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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Antique Boat Show Roars Into Casino On Saturday

By Sharon Turano
BEMUS POINT - William Reynolds III would like to invite others to "take a trip down memory lane" with him and about 50 other antique and classic boat owners who will dock this weekend at the Village Casino.

Reynolds said classic boat enthusiasts from across the country will visit, as the Chautauqua Lake Twin Tiers Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boating Society Inc.'s 13th annual show takes place. He said the local chapter that puts on the show was begun by the North Coast Ohio Chapter of the boating society before local members took the area group over about four years ago, beginning their own chapter and keeping the event on Chautauqua Lake. About 66 members belong to the local chapter, but the boat show has drawn thousands to look at the antique vessels.

Reynolds said his interest with classic and antique boats began at a young age when his grandparents had a cottage across the road from Eddy's Boat Shop.

"I was fortunate enough to see, smell, touch all of these old wood boats," he said, adding he then got a chance to ride in one of them: a speed boat called Little Thunder, which was from the 1920s or so. I became fascinated," Reynolds said, adding he would like to find that boat.

He had several fiberglass boats on which he cruised Chautauqua Lake, keeping up maintenance on them. He then tried sail boats and racing them competitively. None satisfied his interest like the wood boat hobby. Reynolds said wooden boats take more time, energy and money to keep, as wood must be preserved while one takes a trip back to nostalgic days of early boating. He began working on wood boats with other in the area, who also enjoy the hobby.

That work included restoring canoes for the YMCA. He now has his own boat.

"The love of it offsets the cost," he said, "A whole industry of craftsman is falling away."

He does not want to see that happen, serving as president of the local chapter of a national organization that has about 8,000 members. In addition to the annual Bemus Point boat show being held this weekend, the local group has a youth development committee, website, holds a winter gala, workshops and more.

This weekend, however, they will get together to ride on the lake, share memories and tips about repairing old boats, along with sharing their love of the boats with others.

"The beauty appeals to a whole variety of people," Reynolds said.

In addition to the boat owners, he said, those who remember wooden boats or perhaps a ride they took on one will come, as will craftsmen, school children, and entrepreneurs.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. Friday, when Reynolds said there will be "a bee hive of activity." On Saturday, there will be boats for sale in the village park, a boat shop, where nautical gifts will be available, a Chinese auction and more. At 10 a.m. Sunday, a boat parade and cruise will be held.

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