The Annual “Roar-Off” At Lake Tahoe Was A Roaring Good Time!

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“MOUNTAIN LYON” 1932 28’ Sea Lyon Runabout powered by a 325HP V-12 Lycoming UF engine.

ONE OF THE MANY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAKE TAHOE CONCOURS is the annual “Roar-Off” on Saturday at 4:00 PM. Many of the participants take this opportunity to fire up their boats and take them for a spin out on Lake Tahoe after the show on Saturday.

The annual “Roar-Off” has become a popular event for the spectators and participants, giving everyone the opportunity to see and hear the boats fire up and leave the marina. This year is extra special with the Marque Class Vintage V-12s leading the pack, although maneuvering the big marque class boats inside the show area offers up some challenges for the drivers as you will see below. But in the end it all worked out perfectly.

To experience this in person is exciting. If this doesn’t get your heart pumping, I suggest you make an appointment with your Doctor as soon as possible. This year we joined our friends (and fellow Woody Boaters) Sandy & Lee Chase on board their magnificent 1932 28’ Sea Lyon Runabout “MOUNTAIN LYON” powered by a 325HP V-12 Lycoming UF engine. They won the award for Most Elegant Boat of Show at Tahoe this year. It’s not every day we get to use a 28′ Sea Lyon Triple for a shoot boat. Let’s get this party started…


Leading the pack for the Roar-Off was “CHALLENGER” a 1926 33’ Gar Wood Baby Gar powered by a Liberty 500HP V-12.


“CHALLENGER” gently maneuvers her way out of Obexer’s Marina as the crowd watches her every move.


One more time in reverse go get her pointed in the right direction… (Did I mention how wonderful the big Liberty V-12 sounds? – Texx)


Then “CHALLENGER” slowly moves forward for the last time, churning up some water with her massive prop.


As “Challenger” leads the group of V-12 powered boats, the well organized dock crew prepares the next 30 plus footer to exit the marina.


Even the other boat owners are impressed with how these V-12 Captains navigate the tight surroundings.


Next up – “MISS CATALINA 5” the 1938 29’ 11” Bombard 4 Cockpit Runabout powered by a 400HP V-12 Capitol Liberty engine.


A clean exit for “MISS CATALINA 5” as the crowd cheers!


Next to leave was “SPLIT SECOND” a 2013 34’ Homewood Boatworks Race Boat powered by a 700HP V-12 Rolls-Royce Meteor engine.


T-44/Wild Horses headed out! – 1997 33’ Brown & Basset Gentlemen’s Racer 650HP Rolls-Royce V-12 Meteor engine owned by Dave Olson.


We are next to leave in “MOUNTAIN LYON” and Captain Lee Chase makes a perfect exit as usual. Lee is also one of the Captains for the Tahoe Maritime Museum ride boats, so he knows the waters around here well. Although the space under the Olson Steel bridge seems to get smaller as you approach with almost 30 feet of mahogany and a V-12 propelling the big triple forward. – Texx


The huge crowds of spectators and show participants watch carefully as we approach the bridge.


Fellow Woody Boater & Tahoe Judging Coordinator / Researcher Brian Robinson (sitting) watches from the upper deck. As always, Brian helped made our trip to Lake Tahoe a memorable experience – Thanks Brian!


Brian’s father Tim Robinson sits on the bow of “EVANGELINE” to guide any stray boats leaving the marina. At 33-feet long, the big Hacker “literally” sticks out in the crowd of wooden boats.


Another big Gar Wood triple approaches the Olson Steel bridge, behind “MOUNTAIN LYON”.


And the crowds cheer as the big Gar Wood exits the marina firing on all 12 cylinders.


As we exit Obexer’s Marina were are greeted by some spectators in a beautiful Grand-Craft triple.


Fellow Woody Boater Dave Lyon and Sloth join us on board MOUNTAIN LYON. Dave is an active member of the Dodge Boat Owners Association. (Notice how the big V-12 Lycoming churns the water – very cool).

