Organizers said more than 40 elegant boats will sail into the port of Salem, Mass., for the 32nd annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival on Aug. 23 and 24.
Ranging from antique rowing craft and mahogany runabouts to cabin cruisers and sailboats of many stripes, the unique vessels will be displayed to the public at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina during the weekend. Each vessel has a placard giving her specifications, when and where she was built, famous past owners and other historical anecdotes.
Organizers said some owners adorn their boats with period decor and fetching flower arrangements, and visitors will be able 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.
Where else can you see an exotic 1933 42-foot Elco cabin cruiser with “Cleopatra’s Couch?” Owner Donald Stevens is bringing his handsome vessel, complete with couch, from New Castle, N.H.
Festival visitors might notice that the antique and classic fleet will be flying a special burgee honoring the Celebrity Sloop Callisto, built in Holland in 1950. Her owner, David Sigourney, will be sailing her to the festival from her current home in Nahant, Mass.
Also on display will be Gremlin, a U.S. Navy whaleboat owned by Kathleen and Ray Anderson of Rowley, Mass. Built in 1942 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, she served with the British Royal Navy during World War II as part of the lend-lease program.
Variety has been a hallmark of the festival over the years.
“We have had an amphicar, steam launch, tugboat, pilot schooner, even the former presidential yacht Sequoia, and much in between,” festival founder and coordinator Pat Wells said in a statement.
Organizers said a crafts market will include artists, print makers, ship modelers, booksellers and purveyors of other interesting wares. Children will get to build their own wee boat and go on some real boats.
Show hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 23 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 24. Admission is $5; children under 12 will be admitted free.