Mahogany & Merlot 2012 – Some Of The Best From The Great Pacific Northwest


The 3rd Annual Mahogany & Merlot event in Lake Chelan, Washington was once again, a fantastic gathering of vintage race boats, antique & classic boats and wonderful people from all over the Pacific Northwest and Canada. The event which is presented by the nice folks from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum & The Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS, continues to grow in popularity every year.

What makes this event unqiue is that you have the rare opportunity to admire a wide range of antique & classic boats and also experience the sights and sounds of the vintage unlimited & limited hydroplanes all at the same time. And this year the weather was perfect all weekend, bringing with it calm water both days.

The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum shows their appreciation to many of their hard working volunteers and sponsors by arranging to take them for rides in one of their vintage unlimited hyrdoplanes throughout the weekend. I can tell you first hand, this is an experience of a lifetime.

We have had the privilege of attending this great event both in 2010 and 2011, and returming back for a third consecutive year was almost like going back to a class reunion… Getting together with so many friends who, in some cases, we only get to see once a year was the highlight of the weekend.

This year there were fellow Woody Boaters from all over the surrounding area, representing the Pacific Northwest Chapter, Okanagan Chapter, Big Sky Chapter, Columbia-Willamette Chapter, Inland Empire Chapter and Payette Lakes Chapter. And what also makes this event so unique is having the opportunity to interact with the wonderful folks from the vintage raceboat hobby, who are always willing to share their vast knowledge of the hobby with us.

Each year on the Friday before the weekend, a group of Woody Boaters make the 50 mile trip up to the north end of Lake Chelan for lunch, which is also becoming popular for many of the boaters. And the cool part is that the only way in to this area is by boat, sea plane or barge. Below, fellow Woody Boater Dick Dow and crew on board “Sindbad” a rare 1939 Batchelor runabout.

Below, fellow Woody Boater Curt Erickson taking some friends for an exciting ride in Curt & Marsha’s Gentlemans Runabout “Miss Sidney” on Saturday. Curt & Marsha are great ambassador’s for the wooden boat hobby where ever they go.

And as the event continues to grow in popularity, there are always new and interesting wooden boats showing up for at the docks that many of us have never had the change to see, which is always fun.

Here’s some folks returning back to the marina after enjoying an early morning cruise on Sunday, smiles all around.

On Sunday morning I had the opportunity to tag along with some great people who were responsible for manning the tow boat, assisting the race organizers by radio to ensure everyone was safe on the race course. We were positioned on the inside of turn one on the race course. It was quite an experience and we all had a really great time watching the hydroplanes as they thundered by at speed. This was also a perfect opportunity to snap a few shots of the raceboats in action, but you had to be fast on the camera.

The smaller Limited Class vintage raceboats also provided lots of entertainment as they screamed past the corner buoy… These folks love getting out in their raceboats and it shows, as they power through the corners.

The limited class raceboat below was using a straight six for power and it seemed to work well in the smaller hydroplane… But you have to hang on to something…

Check out the cool flathead Ford V-8 racing against the striaght six powered boat.

One of the drivers signaled to his fellow racer that one of the boats was off course, dead in the water with engine problems…

And as they passed by on that lap, the yellow boat appeared to be having some issues.

So our tow boat moved in to action and towed the raceboat safely back to the dock for repairs. Although his boat was stalled for the moment, everyone is out there enjoying themselves and even the driver was smiling as we towed him back to the dock.

Fellow Woody Boater Tyson Konecny from the Okanagan Chapter ACBS joined us on Saturday which was great. He sent us these shots of a few classic boats at the dock and on land.

Photo Courtesy – Tyson Konecny

A perfectly restored 20′ Post War Chris-Craft Custom owned by fellow Woody Boater Ike Kielgass, restored by Robert DaPron a few years ago. Robert DaPron is one a few top wooden boat restoration companies in the Seattle, Washington area, and he does premium work.

