Pacific Northwest ACBS Celebrates Family Fun Day On Mason Lake – Part 1



Family Fun Day at it’s best. Brian’s Flaherty’s wife Michelle (right) with her friend Denise, who is experiencing her first ever wooden boat ride in Dick Dow’s 1938 Batchelor runabout “Sindbad” – Photo by Denise’s (first ever wooden boat ride) husband Dan.

The Pacific Northwest Chapter is located in a unique part of the country where they are active (on or near the water) year round, and as Chapter President Robert DaPron says – “We always have something going on here… Our focus this year as a Chapter was to have more boating related activities, getting away from the elaborate planned events. We have had many gatherings at various locations where we just get together, run around on the water and have fun with our classic boats.”

“We really have had a great year, everyone has been supportive and I give all the credit to the fine people within our Chapter.” – Robert DaPron

Today’s (and tomorrow’s) story from beautiful Mason Lake gives us a glimpse into one of the Pacific Northwest Chapters fun events. – Texx

A Family Fun Day on Mason Lake, Washington
By Ron Stevenson

Wow! This opening shot says it all!

Mason Lake Fun 1

Craig Magnusson water skiing behind a classic 1969 Chris-Craft 17′ Cavalier Ski Boat. – Janet Cathcart photo

Above is Pacific Northwest Chapter member Craig Magnusson (old guy) WATER SKIING! On an old O’Brien water ski, with father/son team John & Brian Flaherty who own this great 1969 Chris Craft 17′ Cavalier Ski Boat – Doing exactly what it was designed to do in 1969. Brian left his wife Michelle ashore, who is expecting in November. Are you picking up on the Family Fun Day yet?

And, here is a shot of Janet Cathcart with hubby Tom, is she taking that picture of Craig? Lois and Karl Hoffman are along for the ride, Karl was the “Launch Master” and spent his morning in the water at the launch ramp.

Mason Lake Fun 2

Janet & Tom Cathcart shooting from their 1953 Shepherd 110S “Huckledybuck” – Thanks to Jerry Campbell for this shot.

Club members Rick & Jan Means, with able assistance from Mr. OCD Jim Geisy, organized an outstanding event for us and the community at Mason Lake here in Washington State last Saturday at the Simpson Employees Recreation area. It could be renamed the “Mason Lake Keels and Wheels.”

There were about 35 boats, and I don’t know how many cars (guessing around 100+/-?) in attendance. Now Mason Lake is out in the middle of NOWHERE. People weren’t complaining about no Internet, we were complaining about NO cell service at all… Which quickly turned into “who cares?” Lets go for boat rides! Which also resulted in everyone having way too much fun, and way too much food!! Boy, did they feed us! Three hundred burgers, and 200 brats were brought together for all the boat owners, car owners and oglers. Not many oglers though, this was an event for owners.

Let’s talk more about NOWHERE, where there are no people, just trees and tree farms:

Map 2
or you can Click Here to see the big picture thanks to Google Maps.

Closest town is Shelton (to the south) of about 9,000 people. Most people drove the two hours from the Seattle area. But of course people came from all over… Or you can take the ferry, about another two hours ride/drive plus pay a ton to ride the ferry with your boat trailer. We even had people come up from the Portland area (Columbia-Willamette Chapter) and the Inland Empire Chapter (Eastern Washington). Co-organizer Jim Giesy has a way of telling you “you WILL be there”. Jim lives part time on the lake, and it is rumored that he has a perfect Chris-Craft Cobra, and a perfect Chris-Craft Capri; in his garage…

We were guests at the Simpson (Timber) Recreational area, a great facility with a boat launch, trees, a separate tie up area, with trees, playfields with tree borders, swimming area, all set in a wooded (duh) area. Beautiful, yet shady, and does not make for great photo ops. So some shots are a little shady. Like some of the boat & car owners.

Here is a shot the tie up area, notice the wonderful trees and shade? And the swimming area in the background in the SUN? And TWO oglers looking at the boats? Rick and Jim did get the good weather though. As I write this, the Pacific Northwest is in its 40th day of over 80 degrees, a new record!

Mason Lake Fun - 4

The docks at the Simpson (Timber) Recreational Area on Mason Lake.

We also had the Northwest Classic Boat Club in attendance, bringing in some great Fiberglassics. It was nice to include these folks!

From the Northwest Classic Boat Club website:

The Northwest Classic Boat Club celebrates vintage and classic boats of all types, including fiberglass, wood and aluminum construction. Our main focus is classic powerboats – runabouts, launches and cruisers of all sizes – but all types of vintage boats are warmly welcomed. Our member’s craft range from rowboats to large cruisers, from the family fishing boat to white-knuckle speedboats. What we all share is a love of vintage boats and boating with friends.

Our motto is “Good Boats, Great Friends”

We have more “on-the-water” events than any other boat club in the region. We love to get out on the water with friends who share an interest in old boats, and constantly stress boating safety, family get-togethers and inclusion of the next generation of classic-boat lovers.

You can Click Here to check out their great website.

