A stunning 1955 14′ Aristocraft “Saving Grace” – restored by the factory, owned by Randy Mueller, who also owns the beautiful “Starlight Express” a 1956 42′ Matthews Martinique Express, but too big for this showroom!

Today’s story comes to us from the huge Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, Washington – courtesy of fellow Woody Boater Ron Stevenson. Ron is a long time member of the very active Pacific Northwest ACBS Chapter in the Seattle area.

Chapter President Rob DaPron notes that they have welcomed a number of new members recently, and the chapter has grown to almost 200 members. I can say with confidence that this chapter has one of the most knowledgeable, passionate and diverse group of members in the country… And their classic boats represent that same diversity as you will see in Ron’s story today. – Texx


The classic boat display at the Foss Waterway Seaport

Reporting From The Foss Waterway Seaport
Ron Stevenson

Our new chapter President Rob DaPron, has steered our monthly meetings from the dryer, bored, (board?) meetings to more fun stuff to see and do. Plus, we really have a great bunch of people out here who are so bored with it raining all the time, that they make up stuff to do.

Like chapter member Jim Giese (aka Mr OCD) who has taken on introducing himself and our chapter to Joesph Govednik, the Museum Manager, thinking that we should have runabouts on display somewhere in their 45,000 square feet. I don’t think there is truth in the fact that the owners see it as free storage…

Jim has anchored the prime north location which is a huge 55 foot tall wall of glass, (UV coated to protect fading stain), and he has broken a few arms twisting them to get a bunch of various water craft on display. This is all in preparation for the Museum Grand Opening coming this June 22nd.


A rendering of the Foss Waterway Seaport North Entrance

From the Foss Waterway Seaport website:

The mission of the Foss Waterway Seaport is to celebrate Tacoma’s rich maritime heritage—past, present and future.

The Foss Waterway Seaport is Puget Sound’s premier maritime heritage, education and event center where families, students and entire communities come to discover, explore, work and play.

The development partners of this project—the Foss Waterway Seaport and the Foss Waterway Development Authority—are dedicated to creating a venue that will continue to bring the downtown waterfront to life as a place for everyone. When fully completed, the Seaport will be the most comprehensive maritime heritage and education center on the U.S. west coast, and the only authentic facility in the Pacific Northwest to showcase the region’s maritime history in a location where that history actually took place!

Ron continues – But back to the boats. Today we thought the Woody Boater community might like to see some of our boats on display at the Foss Waterway Seaport during last week’s monthly ACBS Chapter meeting. Sorry for some of the shots, the damn sun was shining that afternoon. By the way, do you know that “Seattlites” buy more sunglasses per capita than anyone else? When the sun does shine, we can’t find ’em so have to buy another pair!

Let’s take a stroll through the display, starting with the 1949 Ford Woody Wagon owned by Herm Hoffman, who volunteered his ride to “tow” the beautiful 1955 18′ Chris-Craft Cobra owned by none other than Jim Giese himself.

The 18′ Chris-Craft Cobra

Next to Jim’s Cobra is Curt & Marsha Erickson’s 1928 20′ Dodge Water Car.

The only one left, a rare 1942 20′ Triple cockpit Century runabout owned by Past ACBS National President Dick Werner and his wife Louise from Portland, Oregon (we let of few outsiders in once in a while).

Next to the Werner’s Century is Ike Kielgass on the left with Bob Wheeler (you have read his articles in the “Rudder” the ACBS Quarterly magazine.) This is Ike’s always great looking 1948 Chris-Craft 20′ Custom, restored by Rob DaPron.

Just look at the the choice of wood that Rob used on Ike’s 20′ Custom. Can you count the planks? Do you ever look at a boat this close?

The unique and unmistakable styling of the 1958 21′ Century Coronado, an all original classic owned by Rick Means.

A very impressive 1959 Glasspar G3 with a big “Dockbuster” Mercury outboard on it! It’s always great to see some classic fiberglass boats involved with the hobby, one of Rob DaPron’s many goals as President.

