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Time Travel With the Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show

In an era when it feels as if we’re turning back the clock in many unfortunate ways, we paused on Sunday to appreciate some of the beauty from the past. Last weekend’s Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show demonstrated the everlasting beauty of wood, brass and traditional-design elegance, cared for by loving owners.

The annual event gathers many of the Bay’s most cherished wooden boats and puts them on display at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, where the public can step aboard and explore the well-cared-for vessels. The event is also a fundraiser for the Master Mariners Benevolent Association’s charitable efforts to provide education and opportunities for future generations of craftspeople.

60 years ago?
Sixty years ago most of the marinas on the Bay would have looked like this.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Being a judge is rarely an easy job, and trying to pick a winner from among these classics must be one of the most difficult tasks anywhere. Regardless, judges and the public managed to reach an agreement on some well-deserved winners.

The Stone Cup is awarded to the Best of Show and professionally-done restoration. The winner was Mark Sander’s Nicholson ketch Hurrica V.

The Corinthian Cup is awarded to Best of Show — owner-maintained (sweat equity) — and this year went to the front-row beauty, the 51-ft Sparkman & Stephens design Kay of Gõteborg, owned by Neil Gibbs.

The Al Lutz trophy recognizes the classic that went through the biggest change in the past year. This year’s winner was KC Crowell’s Bear Boat, Chance, which we happened to feature in our May issue.

The People’s Choice is awarded in a clean, fair, and democratic voting process by the public and CYC members. There’s no lobbying, no gerrymandering, and it’s essentially a pretty chill process. The overwhelming result was again the Stone Cup winner, Mark Sander’s Redwood City-based, Hurrica V.

Small is sweet
Even the smallest boats in the show are alluring.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The show happened to be held on the 12th anniversary of Al Lutz’s passing. Al was the much-loved skipper of the scow schooner Alma for 17 years. The Al Lutz award continues to bring Al’s spirit and energy to every show.

Future boat builder
Some future boat builders came to build and launch their very first boats.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

While many of our newest, sleek boats on the Bay are made of carbon, all these boats keep track of their age with carbon dating. Some are over a century old and have been rebuilt several times to keep them afloat, looking good, and often very competitive on the race course. They carry with them the stories of generations as the foundation of the formative years of Bay Area recreational sailing. It takes love, commitment and money for us all to be able to appreciate the boats from our past that still sail the Bay.

Bob Rogers
Bob Rogers is past owner of the classic Sunda and one of the many organizers who help make the show possible.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Busy Docks
The sunny show-docks were busy with inspired crowds of admirers.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Robby Robinson - Nautigal
Robby Robinson was your host aboard Nautigal, a 38-ft Myron Spaulding design built in 1938 by Anderson & Cristofani in San Francisco.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC /
Kay of Gõteborg
Kay of Gõteborg turns heads wherever she goes.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
The photo doesn’t nearly do her justice, but up close it was easy to see why Mark Sander’s Hurrica V won the Stone Cup.
© 2022 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The show is over, but you’ll have the opportunity to cross tacks with the classic boats while sailing the Bay and, if you missed it this year, look for the wooden boat show around this same time in June 2023. It’s worth a visit.


  1. ARNOLD OLIVER 2 years ago

    How do those beautiful vessels get insurance? We are struggling mightily to get our old woody insured – we are a non-profit. Can someone advise us on this ??

  2. Mark Blum 2 years ago

    My late father, Ben Blum, commissioned the building of Nautigal. He raced her successfully in Bay and coastal races until he enlisted in the US Navy in WWII.
    Mark Blum
    Nautigal III
    Beneteau First 22
    Tahoe City

  3. lea mcnabb 2 years ago

    Congratulations Mark,
    You always manage to do and be the best in everything you do.
    I’m so proud of you and feel blessed to be your favorite Sister. Lea

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