The 2012 South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic – Featuring Robert Stanley Dollar Jr. Owned Boats


2012 South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic Poster - Art Work by Roy Dryer

As we prepare for our trip to Southern California this weekend to cover the 2012 Lake Arrowhead Boat Show hosted by the Southern California Chapter ACBS, we should also remind everyone of another major show in California which is held in July – Hosted by the Northern CA/Lake Tahoe Chapter ACBS. Here’s the press release and a taste of what’s being planned for that event.

JULY 27-28, 2012
Racing Boats from Dollar Family to Headline Show

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA – Lake Tahoe’s rich maritime history “comes to life” at the 5th Annual South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic scheduled for July 27-28, 2012 at the Tahoe Keys Marina and Yacht Club.

Sponsored by the Antique and Classic Boat Society of Northern CA/Lake Tahoe Chapter, this year’s show will once again feature boats that were originally owned by a prominent Lake Tahoe family who played a significant part in the lake’s storied maritime past.

“The idea of honoring Tahoe’s well-known families and their connection to maritime history at Lake Tahoe really came to us last year and we decided to keep it going,” says STWBC Chairman, Steve Caplan.

Last year, the show featured “White Smoke” from the Pope Estate and in the previous year, “Thunderbird” from the Whittell Estate. The 2012 STWBC will showcase boats once belonging to Robert Stanley Dollar Jr. The Dollars, whose family businesses included the timber and steamship industries, built their Tahoe estate in 1927 on the North Shore that is now known as Dollar Point.

Stanley Jr., who fell in love with boats and racing as a 10-year-old at the lake, later competed against his friend Henry Kaiser whose family owned the Kaiser Estate on the West Shore. During his amateur racing career which spanned 30-plus years Stanley piloted Uncle Sam, Baby Skip-A-Long, Mercury, Slo-Mo-Shun IV, and Skip-A-Long of California. Boat racing took the young Dollar around the world– from the Philippines to Europe to Detroit– and always back to Lake Tahoe. Dollar Jr. won the esteemed Harmsworth Trophy in 1947 on the Detroit River and the APBA Gold Cup in 1952 on Lake Washington in Seattle.

This year, the STWBC will have several of the Dollar boats on display including Tamarack, a 1931, 28′ Gar Wood triple cockpit runabout purchased by Robert Stanley Dollar Sr. for his daughter Diana. Diana’s daughter, Dr. Heidi Cary of Tiburon will show Tamarack at the show. Also on display will be Mercury, a 35’, 1926 aluminum double-ended racer, owned by the State of California; Vent d’Ete, a 1915, 14’ Canadian sailboat now part of the Tahoe Maritime Museum’s collection; Baby Skip-A-Long, a 1924, 26’ Gold Cup Nevins Racer owned by Edward and Deborah Scott of Oakland; and Skip-A-Long of California, a 1948, 30’ aluminum hydroplane that was the Harmsworth and APBA Gold Cup winner.

While the Dollar boats will command center stage, they will be joined by over 65 other antique and classic watercraft entered into the show.

In addition to having a “top deck” view of the woodies, guests at the Wooden Boat Classic will also have plenty of other entertainment. Attendees may pick up a memento at the Antique & Classic Boat Society’s Ships Store or enjoy on-shore snacks, drinks and a barbecue lunch. Refreshments for sale include Honey Bee ice cream for the kids and Pacifico Beer for adults. Complimentary champagne tasting, provided by Korbel, will also

In addition, The Tahoe Maritime Museum (TMM), located in Homewood, will once again be at the show providing rides for families who sign up for a TMM membership. New this year, the museum will have a “Kids Corner” with educational displays and entertaining activities.

In just four years the STWBC has proven to be a successful fundraiser for local non-profit organizations. The past four events have raised over $40,000 which has been distributed to a multitude of worthy causes. This year’s recipients are the Boys & Girls Club of South Lake Tahoe, Kiwanis of South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Heritage Foundation, Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society and the Sierra State Parks Foundation.

Discount tickets for this fun family event will again be available at any Raley’s and the Bel Air and Nob Hill Family Markets in California and Nevada.

