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Antique Boat Museum to celebrate power boating’s past in May 2 opener

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CLAYTON — Preparing for its season opening Friday, the Antique Boat Museum held an open house Monday to preview its newest exhibit, “The National Motor Boat Show,” and showcase other events for this summer.

Museum Curator Emmett V. Smith led a tour of the exhibit in the Launch Building. He said it will open officially to the public May 23.

The exhibit will emulate the spirit of the first 50 years of powerboating, Mr. Smith said. The small fleet of hand-crafted wooden boats will be arranged in the 8,000-square-foot space to replicate a boat show in the 1920s.

“We want to show the boats in a way that it was presented to people then,” Mr. Smith said. He said the museum staff will use the boats to educate people on the first 50 years of powerboating.

The museum at 750 Mary St. has more than 20,000 square feet of exhibit space and is home to more than 320 powerboats. It will open for its 47th season Friday.

For opening weekend, the museum will host a symposium with hands-on lessons about the history of engines.

Michael J. Folsom, director of marketing and communications, said over the summer the museum also will hold promotions like the National Tourist Day celebration. Anyone with an out-of-state driver’s license will be offered a buy-one-get-one-free admission ticket May 6. The museum also will celebrate national Iced Tea Day on June 10 by giving away a free glass of the beverage with every admission.

Among the season’s biggest events are a classic car show, the 50th anniversary antique boat show and auction and the antique raceboat regatta.

“We want people to come to our events and walk away and say that was one heck of a show,” Mr. Folsom said.

This summer, the museum will host free family sailboating and free skiff rowing with the purchase of an admission ticket.

The museum also offers a full list of courses for people to become familiar with boating from building the craft to teen and family courses.

“If people aren’t used to being out on the water, our mission is to introduce them to boating,” Mr. Folsom said. “Everything we do is to connect people with boats and the water.”

For more information or a complete listing of events and summer courses, visit the museum’s website at www.abm.org.




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