From the Inland Empire Chapter

The 2023 Coeur d’ Alene Antique and Classic Boat Festival (Aug. 12-13), sponsored by the Inland Empire chapter, is in the books. Two weeks before the event, the show got off to a slow start with only 15 boats registered. By show date, we had 54 boats and skippers signed up to attend. Once the word got out, we had to turn people away; funny how that always seems to be the case. The show is located on the boardwalk at the wonderful Coeur d’ Alene Resort on beautiful Lake Coeur d’ Alene. The boardwalk automated counters recorded 11,000 people that crossed the boardwalk during the show on Saturday alone, attesting to the enormous popularity of this event. We can’t thank the Hagadone Corporation enough for allowing us to use this marina for our show.

The show winners were:

Peoples’ Choice—1946 Chris-Craft 20-foot Custom runabout La Bella Vita owned by Jeff Wiliams of Hayden, Idaho.

Skippers’ Choice –1947 Chris-Craft 27-foot Super Deluxe Cabin Cruiser Gemini owned by Jerry Nesser of Alaska.

Best Contemporary –2021 StanCraft 39-foot 390 Hammerhead Coupe owned by Rob and Amy Bloem of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

One of the highlights of the show was the children’s boat-building event, which was hosted by StanCraft and overseen by Alex and Deann Reynolds Schneider. StanCraft is actively involved and supports this program at all of the chapter boat shows each season. At the Coeur d’ Alene show, around 170 small wood boats were built by young, up and coming woody boaters during the four-hour program. Stan Craft also made the beautiful wood awards for the show, which we want to acknowledge with our appreciation.

2024 will mark the 40th anniversary of wooden boat shows at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort marina boardwalk. The path to this anniversary, however, has not been a straight line. A brief review of the history of the show illustrates the efforts of the many people who have contributed to making the show the success it is today. Let’s go back a few years to 1984, when Syd Young, the then owner of StanCraft boats believed that Coeur d’ Alene needed to have a boat show to showcase the wooden boats in the inland northwest. This was the beginning of what has become an annual event extending over four decades. The wooden boat community in the inland northwest, which could be considered to include eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, and even southern British Columbia is a very strong one, with  over 400 wooden boats currently on Lake Coeur d’ Alene alone, not counting boats at the other three main lakes in the area.

 In 2000, members of the wooden boat community, primarily in Spokane, WA. and Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho decided to form a chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS) for the inland northwest, which was granted that year. There was later a decline in chapter interest for having the show in Coeur d’ Alene, and the chapter moved its main show north to Sandpoint, Idaho on Lake Pend Oreille until 2015. During the interim, there were annual shows at Coeur d’ Alene with various sponsors. The chapter has been honored to have hosted four ACBS international shows at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort during this period. In those years there was no other show in Coeur d’ Alene.

In 2015, the interest in bringing back a chapter-sponsored show to Coeur d’ Alene was rekindled when Duane Hagadone, owner of the CDA Resort, who loved wooden boats, put Craig Brosenne, president of the Hagadone Marine Group in charge of bringing the chapter show back to the Resort on a permanent basis. Craig worked with Murray Danzig, Ron Yandt, Daryl Reynolds, and Don Vogt to get the “ship launched.”  In the first year, 2016, we had eight boats entered in the show, four boats were Murray’s, two were Daryl’s and Ron and Don had one each. This was the start of bigger and better things to come.  Over the next seven years the show grew exponentially to where it is today. There are several reasons for this. First of all, Lake Coeur d’ Alene is a beautiful lake, surrounded by forested mountains, with generally wonderful summer weather.  The site of the show, the Coeur d’ Alene Resort and marina is a 5 star facility with a fine boardwalk surrounding the marina, where the boats can be moored and easily viewed. In fact, in my opinion, it is the premier venue for a wooden boat show in North America. Hagadone Marine Group provides incredible services for exhibitors, including boat launching, free trailer storage for participants during the show, free water taxi between the Resort and the launch site, security during the show, and of course a welcome aboard reception hosted by and held at the Coeur Custom boat shop at the Hagadone Marine Center, which is located near the  boat launch site on Blackwell Island. Did I mention Hagadone provides extensive publicity for the show in the area, too?  A dedicated group of chapter members put in an enormous amount of work to make these shows a success, as well.

The Inland Empire chapter has a membership of around 125 active members and is the only chapter west of the Mississippi to have received the ACBS “chapter of the year” award not once but twice, and by the way in back-to-back years. The chapter hosts three shows a year all, in Idaho: at Sandpoint, Lake Pend Oreille; at Priest Lake; and of course, Coeur d’ Alene. In addition, the chapter promotes major representation at various other chapters’ shows in the Pacific Northwest, including the Whitefish Woody Weekend, Whitefish Lake, Mt., Big Sky on Flathead Lake, Lakeside, Mt., Payette Lake, McCall, Id., and Mahogany and Merlot, Lake Chelan, Chelan, WA.

The chapter’s 2024 show, the Coeur d’ Alene Antique and Classic Boat Festival, will be held at the CDA Resort on August 3rd and 4th, in conjunction with two major CDA activities: “Art on the Green”, and the Coeur d’ Alene “Street Fair.” We will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of wooden boat shows on the boardwalk at the Resort marina.

We are looking forward to having seventy-five of the finest classic and contemporary boats on display from all over the West, and beyond. So, make your reservations and mark your calendars for August 2nd thru 4th, 2024 and plan to be at this premier event.  Hope to see you and your boat on the boardwalk next year!

Daryl Reynolds     Chair, I.E. ACBS

Kodie Woodhead  Chair, Hagadone Marine Group

Don Vogt               Co-Chair, I.E. ACBS

Tom Webber          Co-Chair, I.E. ACBS

1 Comment

  1. Great pictures! It is a privilege to be recognized. Looking forward to next year’s event!
    Captain Billy & First Mate Sheila BSS Minnow (Spokane)

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