By Jon March, Mountain View Woodies Classic Boat Club and Show MC
With 40 miles of clear freshwater boating, beaches and pine trees, Naples, Maine, has been a popular vacation destination since the time when people rode trains in hophats and hoopskirts to escape the city heat, and sit on shady verandas of Grand lake-view hotels to enjoy the refreshing water served from nearby Poland Spring.
ACBS member Mountainview Woodies Classic Boat Club makes its home in Naples, and for nearly 30 years has hosted its annual water parade and show on famous Naples Causeway. Because of its longtime popularity as a tourist destination, Naples was one of the original locations in New England to offer speedboat rides, and the town is famous for its historic images of early float-biplanes, flying boats and mahogany speedboat “Thrill Rides”.
Two weekends ago was the club’s 29th annual Causeway Classic Boat & Car Show weekend. Having enjoyed the location before, ACBS members Randy Fletcher and Heidi Szonn trailered their 22′ GarWood “White Knuckles” to attend.
In the days prior to the show weekend, the club hosts excellent cruises to waterfront restaurants, sandbars and historic locks. Friday was the clubs afternoon picnic at Freedom Cafe, followed by the traditional Friday evening Vintage Watercraft Parade, which featured Randy and Heidi’s boat, as well as ones from Chris Craft, Lyman, Whites, Penn Yan, Cruisers Inc, Correct Craft, Hutchinson and others, and classic Amphicars bringing up the rear!
The location is stunning; the lineup is on gorgeous Brandy Pond, and heads “into the sunset” under a gracefully arched new bridge on the new 13 million dollar waterfront Causeway into Long Lake, and along the Naples waterfront to the new Town Docks and a sandy beach area. The entire waterfront is along a major scenic road, and features a long area of diagonal waterfront parking along a beautiful new landscaped walkway lined with restaurants and attractions.
The Saturday show from 9am till 3pm fills the docks with classic boats, and the waterfront parking spaces fill with upscale classic vehicles from all eras. Classic 40’s-60’s music plays along with helpful announcements. A local lakefront icon, Camp Sunshine, is the clubs chosen charity, and proceeds from show items and rides are shared with the camp, which brings much needed happiness to kids battling cancer and other life threatening illness.
Crowds were given a very special historic treat this year, and Randy and Heidi offered to re-create the mahogany “Speedboat Rides” made famous in the classic postcards of Naples. The White Knuckles wowed the crowds on the docks and along the entire waterfront with its famous “growl”, and Randy’s dynamic piloting skills! Contributions and tips were very generously donated by them to the Camp Sunshine fund – a wonderful treat for all, and a very generous and appreciated kindness.
The perfect compliment to the event were the music shows that bookended the weekend on Thursday and Sunday noon, featuring the International award winning Elvis/Johnny Cash/Roy Orbison tribute-star, Roy Leblanc, who had the crowds on their feet around the lakefront stage.
The 2022 show was the largest and biggest success ever, with more attendees and more money raised than any previous year. If you love classic boating destinations, Naples is must-see! We would love to have you attend our show, with cruises starting on Tuesday of the 2nd Week of August, ending with the Parade & Show on Friday and Saturday. We are happy to help you with your trip, places to stay, etc. (Call us at 203-910-7903)
The Woodies Club wishes to extend a very special thanks to Heidi & Randy for attending, and looks forward to them, our “Wine Country” friend Jack Young, and other classic boat (and car!) lovers in 2023.
Check out this great video of the Sebago Lakes Region – Naples…it highlights the Mountain View Woodies’ show and the club members’ classic boats.