“Jitterbug” owned by Jeff and Corrine Lucas , 1948 22′ Custom Sedan, recently rescued from under a tarp, in the water, in covered moorage for over ten years.

A HUGE thanks to long time fellow Woody Boater Ron stevenson for supplying a real boat story. As in BOATS. In the water doing what boats are supposed to do. No dogs,No club yapping, Babe complaining..
JUST BOATS! AHHHHHHHHHH- Take it away Ron!


MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Look closely, you can see some 8 man shells.

If you hear this on your Marine VHF channel 16, someone is in trouble! We here on WoodyBoater are trying to get Matt out of trouble! And we want more stories about boating, so here is my attempt (hmm, use spell check or not?)
In this case Mayday times three represents an effort to keep some type of Opening Day of the Boating Season alive in Seattle. The crème de la crème of yacht clubs here is the Seattle Yacht Club. They started Opening Day activities in 1928, you do the math. This is a week long event, filled with activities, registrations, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, parties, adult beverages, flag raising, awards ceremonies, Husky crew races, people being people, we look forward to it every year. The climax at the end of the week is the U of W crew races, and the boat parade which is about 200 vessels going through the Montlake cut, between Portage Bay and Lake Washington. Observing boats start tying up, and anchoring days ahead, there can easily be another 200 watching.

There is always a theme, we decorate boats to win prizes in your class of entries, a great time is had by all. Except when there is a pandemic. No official on the water Opening Day. Instead there was a virtual Opening Day, much easier, no permits, no Homeland security screening (for real, boaters can be dangerous?).
But a nameless person across Portage Bay at the more blue-collar Queen City Yacht Club came up with the idea of a “Linear Cruise”. Hey, if a bunch of boats are cruising the same same direction at the same speed, around neighboring Lake Union and leave at the same time, and you don’t have to register, you don’t need a parade permit do you? Or get permission from the Coast Guard?
Cruising around lake Union, 40 or so boats turned out. “Elsa” is owned by PNW ACBS guy Erik Larsen. Yes, the same family as Larsen Boats.

So at noon on Mayday (aka May 1st) a bunch of boats showed up. Including some from the PNW chapter of the ACBS, there was more wood with some amazing Classic Yachts from their association the CYA. And many more came out just to have fun! Let’s go boating! Right?

Steve and Molly Snider own “Badlands” a 1963 26′ Century Raven

“Marian II, a 1928 42′ Lake Union Dreamboat owned by the Classic Yacht Association Commodore Diane Lander.

The MV “Malibu”, designed by Ted Geary, built at Blanchard Boat Company in Seattle in 1926, is 100 ft long. Our ACBS chapter had the honor of being hosted by the owner for a monthly meeting aboard this stunning 100 point showboat.

Seen in the parade was the “Honey Bee” a 1951 42′ Ed Monk design for the Ed Reinell boat building family. This was a boat that started my lust for a wood cruiser many years ago…
(she goes faster downhill)

But we started, and will end with a boat ride out to dinner Friday nite, aboard a 1932 28′ special built launch for the University of Washington crew coach. Captain Kirk Knap saved this boat from the burn pile many years ago. The Scripps powered “Conny” is the same boat that was used to train our guys to win the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hopefully some of you have read the book “The Boys in the Boat” or seen the PBS American Experiences film.
Here is the trailer: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/boys36/

If not, you need to see it or read it, it’s a great WB story in itself!

Kirk was the lead boat Saturday morning hosting dignitaries and officials to the race course, and his boat was used to give out the awards after the races. BTW our Huskies, both men and women won most everything!

Come to Seattle next year the first Saturday in May for Opening Day! Let’s go boating!


Opening Days featured before in WB:

https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2010/05/04/coneheads-descend-on-opening-day/

https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2014/05/06/seattle-yacht-club-pacific-northwest-classic-boaters-celebrate-2014-opening-day/

https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2015/05/11/opening-day-of-the-2015-seattle-boating-season-with-a-mountain-fresh-taste/

https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2020/05/04/keeping-a-100-year-old-tradition-alive-while-trying-to-stay-alive/

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23 Responses to “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!”
  1. Greg Lewandowski

    What a beautiful thing! How I long for cruising with the Michigan Gang again. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on having this wonderful event!

    Reply
  2. Troy in ANE

    Thanks Ron!!!

    Great to see some boats on the water.

    Personal and public floats are just starting to show up here in the ANE (Atlantic North East) so it is good to see that the PNW is ahead of us.

    HAPPY BOATING!!

    Reply
  3. Steve Anderson from Michigan

    Great story, thanks for sharing! Honey bee is something special, I see how you fell in love with her.

