Celebrating antique and classic boats

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

The biggest event of the year for fans of antique and classical boats is right around the corner.

Participants in last year’s show pilot their antique Chris Craft across Lake Pend Oreille. Photo courtesy of Inland Empire Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.

For some local boating enthusiasts, there’s no replacing the elegance and beauty of a wooden boat. Fortunately, the Sandpoint Antique and Classical Show is there to connect them to the wider world of antique and classical boat appreciation. And thanks to the beautiful, boater-friendly waters of Lake Pend Oreille, many members of the Antique and Classical Boat Society say there are few better places in the world to experience that community.

“There are more than 40 boats registered, so it’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty good show,” said Daryl Reynolds Jr., president of the Antique and Classic Boat Society Inland Empire Chapter, in an interview last month.

The 2018 show is shaping up to be a terrific few days on Lake Pend Oreille. Taking place from Friday, July 13, to Sunday, July 15, the show is a perfect opportunity to check out wooden and antique boats, take part in water-based activities and contests and check out some arts and crafts. Kids will be able to turn mahogany blocks into toy speed boats, and the U.S. Coast Guard will be on hand to conduct boat inspections, ensuring no invasive species are spread throughout the event. And as usual, attendees may well see Captain Dan and his famous pirate ship sailing the high seas.

“It’s going to be a fun-filled weekend, I think,” Reynolds said.

The best times to check out all the boats and events will be approximately Friday, July 13, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday, July 14, from 10a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday is blocked out for Chapter members to have a day of fun on the water to put their boats through their paces. And on 3 p.m. Saturday, be sure to see the boats in action when they parade along Sand Creek.

“Boats will be launched at the ramp at City Beach and once again our friendly, skilled and dedicated launch crew will be there to assist,” said B.K. Powell, chairman of the Sandpoint boat show committee, on the organization’s website.

One of the great advantages of the Sandpoint Antique and Classical Boat Show is that is the only Antique and Classic Boat Society event in the Pacific Northwest which includes a 100-point judgment by an inspection committee. For boat owners seeking to connect with the international classic boat community, that makes Sandpoint an important destination, since getting a 100-point grade opens the door to more Antique and Classic Boat Society events and benefits.

“It tests which boats go on to international competitions,” said Reynolds.

Indeed, it’s no small honor to be judged best in show at a society competition. Reynolds said they have made a special effort to ensure last year’s winner will attend this year, when they intend to present him with a watercolor painting of his winning boat, Nameless, on the water by Trestle Bridge.

Reynolds said that local members of the Antique and Classic Boat Society hope to boost North Idaho’s renown as a classic boat destination. With an international show slated to take place in Coeur d’Alene in 2022, the coming years should be a good time to work on that goal.

Whether you’re a classic boat owner, a fan or merely enjoy a good summer day on the beach, stop by this year’s boat show and get in on the fun. You may be surprised by the unique spectacles and visitors it brings to the community.

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