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New star to debut at classic boat show

Aphrodite III will be among the boats on display at Mahogany Memories in Essex, Conn., this year

Aphrodite III will be among the boats on display at Mahogany Memories in Essex, Conn., this year

One of the great classic commuters, the recently restored 74-foot Aphrodite III, will be the featured boat of the 22nd annual Mahogany Memories boat show at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn.

“Aphrodite is one of very few commuters left over from the Golden Age,” says show co-chairperson Lee Heinzman. “With the lines on this, it is one of the most pleasurable boats to look at. We are honored and privileged to have this boat as one of our featured boats.”

Among the more than 45 vintage boats displayed at the July 8 show will be a rare collection of restored 1950s Shepards, all the same model but ranging from 16 to 30 feet. “It’s like having every Chevrolet car all made in the same year, hard top, convertible, you name it,” Heinzman says. “The owner is the only person in the world to have a collection like this.”

Heinzman will be showing one of his own vintage vessels this year: a 1958 Chris-Craft Continental called Friar Tuck. “This boat hasn’t been in the water for more than 20 years,” the proud owner explains. “She’s gone through a serious cosmetic restoration and now she’s looking really great.”

In addition to the boats there will be a number of onshore attractions including workshops, and a tent housing more boats, models, maritime books, posters and souvenirs. A replica of Baby Bootlegger, a Gold Cup Racer, will also be on display.

Heinzman says that he and the other members of the Southern New England Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, which hosts the show, are excited and hopeful that the 2006 show will attract more exhibitors and more visitors than they’ve ever had before. “Mahogany Memories is our main event for the year,” he says. “We all enjoy sharing our boats with each other and with the public. Plus, the Connecticut River Museum is a wonderful venue, a picture-perfect location.

“The show helps bring recognition not only to our club but to the area,” Heinzman adds. “Every year we hope to put on an even better show than we had the year before.” (860) 354-9097.