15th annual Wooden Boat Show

The containerboard race, which drew hopefuls from all over the county, gave rowers a chance to compete in cardboard boats they made themselves. (Photos by Madeline Shannon)

Wooden boat show draws wood, motor and containerboard boat enthusiasts

TOLEDO — Logan Squires, with a Batman mask still on, proudly looked over at his year-old batman-themed cardboard boat, which he early raced Saturday afternoon in the 15th Annual Wooden Boat Show in Toledo. 

The Toledo resident placed first in the adult containerboard boat race at the marina during the show, competing against other hopefuls in the quirky, family-friendly race that drew many from the community. 

“It worked really well last year, so I decided to fix up a few dings and knicks and get a couple of fresh coats of paint on it,” Squires said Saturday afternoon. “But last year, I probably spent at least 30 hours on it. It’s all glued together — there’s no duct tape.”

The boat race was one of several events that spanned two days, Aug. 17-18, with spectators coming out to see not only the containerboard races, but family boatbuilding, the kayak safety rescue and rolling demonstration, the silent auction and the wooden boat show itself. Wooden boat enthusiasts, some more decked out than others, showed up to proudly display their boats and talk to event-goers.

“It’s a good little boat,” said Albany-based Dennis Banta, owner of the 7-foot long vessel christened Lady J, who he named after his wife of 55 years, Jeanette. “It has an electric motor in it and about 10 horsepower. I take up it up into the San Juan islands and the Puget Sound.”

The 10-year-old boat cost about $16,000 for the materials alone, Banta said.

“When you start a project like this, make sure you’ve got some money in your billfold,” he said. “It was a retirement project for myself when I retired in 2007.”

While not everyone at the boat show sailed in the containerboard race or showed a boat of their own, many came out to see the boats and listen to live music by the likes of Saundra Perrin, Weird Science, Terry Robb and McDougall, among other musicians to perform at the show over the weekend.

“We’re here to hear Curtis Salgado,” said Rebecca Cheek, another observer of the boats the first day of the show. “It is always fun. I’m amazed at the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into building the boats. I’m amazed at the museum replicas of those kayaks — they’re examples of Greenland and Inuit kayaks.”

Many longtime boat enthusiasts, like boat enthusiast Dan Rogers, like to connect with the people they meet at the wooden boat show — especially those who don’t often find themselves on a seafaring vessel. 

“My personal motivation is to try to make contact with people,” Rogers said. “Often, some people have never been on a boat — women, people who are 50 years old. They’re walking by, so I’ll do whatever comes to mind to get them down here.”


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