Live-ish From Lake Chelan, Washington & Northern California Delta.

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A great field of 38 classic boats came over to Lake Chelan for the 6th Annual Mahogany & Merlot event this year. Always great to see “Greyhound” on hand for the show.

TODAY WE HAVE TWO GREAT LIVE-ISH REPORTS to remind us that the weather on the west coast was perfect for classic boating this weekend. The two farm-fresh reports came in from fellow Woody Boater Ron Stevenson (reporting in from the Mahogany & Merlot show on Lake Chelan, Washington) and fellow Woody Boater Hamster (reporting in from the Northern California Delta Cruise).

The best part about these reports today is that they are both completely different, but at the same time show folks out having fun in their classic boats. The Mahogany & Merlot show brings together classic boats, race boats, and classic cars. The Northern California Delta Cruise is more like a California “Love In” featuring classic boaters and their boats. – Texx

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Vintage Unlimited Hydroplane “Miss Wahoo” up to speed on Lake Chelan. (Jeff Lucas photo)

Live-ish From Mahogany & Merlot
Lake Chelan, Washington
Story & Photos by Ron Stevenson

This weekend the Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS, together with the nice folks from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum gathered together for the 6th Annual Mahogany & Merlot event on Lake Chelan. Lake Chelan is located about three hours from east Seattle.

Oddly enough, even though Seattle is recognized as the Boating Capital of the World, there is no venue for a classic boat show there. The marinas are full, and zero interest to clear them for a boat show. Hey, that’s OK, here it’s dryer and about 20 degrees warmer! Seattle this time of year is promoting 50 or more shades of grey/gray and how many different types of cooler wet weather they can have. Eastern Washington being very much dryer, needs irrigation to make crops grow, sage brush reigns.

For the classic boaters, we get together before the actual boat show for a big cruise up Lake Chelan. Nine boats and 30 people left Thursday morning at 9AM. Stayed in Stehekin, and returned Friday.

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Our friend and fellow Woody Boater Curt Erickson at the helm of “Hokey Pokey” during the Lake Chelan picnic cruise on Friday.


“Rhubarb” – 1961 Shepherd 22-footer was in Gull Lake, Minnesota – travelling 3,400 miles round-trip from Seattle and back.

See “Rhubarb” in front of Curt & Marsha Erickson’s “Hokey Pokey”?

Scott & Patty Mason are on their way back to Seattle after their 3,400 mile trip to Gull Lake, Minnesota and back. They haven’t made it home yet, as they spent three days on Flathead Lake in Montana. Their boat was finished by award winning restorer Alan Thomle (near Seattle) about two weeks prior to the 2015 ACBS International / Woods and Water event.

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“Rhubarb” – A beautiful 1961 22′ Shepherd at Gull Lake during the Woods and Water boat show. Owned by Scott and Patty Mason.

This (the Wooods and Water event in MN) was the Masons first boat show to be judged. They enjoyed the process, they enjoyed the people at the show, they enjoyed the fellow boat owners, the pre-events cruising on the area lakes, and of course the amazing Anderson Classic Boats Museum. It was fun to see their enthusiasm!

Why the name “Rhubarb” you ask?

Scott says he wanted to put his wife’s name Pat or Patty on the boat. She said nothing doin’! But since she grew up and lived in Sumner, (and neighboring Lake Tapps, Washington) her whole life, why not give it a local flavor name like rhubarb? After all, Sumner is the Rhubarb Capital of the world(?)! Craig Magnusson commented why not, after all, rhubarb is a little sweet and a little tart. Hmmmm, does he know something Scott doesn’t?

Today’s shots were taken heading back from our picnic at 25 Mile Park halfway up Lake Chelan. Meanwhile, 30 people in nine boats went up to the head of the lake to Stehekin National Park Thursday, stated overnight and cruised back down to the Chelan townsite Friday.

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Curt’s wife – the amazing creative Marsha Erickson enjoying the Friday picnic cruise on Lake Chelan.

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Surveying some of the damage by this summers massive forest fire at Lake Chelan.

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The American flag is flying amidst the fire ravaged shoreline on Lake Chelan after one of the worst wildfires in recent history.

The sun sets in the west at the end of our day Friday, most of the 38 boats are resting at their slips at Chelan Waterfront Park & Lakeside Marina.

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The sun sets in the west at the end of our day, most of the 38 boats are at their slip at the marina.

Saturday at Lake Chelan

Lots going on here at the show docks today, but a totally different feel, non judged except for People’s choice and Captain’s Choice. Low spectator turnout but we have Unlimited Hydros! This show is held in partnership with the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum. H.A.R.M.

This weekend H.A.R.M. volunteers get rides in appreciation of their hundreds of hours of work, and rides that have been won at various auctions during the year are given today. You can fork over a healthy donation for a ride too! This is one of the very few places these amazing raceboats can run anymore.

