SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA – Lake Tahoe’s rich maritime history “comes to life” at the 5th Annual South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic scheduled for July 27-28, 2012 at the Tahoe Keys Marina and Yacht Club.
Stanley Jr., who fell in love with boats and racing as a 10-year-old at the lake, later competed against his friend Henry Kaiser whose family owned the Kaiser Estate on the West Shore. This year, the STWBC will have several of the Dollar boats on display including Tamarack, a 1931, 28′ Gar Wood triple cockpit runabout purchased by Robert Stanley Dollar Sr.
While the Dollar boats will command center stage, they will be joined by over 65 other antique and classic watercraft entered into the show. In addition, The Tahoe Maritime Museum (TMM), located in Homewood, will once again be at the show providing rides for families who sign up for a TMM membership.
In just four years the STWBC has proven to be a successful fundraiser for local non-profit organizations. Discount tickets for this fun family event will again be available at any Raley’s and the Bel Air and Nob Hill Family Markets in California and Nevada.
Tahoe City, CA, May 30, 2008 – Speedboats careening about on Tahoe were common for many years throughout the 20th Century. Speedboat racing began in earnest in 1925 with the formation of the Tahoe Power Boat Club (later to become the Tahoe Yacht Club).
Since its initial modifications prior to its first Gold Cup victory in 1926, it has undergone some adaptations for speed, including the addition of a foot throttle for ease of operation while racing. Matt on the boat show poster, why are the two other boats circling the baby skipalong, that has no driver or passenger? All possible scenarios… Maybe Roy Dryer the artist will chime in with his take on the cool poster. The South Tahoe event was a great last year, with the Sunday presentations and picnic up the lake. Eight years ago I made the decision to buy and restore a old wooden boat, with the dream of some day taking it to, what I considered then (and still consider now), to be the premier wooden boat show in the country, the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance in California.
For example, we could always refer to the original line drawings, wiring diagrams, and plans that we purchased from the nice folks at the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia.
The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club and the popular Boat Buzz Forum is an extreamely valuable resource, regardless if you are restoring a boat to show quality, or just need advice in regards to basic maintenance on your boat. In an attempt to find the original glass pattern, last year I posted an inquiry on the Boat Buzz Forum, and a fellow Boat Buzzer named Dan Reed from New York State responded. One of the issues that many folks (including me) experience with later post-war wooden runabouts is that there isn’t nearly as much documented information available as there is with most pre-war wooden boats. One of the most knowledgeable people I know in the hobby when it comes to post-war runabouts (not to mention any other wooden boat marque on the planet) is my friend Brian Robinson from Robinson Restoration in Southern California. In an attempt to replicate what I thought was the original fuel tank from Cyclone, a few years ago I had an exact copy fabricated from stainless steel. Brian Robinson located an original fuel tank from the same period that Dave Wright had, and I called on my friend Dan Reed (with the 53 Riviera) to confirm the dimensions.
How that we had the correct tank, I insisted that we use some original Chris-Craft tank straps with the correct twists to bolt to the stringers. Upholstery expert Jack Mayeaux from Jack Mayeaux Upholstery in Portland, Oregon completed the beautiful upholstery work, with all the correct crash pads and pleated seat cusions, original safety tags, the works… Thanks Jack! I left for Lake Tahoe on Tuesday afternoon, and during the 21 hour non-stop drive I received an e-mail from Mike (who was now in Lake Tahoe) asking if I had any documentation to confirm the exact location of the original metal Chris-Craft hull tag that was located under the engine hatch. Mike installed the original 1952 Chris-Craft hull tag and red Notice to Dealer card under the hatch, addressed a few other last minute details, arranged to have Cyclone inspected and sealed at the local boat inspection station (which is mandatory prior to any boats being launched in Lake Tahoe). The crew at the Sierra Boat gantry treat every boat with the care and attention like it was their own, which is comforting… Total professionals. A few people have asked me what inspired me to name her Cyclone – and the answer is simple.
From a boat owners perspective, the entire experience at the 2012 Lake Tahoe Concours was fantastic, I felt honored to be invited, and the judging team that was responsible for the Blond Deck Chris-Craft Runabout Class and Cyclone was an absolute pleasure to work with.
