THE SUMMER ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT SHOW SEASON IS WELL UNDER WAY around the country, a time of year we always look forward to here at Woody Boater. With the big South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic last weekend (presented by the Northern California / Lake Tahoe Chapter ACBS) and the upcoming Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance in less than two weeks, Lake Tahoe is the place to be to witness some of the finest antique & classic boats in the nation.
When the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation announced that the 2015 Marque Class was Vintage V-12 Engines (certainly a new and innovative Marque Class) our immediate thought was this could attract some different and unusual vintage boats to the annual 43rd Annual Concours – and as you will see in today’s story, it worked out perfectly.
Now that the registrations are closed and the programs are being printed, we thought it would be fun to share some photos to preview the 18 Marque Class boats which will be on hand this year at Obexer’s Boat Company in Homewood, California. Of course the 18 Marque Class boats are part of the more than 65 premium show boats registered for this years event.
We also have some exciting news about the Marque Class for the 2016 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance from our friend Brian Robinson, Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation Concours d’Elegance Committee. – Texx
Here at Woody Boater we are excited to break the news from the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation that the featured Marque for 2016 will be the legendary Chris-Craft Racing Runabouts. Here’s the official announcement from Brian Robinson, Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation Concours d’Elegance Committee.
2016 Lake Tahoe Concours Marque Class
CHRIS-CRAFT RACING RUNABOUTS 1936-1954
Calling all Racing Runabout Owners!!!
Next summer, a Lake Tahoe boating icon is celebrated with the featured Marque of Chris-Craft Racing Runabouts on their 80th anniversary.
What started as a low production, specially built follow-on to the short-lived 18-foot MYCCA series boats for a European racing class; in 1936 Chris-Craft offered for sale a stunning low-profile, lightweight 19-foot craft, painted blue and white – a combination that really caught the boating world’s eye. Only fifty were made in the initial production from 1936-1938, in every conceivable color combination and six different six-cylinder racing engines, mostly the high power-to-weight Lycomings.
It is only because of the prewar 19-foot Racer’s incredible rarity, so few are ever seen today.
It wasn’t until late in 1947 Chris-Craft production that the 19-foot Racer was reintroduced, sharing much of its design with its predecessor. It was with this postwar version that its popularity and today’s cult following of the model was fully realized. The initial run of the postwar examples was painted boats, known as Red and Whites. The Red and Whites had painted canvas-covered plywood decks with cedar planked sides and bottoms over fir frames. The only varnished mahogany on them was the transom and flagpoles.
Opinions differ whether this was to make them extra lightweight, or that the quality wood shortage after WWII forced them to be built this way – it was probably a little of both. Only 11 Racers can claim to actually be 1947 models (R-19-001 through R-19-011), as 1948 was the first full production year, with 176 examples built that model year.
The Red and White Racing Runabout continued through the first quarter of 1949 production, until Chris-Craft’s supply of Philippine mahogany returned. With hull number R-19-206 of mid-1949, the all-varnished mahogany version of the postwar Racing Runabout was born – this being the version most of us are familiar with, as it remained little changed through the end of 1954 production before being replaced by the famous Chris-Craft Cobra. In all, 297 varnished postwar Racers were produced, 503 including the Red and Whites.
Most of the postwar Racers were sold to the western US, particularly California. Around 100 of the existing examples call California home. Lake Tahoe has always had quite a fleet of racers, they are one of the best 19-foot boats to have when the lake gets rough, perfect balance of engine placement allows them to get the bow high at low speed to tackle big water. They are also fast, of course, as all but a few came originally with 145hp MB or 158hp MBL power, making an honest 40mph boat, even at Tahoe’s elevation.
Rare, fast, great looking, and surprisingly practical… what more could you
Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance
Woody Boater will have live reports from the 2015 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance starting on Friday August 7th, and throughout the weekend – so stay tuned.