Aphrodite proves the queen of the classics

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For vintage boat enthusiasts from all over New York and New England, the big attraction at this year’s Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous, July 22 and 23 at the Mystic (Conn.) Seaport, was the newly restored 74-foot classic commuter Aphrodite III.

For vintage boat enthusiasts from all over New York and New England, the big attraction at this year’s Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous, July 22 and 23 at the Mystic (Conn.) Seaport, was the newly restored 74-foot classic commuter Aphrodite III.

“Aphrodite is a sight to be seen,” says Dick Lotz, the museum’s director of special waterfront operations. Aphrodite was built for New York financier John “Jock” Hay Whitney in 1937. (See the July 2006 issue of Soundings for more about the yacht and restoration.)

“Even for the general public she’s a drop-dead gorgeous yacht,” Lotz says of the yacht. “She’s a real show-stopper.”

In addition to the more than 40 classic boats adorned with festive decorations and tied up to the museum’s docks, the 2006 rendezvous was the first to feature a classic boat made of fiberglass. “Next year I think we may change the entry eligibility from boats made before 1962 to before 1965,” Lotz explains. “We’re getting into the age of fiberglass. We’re looking to attract more makes for a bigger show next year with more variety.”

Spectators also packed the banks of the Mystic River on the final day for the annual three-mile parade of boats under the Bascule Bridge. The parade was led by Lotz aboard the museum’s 1908 coal-fired steamboat, Sabino. “People plan their summer parties on the river to coincide with the rendezvous and the parade,” Lots says. “Year after year it’s a great time.” www.mysticseaport.org