Photo Courtesy – Tyson Konecny

A vintage Mercury outboard Tyson spotted in one of the boats on land display.

Photo Courtesy – Tyson Konecny

And a very nice Chris-Craft Super Sport was also on hand this year for everyone to enjoy.

Photo Courtesy – Tyson Konecny

Photo Courtesy – Tyson Konecny

Photo Courtesy – Tyson Konecny

Although there are tons of people that volunteer their time to make this great event such a success, we would like to give special thanks to Executive Director David Williams and his crew from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, Washington, also to Jon & Chris Courtright for their hard work and dedication, and to Tom & Kris Bassett from Wenatchee, WA for everything they do to make this a winner. And to Peter Bro and the folks at the Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS for co-hosting the event.

And also say thanks to all the volunteers that make an event of this size possible.

Campbells Waterfront Resort provides the premium accomodations for the event and their great banquet facilities for the Saturday night awards party. 

Congratulations on another successful, enjoyable and safe weekend at Lake Chelan.


12 replies
  1. Bill
    Bill says:

    wow you get to see some great woodys but also get to see and hear the great unlimiteds run some laps dosent get any better then that.long live the thunderboats, humbug on the turbines they use now

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    m-fine: well, it couldn’t be the sun. Because we Michiganders all know it leaves the planet around this time, only to return when the Great Lakes thaw. No, I think it’s Tyson’s flash bulb, having taken that pic through a window. That, or it’s one of those many near-miss asteroids you don’t want to look into online.

    Cool Pics Texx and Tyson. Thank you.

  3. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I see Curt Erickson’s donning headsets. Is it because Miss Sydney’s exhaust pipe dumps out right under your port side eardrum, the only issue with an aft cockpit boat. Anyone who’s ridden in the rear cockpit of a 19′ CC racing runabout with an MCL will know what I’m talking about. did someone say something???

    And I wonder how many days it takes for the Unlimited drivers hearing to come back. Dry pipes from that Allison on Miss Wahoo look like they just about empty below your chin and on both sides. I’m sure they’re pointed away from the cockpit. By the way, do we have audio?

  4. Texx
    Texx says:

    I just received a call from my Grade 9 English teacher to let me know she gave me a “D” for grammer and spelling on my story today…

    I told her that I prepared the story at 4:00 AM this morning to make the 6:00 AM EST deadline today, but that didn’t help. Then I told her the dog ate my homework… which just made things worse.

    Just proof read the story and made a ton of corrections, sorry everyone… Damn day job always gets in the way.


  5. Tyson K.
    Tyson K. says:

    Alex, lemme tell yah, that was one BRIGHT flash bulb! What a great show! I can’t wait till next year. Myself and the misses are going to spend the whole weekend up there so she can get into the wine tasting on the Friday.

    Mind you, the sight of Octobertfest in Leavenworth caused great excitement for her, so that may be incorporated into our week long holiday festivities!!

    Thanks to the PNACBS for a great show, and having those beautiful hydros rumbling across Lake Chelan!!

  6. Tyson K.
    Tyson K. says:

    AND, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I got to meet Texx!! Finally! It was about time! Looking forward to hanging out with you next year at the show!!

  7. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Dang….I missed a good one. I’ve been to the first two and it’s one of my favorites of the year. Kids and school got in the way this year…..see you guys next year.

  8. Steve Compton
    Steve Compton says:

    Texx, Thanks for the great coverage. On behalf of the Miss Thriftway team, we would like to thank Jon & Chris Courtright, John Walcker, and all those whose tireless effort helped put on such a wonderful event. While we spend most of our “boat time” focused on our hydroplane, Mahogany & Merlot gives us the opportunity to see the outstanding craftsmanship displayed in the beautiful works that the ACBS memebers bring over to the event. I for one appreciate the time it takes to keep these wonderful crafts in the pristine shape they are! See you next year!
    Steve Compton

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