As we mentioned the other week, its is now Boat Show Season – Indoor, that is! We have have a couple of reports from the Western Canadian Chapter and Pacific Northwest Chapter…so go visit them in Vancouver and Seattle this weekend to check out the vintage (and new) boats on display!

Vancouver Boat Show

by Steve Leslie, Western Canadian Chapter

Come by and see us at the Vancouver Boat Show! On Jan. 31- until Feb. 4, 2024 at BC Place.

Our Western Canadian Chapter was offered some space at this year’s show. It has been a long time since we have attended and it’s the first time that I’ve been involved.

It was a lot of work setting things up but I have say it looks great and is certainly attracting a lot of attention! We are meeting a lot of people and hopefully will have some new members! Special Thanks to Lora at ACBS for sending lots of promotional material.

The WC-ACBS booth features Rob Reid’s super cool 1951 Mercury Woodie Wagon towing his Gorgeous 1955 21’ Chris-Craft Cobra. This is a very fresh, complete Concours restoration by Andrew Middleton and the team at Absolute Classics. Details on this rare boat are a whole other story…

My boat is a 1942 17’ Chris-Craft Special Runabout being towed by my 1953 GMC pick-up.

I wasn’t sure if this was the right venue for our club but we’ve already had so many people visit our booth to talk to us this week. Many have also been showing us their phone photos of their boats and projects, so I know there are a lot other of vintage boat owners out there, and I’m confident our Chapter is going to grow from this exposure!


Seattle Boat Show

By Ron Stevenson, Pacific Northwest Chapter

We set up our display Thursday afternoon, at the Seattle Boat Show. It’s the largest show on the West Coast, 300 exhibitors, 800 boats. It opened Friday, the 2nd, and runs 8 days until February 10th. It also includes a floating boat show,  I have my eye on a $2M, 55 foot Fleming!

The star attraction of our booth, and of the Boat Show, is “Conny” the actual coaches crew boat from the ’30s into the ’70s at the University of Washington. This is the boat that trained the crew and went on to win the 1936 Olympics, written about in the book, “The Boys in The Boat”!


Along with Kirk Knapp’s “Conny”, we have “Shorebird” owned by Ron & Maria Wilson, a 1936 19′ Custom. Next to them is Ike Kielgass’s boat, a RestoMod!  Originally started as a 1936 enclosed cabin 19′ Garwood, it has been redesigned, sans cabin, the sides lost a plank (less freeboard), the tumble home now resembles a Chris-Craft racing runabout. He calls it the Garwood Racer.

And then there is “Longshot”, a 1927 28′ Hacker Dolphin, owned by Curt & Marsha Eridkson, and next to them is Randy Mueller’s 1955 14′ Aristo Craft Torpedo, beautifully restored by the factory.

We must not forget the Supermarket Kiddie ride “Bobber” designed and built by Speed Queen in the ’50’s, the real star in our booth with the kids. They come back every year, to get another ride!

We will be handing out ballots for “People’s Choice” and “Kid’s Choice”, only about 250 ballots a day. They expect 45-50,000 visitors this year! We have over 40 volunteers manning our booth, we are excited so come by and see us at the Show!

Before I finish here, I have to circle back to our longtime chapter member, treasurer, membership guy, website administrator, Past President, and all-around good guy Kirk Knapp, and his boat “Conny.” As I mentioned above, they are getting all sorts of attention at the Boat Show and around town. Here is a story from KIRO radio, the Dave Ross Morning Show, by Felix Banel, of “My Northwest” fame about Kirk and “Conny.”

Read the Story: Man deserves gold medal for rescuing UW crew boat ‘The Conny’ which also features some amazing images of the boat before restoration provided by Kirk.

BTW, Kirk is also part of the discussion panel at this Sunday’s Seminar at the Seattle Boat Show.  He is defined as an “Esteemed Alumni” on that panel!

Sheesh, just because he rescued a beat-up old boat…Congratulations Kirk, you deserve it! 


1 Comment

  1. Hello Steve, It’s nice to see you, your boat and your truck in the show! Thanks again for all your help during the restoration of my 1942 Special Runabout. I just finished reading The Boys in the Boat so it’s really nice to read the article about Conny! Many congratulations to Kirk Knapp. You guys are what the ACBS is all about.

    Best Regards, Jim Patrick

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