Boat show celebrates 45th year | “Thunderbird” returns to show

The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 45th year on Aug. 11 and 12 at the historic Obexer’s Boat Company in Homewood featuring vintage Utilities.

Watch a bird’s eye view of last year’s Concours

This outstanding Marque Class will showcase the world’s best antique and classic utility boats from various manufacturers. First introduced after the Great Depression in the early 1930s, utility boats overtook runabouts in popularity after World War II. Utilities are ideal for fishing and fast enough for water skiing, and their open concept is perfect for piling in family and friends. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the Roar Off on Saturday at 4.

Many social events help to add to the festivities of Wooden Boat Week including the Opening Night Gala on Aug. 10; the Exhibitors’ Barbecue and Awards Presentation on Aug. 11; a Men’s Grill and Ladies’ Luncheon on the Lake on Aug. 13; Woodie Over-The-Bottom race on Aug. 14; and Mahogany Magic dinner on Aug. 17. All events are open to the public.

Thunderbird | Alyssa Ganong


With record water levels, refurbished engines and a new bottom, “Thunderbird” yacht is making a long-awaited return to the Lake Tahoe Concourse d’Elegance. America’s most recognizable, and possibly the most valuable, wooden speedboat turns 77 and will be the centerpiece of the show.

Thunderbird Lake Tahoe has its most impressive asset back on the lake after 4 years of low water, needed maintenance and optimization of the rebuilt twin V12 super charged vintage WWII Allison engines.

The 55′ pleasure yacht was commissioned by Captain George Whittell Jr. specifically for Lake Tahoe. She was designed by famed naval architect John L. Hacker and built by Huskins Boat Works in Bay City, Mich.

Tickets to the Concours d’Elegance are $25 in advance for one day or $35 for both days and is free to children 12 and younger. Ticket prices are $5 higher each at the gate. The Concours also features a Wine Village on both days for $25 each. Tickets to the show, as well as the events during Wooden Boat Week, are available online. |

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Katherine first moved to Tahoe in 1998 and has been in love with the Tahoe Sierra region since. She has been in the journalism field for more than 25 years and has worked for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines, as well as online publications and Web sites, as an award-winning writer and editor. In the fall of 2013, Katherine became only the third owner of the Tahoe Weekly magazine, and today serves as its Publisher and Editor In Chief. She also volunteers as a board member on of the Tahoe City Downtown Association, a commissioner on the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council and is a member of the TBID Advisory Committee for the North Tahoe Community Alliance. She is also a past commissioner of the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Commission.