National show celebrates wooden vessels on Tahoe’s West Shore |

National show celebrates wooden vessels on Tahoe’s West Shore

Autumn Whitney |
The 44th annual Lake Tahoe Concours d'Elegance comes to the West Shore this weekend. The boat show is held at Obexer's Boat Company on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12-13.
Courtesy / Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation |

The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance holds esteem as one of the premier wooden boat shows in North America. This weekend, the event returns to the Basin for its 44th year, and approximately 6,000 people are expected to attend. Over 60 boats will be on display at the show, which is produced by Liquid Blue Events and Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation.

Obexer’s Boat Company hosts the judged show on Tahoe’s West Shore Friday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug. 13.

“This will be the third year [at Obexer’s]. The significance is Obexer’s is the birthplace of wooden boats to Lake Tahoe. It’s an absolutely incredible, scenic area to have a boat show,” Liquid Blue Events co-owner Jess Horning said.

what to expect

Unique to this year’s show is the celebration of Chris-Craft Racing Runabouts’ 80-year history.

“Every year there’s what they call a Marque Class, and it’s a specific style, brand or collection of boats, and that will be the highlighted boat category of the weekend. This particular weekend is the Chris-Craft Racing Runabout from 1936-1954,” Horning explained. “The reason it was selected is because it’s the 80th anniversary of this style of boat.”

In addition to the racing runabouts, attendees can expect to see restored historical boats dating back to 1915, as well as utility boats and pre- and post-World War II racers.

“Mahogany is kind of the staple of a show like this. We have a variety of Riva boats that are Italian speedboats. We have a few classic fiberglass boats, a 1969 Donzi — a variety of race boats,” Brian Robinson, a member of the show committee, said. Robinson also handles boat entries.

People from across North America travel to Lake Tahoe to show their boats in the Concours d’Elegance. According to Robinson, some are coming from as far as Canada, Wisconsin and Texas.

“We’ve been doing the show since 1972. It’s known in the boating world as the Pebble Beach of boat shows,” Robinson said. “It has a very prestigious reputation.”

The show turns some applicants away in order to fit within the marina’s boat occupancy limits.

“It’s an antique classic boat show. That said, there are some contemporary boats of a classic style that are in the show. You’re not going to find new fiberglass ski boats. They’re mostly wood and classic fiberglass before 1970,” Robinson said.

if you go …

Tickets to attend the boat show are $25 for one day, or $35 for two.

“The money is for the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation. They award a variety of different nonprofit entities. They support Tahoe maritime causes,” Horning said.

Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance is open Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The two-day show is held on Tahoe’s West Shore at Obexer’s Boat Company, located at 5300 W. Lake Blvd., in Homewood. Accompanying social events begin Thursday, Aug. 11, and continue until Tuesday, Aug. 16. According to Horning, the majority of events for the general public are held on Friday and Saturday.

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