Seattle Yacht Club & Pacific Northwest Classic Boaters Celebrate 2014 Opening Day


A “Before the Parade” shot of fellow Woody Boater’s Janet & Tom Cathcart as the Opening Day Celebration winds-up. Remember, we got a theme here: “Toys Ahoy” (and that is NOT their boat in the background).

The folks from the Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS are best described as – Dedicated, Knowledgeable, Resourceful, Talented, Craftsman, Experienced, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Approachable, Accessible, Hospitable, Organized, Creative and best of all – They love to have fun as a group! – Texx

The Pacific Northwest Celebrates Opening Day 2014
Story by Ron Stevenson
Photos by Marsha Erickson & Ron Stevenson

Time again for the Opening Day Celebration in the Great Pacific Northwest, the ice has melted, wait — we don’t have ice… It was an unusual 82 degrees here on Wednesday, the start of Opening Day Week and of course our usual 61 degrees and rain showers on the Big Parade Day Saturday.

From the Seattle Yacht Club’s website, Opening Day celebration started over a hundred years ago in 1913, with the first parade being in 1920, when we still had covered wagons out here in the West.

As always, the Opening Day Parade starts at noon, the first Saturday in May, with the blast of a cannon and the raising of the Montlake Bridge. Seattle Yacht Club’s Opening Day has become the nation’s largest regional celebration of water, spring and the opening of boating season.

The boating season officially never ends in the Seattle area. It tapers off during the blustery, wet days of winter, but the faithful keep sailing and cruising. Opening Day, however, kicks off a busy spring and summer of boating for many avid boaters in the Seattle area.

Great coverage at their Seattle Yacht Club website by Clicking Here.

Each year since 1959 there has been a theme, and it is up to you or your club to interpret the theme for your entry. The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the ACBS has been entering for thirty years. There are at least an alphabets worth of entry classes, and because trying to get runabouts through the parade is like herding cats, we choose the “Novelty Class”. Our woodies are novelties in themselves (isn’t that what she said?) and don’t lend themselves to heavy decorations.

Logo 2014
This year we chose:


And the wonderfully creative Marsha Erickson, with craftsman and Curmudgeon husband Curt, made the “wind-up keys” affixed to each craft. So after our ACBS Opening Dinner at the Center For Wooden Boats on south Lake Union in Seattle, and some snacky kinda breakfast grazing, we are ready to wind up our woodies!


Curmudgeon Curt Erickson (left) and our ageless George Corley. (George is out ballroom dancing 2-3 nights a week with everybody else’s wives…) That is George & Peggy’s 1940 Poulsbo with a little modern Volvo in it.

The Parade starts at noon, after the Windermere Cup Crew Races through the Mountlake cut. Which BTW the Men lost and the Women won against Great Britain. The story here in the Seattle Times for those of you who wiggle your arms a lot and make motor noises in the little skinny woodies.

This years theme “Toys Ahoy” gave us the opportunity to have some fun with our classic boats. Here are some shots from in the Parade staging area with some of our 15 entries:

Ms Sydney

Curt & Marsha Erickson in “Miss Sydney”, a Chevrolet 454 powered Gentleman’s race replica.


Our Opening Day Chairman Steve Snider, with his squeeze Molly and friends​.


Even the Century guys got “wound-up” for Opening Day. Note the traditional engine box!


(Our contributor Ron Stevenson), from the dinner on Friday night, this shot was taken by Brenda Christie, a lady/artist with quite an imagination!


John Flaherty as “Woody” in his Woodie! You can imagine some of the comments from the over 200 boats lined up on each side of the Race/Parade route comments were…. (I wonder if he has a chin-strap on that cowboy hat? – Texx)

on parade

A few of us on parade with our “Wind-Up” classics.


Some of the spectators were more demonstrative with their expression of all the participants in the parade! – All part of the fun on Opening Day


The author Ron Stevenson with his obligatory beanie, needing a haircut, at the Helm of “ITCHIN” a 1953 35′ Chris-Craft Commander (Is it just me, or does Ron look like Dr. Emmett Brown from Back to the Future 1? Just Sayin’ – Texx)

UW crew

UW crew.jpg
This shot from Alan Berner / Courtesy of The Seattle Times. After the over 2 hour parade, we are able to use the University of Washington crew house for lunch and a pit stop. This year we pulled up as the Women’s crew was celebrating the win over Great Britain. Who is the guy looking out the window of the boat, and what is he looking at?

Our Pacific Northwest ACBS Chapter selects the best antique & classic boat from the event at our Friday night dinner, and the award is presented at the Seattle Yacht Clubs award presentation after the evening of the parade the next day.

Congratulations to Warren and Tracey Olson for “Best Antique & Classic Boat”. Warren did an amazing 5 year first time complete restoration of their 1955 19′ Chris-Craft Capri named “Blondie”.


We did what we could to improve this photo of “Blondie” from Ron, but it was DOA. (Sorry Warren & Tracey, we did everything we could to revive it – Texx)

All in all, a great week, full of many friends, many boats and many things to do, and the Pacific Northwest ACBS Chapter WON 3rd Place in the “Novelty Decorated Class!”

Best Regards,
Ron Stevenson

Thanks for the great report from Seattle Ron, you guys (and Gals) sure know how to celebrate! Stay tuned for another story from Ron Stevenson in the weeks to come, as the classic boating season kicks off for another year in the great Pacific Northwest.


7 replies
  1. 1kenmacstephen
    1kenmacstephen says:

    Congratulations Marsha and crew! It looks like another winner and great weekend.

  2. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Marsh Erickson has to be antique boating’s answer to Martha Stewart…Looks like another great opening Day….

  3. Tim
    Tim says:

    Another great opening Day in the Pacific Northwest! We enjoyed seeing the windup boats and encourage anyone else to join us next year!

  4. Tim
    Tim says:

    Let’s hope that most of these boats will also join us for CCR 2014 in Port Orchard! A great showing of our classic boats in the PNW.

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