The Seattle Boat Show is…. OVER, But It Is Still News!

At last it’s here

A huge thanks to West Coast correspondent Ron from Seattle for sending in this report. By Carrier Pigeon. Actually it took 15 of them. And two of them died on the way so I am not sure which part of the story is missing. So this story is dedicated to “Sparky” and “Torpedo”, the two that died in route getting us the report.  Take it away Ron!

Our Pacific Northwest ACBS Chapter was asked if we could put together a display of boats for the BIG Seattle Boat Show, as this was the 75th Anniversary, the theme was “History of Boating in the PNW”. The immediate response was “YES!”. This has been something that we have been wanting to do for years. The SBS is the largest boat show on the Left Coast. Our display featured 10 boats, including the hydroplane “PAY n’ PAK” from the Hydroplane and Race Boat Museum in Kent, WA. More about them here:

After consulting some knowledgeable chapter members, we chose a variety of boats, colors, types, etc, starting in 1928. While all of our boats are “user boats”, we do try to select fresh varnish or new restorations. This gives the owners recognition for their time and effort.

We decided to have our own boat show within a show, passing out ballots for “People’s Choice & ‘Kids Choice”. We passed out and collected over 2,100 ballots! We approached the public as they entered our 100 foot aisle, with 5 boats on each side, told them this was a “Club Display” these were “members boats”, we aren’t selling anything, please vote for your favorite. That caught people off guard, they are always expecting someone to sell them something at the show!
We got back almost every ballot! So we’ve got awards! Although they don’t matter, the election was rigged!

Elizabeth rigging the election


Moving on, For kids and good family time, we always try to have a kid’s boat in the booth, we encourage kids to climb aboard and remind parents to take a picture! This year, we had room for three kids boats, “Bobber” won “kids Choice”! – Kid’s Choice! (shhh—they’re younger… future members?)

“Bobber” is a 1957? supermarket ride that cost a nickel in the day, owned by Ike Kielgass. We had kids lined up for their ride, some came back more than once!

“Skeeto” is 8 ft, 3HP, and was actually sold to duck hunters/fisherman. This kid loved it! As a WB reader, you have seen Brian Franchini in this at Christmas time!

The Rocker Boat was a hot ride too, we could have sold ten of these to various mom’s and grand-mom’s. Built by Rob Dapron for his daughter Kate. The registration numbers is her birthday and initials.


1928 C-C 24′ Triple cockpit, Model 3, “Red Head II” owned by Rob DaPron, a boat restorer by trade, DaPron Marine Restorations, Mercer Island, Washington. I wish I had the photo of the two striking redheads posing at each side of the transom next to the name!

1941 C-C 17′ “Barrel Back”, “Coleen”. This is a brand new total restoration by Jerry Campbell, with help from friend Karl Hoffman. Bryant’s Marina is where the show started in 1947.

1948 20′ C-C Custom. First of the Chris-Craft “Blonde” boats. Fresh Varnish, full disclosure, it’s mine. Won the picnic award! (Only boat displaying a picnic basket) wish I had 50 to sell…

OKAY! OKAY! BREAK HERE. This is where the loss of Sparky and Torpedo kicks in. The captions do not line up with the photos, and something is off. Which is classic Woody Boater reporting, but not Rons fault, And certainly not Sparky’s or Torpedo’s. I blame a lightning strike on poor Sparky. Ironic? Yes, sad yes.. And Torpedo, actually wound up in Montana and was shot down and made into some vittles. Makes me sick! Hopefully the hunters as well. Okay, so at this point, I am literally flying blind. Thats a Carrier Pigeon joke BTW.. 

1952 17’ C-C Special Runabout, Sara grew up with this boat, she had pictures of her family taken when she was two years old. Bailey was her faithful Golden Retriever. “Best Canine Award”, amazing blue interior.

1955 19′ C-C Capri. “Blondie” owned by Warren Olson won our Skippers Choice “Best Home-Restoration” award, and “Blonds Have More Fun” award

1956 19′ Century Resorter, a fresh total restoration by Greg Batie,after 40 years of ownership, hence the name “At Last”. Winner of the “Longest Restoration Award”.

1958 18′ Arena Craft Manta Ray. A bright yellow ‘Fiberglassic’ complete with tail fins! A fresh total restoration by Ike Kielgass, “Buttercup” shows well. “Best ‘50’s Car Representation” award.