For more information on the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic go to our website at or on Facebook at

Thanks to Loni Amato and Sandy Chase – from the Northern CA/Lake Tahoe Chapter ACBS for helping us with this story – Texx

One of the most famous raceboats once owned by Robert Stanley Dollar Jr. that will be featured at the 2012 South Tahoe event is “Baby Skipalong” – Today she is proudly owned and displayed for all to enjoy by collector Edward Scott.

Carol Van Etten (Noted Lake Tahoe Historian and Author) and Edward Scott (Current owner of Baby Skipalong) prepared this great short story on the history and restoration of “Baby Skipalong” back in 2008, prior to the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance of the same year. Our friends at the Northern CA/Lake Tahoe Chapter ACBS shared the original story with us.

Notable Tahoe Family Brings Important Piece of Tahoe History to Public
Baby Skipalong: Built for Speed

Tahoe City, CA, May 30, 2008 – Speedboats careening about on Tahoe were common for many years throughout the 20th Century. Casual motorboat racing began in the mid 19-teens, and this early interest spurred the organization of more formal and official powerboat regattas, beginning an era of competition on Tahoe that has since gone down in history.

Speedboat racing began in earnest in 1925 with the formation of the Tahoe Power Boat Club (later to become the Tahoe Yacht Club). Gentlemen racers, in their quest to capture the coveted title of Lake Champion, built exotic hulls whose sole function was speed. As technology advanced, boats became faster and records were clipped off, creating new champions or in some cases, returning the glory to a former champion.

Baby Skipalong Dash - Photo by Rocky Mullin

One such lake champion is “Baby Skipalong”, a raceboat which was recently restored and will be one of the marque class entries in the 2008 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance. One of Tahoe’s true marine treasures, “Baby Skipalong”, a one-of-a-kind competitive boat designed in 1924 by naval architect F.K. Lord, was built by the Nevins boat yard of New York. Commissioned by George Townsend of New York’s Indian Harbor Yacht Club, the boat, originally named “Miss Motometer”, was built in hopes to carry Townsend’s club to international fame in the 1925 Gold Cup Regatta, a thrilling annual speedboat regatta held on the East coast. Those who won the coveted Gold Cup title earned a prestigious place in marine racing annals as the fastest boats in history.

Unfortunately, the boat capsized while out for a test run the day before the esteemed event, and “Miss Motometer” would not go on to compete that year. After going back into the shop for some final modifications, Townsend readied the boat for the 1926 Gold Cup and called it “Greenwich Folly” (a name derived in part from the boat’s initial design flaws). Though not a winner of any one heat during the regatta, “Greenwich Folly’s” consistency earned her the most points and Townsend, driving in his first real race, took first place.

Townsend raced “Greenwich Folly” and was victorious in one more Gold Cup the following year, and then sold the boat to West Coast capitalist Leland Stanford Scott, a sportsman who had his eye on the annual Lake Tahoe Championship title. Once more undergoing a name change – this time to “Baby Skipalong”, which stuck – the boat won all three races in July of 1929, and was sold to R. Stanley Dollar, Jr., who raced and won the remaining races in August of 1929. He would soon become Tahoe’s winningest championship driver.

Ed Scott Aboard Baby Skipalong - South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic

“Baby Skipalong” became a perennial champion in Tahoe’s regattas, and was raced from 1929 to the 1950s, to the delight of the thousands of fans who would line Tahoe’s shores, often for more than a mile. It became Dollar’s veteran standby racer, heavily favored to win whenever she entered a regatta. Though regattas would continue to be staged into the 1970s, liability issues began to cause complications, and the golden age of racing on Tahoe ended in 1959. In 1975, “Baby Skipalong” was retired to storage, and in the next three decades emerged only occasionally for a few sneak peak appearances.

In 2007 “Baby Skipalong” was purchased from the Dollar Family by Edward Scott, whose great uncle, Leland Stanford Scott, originally brought the boat to the west coast in 1929. Edward Scott’s family has been intimately associated with Tahoe lore for nearly eight decades. His father, E. B. “Bud” Scott, penned the now legendary Saga of Lake Tahoe volumes, a complete documentation and photographic record of Tahoe’s history.

