One of the familiar sights of summer is pleasure watercraft. Whether it happens to be a canoe, skidoo, catamaran or a powerboat, one is bound to catch sight of at least one watercraft this season.
Those that truly appreciate pleasure watercraft of all kinds may even want to up those odds by adding a trip to the Antique Boat Museum to their vacation itineraries.
Located along the picturesque St. Lawrence River in Clayton, New York the Antique Boat Museum is jam packed with enough exhibits and boat rides to keep visitors busy for two hours or more.
What follows is a brief description of just some of what travelers may expect to find at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.
The Antique Boat Museum contains a vast collection of pleasure watercraft built by some of the world’s more well-known boat manufacturers like Nickerson, Peterborough, Old Town Canoe, Fry, Chris-Craft. Rushton, Hacker, Gar Wood and Marque.
In addition to 300 boats, some dated as early as the 19th century, the Antique Boat Museum is home to over 3,000 other pieces of watercraft artifacts including 138 outboard motors and 65 inboard engines.
Visitors may also stop by the ship building and restoration area to watch and talk with experienced boat makers.
Although all the items in the museum’s collection are noteworthy, the most incredible has to be the rare house boat christened La Duchesse.
Reminiscent of the days when the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and men like John D. Rockefeller and John Jacob Astor were king, the 106 foot long, opulent house boat La Duchesse is one of a few remaining house boats of its period.
Still clad with her luxuriant, original furnishing, the La Duchesse once served as a summer home for George Boldt, a millionaire with stakes in the Waldorf Astoria. Boldt commissioned the house boat’s construction for his family in 1903.
It remained a summer playground for the ultra rich until July 2005 when it was acquired by the museum and reverted into an exhibit piece.
During the summer months the Antique Boat Museum offers visitors a chance to partake of several different boat rides including a 45 minute excursion aboard a sleek Mahogany Triple Cockpit Runabout and a serene sail aboard one of 4 Sunfish Sailboats.
Prices for the boat rides vary based on the type of watercraft selected.
For example, rides aboard a traditional skiff are free whereas a ride aboard the Mahogany Tripe Cockpit Runabout starts at $45 per person.
Hours of Operation
As of 2011 the Antique Boat Museum is open daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm during the months of May through Mid-October.
Admission to the Antique Boat Museum is $12 per adult and $6 per child between the ages of 7 through 17.
Admission fees do increase during the time of the museum’s annual Antique Boat Show and Antique Race Regatta to $15 per adult and $10 per child between the ages of 7 through 17.
Children less than 7 years of age are gratis. There are also discounts available for senior citizens, group and members of the military.
Admission to the Antique Boat Museum is inclusive of access to all the museum’s exhibits including a 30 minute guided tour of the La Duchesse and a skiff boat ride on the St. Lawrence River.
Antique Boat Museum
750 Mary Street
Clayton, NY 13624
Antique Boat Museum, “Home” abm.org