1969 17’ C-C “Tupperware” owned by Brian Flaherty…all fiberglass Chris-Craft. Won the “Red Hot” award and “Best Windshield”

1970 19′ Century Resorter “Means to Ski”, owned by Rick Means. Rick learned to waterski behind this boat. “Best Embossed Upholstery” and “Best Music” award! OK, only boat with music in the show… You may know Rick as, the burgee King.

1983 Correct Craft Ski Nautique. This was made for Jeff Jobe, Jobe Waterski founder, used for testing his skis.  “Best Somewhat Famous Person” award, hence the name, wait for it… “Jobe”

There is quite a history of “PAY ‘n PAK hydroplanes, read about it here;

To help with our exhibit, we displayed classic water skis seen in the background, courtesy of Wiley Water Sports, including a 1938 Chris-Craft Aqua-Plane owned by Dave Lobb.

The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club loaned us their 100 year Banner, which you will see at various shows coming up this year. Thanks Greg!

We tried some new stuff at the booth, we displayed QR codes to appeal to new younger members. They linked directly to ACBS national “Join Now” page, our PNW website, and to the Chris-Craft club join now page. We even featured a new logo for the “what’s-his-name-blog”.
We gave away about 400 old boat show posters! (Don’t tell anyone the were misprinted with the wrong twenty years ago.)

Some of our volunteers took a boating safety class! L to R Sara Venn, owner of “Bailey Blue”
(shh- she is younger!) past chapter president Scott Mason, “Money Bags” Mason is our now ACBS National Treasurer. Elizabeth Gregory is our Webmaster and my honorary First Lady. BTW, having never golfed a game in her life, she won two consecutive holes-in-one, $50 each! Proof of vaccination and masking was required to get into the show.

I want to thank the Northwest Marine Trade Association & President George Harris who puts together the Seattle Boat Show (Katie McPhail Chairwoman is amazing!) Here is George, at our booth, talking about the modern day water-ski being invented in Seattle.

And thanks to KOMO TV4 and my friend Denise Whitaker for her work:

A BIG THANK YOU! To our 30 or so volunteers who worked the nine days, and especially our exhibitors, who, at the end of the show Saturday nite, had the display packed up, tires back on trailers (how else do they “tilt’?) and boats cleared out in two hours! My feet still hurt!

Ron in Seattle
Seattle Boat Show Chairman.


Sparky was carrying photos. So sad, so very sad. RIP Sparky and Torpedo, you are true Heroes.


10 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    Thanks for the reporting and pictures. When I’m blessed with grandchildren intend to make a rocker. Sorry about sparky, wife wanted squab for dinner last as he was passing overhead.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    One of the best winter boat show chapter displays that I have ever seen. A lot of fun creativity was also involved and I’m sure appreciated by many. I know it takes a real group effort and a lot of work to do something like this. Congratulations to all involved on a great job!

  3. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    That was an incredible display, it does take a lot of work to pull off something like that! Congrats on a job well done.

  4. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Looks like a good show. I liked all the hands on kids boats. Also all the “big kids toy boats” Thanks for sharing Ron.


    Looks like a very nice show—–congrats.

    As a minnow in the early 50s we had a CC Aqua-plane “surf” board that we pulled behind our 14 foot CC Kit boat powered by a 10 HP CC engine. I don’t know what ever happened to it, but I have been looking for one ever since. without success.
    We did some crazy things on it, like putting a chair on it and sitting on the chair and reading a newspaper while underway…….fun kids stuff. I also remember being pulled behind Molly-O on it by me grandfather. We also had CC water skies which I learned to ski on behind Molly-O and she throws an awesome wake to “get some air”, more fun memories.

  6. Ron, tired in Seattle
    Ron, tired in Seattle says:

    Thanks all! We had fun a learned a few things… like more younger people stop by the front desk area if fewer old white haired guys are sitting around telling the same stories…
    Another thank you to the volunteers and exhibitors!

    • Don Palmer
      Don Palmer says:

      Yes, Ron, Tired in Seattle is appropriate. You and Liz really put a lot of effort into this boat show and you really pulled it off! Take a vacation!


    BTW I have a question for the guy that owns the CC aqua-plane, does it have a CC stamped number “serial number” like the CC skies do?

  8. Troy in FLA
    Troy in FLA says:

    What a GREAT show!!!!!

    If you really want more young people to enter the booth just enhance the display a little.

  9. Floydrturbo
    Floydrturbo says:

    Wow, that shows that a lot of work and organization went into this to put together with great ideas we can all use. Thanks for sharing. At least you won’t need proof of vaccination and a mask for the Sunnyland show.

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