The Thousand Islands Chapter of ACBS supports and endorses the Vision and Mission statement of ACBS, and is particularly oriented to carrying out its efforts in the St. Lawrence River area.
Our Chapter area includes both the Antique Boat Museum and the Headquarters of ACBS, which provides our chapter with not only the responsibility, but also the privilege of supporting both with volunteers, staff, tours etc.
The St. Lawrence River and the 1000 Islands area is one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world. There are an endless number of tree lined coves, channels, bays, cuts and islands to navigate through. As the outlet for the Great Lakes, the water can frequently be rough and there is a fairly steady current – thus a reason why wooden boats built in the area tended to be a little longer and a little more ruggedly built. There are many wonderful destinations for the cruising boat as well – Boldt Castle, The Antique Boat Museum, any number of Marinas, Motels and Restaurants, and the Canadian facilities at Kingston, Gananoque, Ivy Lea, Rockport and Brockville, to name a few. This is the area we operate in and where we seek to promote our common interest!
The vision of The Antique and Classic Boat Society, Inc. is to provide an organization wherein people with a common interest in and love of historic, antique and classic boats can come together with friends and colleagues in a spirit of fellowship and fun to share dreams, adventures, knowledge, history and experiences.
History of the Thousand Islands Chapter
The Thousand Islands Chapter of ACBS is unique in several ways; it is an international chapter of ACBS, having a large number of Canadian as well as US members; it is the home chapter for both the Antique Boat Museum and ACBS Headquarters; and its members are from all over the map, drawn by the incomparable St. Lawrence River.
The Chapters’ original officers organized to support other Chamber of Commerce activities in Alexandria Bay, NY in 1976. It was chartered under ACBS in 1982 as “St. Lawrence Chapter,” and later was changed to our present name. Since that time our summer vintage boat show has grown to approximately 85 boats annually.
One of the unique characteristics of boating in the Thousand Islands is the presence of a large number of vintage wood boats that are still being used in every day activities on the St. Lawrence River.
Many of these older, wood boats have been in their respective families for decades. Some boats have served three or four generations in a wide range of boating activities that include fishing, water sports, cruising and just commuting to town for supplies. These vintage wood boats are well maintained, usually very reliable and kept in such good condition that they are close to “boat show” appearance most of the time.
The committee that established the Alexandria Bay Vintage Boat Show over twenty five years ago was motivated to encourage the owners of these “user” vintage boats to participate in a boat show that acknowledges the value of active boat use. They planned a boat show that would recognize the special quality that vintage boats bring to the River community when they are used and enjoyed by their owners all through the boating season.
Neither a working boat or an exclusive show boat should have an advantage over the other in scoring. The key to accomplishing this goal successfully rests in the sensible application of the scoring system by judges by allowing the common characteristics associated with frequent use (not abuse) to be granted more tolerance from point deductions.