Every year in mid-August, the finest historical wooden boats grace the docks of Carnelian Bay on the northwest end of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Tahoe, for the annual Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance. The first place winner in Class XIII, the Marque Class, named the Alan Furth Collection (this year’s concourse was dedicated to Alan Furth) as all boats in this class were at one time owned by the noted collector, was Big Sky.  Owned for the last 10 years by Bob and Paula Boldt of Austin, Texas, Big Sky is a 21-foot Stan-Craft (Stan-Craft for Stanley Young, Stan-Craft’s founder and owner) built in 1946. Boldt said the engine is the original Gray Marine Fireball with three downdraft Zenith carburetors. Big Sky has been restored three times and Boldt said he put on a new bottom during one of those restorations.  It is insured for $250,000.
Best of show this year was a 1937 28-foot Gar Wood owned by Stephen and Janice Hamill of Alamo, Calif., named Big Boy. This story is typical of most every boat in the show, some restored from a rotten and dry-rotted carcass. Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications. If you are a guest, have a look around by clicking on the Forum button up top and browse our public areas.
This year as we are going from show to show and talking with fellow Woody Boaters around the world, one topic keeps coming up.
For you right coast people, visit the Lake Tahoe of the east, Lake Winnipesaukee in beautiful Meredith NH.


For every extra boat that shows up I get an extra judging point on my Carver, and man I need them! To clearify the town is named Lake Geneva, The lake is named Geneva Lake (they are both in Wisconson) .
But send us your photos and a short story and Matt will Deputize you as a Fellow Woody Boater – Roving Reporter! Hmm, I have just enough time after my return from the Winnipesaukee and Clayton shows to attend Tahoe, I wonder how Linda, wife would take this news ? Most of the boats are of pre-war vintage, but there are many classic post-war wooden boats that were born as late as 1969 from famed Italian manufacturer Riva, plus one 1997 33-foot Brown and Bassett Gentleman’s Racer powered by a 1930s Rolls Royce V-12 650 horsepower engine.
Called a torpedo because of its stern design, it was expensive to build because of its many compound curves. It rained on four of them and we don’t cover the boat during the tow as the cover will beat on the boat,” said Bob Boldt. It has only 244 cubic inches (4.0 liters) but pumps out 200 horsepower, remarkable for an inline six-cylinder flathead engine. On Lake Tahoe it will do between 45-50 mph, but back in Austin it will do 55-60 mph because of the lower altitude. I have heard, there is a similar show somewhere back East, where many of the examples are from boat builders East of the Mississippi.


Of all wood construction, the Gentleman’s Racer resembles a classic 1920s wood speedboat, but it is thoroughly modern. The torpedo stern shape had a hydrodynamic benefit that was used by early displacement hull race boats of the 1900s.This particular Stan-Craft torpedo is hull number 001. Given that Gar is the marque class this year at the Concours, it will probably be the largest Gathering of the Gars yet held – around 40 expected apparently. Built on the shores of Flathead Lake (Polson, Mont.), Furth bought the boat in 1985 and renamed it Big Sky in honor of the state.
The guy who told me how to properly varnish the wood trim on my little VJB (as well as contributing a bit of Mahogany) is restoring a 1956 Mercury Saber.
You have two months to get it right or you won’t be welcomed at the annual meeting in Geneva Lake, Wisconson. His son is working on the 1958 Corvette engine, and I will contribute some polishing know how for the old valve covers. And a chance to see some fun West coast one offs and to hang with a very fun and crazy crowd at Sierra Boat Company.



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