Tahoe Nugget #92:
Concours d'Elegance Boat Show
August 5, 2006
An estimated 6,000 wooden boat enthusiasts descended on Carnelian Bay this weekend for the 34th Annual Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance. Lake Tahoe is a world-renowned safe haven for venerable woodies crafted by
famed companies like Riva, Garwood, Century, Hacker and Chris-Craft. The cold dry climate hinders dry rot, a death knell for wooden boats, and the short season, three or four months each summer, reduces the wear and
tear that vessels in warmer climates sustain.
Sponsored by the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation, the Concours d'Elegance showcases expert craftsmanship in wooden boats and honors those who build, restore, and
maintain these elegant national treasures. This collection of golden era classic watercraft offers a rare opportunity to admire the beautiful lines and details of these antique boats from around the country.
The marque or featured class in this year's show was Boats from the Fabulous Forties. The 1940s were first dominated by World War II, and then by many new and exhilarating technological
innovations that produced some of the marine industry's most enduring designs.
The Concours d'Elegance is just one part of a larger event - Wooden Boat Week - which takes place from Aug. 3 - 10 this year.
This week long party includes lakeside picnics and wooden-boat parades. All events are open to the public and proceeds are donated to benefit non-profit organizations in the North Lake Tahoe area.
2006 Tahoe Boat Show
Photo #2: Bragging Rights
Photo #3: Wooden boats cut through rough Tahoe water
Photo #4: The fabulous Thunderbird was built in 1939 for eccentric San Francisco real estate
baron George Whittel. This 55-foot Hacker Craft was built to be the fastest boat on Lake Tahoe. In 1962, Nevada casino/hotel magnate William Harrah acquired the Thunderbird and replaced the original 550 horsepower
engines with two 1000 HP 12-cylinder Allison Aircraft engines. This art deco beauty really moves.
Photo #5: One of the few non-wooden boats at the show was the 1926 Mercury. Now owned by the State of
California Dept. of Parks & Recreation, the boat is constructed of duraluminum, heat treated and then polished. Powered by a 495 HP 8-cylinder Mercruiser engine, she has an extensive race history on the east
coast and was used as a camera boat for the filming of the 1959 movie "A Place in the Sun."