Live-ish From Priest Lake, Idaho And The 2013 ACBS International Pre-Events

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Dick & Susan Kasperson out in “Chubasco” a 1941 22′ Chris-Craft Deluxe Utility.

Live-ish from beautiful Priest Lake, Idaho – Fellow Woody Boater Wes Yandt sent us this “mountain-fresh” report from the Lake Hopping Pre-Events leading up to the big Antique & Classic Boat Society Annual Meeting and International Boat Show later this week, down the road in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The weather was less than perfect for the pre-events but that didn’t bother the folks who have gathered from around the country for this celebration of classic boating. Wes Yandt and his family have been boating on Priest Lake for many years, and know it’s personality very well.– Texx

2013 ACBS International Pre-Events – Priest Lake, Idaho
Story & Photos by Wes Yandt

Matt & Texx – As you reported Monday, there were about 50 boats and 175 people that participated in the Priest Lake Hopping Pre-Event as part of this weekend’s ACBS Annual Meeting and International Boat Show in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It was a chance for people from all over the USA and Canada to experience the natural beauty of Priest Lake and the extremes that the lake can present to you on occasion.

Monday was one extreme with torrential downpours and high winds (high winds = big chop on a 19 mile-long lake).


Rain like only Priest Lake can produce!


One of the several covers used to try and shed the rain. Alan McEwan and crew aboard “Jezebel” a 24′ 1955 Greavette Streamliner.


Buckin’ the northbound waves on a southbound course. Ron Yandt and crew aboard “the Uncle Bob” – our 1963 20′ Yandt Utility.

Even with the poor weather conditions, about 30 boats with full crews made the trek from Elkins Resort up to Upper Priest Lake and back (I think that we all got back). That shows you just how hardy classic boating people are. We finished the day off with an absolutely “over the top” dinner at Dick and Louise Werner’s cabin. My hat’s off to those two for opening up their cabin to over 165 people for dinner, live music, camp fire and over course smores.

The huge crowd of classic boaters at Dick & Louise Werner’s cabin.


Mike Wagoner – a local singer, performed live for the well fed crowd on the beach at Werner’s Cabin. Mike was a big hit.


The perfect atmosphere for our dinner – beach party as the party continued into the night.

As Tuesday’s brunch at Elkin’s Resort was finishing up, the sky’s looked as if it could go either way. But as we got all the boats fired up and pulled out of the marina, the weather started to clear and the lake was like glass.


Bob Wheeler and crew running “At Last” in front of Elkins Resort. “At Last” is a 1948 17′ Chris Craft Deluxe that Bob has just recently finished restoring. Bravo Bob!! She looks awesome.

The sun popped out and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful mornings that we’ve had this summer. We had close to 30 boats again to participate in the run down the lake to one of the hidden (literally) treasures on the lake.


Ron Nichols and crew aboard “Piccola Gemma” a beautiful 1968 22′ 3″ Riva Ariston.


From Whitefish, Montana – Tim and Deb Salt out making their freshly restored Chrysler Marine Hemi sing in “Shady Lady” a 1955 22′ Chris-Craft Continental.


A gaggle of classic boats Idling, waiting for the “Slow Pokes” to catch up… taking in the awesome mountain scenery on Priest Lake.


Our tour leaders; host chapter Inland Empire ACBS President Michael Boge and family with the blow horn operator Brian Fair on “Mi Amor” their 1964 17′ Century Resorter.


Steve and Melanie Spahr along with Dick and Kristen Winn and their dogs Violet & Belle on board Steve’s classic 1955 20′ Century Coronado “Melanie May”. Dick Winn is the current ACBS HQ Treasurer and his wife Kristen is a Director with the Columbia-Willamette Chapter ACBS in Oregon.


Dick Montag and crew aboard his freshly restored 1927 24’Hackercraft Dolphin – “Raven”


Matt Byrne and crew aboard “Miss Lisa” a 1939 19′ Gar Wood Runabout. “Miss Lisa” won Best Restored at the 2012 ACBS International in Table Rock, Missouri.


Jim West in his obligatory Priest Lake cruisin’ hat aboard his 1966 Century 17′ Fibersport – “Classic Plastic”.


You can still smell the varnish drying on “Das Wasserauto” – Frank and Barbara Robinson’s freshly restored 1928 22′ Dodge Watercar. Frank was telling me that this boat has not been in the water for 50 years and what a sight it is to see her, she is beautiful. Congratulations on your restoration.

