The Whitefish Woody Weekend II Delivers A “Placid Punch” In Whitefish, Montana


WWW II - 1 The second annual Whitefish Woody Weekend II on beautiful Whitefish Lake, Montana is now under way and as expected, has turned out to be a fantastic gathering within the classic boating community. As we reported yesterday, over 30 wooden boats on are hand this year at the popular Whitefish Lodge, and thanks to Tim & Deb Salt & the folks from the Big Sky Chapter ACBS the event is running like a fine Swiss watch.

Although Saturday was the day for the static on-water and on-land boat display which began at 10:00 AM, first thing on Saturday morning we thought it would be fun to get out on Whitefish Lake and snap a few photos before the docks opened up to the spectators. The Whitefish Lodge offered up one of their new rental pontoon boats complete with driver for us to use as a shoot boat, we managed to find four (early riser) boat owners who were eager to join us on the lake (the key ingredient for classic boating photos) and away we went.

The Montana sun was shining bright, the sky was clear and the water was flat on Whitefish Lake. Wally Bell from Helena, Montana (the state capitol) joined us with “Placid Punch” his beautiful 1958 Century Resorter 16 (above and below). Don’t forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them.

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A second Century Resorter joined us on the lake, this one owned by Greg Sandburg with its distinctive blue & white upholstery and powerful V-8.

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These impromptu gatherings are enjoyable for us and for the boat owners, to get out on the water and have some fun finding different ways to shoot these cool classics from different angles on the crystal clear water of Whitefish Lake.

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Tom & Frances Towle from nearby Kalispell, Montana joined us with their 1950 Chris-Craft Sportsman. Like the others who joined us, you could see how much they just enjoyed being out on the lake in their classic boats on the warm summer morning breathing in the fresh mountain air. It’s moments like this that we wait for all winter, and have to take time to appreciate when it happens. Events like this help to bring everyone together.

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These old wooden boats always look so “at home” on the water, doing what they were originally designed to do back in the day…In this case, more than 60 years ago.

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Bill & Lora Phillips (also from Kalispell) and crew joined us on board “Lize” a stylish 1937 Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout.

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And as quickly as it began, it was time to get the boats back to the docks at the Whitefish Lodge for our 10:00 AM curfew… Play time was over and we didn’t want to be late for the many spectators who came to see the wooden boats.

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It was great to have the opportunity to get out on Saturday morning and snag a few photos for our story today. Special thanks to my pontoon boat driver Zane Beatty, he did a great job and was fun to work with. He certainly has a great summer job working on the docks at the lodge.

That was my first ever ride in a pontoon boat, a great rig for shooting photos. Also special thanks to the folks at the Whitefish Lodge who are hosting the Whitefish Woody Weekend, for setting us up with the shoot boat. And thanks to the boat owners who came out to join us, we appreciate their help.

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Steve Nickol, a well known restorer from nearby Somers, Montana (on Flathead Lake) brought his legendary 1926 26′ Indian Lake Dart triple “No Piker” to the show this year. Although I have known about this Indian Lake Dart for years, this was my first opportunity to see the boat in person, and it is fantastic. I understand that the boat was originally shipped from the Indian Lake plant in Lima, Ohio with a Curtis OX-5 V-8, which Steve still has.

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There was a steady flow of spectators on the docks all day, many asking questions and interested to learn more about the classic boats. The Whitefish Lodge is a very popular summer destination for tourists from all over the country, and Canada. A perfect venue for a classic boat event. “Shady Lady” is Tim & Deb Salt’s very nice 1955 Chris-Craft Continental Sedan, which has a freshly restored Chrysler Marine Hemi V-8, a crowd favorite.

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I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Woody Boater Lorne Kermath this weekend. He brought his very cool 1955 Curly Craft 14′ Super Deluxe Runabout to the show. Lorne’s great-grandfather, James Kermath, operated the short-lived Kermath Motor Car Co. in Detroit in 1907-08. The family then went on to build Kermath Marine engines. It was a pleasure to spend some quality time visiting with Lorne talking engines, and the history of Kermath which he knows well, he is a true gentleman. We will do a follow up story on Lorne and his connection to the history of Kermath here on Woody Boater.

