September is a perfect time to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Most of the crowds are gone and the weather is ideal. The insect hatchings of spring are long over. If you are a boater, there is less traffic and the marinas have begun to empty out. This relative peacefulness, combined with the natural beauty of the Thousand Islands, is something to appreciate. What a perfect time and place for the “Rosborough River Rendezvous” in Clayton, New York.
The 25 foot live-aboard Rosborough RF246 attracts attention due to her “down east” trawler appearance. Built in Nova Scotia and used by the Canadian government as a work boat in the harsh seas around the maritime provinces, it developed a reputation as capable and seaworthy. It continues to be built by Eastern Boats of New Hampshire. The Rosborough is now sought by recreational boaters who enjoy their “cruising”, whether for a day, an overnight, or weeks at a time.
It is also the largest trawler that can be trailered without a permit, opening unlimited destinations. It was no surprise, therefore, that the majority of the fourteen Rosboroughs showing up for this event were trailered from states as far away as Florida, Maine, and Michigan. Clayton Harbor Municipal Marina was the destination for the week of September 12, 2021.
The mayor of Clayton, Norma Zimmer, greeted us for the “Captain & Crew” meeting at Frink Park, overlooking the beautiful St Lawrence. The following day, an armada of Rosboroughs left the marina on an extended cruise, where we were joined by two of our Canadian brethren on their Rosboroughs, who motored out to be with us while we were in Canadian waters. Regrettably, a handful of Canadian Rosborough owners had wanted to participate in the rendezvous, but could not due to border restrictions. Later in the cruise, some boats docked at Boldt Castle, while others motored over to Alexandria Bay for lunch.
That evening, thirty-five people attended the outdoor banquet at the 1000 Islands Hotel, the cost defrayed to a great extent by the generous donation from Eastern Boats. Greg Hopkins, CEO of Eastern Boats, started off the event with a televised message. A local historian was the speaker for the evening, sharing stories of prohibition rum runners and the gentry of yesteryear, who built the mansions gracing these waterways.
The following morning, we gathered along the dock for presentations concerning future Rosborough destinations or gatherings, including Kingston, Ontario (to join up with our Canadian friends), Maine, and the Bahamas. Afterwards, all walked to where the trucks and trailers were lined up for a trailering workshop, where best practices were discussed regarding trailering these large boats. With the right vehicle and equipment, it can be done safely.
Another day of cruising led a group downriver to Singer Castle. Some gathered at the scenic Cedar Island State Park for lunch or an overnight stay. Others meandered around Chippewa Bay, to eventually return to the marina. Many continued their explorations, gunkholing*, and anchoring out. With everything going so well, it would not be a surprise if more such Rendezvous are planned for the Thousand Islands.
By Robert Russell
Robert Russell is a semi retired psychologist, who resides in Cape Vincent, NY. He's been a pilot since his teenage years and in the past few years has turned his interest to boating. He enjoys using his Rosborough RF246 to cruise the waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
- Gunkholing – searching out less well known or less popular spots.
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