Lowell Fennick opened up his hanger that is positioned just yards off of the lake, but is so well hidden you would probably float right by it if you didn’t know it was there. It is dug into the side of the bank with a taxi way that leads from the lake into the hanger. He uses his hanger to house his two Grumman G-73 Mallard and two Lake Aircraft. All of these
are Amphibious airplanes and in perfect condition.

We were told by our “tour guide” that one of the Mallards was one of the first and the other one of the last to be built. Floating right next to Lowell’s taxi way is a beautiful 1928 Chris-Craft Commuter.


The docks, boat house and hanger at Lowell Fennick’s place.


Hanger built into the hill side with the four Amphibs inside.


Lowell Fennick’s 1928 Chris-Craft Commuter “Tradition”.

Another “First and Last” that we get to see this weekend is the first production StanCraft Torpedo Runabout and the last one that has been built by Syd Young over the last months. Although Syd tweaked the hull and deck shape a little, it is still obviously an old school StanCraft Torpedo.

“First and Last” built StanCraft Torpedo’s left is Syd Young’s 2013 22′ “Pisque Cutter” and on the right is Bob Boldt’s 1946 21′ “Big Sky”.


“Big Sky” Torpedo from aft.


“Pisque Cutter” Torpedo from aft.

What a treat that was to see the two StanCraft Torpedo’s running together on this beautiful fall morning on Priest Lake.

All the boats were then pulled out of the water and headed south for more “pre-event fun” tomorrow (which is now today) on Lake Coeur d’Alene. In his true style, fellow Woody Boater Danny Hinds had to be first back to the docks and show us what his little “souped up” 327 Chevy will do. I’m sure that this is the exact moment when his wife Donna was telling me about finding God.


BEFORE Danny and Donna Hinds in “OPOS” a 1958 18′ Chris-Craft Continental and NO the motor is not Stock…




AFTER (“Attention – Clean-up on Aisle 3!” – Texx)

As we all move down to the Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene Resort, stay tuned for more to come from the 2013 ACBS Annual Meeting & International Boat Show. Click on the link for more information on this great event.

Wes Yandt


The spectacular Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Thanks to Wes for sending us this great report from Priest Lake – Looks like everyone is having a great time in northern Idaho.


11 replies
  1. Troy
    Troy says:

    You guys sure know how to fuel a dream!

    I know there are a lot of other boats there, but I bet that 1928 Dodge Watercar wins something.

    I can feel the thrill of cutting though that wake with Danny Hinds.

  2. Texx
    Texx says:

    Danny Hinds took me for a “thrill ride” in his Continental on Lake Coeur d’Alene a few years ago… It was great fun (but not for the weak of heart…)


  3. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Looking at those beautiful boats in that downpour, I can’t help thinking that some people have great faith in their bilge pumps, batteries & alternators!

  4. Alex
    Alex says:

    Miss Lisa is there too? Dang that boat gets around. She also won big in Hessel. Matt, you’re gonna need a bigger truck for all her trophies.

    P.S. My wife said her ride in Miss Lisa was the highlight of her summer. I’m not kidding. To think I used to be the highlight of her summers…

  5. Ol'Salt
    Ol'Salt says:

    Great article, Wes. I am not sure your shots from the Upper Priest Lake Pre-Eventure return trip do it justice. Here is a shot from the Shady Lady dashcam. Thank
    God for Hardtops.

    • 'Bone Daddy' Deems
      'Bone Daddy' Deems says:

      Ha Ha Tim….Only the “true” hardcore Woodies come out in this stuff…Murray, Mariette, Myself, and even our guests from Ohio had a awesome time bucking the wind, deluge, and rollers….let’s you know what your boat can really do…”Bone Daddy”

  6. Dave & Merilee Hanson
    Dave & Merilee Hanson says:

    Hi Dick & Susan; Looks like,no I know it is such fun you are experiencing! Sun finally came out I see.
    Thanks for including us on this years “Trek”.

    Off to golf the “Hole-in-one”. Sunny today.


  7. John
    John says:

    What it looked like in our 18′ Higgins. The good news is we had a rain top to keep the two of us in the front seat dry.

    A little rain, some serious wind and waves—just fodder for story telling. Soon the waves will have been 10 feet high and the winds will have been hurricane force. The good news; all boats made it to home port safely—at least I think so.

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