2011 Gathering Of The Gar Woods – 100th Anniversary of Obexer’s Boat Company


On Monday August 15th, the day after the 39th Annual Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance concludes in Carnelian Bay, “The Gathering of the Gar Woods” event will be held at the historic Obexer’s Marina, down Lake Tahoe in Homewood, CA. This year marks the 100th anniversary for Obexer’s Marina, which was the original agent for Gar Wood in the late 1920’s and the organizers of the event are expecting approximately 30 to 40 Gar Wood boats to be in attendance. There may even be some original Lake Tahoe Gar Wood boats at the “Gathering” that are not entered in the Lake Tahoe Concours, which is featuring Gar Wood boats as the marque class this year.

The remarkable history of Jake Obexer and Obexer’s Boat Company is noted on the Obexer’s Marina web site, here’s a glimpse of that story…

“Jake Obexer saw a bright future in the growing pleasure boat industry and had grand plans that would require a safe harbor for boats. During the late 1920s, he had used his persuasive talents to convince Standard Oil of the feasibility of such a venture and enlisted the company as a full partner in the construction of a large crib breakwater and pier, behind which a marina would soon take shape. By 1928, he had become the Tahoe agent for Gar Wood speedboats, and by the mid-30s had convinced nearly two dozen summer residents to become Gar Wood owners.”

To see the entire story, you can click here to go directly to the Obexer’s Marina web site.

Today Obexer’s Boat Company continues to operate as a family-owned and operated full Service Marina on Lake Tahoe’s beautiful West Shore. They provide Ramp Facilities, Travel Lift & Forklift Launching, Slip & Buoy Season Rentals, Summer & Winter Storage Facilities, Certified Mechanics on Duty, a Restoration Shop for all your wood and fiberglass repair, and a General Store next door.

Here’s a cool image of Jake Obexer aboard “Miss Tahoe” his 1939 28′ Gar Wood Custom Runabout from back in the day.

With the much anticipated 2011 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance and The Gathering of the Gar Woods events just around the corner, fellow Woody Boater Brian Robinson from Robinson Restoration in Fallbrook, CA (in Southern California) is busy preparing three Gar Wood boats for next weeks events.

Brian sent us a few photos of the Gar Woods in their shop that they will be bring up to Lake Tahoe next week. Brian said…

These three Gar Woods are all leaving for the Tahoe Concours next week. The one in the background is a 1939 28′ Custom Runabout “Truant II” with a Scripps V-12, in the middle is a 1938 22′ Streamliner “Empress”, and in the foreground is “Jean Ann” a 1939 19′ Custom Runabout. “Empress” and “Jean Ann” are fresh restorations debuting this year in Lake Tahoe.

Brian & Tim Robinson (Brian’s father) are one of the top antique boat restoration shops on the west coast and have a great deal of knowledge about Gar Wood boats, as well as many other antique & classic wooden boats from both the pre-war and post-war periods, including Hacker Craft, Chris-Craft, Sea Lyon, Dart & Dodge boats among others. If you are considering restoring an antique or classic wooden boat, and want it to be period correct, give Robinson Restoration a call… The guys know their business.

After the Tahoe Concours and The Gathering of the Gar Woods, “Truant II” is off to the Mecum Monterey Auction in Monterey, California August 18th-20th.

Below is another great image of “Miss Tahoe” as she looks today, the sister boat to “Truant II”.

Image Courtesy of the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation and h2omark.com

If you get the chance, come on out to Lake Tahoe next weekend for the big events, you won’t be disappointed. WooHooo!

There is also a very informative web site called Western Runabouts with more information on the upcoming “Gathering of the Gar Woods” event – You can click here to go there.


2 replies
  1. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Texx, looks like your story was overlooked as everyone sped off to Clayton! I’d rather be in Tahoe. Obexer’s is an amazing place, 100 years, through all of the changes in the boating community. Congratulations! And now I’m drooling over a Garwood. This is such an addictive lifestyle, therapy should be included in our WoodyBoater membership dues!

  2. Chris Wise
    Chris Wise says:

    I was in Homewood about five years ago in the winter and Obexer’s boatworks is one of the buildings that stands out in my mind.

    Great reporting from one of the coolest places on the planet!

    Wish I was out there with you! Florida is way to hot.

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