If you have never attended the Concours d’Elegance at Lake Tahoe, you don’t know what you have missed. I had the pleasure this past weekend, and came home feeling like I have been a part of history renewed. This yearly boat show is an exhibition of rebuilt classic boats, mostly wooden Cris Craft. This was the 41st year for this classic and had 71 classic boats being shown by proud owners. This year’s theme was honoring a man, Alan Furth, who at one time owned and restored over 70 classics, and certainly was a legend. A portion of his collection, now owned by other proud owners, was highlighted at this year’s show.

The event takes three days. Friday, the boats arrive at the Sierra Boat Company marina and occupy slots that regular customers give up for the three days for the show. Friday afternoon is view and talk with the boats and owners. This is really fun because each owner(s) has a story on how they secured their vessel and named it. Also there are about 30 judges that come from all over the world to judge the boats. They use a point system starting at 100 points and subtracting for each incident that doesn’t meet the rules. The rules cover the restoration process and insures that official Classic Boat parts are used, and the restoration is authentic. Friday night there is a BBQ and the winners get their plaques and trophies.

Saturday, the visitation continues throughout the day. At 4PM the parade starts led off by the famous Thunderbird, a 1930 55 foot commuter boat featuring a shinny stainless steel cabin top. This classic was built for millionaire George Whittell who had a great fascination with aircraft, auto and boat technology. He ordered the boat be patterned after his personal DC-2 airplane. It also has two airplane engines that create 1,100 horse power each. Boat can speed along at 60 miles per hour and was used to transport stars and celebrities to the Thunderbird Lodge in the 30’s and 40’s. The boat is housed at the original 1940 steel boathouse at the Thunderbird Lodge National District on the East shore of Lake Tahoe. Visitors can tour the boathouse from June through September. Leading off the “Woodie” parade, several lucky lottery winners got to ride along.

Sunday, the marina returns to normal as the classic boats that are not moored at the Sierra marina leave and other owners that do return. The Tahoe Yacht club who runs this show start the review process, look at pictures and start planning the 42nd Concours d’Elegance to be held next year.

I had the pleasure of video taping the two days, capturing most of the owners telling their story on obtaining their prized boat, its restoration and naming it. I also video taped the entire parade of boats and will create a one hour program for the ACTV Channel 20 next week. Check the web site for times.

It was a great weekend being a part of what has become a great tradition.

Have a great day and be kind to yourself!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>