Brian Flaherty (and his 1969 Chris-Craft Cavalier) is a member there, and also is a member of our ACBS Chapter. Brian’s Boat:


Fellow Woody Boater Brian Flaherty’s cool 1969 Chris-Craft Cavalier Ski Boat.

Brian snapped some great shots of some the Fiberglassics, these are 1958-59 Uniflites, owned by John Joe and Kelly, and built in Bellingham, Washington.


Classic Uniflites – John’s ’59, Joe’s ’58 & Kelly’s ’58.

Here is a shot of Chuck’s 1959 Skagit with Kelly’s Uniflite in the foreground. Skagits were built in La Conner, Washington.


Chuck’s 1959 Skagit with Kelly’s ’58 Uniflite in the foreground.

We ran out of room quickly, so some boats were beached, like this very nice 1959 GlassCraft.

Some were left on trailers but still Woody Boater worthy… Everybody is welcome here.

Century  resorter
…and a nice 1956 Reinell, owned by Joesph Govednik;

1956 Reinell
Joesph is an important guy at the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, in Tacoma, Washington.

From the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum website:

“Celebrating Tacoma’s rich maritime heritage—past, present and future.”

In case you missed it, here’s a link to the story we did on Woody Boater featuring the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.

Kind of all one big boating family gathered together at Mason Lake, right?

But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of Family Fun Day on Mason Lake presented by the Pacific Northwest ACBS Chapter. – Ron Stevenson


Don & Jodi in their rare finned late 50’s Chris-Craft Continental soaking up some Pacific Coast sunshine.

Great report Ron – looking forward to Part 2 tomorrow!


28 replies
      • Texx
        Texx says:

        It was an experimental life jacket that Craig was testing for NASA in the sixties… Floyd R. Turbo had the other one.

      • Brian Flaherty
        Brian Flaherty says:

        funny mention that… I have a vintage “life-belt” that is even a color matched bright red but in my haste to get out of Bellingham (3.5 hour drive with a 2 year old!!) I forgot it. So in the name of safety Craig, reluctantly, wore a modern life vest.

  1. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Those red Cavalier/Corsair ski boats keep showing up…That makes the second one on Woody Boater in a few weeks time.
    Craig is demonstrating exactly what the boat was designed to do…Wish I had my old one back. Rumor persists Denny Naylon is enjoying it in Ohio.

    PS. Math is getting easier…Adding much better than multiplication tables

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      The difficulty of the math changes with how much Matt appreciates your contributions. While you were upgraded from multiplication to addition, I went from basic calculus to partial differential equations. If I keep making fun of sinking Century’s, I might have to type in Pi to the last decimal place.

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    I love stories like this. It’s great to see classic boats being enjoyed as they always were intended. Nothing helps this hobby more than people seeing how much fun these boats are to run.

    As for the math getting harder, it’s also getting targeted. After my poke at TommyHolm yesterday, I got a question involving Archimedes Principle. Sheesh!

  3. Ron
    Ron says:

    Nice job Texx & Matt, thank you for the coverage!
    I fear I have had to much sun… In the header shot, Brian’s wife Michelle is on the RIGHT. And speaking of true Family Fun she is due in two months!
    And here is a shot of Dick’s boat Sinbad with the famous water skier aboard

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Ron – (spoiler alert) That shot of Sindbad was going to be your cover shot for Part 2 tomorrow. But we have more…

      • Brian Flaherty
        Brian Flaherty says:

        Ron, that late picture I sent you of Jezebel with the sun sparkle on the transom would be a great cover shot (perhaps with a little cropping). I won’t post it here just in case it made it into tomorrow’s set.

        By the way, have I done something to offend someone cause I am now required to get out my fancy calculator to do these math problems…

  4. Brian Flaherty
    Brian Flaherty says:

    With this event Craig Magnusson has become the first skier ever documented (photographed) to ski behind both of Chris Craft’s first ski boats. Back in July at the ACBS-PNW Family Fun Day on Lake Tapps Craig skied behind club memeber Scott Mason’s 1959 Chris Craft ski boat (first true ski boat offered by Chris Craft) and now Craig has skied behind our 1969 Cavalier ski boat (first all fiberglass ski boat offered by Chris Craft). Craig also has the honor of being the first person to ski behind this boat in over a decade!

  5. Rob
    Rob says:

    Nice write-up Ron and Texx.

    I would also like to ad that we had a large group present from the Columbia Willamette ACBS chapter who graciously contributed some money to help pay for the event. Classy group those Oregonians.


  6. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Late as usual but wanted add my support for having more family fun outings in our classic boats. Thanks for sharing a fun story.

    As for the math, well one never knows what to expect until he’s done keying in his comments. Long comments seem to win you a complex long division problem to solve in your head (don’t have a calculator)(would a slide rule work?). For that reason I had better keep it brief.

    Anyway, great story today!

  7. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    If I knew how to send a picture, I could send a picture of Wilson Wright skiing behind a 1970 C.C. Corsair, the same red boat as that ’69 Cavalier…Meantime I’ll just content my self to solve the multiplication problems.

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