The flash of polished brass and gleam of varnished wood across the water will be the order of the day as more than forty elegant antique and classic boats sail into the historic port of Salem, Massachusetts for the 32nd Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival August 23-24. Ranging from antique rowing craft and mahogany runabouts to cabin cruisers and sailboats of many stripe, these unique vessels will be displayed to the public at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina over the weekend. Each vessel has a placard giving her specifications, when and where she was built, famous past owners and other historical anecdotes. And one even gets to board some of the boats! Many owners offer a personal tour, regaling visitors with fascinating tales of voyages, how they acquired their boat, and the joys and woes of restoring her.
“Although we won’t know which boats are coming until closer to the show,” says Pat Wells, Festival Coordinator, “we have invited the former Presidential Yacht HONEY FITZ to sail to her namesake waters; the Presidential Yacht SEQUOIA graced the Festival in the past! “The stunningly beautiful 70′ 1937 commuter yacht APHRODITE has also been invited as has the 17′ Bindal Faering KAMIN and many to-be-seen vessels in between. Pat encourages those with a classic to bring her. To enter your boat, call Pat at 617-666-8530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Boats don’t have to be in show condition, she says, “The spirit of the Festival is to gather together the grand old craft and all who love them.”
Although the boats are the main attraction, the Festival offers other diversions to take in a crafts market, nautical exhibits, children’s activities, the Blessing of the Fleet and live music throughout the weekend. The grand finale is the Parade of Boats in Salem Harbor, best seen from Derby Wharf a little after 3 PM, Sunday. To get the flavor of the Festival, readers can check the Festival web site at www.boatfestival.org.
Saturday - 11 am-5 pm; Sunday - 10 am-3 pm) Admission $5, children under 12 free