A few days ago I was going through some old files and came across some photos I had from my first ever visit to the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance in August 2005. It’s hard to believe that was almost 8 years ago. I remember that I was on a steep learning curve even back then, trying to take everything in and learn as much as I could about the wonderful world of wooden boats.
Triple cockpit Chris-Craft barrelbacks like this rare 1941 23′ Custom, huge Gar Wood runabouts and Hackercrafts everywhere… My goal back then was to have my Chris-Craft Riviera restored to a level that I could some day enter it in the Lake Tahoe Concours show and not be embarrassed.
That goal was finally achieved in 2012 – 7 years later thanks to my friend Mike Mayer at Lake Oswego Boat Company and also Brian Robinson from Robinson Restoration in California.
And that was the year that “Little Lady” a remarkable 1939 Chris-Craft 19′ Custom Runabout restored by Jim Blake at The Woodshop Ltd in Edmond, Oklahoma (with consultant / barrelback aficionado Don Ayers) won awards everywhere she went that year…
Earlier that year, in April, still on that steep learning curve we attended an amazing three day Antique Motorboating Symposium presented by the ACBS at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia…
Chris-Craft: Rediscovering the Legacy.
Three days of hands on sessions, speakers, and panel discussions about the history and restoration / preservation of Chris-Craft boats were very informative… presented by many of the leading, most respected people in the hobby. And as a bonus, we were given the opportunity to visit the amazing Chris-Craft collection archives at the Mariners’ Museum.
It was a fantastic 3 days of hanging out with fellow Woody Boaters and talking boat stuff. Here is a list of speakers / presenters that were on hand for the event. (You can click on the list below to enlarge it)
These were the early days of the Internet, and at the time the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club was just getting started with an early version of their on-line forum / message board (Memberclicks?) thanks to Wilson Wright. Woody Boater had (unfortunately) not yet been developed and information about the hobby on-line was very limited compared to what is out there today.
As a relative newcomer to the world of antique & classic boating, I came away from that symposium with many new friends and a mountain of knowledge about Chris-Craft boats that I still use today.
Happy New Year!