SOLD OUT! That was the message to those asking to take part a week before the show. With every single boat slip and shore display spot filled we had to turn potential exhibitors away. But it was a great problem to have!
July 12, 2023
Mahogany beauties and even an Amphicar Photos Credit – Patrice Anderson – Blue Heron Ink
By Mike Gridley, Boat Show Chairman
SOLD OUT! That was the message to those asking to take part a week before the show.
With every single boat slip and shore display spot filled we had to turn potential exhibitors away. But it was a great problem to have!
With 138 exhibitors, it was one for the record books. The variety of boats this year was incredible. With about 90 wood boats ranging from five built before 1918, there was everything from 100-year-old boats right up to contemporary ones built to honour the builders of the past.
With this being the first time ever that Fibreglass boats were being judged, the turnout included sparkly finned beauties from the 50’s and 60’s to fabulous ski boats that brought back great memories for many show visitors. The crowd was even delighted to see a flotilla of Amphicars pass by.
The judges certainly had their work cut out for them this year with so many incredible entries of wood and fibreglass. The winners were announced that afternoon.
With a gentle breeze blowing in off beautiful Lake Muskoka, the docks were loaded with awed spectators, and on land they got a close-up look at the displays which included everything from a double-ended courting canoe to flashy fibreglass ski boats.
Several of the exhibitors wowed the crowds by taking a spin around the Bay in the Boats-In- Motion component of the show. Others generously took show visitors for a ride in their boat in our Ride Along program. One rider told me it was the best experience of his life.
In the Boats4Sale area, the negotiations were fierce and there were smiles on the faces of the customers coming out of the Nautical Flea Market with their long sought-after treasures. The Maple Leaf Antique Outboard Club members were kept busy showing off their incredible motors.
On the Friday before the show, several boats headed out for either a Fast Cruise or a Slow Cruise taking in the beautiful scenery and experiencing Muskoka. And Friday evening, the dining room of the Steamship Wenonah was filled to capacity with our participants enjoying a fabulous three-course dinner while watching the sunset.
Kids got involved, too
On Saturday afternoon, In the shelter of the pavilion, participants enjoyed a great summer buffet lunch and showed their appreciation as awards were presented to several very deserving contributors to the show’s success over the years and as the Captain’s Choice and several other awards were presented.
It was a fabulous success all around.