The depth of knowledge and experience of the judges at Lake Tahoe Concours is remarkable, you have to see them in action to truly appreciate what they bring to the table. Thanks again to everyone who helped me get Cyclone to Lake Tahoe and for the memorable experience.
Tags: Chris Craft Antique Boat Club Chris Craft Riviera Chris-Craft Boat Buzz Forum Chris-Craft Boats Chris-Craft Forum Cyclone Mendel W. Texx, you have a georgeous runabout, but I hope you are going to put some hours on her before the end of the season. In many facets of life, the journey is bigger than the destination, and I think it is great that people can tackle an 8 year project with dedication and ENJOY all the hard work that goes into getting the details perfect. Often a boat is so far gone that full replacement of wood and other components is necessary, but not always. It seems that classic boaters and indeed participants in other hobbies have varying motivations, some folks collect cars and display them but never drive them.

I have nothing against book matched planks perfectly sculpted and covered in 15-20 coats of varnish with a mirror sheen. The only possible thing that i can think of that would make her look better is to have a little of Priest Lake splashed up on her transom. Having had Mike Mayer restore and prepare Barnwood for Tahoe and the International last year, I can certainly attest to his level of attention, experience and preparedness.
It is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea to have a boat done like this, and unless one has participated in the process it is difficult to convey how challenging it is.
I dont think M-fine ment any disrespect to Texx or the effort put in, and I dont think for a moment that Texx really only wanted to show his boat. I have the utmost respect for Texx and his and the entire teams’ accomplishment in restoring that boat to such a state of beauty.
As for Texx wanting to be on the water with it, history suggests he would prefer to be up at 2:30 am publishing a story for us, or riding day and night to get to the next show, sleeping on a pontoon boat in a parking lot if need be. Seriously though, your comment illustrates my concern with judged shows and arbitrary rules. Texx,you have shared a lot of the story about your boat with me and now you truly have the boat you deserve!! Certainly the Miss America series of Gar Wood race boats immediately comes to mind, Miss Detroit, the Miss Canada series and Miss Supertest, as well as the Stanley Dollar owned boats. What motivated me to restore Cyclone to a concours level boat had nothing to due with winning a trophy or puffing my chest out with my friends. I simply enjoy the challenge of restoring something to a high quality, while respecting period correct originality.
My objective was to research, learn and finish Cyclone as a period correct Chris-Craft runabout, and enjoy the experience that came along with the journey.
I spent 30 years of my life in the collector car hobby, finding, buying, restoring, selling (and yes driving) collector cars.
The decision to get involved in the wooden boat hobby was for a change of pace, and my many fond memories growing up with my family at the lake in wooden boats. I can assure you that as long as I own her – CYCLONE will be used and I have no intention of it becoming a trailer queen.
Steve NataleVintage Transportation ExaminerSteve Natale has had a life-long love affair with anything old that has wheels or an engine.
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During his amateur racing career which spanned 30-plus years Stanley piloted Uncle Sam, Baby Skip-A-Long, Mercury, Slo-Mo-Shun IV, and Skip-A-Long of California. The past four events have raised over $40,000 which has been distributed to a multitude of worthy causes. Casual motorboat racing began in the mid 19-teens, and this early interest spurred the organization of more formal and official powerboat regattas, beginning an era of competition on Tahoe that has since gone down in history. Gentlemen racers, in their quest to capture the coveted title of Lake Champion, built exotic hulls whose sole function was speed. It became Dollar’s veteran standby racer, heavily favored to win whenever she entered a regatta.
Edward Scott’s family has been intimately associated with Tahoe lore for nearly eight decades.
However, despite technical advances during the boat’s quarter century of competition, it remains very original.
After the show, Scott has made sure people continue to see it, possibly entering the boat in other boat shows around the country in future summers. And there were a few times we had to call the museum to obtain additional information from the Chris-Craft Archive, and they were always very helpful. Every aspect of originality was very important to me, and I have learned from people like Don Ayers (President of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club) that in order to achieve originality, true research is the key to success. I also knew of a number of Rivieras that I could get measurements from, but it was often difficult to confirm if these were original or also been replaced over the the years.
