Antique Boat Museum – 1000 Islands, NY


Ever since I left this place, I keep telling everyone I meet to go there. Located in the beautiful and unique 1000 Islands area of Northern New York, it is a very special place for lovers of shiny, old wood.

What the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Museum does for aviation, the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY does for personal watercraft.


 This place has a little bit of everything.

Are you interested in the St. Lawrence River Skiff? ABM-40

 How about a 1960’s era fiberglass canoe? ABM-39

 Is a luxury hotel boat more your taste? ABM-19

Or would you rather feel the wind in your hair as you motored through the 1000 Islands?

Maybe your need for speed is a bit stronger? The Antique Boat Museum can take care of that!

This museum has 4.5 acres filled with freshwater boats of all sorts. I went a little crazy and took a ton of photos. They are all in the gallery below or you can go directly to our Flickr page.

I addition to all the awesome watercraft in their collection they also offer boat building classes, educational courses for youth and adults, and they host an annual boat show in the summer.


Boat building workshop.


Take a spin on the Praxinoscope and envision yourself motoring through the 1000 islands on your own runabout.

Pardon Me – the world’s largest runabout.

By far, my favorite boat at this museum was Pardon Me. Designed by John Hacker, one of the premier designers of powerboats, Pardon Me was built in 1947 in Alexandria Bay, NY. The boat is huge for its type and is beautifully appointed. No detail was overlooked as evidenced by the chromed protectors on the bow to keep the bow line from rubbing the varnish.

The vessel was supposed to be a large, high performance boat to amplify the fun that could be had in a small powerful runabout. Unfortunately, it didn’t perform as hoped and was under-powered and difficult to control. Over the years, the boat changed hands and new owners tried to upgrade the boat to meet the original expectations of the design. Eventually, the power for the boat was found in a new Packard engine and cooling system and Pardon Me could finally make waves in the 1000 Islands as intended.

pardon me

 I could just imaging blasting by someone in this huge speedboat while politely yelling “Pardon Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Pardon Me is currently in the water in the boathouse at the Antique Boat Museum. If you are lucky, you might get to see it screaming around the islands.

Here is some more info on Pardon Me form the Antique Boat Museum’s website.

ABM-7 Does this poster style look familiar?
It was created by an ad man of the day named Theodor Geisel. You may know him better as Dr. Seuss. Yep, decades before “The Cat in the Hat” and  the “Lorax”, Dr Seuss was developing his style selling oil and greases for Essomarine.


I know I’ve shown a lot, but there is still a lot more to see. Get yourself up to the 1000 Islands, get some 1000 Island dressing, go see a castle or two, and then head on over to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY.

Flickr Photo Gallery of the Antique Boat Museum

 The official website for the Antique Boat Museum – www.abm.org
750 Mary Street, Clayton, NY 13624
tel 315.686.4104

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