The event is being held in conjunction with the Antique and Classic Boat Society’s annual meeting, hosted this year by Lake Geneva. Larry Larkin, who is helping to organize the local event, said the meeting would be followed by a judged boat show and a parade around the lake.

An auction is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sunday. Walworth-based Mecum will auction off about 75 unique boats, one of which is a Wellcraft boat similar to the one used in the television show “Miami Vice.”

“We’ve never had a boat show of this size before with this variety of boats,” Larkin said.

“It’s going to be a very entertaining thing to see. These auctions are put on with some drama and some structure to them that gets people interested. It’s always an exciting thing to see.”

Boats will begin arriving Tuesday in Fontana, Larkin said. About 100 will arrive on trailers and another 30 are owned locally.

Larkin said he’s expecting thousands of people to turn out for the show, scheduled for Friday and Saturday. A variety of boats will be displayed, including Gold Cup racers and antique boats dating back to the 19th century.

“They’re all going to have special qualities,” Larkin said.

Buddy Melges, world-renown competitive sailor and Walworth County native, will speak to visitors about sailing. Melges is an Olympic gold medalist and recent inductee into the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Larkin said two discussions on restoration also are scheduled. Presenters will provide examples of how to replace boat planks and properly apply finishing.

Boat owners will have the opportunity to win “prestigious” awards this year. The boat show will be judged on preservation, restoration and the overall quality of the vessel. Judges also will consider how well restored boats adhere to their original concept.

Larkin said the show will conclude with a parade around the lake, allowing local residents to catch a glimpse of some of the rarest boats in the world.


What: 2011 International Boat Show

When: 9 to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and Saturday, Sept. 24.

Where: The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana.

Key events: Boat parade, 4 p.m. Saturday. A boat auction will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, but it is not a part of the boat show.

Cost: Free

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