    Reply
  4. Frank@Falmouth

    Thanks! These photos bring back fond memories. I went to UW and Opening Day was always a great party, tho we were poor students back then. I had a cool wood/glass low profile ski boat with a big Mercury 90 HP outboard. We’d get our hungover butts up early and waterski on the early morning glass water in front of the UW stadium. Cruising thru the Montlake cut was haphazard with the boat wakes that reflected off the sides that would threaten to swamp my low freeboard boat. I loved Seattle and Lake Washington. I actuallly ended up getting a two year contract to manage and operate the Navy Sailing Marina, at the then Sand Point Naval Base. Was a dream job, for a kid fresh out of college. We would also take bigger boats to the Husky Football games.
    Opening Day was also when we could look forward to seeing the SUN!… Great memories That and the hydro races in the summer on the log boom on Lake Washington!
    That was almost 40 years ago and its funny how my love for boats hasnt waned… just evolved..

    Reply
  5. Ronald

    Thank you for sharing this refreshing story. It looks like a great time there. My wife and I flew to Seattle a few short years ago for a long weekend and while there we took a boat cruise around Lake Union and met a boat like Marian ll heading out, I love that style. Thanks again for sharing.

    Reply
  6. floyd r turbo

    Love the 26′ Century Raven. Her lines are so graceful, especially the windshield. “The correct form properly filled out gets attention” to coin a phrase that apparently is lost on some. And how did you get over 200 to raft up and not have some newbie plow by with maximum wake creating an issue with those with those rafted up. I guess the long history of boating in Seattle has created more considerate captains. I see less and less basic seamanship skills and thoughtfulness on our lakes here.

    Reply
  7. Tparsons56

    Great to see boats on the water again. Of course in Seattle they don’t have to take them out of the water for eight months like we do. Jealous.

    The book “The Boys in the Boat” is a great read. When you follow the struggles of what the main character “Joe Rantz” had to do to not only survive but to exceed at rowing and college, without complaining, is an inspiration that we need more of these days.

    Reply
  8. Dennis Mykols

    In 2016 I had the opportunity to ride along in this event when the A.C.B.S. held a Quartly board meeting there.
    I rode along in a 1926 27 foot gentlemen’s racer, called Greyhound. The theme that year was “Cops and Robbers”.
    We covered up part of the boat name (which was on the sides) to read “BLOODhound”
    If you look close to the picture of the Century, you will see a big silver siren on the bow, and yes, it got a workout that day.
    One of my favorite bucket list memories.

    Reply
    • Ron in Seattle

      Dennis, that boat to the right is my ‘48 20 ft CC Custom “Beautiful Day”! Any day on the water is a beautiful day. Thanks for THAT memory!
      Yesterday we were on “Spirit Bear”, 1979 37’ North Sea Trawler keeping warm. Don’t tell anyone it’s FG.

      Reply
    • floyd r turbo

      I clicked on a porn site the other day and a wooden boat blog broke out.

      Reply
  9. John F Rothert

    Great story, here is my REPRO Lake Union Dreamboat…Fairchild Scout 30…inspired mostly by a Blanchard.

    Reply
  10. Clay at Cross Lake

    John, You have teased us before with peeks at your Fairchild but this angle really shows her lines. What a beauty! Fits right in with the other amazing boats in Ron’s story today. Easy to see why you are always taking her out. Can you say more about her origin as “REPRO”?

    Reply
    • John F Rothert

      Clay, Many thanks for the nice comments about my 1980 Fairchild Scout 30. I refuse to do FakeBook but there is a page for these boats…those seldom updated. There are about 40 some of these boats. 13 of the Fairchild originals c. 1979 to 80. Mine being the last one, #13. Mold were sold to Express Yachts in Canada mid 80’s they made 30 or so more…the “later version”. I am sort of the clearing house guy for the originals. Besides the stunning period look, these boats are amazing for fit and finish. Mine is the most original of them…always kept in covered slip. This is a 6 knot pocket trawler…I ditched all the old “winebago shit”. Old water systems, antique head, etc….but I renewed HVAC and everything else. Spend 20 K on her 23 years ago…tanks, engine redo, shafts, all that. As you can see from my Going Boating mantra…I use her every week on average and stay aboard because she is 100 miles exactly from my home…just the right distance getaway.
      Glad to discuss if you wish to phone. 804 598 4134 in Powhatan Va. There is one for sale close to me. Needs work but repowered, an Express Yachts version. In fine condition these tend to be 70 to 100 K these days,
      thanks, John Rothert

      Reply
      • John F Rothert

        thought I was sending a private reply to Clay??? oh well…may try again…sorry to tie up so much space,

        John in Va.

        Reply
        • Troy in ANE

          John in Va.

          Glad you posted here. Always LOVE getting the back story.

          Ta Ta For Now!

          Reply
  11. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)

    Ron, Thanks for sharing. It is good to see people out on boats enjoying themselves. A few years ago we were in the PNW visiting our niece. The one picture reminded me of the ferry ride we took from Bainbridge Island to downtown Seattle. beautiful skyline!

    Reply
  12. John F Rothert

    and that is “spent 20 K THREE years ago not 23.

    I need to stop this…I post like Matt spells…..get a grip man…

    John in Va.

    Reply
  13. Don Palmer

    Ron, Thanks for a great presentation. You nailed it. I didn’t make this years event, but I thought I would show a picture from a few years ago that is one of my favorites. We had the “Rainiers” on board several of the boats. That was my boat “Analog” with a proud Rainier on board with us. It was a hoot!

    Reply

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