Sierra Boat Company – Preserving History In Lake Tahoe, California For Over 50 Years

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When you hear the name Sierra Boat Company, the first thing that comes to mind is the prestigious Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance boat show, which is held at the Sierra Boat Company marina in August.

But Herb Hall and his crew at Sierra Boat Company also operate a year round, full service boat shop and marina which includes complete wooden boat restorations, mechanical & parts store as well as boat storage and brokerage services. We can tell you that a tour through the Sierra Boat Company facility with Herb Hall is like taking a classic boat history lesson – Chris-Crafts, Centurys, Gar Woods, Hackercrafts and those amazing Rivas just to name a few. Rare Scripps engines, parts, books – It’s truly amazing what you will find there… Here’s just a few projects they are currently working on in the boat shop, as described by Herb himself…

OSKI III – 1924 30′ Stevens Launch

Here’s a boat with an interesting history. OSKI III is a 1924, 30′ Stevens Launch built for Ky Ebright, the coach of the Cal Crew (University of California) rowing teams in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Urging on his crews from the front cockpit, Ebright coached Cal Crew to victory and Olympic gold in 1928, 1932 and 1948. The boat ws actually shipped to London in 1948.

The 1948 Olympic rowing events took place at the famous course at Henley-on-Thames. Ky Ebright brought the launch he used at Cal, the Oski III, to London. It was temporarily painted red, white, and blue for the occasion, but its colors were restored to blue and gold when the team returned to Berkeley.

This is an older restoration getting some much needed maintinance. The engine is a Scripps F-4.

OSKI III was once part of the famous Alan Furth collection of boats.

Coach Ky Ebright aboard his launch, the Oski III

Miss Jennifer – 1946 25′ Hutchinson Utility

Miss Jennifer gets a new bottom! Miss Jennifer, is a 1946, 25′ Hutchinson utility. We originally purchased this boat from St Lawrence restoration in the early 80’s. Thanks for the work Don!

After many years on Lake Tahoe, the original bottom had finally given up. Hutchinson, even in the 40’s, was still using small, steam bent frames, a practice most builder abandoned in the tens and twenties.

This boat uses and odd combination of sawn frames and bent frames. If it looks complicated, that’s because it is!

Scripps Model 302 V-12 Engines

Right now we have two Scripps 302 V-12 engines in for re-building. You don’t see these in the shop everyday, especially two of them. Rare as they are, we have over a dozen boats here at Sierra Boat Company, powered with these rare and amazing marine engines.

Thanks Herb for giving us a glimpse into the back shop at Sierra Boat Company, you certinly have some interesting projects under way – Texx

And if you are in the market for that perfect wooden boat for summer, here’s just a few boats that are currently featured for sale on the Sierra Boat Company website.

How about a beautiful 1930 Hacker 30′ Triple Cockpit Runabout powered by a 385 HP Mercruiser 496 V-8. Your buddies at the lake will certainly be impressed when you pull up to the cabin in this big triple.

Or how about a classic Italian speedboat like this 1964 Riva Ariston, an excellent example of an early series Ariston. 1964 was the first year that Riva used a full mahogany dash in the Ariston and the first year for the large VDO gauges. The girls at the country club will be lined up to go for a ride in this beauty.

For more information on Sierra Boat Company and the many services they offer, you can click here to check out their huge website including the numerous antique & classic boats they currently have listed for sale.

To learn more about the 2012 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance which is featuring the legendary Riva Aquarama as the Marque Class boat this year, you can click here. We can hardly wait for August and to once again be reporting live from the 2012 Lake Tahoe Concours in Carnelian Bay, California.

August in Lake Tahoe during the Concours is something that every classic boat enthusiast should experience at least once.


5 replies
  1. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Back in the day those long winters up on the river lent themselves to the building of complicated hulls in Alex Bay.

  2. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Anyone who gets the chance should come to the tahoe show and see probably more rivas in any one place outside of italy. And at the same time, visit Herb and he most likely will have time enough to show you around a fantastic collection of boats, motors, etc. He is a gracious host for the show.

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