ALEXANDRIA BAY — A native beauty with sex appeal won the Best of Show for the restored antique boats at the International Boat Show as it drew to a close on Saturday.
Skol was built in 1939 by local boat makers Fitzgerald & Lee in the village, according to “Wooden Boats of the St. Lawrence River” by David Kunz and Bill Simpson. It was made of wood harvested in the area, according to local lore. The triple cockpit runabout with its 316 horsepower, 12-cylinder engine is sleek, curved and polished to a remarkable luster.
At last year’s International Boat Show, “Boat the Blue,” the Skol, owned by William U. Parfet of Hickory Corners, Mich., won the People’s Choice award.
“At “Boat the Blue” I was sitting next to “Skol” and most everyone that walked by stopped and commented on how beautiful and sexy she is,” wrote a member of woodyboater.com, a website dedicated to wooden boats and their fans on April 26 in an article titled, “The Sexiest Boat Ever Made.”
The Best of Show of the preserved boats this year was an unnamed 1971 Chris-Craft XK-19 owned by Edward Bobowicz of Lockport, Niagara County.
Antique boat enthusiasts drove with their boats from as far as Washington state, California, Oklahoma and Florida, as well as many Midwestern and Northeastern states, to attend the annual meeting and competition and the meeting of the Antique and Classic Boat Society in the village this week.
For the competition, each of the 151 boats registered started with 100 points. Judges deducted points for anything that is different from how the boat was originally made in the factory, according to the society’s Executive Director Dan Gyoerkoe.
Many of the boat owners have restored the boats themselves after finding them in places like an old barn, forgotten and neglected, much like many classic car restorers.
“There is a lot of crossover between classic cars and antique boats and their enthusiasts,” Mr. Gyoerkoe said, “Even the powerful motors. Some of these boats have 500 horsepower engines in them.”
The 48 U.S. and four Canadian chapters of the society take turns hosting the event, which takes about two years to plan, and 125 volunteers over the past three days to make it a success, Mr. Gyoerkoe said.
“They did an absolutely fabulous job this week,” said Teri Bush, an association member from California, “They should be proud.”
Mrs. Bush and her husband, Tim, who is on the international association’s board of directors, said she especially enjoyed Singer Island and the tour around Wellesley Island on Thursday.
Seeing a very rare Red Century Bronco for the first time was also a highlight of the show for her.
Mr. Gyoerkoe said the association always hopes the event will inspire more people to get excited about antique boats while giving people the chance to learn what it takes to maintain the vessels from the boat owners themselves.
“The challenge is to get people interested, but if somebody doesn’t have the time, interest and money it takes, they could be very disappointed. They can learn about it all at these boat shows,” Mr. Gyoerkoe said.
Next year, the show is scheduled to be held in Idaho.