The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), North America’s premier freshwater nautical museum based in Clayton, New York, announced today that it has been the recipient of a generous donation by one of country music’s biggest stars.
Alan Jackson, a multi-platinum recording artist known for being one of the most-nominated artists in Country Music Association (CMA) history and the winner of awards such as Entertainer of the Year and two Grammy Awards, has contributed a gorgeous 1955 29-foot Chris-Craft Semi-Enclosed to be added to the ABM’s already impressive collection of historic and classic boats.
“The Museum is grateful for Mr. Jackson’s gift of this remarkable boat, and for his continuing dedication to America’s boating history,” explained Emmett Smith, Curator. “Mr. Jackson has been a leader in restoring some of these classics and it is astonishing to see them appreciated by a musician who operates at the highest level of contemporary popular culture. Boating and country music are both important parts of the American lifestyle, and Mr. Jackson is clearly someone who loves the history of both.”
According to Jackson, “wooden boats have always been my first love. I’ve really appreciated the Antique Boat Museum efforts at preserving the history of antique wood boats.”
Flat Top, named in reference to the flat top steel-string acoustic guitars commonly used by Jackson, is one of just 36 of these boats ever built by Chris-Craft. The boat was used and stored on Lake Chautauqua, located in western New York, by its original owner. In 2002, Jackson purchased the boat in poor condition and transported it to Tennessee to undergo extensive restoration work at Hickman Boat Works. Under the craftsmanship of Travis Hickman, Flat Top was revived through a nearly 3-year restoration project, leaving no details untouched.
Flat Top now features pristine woodwork and artistry, both interior and exterior, while retaining its original look and is considered to be show boat quality.
Jackson has been a longtime wooden boat enthusiast and has been engaged with the Antique Boat Museum in the past. In 2009, Jackson made a trip to Clayton for the annual Antique Boat Show & Auction, through ties with local boat broker Peter Mellon of Antique Boat America, which has listed a number of Jackson’s boats for sale over the years. That August, Jackson provided 5 antique boats to be auctioned. During his time in the 1000 Islands region that year, he also cruised with friends aboard his yacht, Neon Rainbow, which was docked at the Museum.
Flat Top arrived in Clayton last weekend and will remain in storage throughout the winter months. The boat is expected to be available for viewing in some form during the Museum’s 2014 season. Details and information will be available prior to the Museum’s May 2 re-opening.
Located on the St. Lawrence River in the 1000 Islands, the Antique Boat Museum features a collection of over 300 antique and classic boats, among thousands of recreational boating artifacts. In 2014, the Museum will host the 50th annual Antique Boat Show and Auction, the longest running show in North America, on August 1-3, as well as the Raceboat Regatta on August 8-10. For more information please visit the Museum’s website at ABM.org.
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