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Antique Boat Museum auctioning more than 50 boats at 48th annual show

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CLAYTON — More than 100 unusual antique wooden boats are bobbing on the water all weekend for the 48th annual Antique Boat Show and Auction. An additional 55 are being sold to the highest bidder.

The event, the biggest fundraiser for the Antique Boat Museum, began Thursday and will last until Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the museum. After-hours events for exhibitors or auction-goers will start at 6 to 7 p.m. today.

This year’s featured boat, according to Mark J. Krzyzanowski, vice president of operations for Antique Boat America, is the Corin, a large, sleek wooden beauty.

“It’s one of the most valuable boats we have here today,” he said. “It’s a rare boat and a true collector’s piece.”

It is worth about $90,000, and if it sells, it could raise a large profit for the museum.

“We hope to make between $30,000 to $40,000, but if we can sell Corin, we’ll be well over $100,000,” Mr. Krzyzanowski said. “We have about five more boats than last year, about 55 to 56 boats in the auction. It’s definitely one of the biggest.”

While there were plenty of people eying the auction boats, many chose to head for the boats being exhibited behind the museum.

“We have 100 entrants this year and over 70 boats are on display in the water,” museum Director of Public Programming Lora Nadolski said.

She said the museum could see nearly 5,000 people over the course of the weekend.

“It’s a great way to connect with the boats, meet the owners,” she said. “They all have fascinating stories.”

Jane M. Topping, Brockville, Ontario, was eying some of the boats from the dock. She came because it was a way to escape to another era.

“It’s a step back in time for nostalgia, and it’s wonderful,” she said. “It’s about the days when boats were boats.”

Another visitor came because he was an avid boater. He said he and his wife go to a similar show in central Florida.

“We come almost every year,” said Richard C. Thomas, Utica. “We like boats and we like it here.”

In addition to the boat exhibits, the museum is featuring three forums today in the theater. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can catch speakers lecturing about the restoration of the Antique Boat Museum’s logo boat, a State University of New York project to track down lifeboats from the Titanic and a preview of the eBook for iPad “One in a Thousand” by Ian Coristine.

Adult admission for the event is $15, which is $2 more than the normal museum admission. Active military members can come for free.

For the price of admission, a visitor can ride a St. Lawrence skiff. Speedboat rides are $25.

“The boat museum is a wonderful treasure,” Ms. Topping said.

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