flashing in the sun as this handsome wooden boat glides through the water.

It is the silver anniversary of the antique boat show that is almost synonymous with August on the Causeway.

For the past 25 years, the owners of classic wooden boats have come to the Naples Causeway from nearby and from all over New England to display their beauties.

For the past decade-and-a-half, locals and tourists get geared up with plans to view these boats from another era. Plus, passers-by who catch sight of the boats often make a spontaneous stop. In other words, the show draws a sizable crowd.

The 25th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show will be held on the Causeway this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The show is open and free to the public.

The boats will be moored at the public dock right off the Causeway.

For people who prefer to see the boats in action, there will be boat parade at the Bob Neault Memorial Bridge around 7 p.m. Friday.

The Antique and Classic Boat show is organized by the Mountainview Woodies Classic Boat Club.

Club members Bob Foreman, of Naples, and Paul Follansbee, of Fryeberg, have been involved in the show for about 18 years. Foreman believes that a gentleman named Howard Perkins had a hand in the beginnings of the boat show.

“It is pretty much the highlight of the summer activities in Naples. This is the biggest event, second maybe to the Bluesfest,” Foreman said. Additionally, the Causeway offers scenic views of the mountains and water, he said.

“If you go to any of the other wooden boat shows, very few have the setting that this one does,” Foreman said.

The number of boats has expanded in the past few years.

“As a matter of fact, we used to have the show the first weekend in August. But that was the same weekend that there was one in Clayton, New York. We switched the show to the second weekend in August so the people from Clayton, New York,” could attend, he said

“We have gotten more and more classic fiberglass boats from the 1950s and 1960s. Those are becoming more and more popular,” Foreman said. These vintage fiberglass boats range in size from 14 to 20 feet long, he said.

“Because they have become older and older as time goes on they have gained popularity” with the crowds, he said.

Foreman’s boat is a ’53 Chris-Craft Rocket made of “highly-varnished mahogany.”

Foreman said the show is a family-friendly event.

“It is a great time. It is great for kids, to give kids the experience of seeing wooden boats. Some kids look at the wooden boats and they cannot believe they float. They are used to seeing the fiberglass boats,” he said.

Vintage marine vessels might be in the spotlight, but classic cars are part of the show, too.

“We have a nice mix of wooden boats and classic cars,” Foreman said.

A few years back, the Woodie club invited the amphibious vehicle owner to join, according to amphi owner Jon March.

It ended up that the amphibious vehicle owners loved Naples so much, the club decided to branch off on its own, he said. Last weekend, the amphibious vehicles gathered in Naples. The owners cruised the Causeway and picnicked on the sandbar at Sebago State Park, March said.

A few of the amphibious cars will be on hand for water-launch demonstrations this weekend, March said.

Foreman invited people to see the Classic Watercraft Parade on Friday night.

“Not to forget, we have a Friday night boat parade on Brandy Pond, under the bridge and out into the lake,” Foreman said.

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