Ed Scott & Baby Skipalong - Photo by William Soley

“It’s great to have “Baby Skipalong” back in the family and back on the lake,” Scott says. “It was a crime that it has been in storage for so long. This boat is truly a museum quality boat… it’s something that people need to see,” he adds.

Since its initial modifications prior to its first Gold Cup victory in 1926, it has undergone some adaptations for speed, including the addition of a foot throttle for ease of operation while racing. However, despite technical advances during the boat’s quarter century of competition, it remains very original.

“Her 275 horsepower Packard 621 engine is one of only four in existence today,” Scott states, adding that one of the other four is also in Tahoe. The boat and engine have undergone a full restoration, according to Scott. “It’s not exactly the way it was the day it was manufactured, but we brought it back to its original racing condition,” he explains.

Rare 275 HP Packard 621 Power - William Soley Photo

“It is unique not only in its history and its pedigree, but also in its existence,” Scott explains. “There aren’t many of these early race boats left because, frankly, so many either crashed or sank,” Scott adds with a chuckle.
“Baby Skipalong” was proudly displayed as one of the marque class entries in the 2008 Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance, show. After the show, Scott has made sure people continue to see it, possibly entering the boat in other boat shows around the country in future summers. In addition, he would like to make it available to the Tahoe Maritime Museum, to be seen and appreciated.

“That’s really what it’s all about. It really is a piece of art,” Scott smiles.

Here’s a few great shots of “Baby Skipalong” from our friend and noted Lake Tahoe Artist Roy Dryer as she heads out for her sea trials in 2008.

Baby Skipalong Sea Trials - Roy Dryer Photo

Baby Skipalong Sea Trials - Roy Dryer Photo

So if you are planning to be in the Lake Tahoe area in late July, make plans to stop in and check out the South Lake Tahoe show – you won’t be disappointed. I can tell you from my experience attending this event last year, the nice folks from the Northern CA/Lake Tahoe Chapter ACBS will make you feel right at home!

For more information on the event you can click here to go to their website or also check them out on Facebook at


11 replies
  1. Jeff P
    Jeff P says:

    Matt on the boat show poster, why are the two other boats circling the baby skipalong, that has no driver or passenger? Was the boat going to fast an they got scared and jumped out or perhaps the misterious sea monster tahoe tessie grabbed the occupant(s) be cause with that packard engine screamin it made her angry…..

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      All possible scenarios… Maybe Roy Dryer the artist will chime in with his take on the cool poster.

  2. Boatwise
    Boatwise says:

    Love the photo on the cover this morning. This marks the start of my favorite time of year. Tahoe coverage from Woodyboater! Are you going this year?

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      We will be covering the 2012 Lake Tahoe Concours live, not sure about the South Tahoe show yet… (Darn day job.)

      The South Tahoe event was a great last year, with the Sunday presentations and picnic up the lake.

  3. RICH
    RICH says:

    I’m coming up from San Diego to Arrowhead tomorrow for the show. Any “Sons of Varnish” shirts available? Also. next weekend there is the Koehler Kraft Wooden Boat Festival on Shelter Island,San Diego. I think there will be a Chris Craft and a Lyman there and tons of classic sailboats.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Rich – Make sure you track us down at Lake Arrowhead.

      SOV collectors addition shirts… Good luck! I don’t even have one of those suckers… I have a photo of one from m-fine…

  4. Alex
    Alex says:

    Adding to the mystery of the driverless “Skipalong,” she also does not appear to be underway, while the other two boats are. Someone solve this mystery please.

  5. Alex
    Alex says:

    It came to me while mowing the lawn. Perhaps it was the fumes…

    I have a theory. Might the artist be waiting for final payment for his work?

    “I’ll give it a driver and some wake as soon as the check clears.”

    Smart man.

  6. Jeff P
    Jeff P says:

    The drivers of the other two boats were really sure of thierselves and said “i can drive circlces around that baby skipalong…… I noticed in the background of the sea trial’08 picture. There are two nice big wood boats. I assumed they were woodies because of the waterline covers on each boat. Are there many larger wood cruisers on lake tahoe?

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