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NY State Fair

See 1913 “Skanendowa,” country singer’s cruiser, runabouts, clippers, and more historic boats at 2019 Great NY State Fair

August 2019 News



A 1913 runabout with original equipment. Country singer Alan Jackson’s 1955 cruiser “Flat Top.” The 1929 Chris-Craft Sedan “Topper.” A Mullins Steel Sea Eagle and more vessels spanning 100 years of recreational boats are featured in the new Great New York State Fair Maritime Heritage showcase at the August 21-September 2, 2019 event in Syracuse, N.Y.

New York Sea Grant, the Great New York State Fair, Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, and H. Lee White Maritime Museum are sponsoring the mock marina exhibit organized with several contributing partners.

“This ‘Cruising through the Ages” exhibit explores the rise of recreational boating in 20th-century America with a special emphasis on New York State’s contributions to the boating industry and features boats with strong ties to New York’s maritime heritage,” said the exhibit’s lead designer Michael Pittavino, curator, H. Lee White Maritime Museum, Oswego, N.Y.

The Antique Boat Museum, Clayton, N.Y.; the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Hammondsport, N.Y.; and H. Lee White Maritime Museum, Oswego, N.Y., have provided the classic boats as well as vintage engines for the exhibit. Current-day models have been provided by Smith Boys Marine, with locations statewide, and The Sailboat Shop, Skaneateles, N.Y.

Visitors will walk through the mini-marina exhibit on a dry-land, elevated dock built by Empire Dock and Lift, Baldwinsville, N.Y., in the NY Experience area of the showgrounds. The boats in the 2019 Great NY State Fair Maritime Exhibit follow in chronological order:

.  1913 Matthews High-Speed Runabout: “Skanendowa” renamed “Golden Years,” with original lights, instruments, hardware, copper gas tank, and Scripps 4 Cylinder engine still intact

.  1929 Chris-Craft Sedan: “Topper,” with a limousine top, likely displayed at the 1929 San Francisco Boat Show

.  1942 Mullins Steel Sea Eagle runabout: “Steel Away,” designed by Julias T. Herbst, with 5 floatation tanks that made it unsinkable.

. 1948 Thompson TVT Lake Boat: “Keuka Dew II,” with a 1949 Evinrude Speedtwin motor

.  1950 Penn Yan Clipper: “Challenger,” with mahogany hull, oak gunwales and trim, spruce cockpit lining, bronze stem band; fully upholstered in Chinese Red Russialoid

.  1955 Chris-Craft semi-enclosed cruiser: “Flat Top,” donated to the Antique Boat Museum by country singer Alan Jackson

.  1957 Penn Yan Swift: 12-foot wooden hull vessel built in Penn Yan, N.Y.

.  1965 McPherson Comet: 16-foot molded fiberglass sailboat built in Ithaca, N.Y.

.  1967 Evinrude Playmate runabout: donated by the family of the late Robert H. Wood, a World War II veteran and career educator in New York State, for use as the New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating educational vessel

.  current-model boats representing modern hull and propulsion design, electric and propane-powered vessels, stern drive, traditional outboard motor drive, and a sailboat.

Antique boating engines, interactive historic lighthouses kiosk, a New York Waters of War exhibit, a History of Sturgeon in NY display, and “Clean, Drain, Dry” safe boating information are featured in mini-museum buildings at the exhibit.

Nearby on August 23, 26, 29 and 30, the Great New York State Fair and The Antique Boat Museum will offer free “On the State Fair Pond Skiff Rowing” opportunities; life jackets provided. Stop by the pond in the NY Experience area of the Fair for details. 

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