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“Miss Wahoo” preparing to go for a run on Lake Chelan.

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The distinctive logo on the tail of “Miss Bardahl” – always a crowd favorite wherever she goes.

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A shot of the Unlimited Hydroplane pit area where they are lifted into the lake with a crane – exactly the way it was when they raced in Chelan back in the 1950s. “Miss Thriftway U-60” and “Miss Bardahl U-40”.

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U-36 “Miss US” built in 1957, now owned by Jay Armstrong who bought it from the Mittler estate. He would be happy knowing it was running here! “Miss Burien” in the background, is fresh out of a 5 year restoration, with some fresh changes to get her running better and faster. “Miss Budweiser” on the right.

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Another shot of “Miss Burien” preparing to go in the drink for a run.

We are happy to be included with their show, and look forward to the mock exhibition races throughout the day today.

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Unlimted Hydroplane “Miss Budweiser” heads out on the lake for a few hot laps, with the classic boats in the background. (Jeff Lucas photo)

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Photographer Jeff Lucas captures “Wee Who” – a limited vintage hydroplane – taking flight on Lake Chelan Saturday.

On Saturday a helicopter and photographer were on hand to shoot the classic boats which was fun. Seems like the classic boat community is getting lots of “air time” these days, always a good thing – right?

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Ha! WE get a helicopter too! But no Texx. And no idea when we will see this guys pix! At least with Texx and Woody Boater we get to see the pics the next day if not sooner!

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Helicopter and photographer in the air, Curt Erickson in foreground, Rhubarb in background.

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The helicopter photographer above Lake Chelan was trying to get everyone lined up in a straight line! Ha! It’s like herding cats!

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Absolutely perfect fall weather for an event like this, providing sunny skies and flat water.

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We have more and more cars showing up for this event every year! Why not drive over to Eastern Washington to nice dry, warm (80*) weather in your cool car and see cool woods and raceboats!

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The cars that joined us at the show were from the Classic Car Club of America, and were a nice addition to the classic boats.

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Ron – You’re suppose to wait until the folks clear out of the frame before you fire the shutter… Ha – Texx

While a non judged event, we want the public’s opinion. Here are the awards from the Saturday night banquet.

Ladies Choice:
“Rhubarb” 1961 22′ Shepherd owned by Scott & Pat Mason

Kids Choice:
“Chris Craft II”
1967 28′ sedan cruiser owned by Bob Braaf and Chrisann Braaf (Smith).
(Chrisann is the Grand daughter of Chris Smith. Yeah, that Chris Smith)

People’s Choice:
“Longshot” owned by Kirk Knapp a 1927 28′ Dolphin Deluxe.

Thanks to Chris and Jon Courtwright, the Mahogany & Merlot originators and coordinators, and Kris Bassett and her hubby for all they do to promote this event in beautiful Lake Chelan!

Best Regards,
Ron Stevenson


Live-ish From the Northern California Delta
Photos & Report by Hamster

Our friend and fellow Woody Boater Hamster sent us this brief report from California. As you will see below, Hamster is the “strong silent type” and usually keeps his comments to a minimum. He is also one the best classic boat skippers ever to get behind the helm – but that’s another story. – Texx

Matt & Texx – Reporting in today from the California Delta with the Northern California Lake Tahoe Chapter of the ACBS. There is over 25 boats of all type and style participating in the big three day event of classic boating fun.



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Palm Trees!

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Marty And Al headed out.

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Hamster and his trademark pose.

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Emma taking a wake like a Emma!

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Special thanks to Ron Stevenson and Hamster for sending us these reports today. Great to see people out enjoying their classic boats up and down the west coast this weekend.


19 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    LOVE everything about the “Mahogany and Merlot” event! I look forward to the report every year, hope I can experience it one day. THANKS Ron!

    Why does it not surprise me that Hamster is reporting from an event that Texx considers a “Love In”.

  2. Ron- Seattle- Lk Chelan
    Ron- Seattle- Lk Chelan says:

    Dear fellow WoodyBoaters:
    Some of you will read this story today and say “what a great story Ron did”. Nope! Soooo far from the truth. Our beloved Texx is the guy who makes it all look good. The poor guy spends hours sorting through my many emails editing, arranging, rewriting, filling in things I left out, etc. I am humbled by his creativity. Thanks Texx! We ALL appreciate what you and that other guy do! Matt somebody, right?

  3. Hamster
    Hamster says:

    Sorry for the short story it’s hard to type with one hand! The delta has a unique boating style!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      The story was perfect Hamster. Pictures told the story. Thanks again for taking the time to share them with us.

