ALEXANDRIA BAY In order to get younger generations involved in caring for vintage and classic boats, organizers of the 35th annual Vintage Boat Show are leaving children in charge sort of.
Paul A. Thiebeau Jr., president of the Thousand Islands Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, which hosts the show, said youth involvement in the event is important for the future of antique, vintage and classic boats.
W. David Richardson, past president of the chapter, said a growing problem is there is almost no interest in older boats by younger generations.
They want muscle stuff, 60s stuff, he said. These guys are bringing kids in as helpers and judges, and we hope thats one way of carrying on the tradition.
The public is invited to the show from 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. today along the village docks off James Street. About 50 to 60 antique, vintage and classic boats will begin to pull up to the docks as early as 7 a.m., and must be in by 9 a.m. in order to be judged in the contest. Boats that arrive after 9 a.m. may still be shown, but wont be judged.
The show features boats and their owners from across the nation and parts of Canada. Kevin C. Tifft, boat show chairman, said entries range from canoes to 56-foot yachts and sailing vessels.
Mr. Richardson said boats are considered antique if they were made before World War I, and vintage if they were made between World War I and World War II. Boats are called classic if they were made between World War II and 1965.
He said he has a few antique boats and Mr. Richardson has seven. Once you have one, you want more, Mr. Richardson said.
The event will continue Sunday, starting with a 9:30 a.m. brunch at Edgewood Resort, where contest winners will be announced.
Nearly 30 vendors also will be a part of todays event.
Admission for the public is $3 per person, but the fee will be waived for military members.
All proceeds will go directly to charitable organizations along the St. Lawrence River, both in north country towns and villages and in Canada.
Last year, $3,500 was given to charities. A total of $100,000 has been awarded since the events inception in 1977.
Aside from the history of such boats, show organizers said whats more amazing is the intricate details and beauty each vessel offers.
Youd be amazed at the workmanship, Mr. Thiebeau said. These boats didnt come out of a mold; theyre practically handmade. Its quite a lot of work to just keep these boats maintained, but once theyre gone, theyre gone forever.