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“MISS CATALINA 5” has a full crew as Dave Olson passes by in “THUNDERCHICK”.

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It has been an amazing week for “FIN & TONIC” – Derk Brill’s 1961 21’ Chris-Craft Continental Gull Wing Hardtop. The boat won four awards at Tahoe this year, Gold Key Best Original Preserved; Best of Show Under 23-feet; People’s Choice on Saturday; and 1st Place in Class. The preservation of “Fin & Tonic” was recently completed by Don Hardy at McCall Boat Works in Idaho. Congratulations to both Derk and Don on a fine job. – Texx

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With all the boat traffic exiting the marina and the huge number of spectators watching the “Roar Off” from their boats, the water was bumpy. So I didn’t do a very good job getting this shot in the frame, but wanted to share it with our viewers to show how these wonderful old boats make everyone smile. – Texx

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“AIN’T SHE SWEET” joined in the fun on Saturday.

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“JOLTIN’ JOE” a 1948 22’ Chris-Craft Utility was a crowd favorite at Tahoe this year, as evidenced by the crowd on board having fun.

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“HONEH” is a regular at Tahoe and always looks great – 1936 19’ Chris-Craft Runabout.

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It’s always fun to get out on the Lake Tahoe on Saturday afternoon of the show and see many of the wooden boats in action.

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“WEST WINDS” is a rare V-12 Scripps powered 1948 25’ Chris-Craft Sportsman that came out to join the party. A magnificent wooden boat.

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Lake Tahoe is a wonderful place to shoot wooden boats on the beautiful clear blue water.

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“BALI HAI” a 1953 24’ Chris-Craft Express Cruiser fits right in on Lake Tahoe. (As I looked through the lens of my camera, I was waiting for that lady to accidently drop her smart-phone in Lake Tahoe, but she didn’t thank goodness. – Texx)

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Roaring out from Obexer’s Marina was “BIG SKY” a fantastic 1946 21’ StanCraft Torpedo powered by a 160HP Gray Fireball six. Do you think they are having fun today?


Captain Lee Chase at the helm of “MOUNTAIN LYON”. Acting as shoot boat Captain offers up many challenges, but Lee knows the drill well. – Texx

Special thanks to Sandy & Lee Chase for the privilege of joining them on “MOUNTAIN LYON” for the annual Roar-Off. These big triple cockpit runabouts work great in the choppy water, and gave us the opportunity to snap a few shots of wonderful array of antique & classic boats as they left Obexer’s Marina.

It was a great day on Lake Tahoe!


15 replies
  1. Greg Shaw
    Greg Shaw says:

    Thank you Texx for taking the time to share these wonderful shots. The collection of 12’s and others in one location is a grand event for sure. I wish I could have gotten away to attend. Do you know of anyone that will be posting anywhere some video of the roar. Hearing the deep pulse of the 12’s would be a added treat.

  2. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Great photo series for the Roar Off. I hope someone posts a link to a video with sound and I don’t mean the kind with overdubbed music. Can’t image trying to maneuver these 6 figure priceless boats thru a mahogany maze with this huge crowd looking on, “what pressure???”. Thanks for the excellent coverage. Wonder where Tony Brown’s (0f Western Runabouts) V12 Wright Typhoon 25′ triple Chris Craft converted to a big double cockpit (ala 19′ CC raceboat) was?

    • Brian Robinson
      Brian Robinson says:

      Tony Brown’s Blind Faith was sold about 15 years ago to Bill Hutchins on Lake Tahoe. Tony kept the Curtiss D-12 V-12 and later sold the motor to Martin Smith, which recently sold again to Lee Anderson. Coincedentally that was the original engine in the 30′ Dingle ‘Gerry Lo’. Anyway, Blind Faith now has a big block Chevy in it.

  3. Dave Lyon
    Dave Lyon says:

    Oh, and the name of the sloth is Argus. He is also a Woody Boater fan. His favorite old race boat is Slo-Moshun.

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