This Weekend We Lost Lifelong Wooden Boat Enthusiast Jim McGoldrick

Jim McGoldrick speaking at the Welcome Aboard Party prior to the 2011 Sandpoint Wooden Boat Festival – Photo by Wes Yandt

We received this note from Michael Boge, President of the Inland Empire Chapter ACBS.

Michael wrote – It is with great sadness that I am passing along the news of Inland Empire Chapter member Jim McGoldrick’s passing on Friday, September 7th.

If you had the good fortune to ever meet Jim McGoldrick or attended the Welcome Aboard Party that Jim and Melaine Goldrick hosted last year at the Classic Boat Festival in Sandpoint, Idaho you would have quickly realized that Jim had a lifelong interest and love of boating.

Jim had an impressive collection of boats, including many wooden race boats and vintage outboards. Jim was always willing to share his boats and knowledge with his fellow boating friends – 2011 Photo by Karen Harrison

Jim’s long time friends Jerry Gilbreath and Jim Thorpe didn’t want this summer to go by without Jim getting a boat ride. The “Bullmoose Junior” (Jim and Milaine’s Lyman) needed some work done on it and Jerry had picked the boat up. When it was finished, Jerry called and said he was bringing the boat back up to take Jim for a boat ride.

Jim was in high spirits, did all the navigating, and brought it back into the slip clean as a whistle. After seeing Jerry Gilbreath and Jim Thorpe off, Jim went back down to the boat at the dock and it must have been the pure excitement of it all or exquisite fate that Jim McGoldrick spent his final moments on his ship.

Milaine, Jim’s wife, Anne Wagstaff, his niece, and Dan Schwerin, Jim’s neighbor and friend, were there to see him off.

Seems to me to be a fitting way to end an extrodinary life.

Michael Boge
President Inland Empire ACBS
(With comments from Molly McGoldrick Beck – Jim McGoldrick’s daughter)

Jim’s Lyman “Bullmoose Junior” – Photo by Wes Yandt


6 replies
  1. Paul F.
    Paul F. says:

    Only a couple of years ago I was at the Sandpoint show, and during the events on the day ofter the show, Jim was going to “race” Dick Werner, who had brought his very rare Century Thunderbolt to the show. Jim had one of his small hydro’s with a hopped up engine there, and it would have been a good show, but not much of a race! This man, at the time about 92, was still driving this and other boats. I watched him get the boat ready for launching by himself in amazment. It came time to fuel the boat from a big gas can, and I asked if i could help, I assumed by holding the can and pouring it in. Sure I could help, he said – hand me the can! The old guy clambored up on top of the boat (still on it’s trailer) and stood above the fuel filler, both feet planted on varnished wood and asked for the can. He stood perched like that, manually filling the boat, just as steady and able as one can imagaine. When done, he handed the can back, climbed down off the boat and continued launch prep. He was an amazing man, with a great memory and literally over 80 years experience in racing boats.

    I spent as much time as I could talking to Jim and his very elegant wife Melaine whenever we were at a local event, and I never tired of his stories and his truly amazing recall. It is sad to hear of his passing, but what a life he led, author, businiessman and owner fast cars, planes and boats.

  2. 'Bone Daddy' Deems
    'Bone Daddy' Deems says:

    So sorry to hear the news of Jim’s passing. I knew him for 8-9 years or so…loved to hear him tell of his “racing glory” days. I was DJ’ing our Inland Empire Boat Club’s Thanksgiving Party a few years back, and yaking with Jim he suddenly forgot to meet someone down the street in Spokane…he bolted on foot! at 90! Being only 54 years old, I love hangin’ with my older (and wiser) boat buddies, so I can glean some of thier hard earned knowledge. A true woody boater all the way….see ya up there buddy! Crack a cold one for me…..Terry ‘Bone Daddy’ Deems

  3. Paul Ferguson
    Paul Ferguson says:

    Back in 2008 my daughter and I took a road trip from San Diego to Spokane and over to Coeur D’Alene and Pen D’Oreille where we stayed with Aunt Milaine and Uncle Jim for several days – he was my Mom’s older brother, by 18 months. He was probably 91 years old then, and in great shape. My cousins, Mikki and Molly were also there and we had a grand old visit – my daughter had never met that side of my family. Jim was a truly extraordinary man and someone I looked up to for as long as I can remember, spending summers at Liberty Lake in the ’40s with the McGoldricks is where my memories start. He was honored at a wooden boat show at Coeur D’Alene while we were there, and had several of his boats on display at the show. What a guy!

    Sorry I didn’t meet you yesterday in Reedville, seems that you knew Jim.

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