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    While in Gull Lake it was funny to see it all come together in person. Dane, Texx and I all at one table doing what we do via email normally. We were up til 2 Am each morning just pounding away. Texx is relentless about being accurate and finding out whoes boat is whoes. Todays story started coming in yesterday, And texx took it over and stated building, but Hamsters shots came in wonky and would not load right. So this morning, we had to rebuild them, make a header and load. Crazy stuff. Note on the header we moved the chopper to the right to make the shot composed right. You can see the original in the story. Its also funny to note that we are getting to know folks so well, that we could spot Al Shinnnnneeers head from behind! HA. What a great little world we live in. Thanks to Ron and hamster for taking the time to send us in these fun reports and remind us all that the world is not all on Hurricane watch today!

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Great explanation of what you guys continue to do every day to bring us the world of WoodyBoater. Makes me appreciate what is going on while I sat there at 6:30 this morning wondering why there is no story yet. Then it comes up and I wonder what the hell is going on when it goes away a few minutes later. Thanks again for what you relentlessly continue to do every day for us slackers that enjoy the great product!

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      I know it is a passion for you guys but still don’t know how you guys do it day after day. Your devotion to the subject is beyond belief and exceeds all expectations.

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Great coverage but that is an incredible shot of Wee Who riding the prop…lucky or planned?…that’s rhetorical. Doesn’t matter, keep ’em coming. They should do a “Madison” sequel with all those Unlimiteds there. For those of you unfamiliar “Madison” was the holy grail of boat racing movies about the role Miss Madison played in the unlimited racing world. Fantastic movie, go buy it on DVD you’ll not be disappointed.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      The original Miss Madison Unlimited Hydroplane is back in Seattle and will some day be restored in conjunction with the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, WA. It’s owned by fellow Woody Boater Randy Mueller. Madison is a great movie. Thanks Floyd.

  6. Marty Feletto
    Marty Feletto says:

    I want to clarify that Hamster does not have some form of flesh eating virus on the back of his neck. It’s the remnant of a fake tattoo that somehow made sense to all of us while we were cocktailing Friday night!

  7. Pete DeVito
    Pete DeVito says:

    Great shots and what a wonderful weekend. I was wondering which Miss Budweiser this one was. I sure would like to see Miss Madison back in the water running. I saw her win before the hometown folks in the early 70’s.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks Pete – Ron Stevenson knows the history of that particular Miss Budweiser unlimited hydroplane and will hopefully chime in with the info. – Texx

    • Ron-Seattle
      Ron-Seattle says:

      I did chat with the crew for a quick minute. I too was interested, growing up in Seattle. That conversation was two days ago, and many boats ago! I hope I remember it correctly! I do know it was the Miss Notre Dame hull. It was the first boat Bernie Little bought. I don’t remember if he bought it in 1967, or won his first race in 1967.
      I suggest joining H A R M. Hydroplane and Raceboat museum. I bet they have a DVD on her you could get with membership! Support the causes you love and live !

      • Randy
        Randy says:

        You are correct Ron — the Budweiser at M&M was originally built in 1961 and started racing as the U-7 Notre Dame in 1962. Bernie bought it in 1967 and only won (1) race with her that year.
        As the ND she only had a single seat, but the cockpit was widened to (2) side-by-side seats (as she now appears) by Bernie. This hull is a sister ship to the 2nd Miss Madison (which won the ’71 Gold Cup in her own home town, the subject of the movie).

  8. LG Jay
    LG Jay says:

    First, absolutely love this website and enjoy all the first hand boating reports “from the trenches” !! Secondly, this story follows in a long line of great boat show documentations – great pictures !

    Antique boating is different for every individual. Some enjoy the traditional original condition boats, others love fully restored and others resto-mods. Some folk fun come with the finished product others in the process of raising the phoenix to the show. However, many internet wooden lurkers (like me) enjoy the backstory and the history of the boats – which gets me to the point of this email.

    In picture one, there is a boat I had not seen before, “Greyhound”. A very nice picture, but I wanted to see more of the boat. Amazing thing, the internet – type in something you want to find, dig a little and voila, there it is !

    Greyhound was 1921 product of the Yandt Boatworks, from Lake Coeur d’Alene. Conceived as a performance boat, it raced and lived on the lake for many years. Eventually re-purposed as a water taxi and then, as many do, found it’s way to dry dock. (ref.

    It’s 33ft, LOA, 6’8″ beam weighing in at 5,500lbs. As a resto-mod it was re-powered with 330hp Chevy, pushing her a max 35 knots, cruising at 25. Approx 60% of the orig white oak remains having been refastened in West System products. Custom seating for 5 in the cockpit with bonus forward seating and small v-berth. (ref.

    Hope you found this as interesting as I did and pleased that a 90+ year old boat still lives on !


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