Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway was honored on Saturday in a tribute dinner at the 21st annual wooden boat show in Mystic Seaport. Nat Benjamin, Ross Gannon and Brad Abbott earned high praise from Jon Wilson, founder and editor in chief of Wooden Boat magazine, who said the boatbuilders “. . . embarked on an enterprise and a way of life that has brought them — for more than 30 years — peerless reputation and world renown. The Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway became much more than a small business.”

A small group of Island sailors attended the dinner and added their own tributes to Gannon and Benjamin.

Yesterday Nat Benjamin spoke from his cell phone aboard his schooner Charlotte, headed home from Mystic Seaport, with the Gay Head Cliffs in the distance. “It was an enjoyable evening with lots of articulate speakers. We are all very touched. What a great honor. We are part of a nice community,” he said.