Brian worked closely with Mike and I during the Cyclone project and was always willing to help when we needed a second opinion on many of the restoration details. In May this year, we determined that the fuel tank I used for the fabrication was probably not original to the 1952 Riviera. After an emergency e-mail to my friend Jim Staib at Fine Wood Boats in McHenry, Illinois, a pair of original tank straps were delivered by UPS to Mike in Portland.
Like the windshield glass, we all knew generally where the hull tag should be located, but wanted to make every effort to do it exactly like the factory did it in 1952. Is Dan on vacation… up at the cottage with no cell service… does he check his e-mails as frequently as we do? At 6:30 AM on Thursday morning we were ready to offically re-launch Cyclone at the Sierra Boat Company gantry after being out of the water for over 40 years (since 1972).

After the Riviera was delivered from the plant in Cadillac, MI to the Chris-Craft dealer (Kenneth E. The high attention to detail is a fun thing but can also get a little stressful nothing great is ever easy.
I have had one boat restored to this level and one preserved to a similar level, using mostly factory materials and content and keeping the bottom original.
In my case I use all my boats, show winners or not- there will never be a trailer queen in my possession.
But beyond that, any restorer who restores a boat to this level has to have a level of committment far beyond just getting the boat done and as one can deduce from Texx’s report, the devil is in the tiniest of details at this level. The restorers and the sub-trades and suppliers deserve enormous credit, and too often it is the owners that get it, not the guys really doing the work.
Im sure he would rather be using his boat than traveling a zillion Kilometers to report from these shows for us. I for one am not complaining about his dedication to woodyboater, especially since he seems to be the more sane (relatively speaking only) of the team. My project falls so close to that line that she may be either, based on who does the calculation. If a plank needs replacing, it should be replaceable without worrying about changing the value of the entire boat.
The Dollars, whose family businesses included the timber and steamship industries, built their Tahoe estate in 1927 on the North Shore that is now known as Dollar Point. Refreshments for sale include Honey Bee ice cream for the kids and Pacifico Beer for adults.
This year’s recipients are the Boys & Girls Club of South Lake Tahoe, Kiwanis of South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Heritage Foundation, Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society and the Sierra State Parks Foundation. As technology advanced, boats became faster and records were clipped off, creating new champions or in some cases, returning the glory to a former champion. Though regattas would continue to be staged into the 1970s, liability issues began to cause complications, and the golden age of racing on Tahoe ended in 1959. This boat is truly a museum quality boat… it’s something that people need to see,” he adds.
In addition, he would like to make it available to the Tahoe Maritime Museum, to be seen and appreciated. Mike had a clear understanding of the Tahoe judging process, and the final results reflected that. He went to the effort of removing one of the glass panels, made a template and within a few days the pattern was sent to Mike across the country to Oregon. Although there is some limited evidence that two, or even three different styles of fuel tanks may have been supplied to the Chris-Craft plant in Cadillac, Michigan during the Riviera production run, further research was required to ensure the correct tank was used for Cyclone.
Personally I dislike the term trailer queen, a show boat can not just sit on the trailer to win at big shows they have to be in the water and running with everything working. But for me, an authentically and correctly preserved boat that is respected but used and enjoyed is the absolute top of the mark.
It was very nice to see those who helped make Cyclone as perfect as she is get the recognition they deserve. If the system discourages someone from finishing a project, or makes the PERCEIVED barriers to entry too high and discourages people from joining the hobby, that is counter productive.
But hey- even with Barnwood, I did not stop at the three coats of varnish the factory applied, either.
Those who won the coveted Gold Cup title earned a prestigious place in marine racing annals as the fastest boats in history.
A show boat has about 3 years of competition and then they start to look a little worn and some work has to be redone. There is a huge difference and if one likes authenticity, then a preserved boat is as close to the real mark as one can get. Enough to discourage me and many others who may find a gray hull and walk away rather than saving her. I love it when a boat is done to this caliber and then shown, they start to take on a sort of pedigree and the name becomes known. So show it while you can and then use the heck out it, she is going to please a lot of people for many years to come.

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