Too often beautiful old relics go to scrap because it’s too costly to fix them or because the knowledge needed to fix them has been lost over generations. Not the case for Pardon Me, the largest runabout ever made.
Pardon Me was launched in the Thousand Islands area of New York on Labor Day in 1948. Often referred to as one of the largest runabouts ever made, Pardon Me featured a split-cockpit design, a supercharged 1,500 HP Packard engine and gorgeous varnished mahogany. Pardon Me represents an iconic time of boat-design before mass-produced boats were common.
After spending time in Michigan and Florida, Pardon Me was gifted to the good people of the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY who recognize that it’s worth saving important old boats like Pardon Me, and, who luckily had the means to do so. The cost of the restoration job was some $300,000. They enlisted the master boat workers at Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine to restore Pardon Me and wow, the result is gorgeous.
I was following along over the winter as Brooklin Boat Yard posted the occasional photo on Facebook, as well as a few videos, like the time they fired up the restored Packard V-12 engine for the first time. It was a big job, on a big boat.
By the spring the job was finished and on May 29th, Pardon Me was returned to Clayton, New York on the back of a tractor trailer. There’s even drone footage with a triumphant score of her entrance.