WOLFEBORO — The 2017 season at the New Hampshire Boat Museum will be filled with plenty of new and exciting exhibits and activities. Here are some of the highlights of the exhibits that will be on display through Oct. 9.
The museum has organized a number of exhibits that explore the world of boating and life on New Hampshire's lakes. The featured exhibit, "Big Dreams, Little Boats Mid-Century Model Toy Boats," looks back to a time when young boys collected and played with model toy boats and dreamed of growing up to own a full-size boat.
The exhibit features model boats from the collection of Fred Clausen. The boats range in date from the mid-1950s through the 1970s, the heyday of toy boat production. Popular brands such as Fleetline, ITO and Lionel Train produced miniature replicas of the popular boats and motors of the day whether it be runabouts, cabin cruisers or race boats.
This season's big event is the biennial Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta held Sept. 15-16 on Wolfeboro Bay. To honor this event, the museum has organized an exhibit "Racing on the Bay: The Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta." Featured will be four race boats dating from the 1920s-1950s as well as vintage race boat photographs.
The Boat Museum's newest donations of late 19th - early 20th century half hull models will be featured in a third exhibit. The working half hull models came from an unknown marina on Lake Winnipesaukee. The exhibit will look at how half hulls were instrumental in the design and building of large scale boats.
2016 saw many new boat donations to the Museum. These will be featured on the main exhibit floor including a very rare 1929 Chris Craft Limousine Sedan, one of only five remaining in the country. Other donations on display will be a 1935 25' Chris Craft custom triple cockpit runabout, a 1939 Lyman, a 1939 galvanized steel Starcraft, and a 1951 Penn Yan CZT Swift race boat. The final donation on display will be the Museum's first car - a 1922 Maxwell Touring Car which was used by Jack Benny while he made personal appearances in Phoenix, Arizona.
One thing the New Hampshire Boat Museum is known for is the educational programs that get you outside, actively learning boat-related skills through hands-on activities. If you are interested in learning to sail, the museum offers youth and adult sailing lessons in conjunction with the town of Wolfeboro. Or you can rent a share in their J-24 sailboat if you want to sail this summer but don't want the expense of owning your own sailboat. And if you'd like to race your sailboat, you can enter the Lake Wentworth Sailing Regatta in early August. The regatta is a joint program between the Boat Museum, the Town of Wolfeboro, and the Lake Wentworth Association.
Do you want to build your own boat? You can do that in our boat building programs. The museum offers two sessions. The first is for adults and families in July and the other for youth over 12 in early August. Maybe you'd like to race radio-controlled model yachts? The Back Bay Skippers meet each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon on Back Bay.
And for your kids or grandkids, don't forget the Museum's fun and active Lake Discovery Camp in late July. Kids will learn about boat safety, play plenty of fun boat and water-related games, become Watershed Warriors, and ride the Millie B. All these activities are part of the Museum's mission to teach young people about boating, water safety and to help them become good stewards of the environment.
The museum's annual vintage boat auction on July 15. The auction features a wide range of boats from beautifully restored vintage wooden boats to used fiberglass boats. Also up for bid will be canoes, sailboats, kayaks, row boats, and motors, as well as, maritime and camp antiques for your home. This year, the auction will also include vintage cars. The Museum is always seeking donations and consignments for the auction. The deadline is July 7 or until the auction categories are filled.
The 10th Biennial Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta will be a spectacle you won't want to miss. It will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16 at the Wolfeboro Town Docks. This unique Regatta features over 60 vintage race boats from throughout the Northeast and Canada. The boats and drivers put on amazing performances around a 1-mile oval track throughout the day.
The New Hampshire Boat Museum's newly acquired rare 1929 Chris Craft Limousine Sedan will be on exhibit. (Courtesy photo)