I suppose this is a good thing for the show organizers, and maybe a sign that the recreational / pleasure boating industry is thriving. However, this usually means that only limited space is available for the local ACBS Chapters and clubs that represent our hobby. These boat shows are great venues to bring awareness to the classic boating hobby, and potentially attract new members to the ACBS Chapters and marque clubs – providing they can secure space.
As you will see in today’s story, the nice folks at the Pacific Northwest Chapter were able to secure a small space just days before the start of the show, and the dedicated Chapter volunteers jumped into action to make it all happen in a very short period of time. Nice work Guys. – Texx
The West Coast’s Largest Boat Show – the Seattle Boat Show, Indoors + Afloat – kicks off January 23 and runs through February 1, 2015. The Seattle Boat Show features ~1,000 boats for every budget designed to meet every recreational need featured at CenturyLink Field, plus world class yachts, trawlers and more at South Lake Union. The show, the largest on the West Coast, features a free shuttle service between the two venues. For more information, visit www.seattleaboatshow.com.
Live-ish From The 2015 Seattle Boat Show
Story by Ron Stevenson / Photos by Brian Flaherty
It’s that time of year again, this is when our boating season really starts out here in the Pacific Northwest, with the BIG Seattle Boat Show, advertised as the largest on the West Coast (aka, the Left Coast or the “wet-edge” of the USA).
Our many shades-of-gray skies begin to stop drizzling all the time and we see a bit of blue occasionally; and thanks to the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) for putting the show together, we really start to think about boating! They have 700 members for our $3.9 billion industry of recreational boating.
And while our ACBS chapter is not a member, we are invited to display, if they have a empty space. “IF” is the big word here. With 700 paying members wanting to be part of the show, we are lucky to get a spot, and of course we don’t know until typically two days before it opens!
TWO DAYS to come up with what and how to display in whatever size booth we get. This year, I got the word at noon on Tuesday, we pulled in the big stuff Wednesday, and I could not finish the details until Thursday nite, and the show opened Friday. It usually runs 10 days, but for some strange reason, they will shut it down a day early, something about some lame football game that people in Seattle may want to watch. Humph! I mean really, what is more important?
Thanks to Frank Gonzales our PNW Chapter member, Chris-Craft owner, who works at the NMTA for his persistence in getting us a booth. And to Curt Erickson, Ike Kielgass, Brian Flaherty, Brian Franchini, and Ingvar Carlson for their part of the display, and doing the set-up. And to Rick Means, who stitches up and loans us boat manufactures special large size burgees that he makes, which are also great for man caves! He makes regular size ones too – check out his website at skipperrudy.com
Our chapter curmudgeon Curt Erickson brought his huge 1914 Hispano-Suiza V-8 to display, an all aluminum (only 600 lbs) World War I fighter plane engine that has been marinized and has run in “Miss Sydney”, the Gentleman’s raceboat replica he owns. That polished aluminum monster motor catches peoples eye right away! BTW, a plug for FLITZ, here at the show, Gigi GAVE us polish and cloths to polish it with! Curt is the guy who for years – looked for the old guy with a bunch of old boats and boat stuff, and now realizes that guy is him!
Hispano – Suiza Model H-3
In 1914 Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt designed the V-8 Hispano-Suiza airplane engine. It was adopted for French fighters in 1915 and used in the Spad airplane in WWI.
The basic contribution of Birkigt to engine design was the in-block cylinder construction with a cast aluminum water jacket containing steel cylinder barrels and enclosed and lubricated valves, and valve gears. The success of this engine started a revolution in liquid-cooled engine design which culminated in the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Hispano-Suiza was designed in 1914, then licensed it to Wright Aeronautical in 1921. This particular Hispano-Suiza V-8 engine is a 1921 model.
Number of cylinders: V-8
Bore: 5.5 inches
Stroke: 5.9 inches
Displacement: 1126 cubic inches
Weight: 600 lbs.
Compression ratio: 5.3 to 1
Brake H.P.: 300
“Miss Sydney” (Curt’s Gentleman’s Racer) was built in Australia in 2003 and patterned after a 1936 Ventnor race boat. A 454 Cu.In. Chevrolet engine is swapped back and forth for either show or recreational use. – Curt Erickson, Eatonville, WA
The other eye catcher at the head of our booth is “ROWDY” – designed and built by Movie Star (that’s another story) and Chapter member Ike Kielgass. This replica race boat features a really cool flathead Ford V-8 that has been tweaked from the original HP and features dual-carbs.
Interestingly enough, while I was concerned about the long, rather narrow booth (15×50?) people seem to do the “grocery aisle effect” and good thing Curt Erickson also brought us “IDLER”, a 1930 21′ Dowsett launch, with it’s exposed great little 2 cylinder St Lawrence, and tiller lever steering. He is sadly thinking about selling this fine vessel.
We also have our chapter posters from boat shows past here for sale, so we may be able to pay for my parking pass! You can see the posters at the PNW website HERE.
We have had a lot of traffic in our booth and in the boat show itself, all the attendance numbers are up, and they have sold a surprising number of boats this year in just two days, including selling the big ones that are usually just dreamboats. It is a huge sign that people are starting to spend that discretionary income and that the economy is definitely much better, oops, depending on which side of the aisle you’re on….
One last thank-you to all of our chapter members who do booth time and chat up the WoodyBoater lifestyle. And now it is time for me to head to the booth, promote the ACBS mission statement, Woodyboater, and sell ACBS memberships! Blue skies are coming soon! maybe… – Ron Stevenson
Thanks for the great report Ron and Brian. If you are in the Seattle area or planning to be in the Seattle area, make a point of stopping by to visit the guys in the PNW Chapter display to talk some classic boating – a favorite subject of theirs. The Seattle Boat Show runs until Saturday, January 31st.