“Star Dust” To be Featured At The South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic – July 26-27, 2013

Star Dust - 3

Photo Courtesy Tahoe Maritime Museum / Steve Lapkin – H2omark.com

Each year, for their annual boat show, the Northern California / Lake Tahoe Chapter ACBS features a special boat which represents the rich history of classic boating in the Lake Tahoe area. To celebrate the feature boat (or boats) for the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic, noted Lake Tahoe area artist Roy Dryer creates an offical show poster, which is based on the Kehlet family’s boat “Star Dust” – a spectacular 1934 Chris-Craft 27′ Custom Model 61 runabout.

The rare Chris-Craft Triple Cockpit Runabout is now in good hands with our friends at the Tahoe Maritime Museum and used as a “ride boat” during the summer months on Lake Tahoe. Here is the recent Press Release from the Northern CA / Lake Tahoe ACBS in conjunction with Liquid Blue Events. – Texx

Lake Tahoe, California – June 5, 2013
South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic to Feature the “Star Dust”

Noted Artist Roy Dryer and The South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic is honored to feature the Kehlet family’s boat Star Dust. Star Dust is a 1934 Chris-Craft 27′ Custom Model 61 runabout with a long Tahoe history. After a brief period in Wisconsin, Star Dust came to Lake Tahoe in the 1930s. Fred Kehlet brought her to the lake to serve as one of his ride boats for Meeks Bay Resort. For a relatively small amount of money visitors could enjoy a ride across the lake in one of Kehlet’s mahogany speed boats.

Star Dust - 1

Photo Courtesy Tahoe Maritime Museum / Steve Lapkin – H2omark.com

Kehlet’s Meeks Bay Resort was just one of the many hotels to offer boats for hire during the 1930s. Riding in a mahogany boat has been a goal for countless Tahoe residents and visitors, but not everyone could afford to own and operate their own vessel especially during the Great Depression. Meeks Bay, Bijou, and Chamber’s Lodge are just a few of the many resort operators who sought to provide this experience and make a profit by selling rides to tourists. Kehlet began offering rides in the 1920s with his Stephens model boat Pico. He added more boats to his fleet in the years to come, and by 1932 he earned a reputation for taking riders from Meeks Bay to Cave Rock in less than an hour.

Star Dust - 2

Photo Courtesy Tahoe Maritime Museum / Steve Lapkin – H2omark.com

Until recently Star Dust was powered by her original A-120 Chris-Craft engine. This huge eight cylinder engine was the most powerful built by Chris-Craft. It produced 250 HP with a whopping displacement of 825 cubic inches and a single Holley DD-5 downdraft carburetor.

Generous donations from museum members allowed Tahoe Maritime Museum to replace the engine with modern power. Star Dust’s old engine remains a valuable part of the museum’s collection and can be featured in future museum displays. The new Crusader engine will ensure that museum members will have a safe, reliable engine and boat to drive them around the lake. After years in private service, the Tahoe Maritime Museum is happy to help reclaim her past as a Lake Tahoe Ride Boat.


The South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic is a vintage boat show for charity and is presented each year by the Antique & Classic Boat Society of Northern CA/Lake Tahoe Chapter on the last weekend of July. For more information and to keep up to date on developing event details, check out our website (http://www.tahoewoodenboats.com/) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tahoewoodenboats).

Dates for 2013 South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic is July 26-27, 2013.  The event is held in conjunction with the Tahoe Keys Marina.

If you are planning to be in the Lake Tahoe area, stop by an check out the huge selection of Antique & Classic boats that will be on display at the Tahoe Keys docks, and breathe in some fresh varnish – you won’t be disappointed.  There are always lots of fun activities planned during the event for the whole family.  Music, wine, food, vendors and more than 85+ of the world’s rarest boats bring together the fascinating and priceless history behind these elegant machines.   This year more than 3,000 people will embark on a historical journey which will feature the power and thunder of the 1930s.

For more information on the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic you can contact Liquid Blue Events on thier informative website by Clicking Here.  Registration for boat entries closes later this week on June 15th.

For more information on the popular Tahoe Maritime Museum you can go to thier website by Clicking Here.

And last but certainly not least, special thanks to fellow Woody Boater Sandy Chase for helping us put today’s story together, Sandy has bailed us out on many occasions over the years.


10 replies
  1. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Do I remember correctly that the 28′ CC triples with A-120’s
    had 2 – 30 gal gas tanks in the transom to fuel that beast.

  2. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    The A-12-A was the most powerful production engine Chris Craft produced, it put out 375 HP. The A-120 produced 250 HP.

    A limited number were produced, one was installed in Miss Arrowhead, a 27′ triple used as a ride boat in Southern California lakes during the 40’s and 50’s.

  3. John Warn
    John Warn says:

    Danielle and Ruth took us on a memorable ride this morning in the Star Dust. What beauty – boat, lake, and crew!

  4. Texx
    Texx says:

    Great to hear you had a chance to ride in Star Dust John. It’s a special wooden boat for sure. – Texx

  5. James Murphy
    James Murphy says:

    I am doing a project on the famous “Star Dust” Chris Craft
    runabout that was a big part of Tahoe history & Meeks Bay
    Resort. Is it possible to get this article & photos of the
    Star Dust for my research. Appreciate a response back.
    James Murphy San Francisco, ca.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      James – You can use the information or copy the article (which I wrote and researched) but you will have to contact Steve Lapkin for permission to use his photos. His e-mail address is in the photo credits. – Texx

Comments are closed.