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Boat show returns to Skaneateles this month

In their heyday, no one had ever heard of COVID. Or climate change. Or crypto. The Cold War had yet to begin.

Now, almost a century later, scores of wooden boats by such iconic names as Chris-Craft, Hacker and Gar Wood will be featured at the 44th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Show in Skaneateles. 

The show, one of the most popular of its kind in the Northeast, runs July 29-31 in Clift Park. Hours are 3 p.m. to dusk Friday, 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

The event is organized by the Finger Lakes Chapter (FLC) of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation (also known as the Skaneateles Foundation).

FLC president Dave Couch invites visitors to “take time to walk down the pier and view the beautiful classic boats tethered in the slips, then stroll through the land displays. Many of the exhibitors,” he notes, “have traveled hundreds of miles to be here, to afford others the opportunity to get up-close and personal with these grand old boats.”

On display will be mahogany runabouts, launches, sailboats, canoes, rowing craft and race boats—many restored to their original condition.

Highlights of the weekend include:

  • A boat parade and fly-by, led by the Skaneateles Fire Department, starting at 3:15 p.m. Saturday.
  • Performances by the Skaneateles Community Band, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday; the Diana Jacobs Band, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday; and the Soda Ash Six, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.
  • A display of model antique boats by the Syracuse Model Boat Club, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Guided village bus tours, co-hosted by the Skaneateles Historical Society and Laker Limo, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10, with free admission afterward to the Skaneateles Historical Society Museum at the Creamery; proceeds benefit the Laker Limo building fund.
  • A youth judging competition, sponsored by Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance to “spark kids’ passion for wooden boats,” 10:30 a.m. Saturday. 
  • Opportunities for children to paint toy wooden boats, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
  • A knot-tying demonstration, 11 a.m. Saturday.
  • A photo-shoot and spectator cruise aboard the Judge Ben Wiles, 10 a.m. Sunday. The Judge will leave from the Mid-Lakes Navigation dock in Clift Park and make a slow tour of the north end of Skaneateles Lake, while exhibiting boats make random passes and provide opportunities for action shots. Tickets are $17 for adults, $5 for children under 13 accompanied by an adult. For reservations, go to or call 315-685-8500.

Raffle drawings will be held 1:30 p.m. Sunday, with a wide array of prizes.

First prize, highlighting relaxation, combines a spa package from Mirbeau with a $100 gift certificate from Gilda’s. Additional prizes are an entertainment package featuring two tickets to The Rev, an overnight stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn and a $50 gift certificate from Prison City Pub and Brewery; an Enjoy Skaneateles Lake package featuring a $100 gift card from Mid-Lakes Navigation and a $100 gift card from Blue Water Grill; and a Shop Skaneateles basket of assorted gift cards and items.

Also, an Experience Skaneateles basket featuring gift cards from Papavero and REVIVE Cryo & Wellness; a toy wooden boat filled with lottery tickets; a Sip Skaneateles basket featuring two pint glasses, two mugs, and gift cards from the Skaneateles Bakery and Skaneateles Brewery; a framed 2022 Boat Show print; an apparel item from the FLC Ship’s Store; and a toy wooden boat filled with candy.

Judging of the boats, in 35 categories, takes place Saturday morning. Throughout the weekend, visitors to the show will cast their votes for the highly coveted People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Doug’s Fish Fry, which will be presented at 1:45 p.m. Sunday.

The poster for this year’s show is based on a photo taken at the 2021 show by Skaneateles Drone. Posters are $10 and are on sale at the show and the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce, 22 Jordan St.

In anticipation of the show, a 1987 Furnal Flyer, which reached speeds of over 80 mph during its racing career, is on display at M&T Bank in downtown Skaneateles.

M&T Bank is the show’s presenting sponsor. Contributing sponsors are the Sherwood Inn, Beak & Skiff/1911, Brinson Marine, Doug’s Fish Fry, Finger Lakes Insurance Agency, Hagerty, Katz’s Marina, White & White Antiques, Ace Hardware, Good Eats & Sips, Jacobs Press, Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Skaneateles Festival, Skaneateles Suites, 1st National Gifts, Amber Spain-Mosher (Realtor, RE/MAX Masters), Blue Water Grill, Cayuga Tree Service, Chase Design, Emma + James, Finger Lakes ENT & Skin Oncology, Gilda’s, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Auburn, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Mid-Lakes Navigation, Janice M. Miller, Architect, Papavero, Patisserie, Prison City Pub and Brewery, REVIVE Cryo & Wellness, Ricklefs Landscape & Excavation, Sea Culture Brand, SECNY, Skaneateles Artisans, Skaneateles Bakery, Skaneateles Brewery, Stroll Skaneateles (also known as Skaneateles Life), The Rev Theatre Co., The Savage Homestead, Tops Friendly Markets, Valentine’s Pizza & Deli and Wirth’s Automotive. Media sponsors are The Citizen, Group M Communications and WRVO Public Media.

The show is handicapped-accessible.

For more information, go to or call the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce at 315-685-0552.