Wooden boats to make splash at annual Tahoe show | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wooden boats to make splash at annual Tahoe show

Merry Thomas

Emma Garrard / Tribune News Service / Craig Gregory leaves Sand Harbor in his 1970 Riva boat, Beatinoi, Tuesday morning in Lake Tahoe.

KINGS BEACH – Craig and Catherine Gregory will join more than a hundred boat owners this weekend in showing their classic wooden crafts at the 33rd annual Concours d’Elegance in Carnelian Bay.

When the couple purchased their 1970 Riva three years ago in Italy, with only 500 accumulated hours, it was still in pristine condition.

“I take it out once a week, at least, during the summer, plus whenever I can,” Craig said.

The twin-engine Riva Aquarama named Beatinoi, or Lucky Us in English, is the Gregorys’ second Riva. They will be traveling next month to Italy to purchase their third, a single-engine Olympic.

Tuesday morning, the craft powered smoothly from Sand Harbor toward the Thunderbird Lodge.

“It was made to maneuver the Mediterranean Sea,” Gregory said. “Its wide hull plows right through the waves.”

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Beatinoi’s smooth design is made of caramel colored mahogany. The cabin space under the bow includes a toilet, and a small wooden cap atop the bow opens to allow anchor storage below. Chrome details, such as a seashell casing for the stern light, attest to attention to detail throughout the elegant boat.

Twenty-five year Tahoe residents, the Gregorys have been active boaters for a dozen years. They are devoted fans of wooden crafts, particularly Rivas. The Gregorys have been active members of the Tahoe Yacht Club for five years and are enthusiastic members of the Riva Historical Society.

“We went to dinner in Italy, and I had my picture taken with (company owner) Carlo Riva,” Craig said.

The boat company hosted a four-day reunion in 2000 for all Riva boat owners.

Craig estimates Tahoe is home to about 30 Rivas. He said the boats can be purchased and shipped back to the United States and then resold for more money. Buying a Riva combines aesthetics with good business sense, Craig said.

“What we saved paid for our trip to Italy,” Craig said.

The couple shows their Riva at the Concours and also at South Lake Tahoe boat shows.

Their Riva will number among 125 classic wooden boats featured Aug. 4 to 11 throughout the North Shore. Friday and Saturday, the week focuses on the Concours d’Elegance at the Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay. This year’s theme is the fins of the 50s as its design element, but the show will include numerous additional classifications.

The event is underwritten by personal and corporate entities, including Cole European of Walnut Creek, Calif.; Gevril Watches; San Juan Yachts; Fetzer Vineyards; Korbel California Champagne; Hagerty Collector Car & Boat Insurance; Marine Max of Calfornia; Tahoe Ridge Winery & Marketplace; and Woodwind Cruises.

Tickets cost $20 for one day; $20 for both days at the gate. Seniors 62 and older receive a $5 discount; children younger than 12 are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. For more information, contact the Tahoe Yacht Club at (530) 581-4700.

If you go:

Thursday at 6 p.m.: Reception, dinner at the North Tahoe Conference Center, Kings Beach. Kickoff auction of art, wine and classic boat memorabilia. Cocktail attire requested.

Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Concours d’Elegance, “Fins – the Boats of the Fabulous Fifties” at the Sierra Boat Company, Carnelian Bay. Features exhibits, plus refreshments and music. Vote for People’s Choice; attend restoration clinics.

Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Exhibits and refreshments. Awards at 3:30 p.m. at the marina; view from courtyard and marina perimeter. View boats roaring off following the ceremony.