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When the wooden boats come out on Tahoe.

When the wooden boats come out on Tahoe With their sensuous curves, handsome appointments, and powerful engines, Lake Tahoe's finest wooden speedboats are sights to behold. Originally bought by Tahoe's wealthy from the 1920s into the 1950s, they recall a bygone era, when land baron Sydney Ehrman ferried guests in a chauffeur-driven launch "Comet" to his Sugar Pine Point estate from a railroad spur line in Tahoe City.

You can see many of these craft, beautifully restored and running like Swiss watches, during three exhibitions this month. Like an automotive concours d'elegance, these wooden boat shows bring together showroom-quality Chris-Crafts, Gar Woods, Rivas, and others.

At the two big shows, you'll see runabouts, launches, sedans, and speedsters--most from Tahoe, but some from the Northwest and Southern California. You can get close-up views of glowing Honduras mahogany hulls, brass deck hardware and dashboard trim, polished chrome scoops for inboard engines. Owners will be on hand to answer questions; a few may let you come aboard.

A highlight occurs at the end of each show, when skippers fire up their engines and pull away. Many of the craft are powered by altered World War I airplane engines--big, noisy 6- and 12-cylinder blocks that can speed boats up to 50 miles an hour.

August 3. The Tahoe Yacht Club sponsors a judged show at the Tahoe Boat Company Marina in Tahoe City. More than a hundred boats will be on view from 10 to 4. Prizes in 18 classes will be awarded in the afternoon. Admission $5, children under 12 with paying adult free.

August 9. Vintage and modern Rivas go on display at Chambers Landing from 10 to 4. Built in Italy, Rivas are the Maseratis of wooden boats; a new 28-foot Aquarama Special costs about $145,000. Free.

August 10. Some 150 old-time woodies, including many winners from the Tahoe City show, will gather at the South shore Marina in Tahoe Keys from 10 to 4. Plans call for dockside music and entertainment. Admission: same as for August 3.

Seeing boat restoration

You can visit showrooms, watch restorations in progress, and learn more about wooden boats at these shops. Call ahead to check hours.

The Drydock, 3756 Gross Circle, Carson City, Nev. 89710; (702) 832-7040.

Sierra Boat Company, 5146 N. Lake Blvd., Carnelian Bay, Calif. 95711; (916) 546-2552.

Tahoe Boat Company, 700 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, Calif. 95730; (916) 583-5567.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Aug 1, 1985
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