Thursday, January 13, 2011


This year the Sandpoint Wood Boat Festival took place July 10th -11th and the Coeur Wood Boat Festival took place Aug. 21st – 22nd. Both event organizers say their wood boat festival is the largest in the Inland Northwest; but honestly from my view point they are both about the same size, each averaging about 50 boats per show. Both shows are well organized and well attended.

For most people wood boats are too expensive to purchase and too much work to maintain; so why then do so many people attend these shows? The answer is they are drawn to the beauty of these boats. Wood boats are more of a form of art than a product that is mass produced. Each wood boat is individually unique from bow to stern. I was dazzled by many of the boats builders’ attention to detail even with the stern flag poles. Boats at the shows range in size from 12’ to Hagadone’s 60’ sailing yacht (only available at the Coeur d’Alene show). Walking the docks to view these beautiful boats is an experience in and of its self.

Most boats at these shows are beautifully maintained but there were a few that were for sale that need some work. If you have never attended a wood boat show but love boats these two shows should be on your list of shows to attend. Many of the boat owners love to talk to show attendees about their experiences with their boats. Those that built their own boats from scratch are in my book the most interesting to talk with, giving you details of their experiences throughout the building process and even giving you local and regional history of wood boats… extremely fascinating.

The next event you can see wood boats at will be the 2011 Spokane Boat Show at the Spokane Fair Grounds, January 29th through Feb 6th, 2011. This is the largest boat show in the Inland NW and compared to the Seattle Boat Show. It’s also a more realistic show, as the boats at this show are more in the reach of the average person with a budget during in these tough economic times. Visit for more info.

For 2011 the Sandpoint show will take place July 9th - 10th, visit for more info. The Coeur d’Alene Wood Boat Festival will take place Aug. 20th -21st. Visit for more info.

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