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We also had the opportunity to visit with legendary race boat driver and designer Jerry Gilbreath. Jerry walked me through the history of “Shockwave” a rare 1961 Patterson 18′ Super Stock race boat which he recent acquired. This immaculately prepared race boat is now powered by a 750 HP Chevrolet Big Block which Jerry will be testing later this summer in Coeur d’Alene.

Jerry knows the entire history of this boat from day-one when it was built, and first drove this boat in California in 1964! This boat also has the original wooden trailer that was built for the boat in 1961. Amazing stuff – more later…

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It was fun to watch this artist working at the show on Saturday as the painting came to life.

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Classics and Contemporaries on display.

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The Whitefish Woody Weekend continues on Sunday, with public viewing until 10:00 AM, then the poker run and a BBQ picnic on the beach back at the lodge at 1:00 PM.

Special thanks to Tim & Deb Salt for helping to organize this great event in conjunction with the Big Sky ACBS Chapter. It’s important to know that Tim & Deb only became involved with the classic boating hobby four years ago. At the time they were considering a number of different hobbies such as classic cars, etc and decided to get involved with wooden boats, a hobby that they could enjoy together. They had no previous exposure to wooden boats before 2009, when they purchased their 1955 Chris-Craft Continental.

They love the hobby and are happy they made the choice to get involved. Now they are organizing a major local boat show and investing their time and energy in the hobby. They are also planning to attend a number of other ACBS events in Sandpoint, Idaho next weekend, their annual show on Flathead Lake in August and the ACBS International in CDA next September.

Thanks to Tim & Deb for all you do for the hobby. In the photo below, Tim & Deb are standing with the perpetual Whitefish Woody Weekend award which was built by Steve Nickol.

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A fine event, on a fine lake at an outstanding venue. Thanks again to the Whitefish Lodge and all the volunteers that make this possible.


10 replies
  1. Alex
    Alex says:

    What a fun looking event. I can just feel that pure air. Thanks for including so many photos Texx. Nice way to start a Sunday.

    Pontoon boats can also be good for shooting off fireworks. Light the mortars, and dive behind the sofas.

  2. Jimmuh
    Jimmuh says:

    I thought you had a previous relationship with a pontoon boat one night on your way back east a few years ago…….

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Ahh yes – that particular pontoon boat adventure was in the Kalispell Red Lion parking lot.

      The life and times of a Woody Boater roving reporter. Now every time I see a pontoon boat I get sleepy…

  3. PaulH
    PaulH says:

    Another great event down in that beautiful part of the country. I have seen the Indian Lake several times and climbed all over it, a great survivor and very, very well kept. It needs that Curtiss OX-5 back in it, what a sight that would be. I bought Barnwood from Steve – an honorable man and a very strong supporter of our hobby for over 30 years.

  4. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    Fantastic Photos Texx.. I have now added the Montana lakes to the list of places I need to go to

  5. 'Bone Daddy' Deems
    'Bone Daddy' Deems says:

    My wife, Murray and I just got in from the Whitefish Weekend with Tutta Bella from photo above…..Awesome!! My 81 year old buddy Murray Danzig just bought the 28′, twin V-8, triple cockpit Stancraft in Feb. and he scored the “Captain’s Choice” award…Yeah Murray….You go! Tim, Deb, Big Sky Chapter, and Brian (owner of Whitefish Lodge) are SUPER DUPER folks, with Brian being a major supporter of the classic Woodies…..I strongly say we support the Lodge at Whitefish, and as Arnorld says…”I’ll be back”

  6. Charley Hamill
    Charley Hamill says:

    I own another very well known Patterson called Sunburst. A slightly later Patterson but very similar to Shockwave one of the boats featured in your article. My boat was recently restored by Larry Lauterbach and this photo was from a recent vintage event.

    Looked like a great show on one of my favorite lakes!

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