A late ’50’s Hollywood. Built in Tacoma, Washington and oddly enough, sold mostly into California. It is rumored that Roy Rodgers owned two of these. These were co-designed and built by Bruce Bronson’s Dad. Bruce grew up sweeping floors in his Dad’s shop and is now sweeping his own floors in his own boat restoration shop in nearby Gig Harbor, WA. Owned by Linda Cunningham, and named “Boatie Girl” to keep the guys from running it!

This was home built in 1957 by Bob Radcliffe, patterned after a Mansfield. Inherited by his daughter Linda (see above), she had her husband Tom restore it.

Al Howe has two of his boats on display today, a 1940 16′ Chris-Craft Racing Runabout and also a rare 1940 19′ Chris-Craft Custom “Barrel Back”.


Then there’s this cool 1953 14′ Glen-L “Zip” – Look at that beautiful Mercury! – Which Rich Stabler restored after he bought it from ME!!! The boat is nice too!

A 1961 19′ Chris-Craft Continental restored and owned by Ed and Barb Tronca. Barb is a volunteer at the Museum, and helped organize last Wednesday nights chapter meeting. An outstanding effort on her part! Thanks Barb!

Another exceptional boat restored and owned by Rob & Susan DaPron. A 1928 24′ Chris-Craft Model 3 (triple cockpit) originally named “Red Head II” since 1928.

A rare 1959 14′ GlassPly owned by Ingvar & Julie Carlson.

Finally another Mercury Powered Boat – a Sande Ace, built in little Belfair, Washington. Saving this one for last because of the bad lighting, and bad me for not getting that owners name, its year or size; or an overall shot of this nice boat!

The Foss Waterway Seaport Curator and our Host Joesph Govednik gave a great presentation about this fantastic Museum, which will truly be a destination here in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about the Foss Waterway Seaport you can Click Here.

I know I speak for our Chapter in a special thank you to Jim Giese for his efforts to get us in this place, plus his recruiting efforts in finding new members for our Chapter. Jim is now undertaking finding a boat for Joesph to buy, plus he made him join the Chapter!

The meeting was adjourned with bellies full of a great spaghetti dinner, and boats to feast our eyes on.

“Woody Boaters have more fun!”

Best Regards – Ron Stevenson

Ron also noted: By the way, this is very close to the LeMay Museum, another amazing place to see.

From the Lemay Museum website:

LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) spotlights America’s love affair with the automobile. Featuring a nine-acre campus – with a four-story museum as the centerpiece – ACM, situated atop Tacoma, Wash., 30 minutes south of Seattle and in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, is one of the world’s largest auto museums and attractions when it opened in June 2012.

ACM is designed to preserve history and celebrate the world’s automotive culture. The spacious facility houses up to 350 cars, trucks and motorcycles from private owners, corporations, and the LeMay collection, which amassed a Guinness Book record of more than 3,500 vehicles in the mid-‘90s.

“Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager,” says ACM CEO David Madeira. “Personal experiences with cars are at the heart of the American experience, and we’re going to showcase more than a century of automotive lifestyle and history as well as the future of transportation.”

You can learn more about this amazing museum by Clicking Here to go directly to their impressive website.

Thanks Ron for sharing this story with us today. It’s exciting to see how the Pacific Northwest Chapter is finding new and innovative ways to hold their monthly meetings, and introduce people to the hobby. Nice work everyone!


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5 Responses to “Foss Waterway Seaport Welcomes Classic Boaters From the Pacific Northwest Chapter”
  1. Cliff

    Road trip! What a great place to see. I am putting that on my list for my next trip out west. I wonder how hard it would actually be for the country squire to tow the cobra with that flat head V8?

    • Texx

      Probably not too bad as long as you are not in a hurry… Those old shoebox Fords make great classic rides.

  2. Dennis Mykols

    Two great places to visit, even more of a reason to plan out a long West Coast road trip in the next couple of years.
    Very interesting story, thanks for sharing.