HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Candidate for a different sort of concours

Pick of the Day: Candidate for a different sort of concours

This 1958 Elgin is a wooden boat that was sold by Sears


Be patient. We’ll get to the details on the Pick of the Day in a few moments. But this story begins with my discovery of something called Liquid Blue Events and its staging of the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance.

What’s that? You’ve never heard of the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance? Perhaps because it’s not for classic cars but for classic wooden boats.

No surprise that Hagerty is among the event sponsors. After all, McKeel Hagerty’s parents started their own insurance company to insure classic wooden boats, later expanding to classic cars when boating clients sought insurance for their road-going vehicles as well.

Anyway, the Lake Tahoe concours won’t be held this year because of pandemic health concerns, but it is scheduled to return August 12-13, 2022, which gives you plenty of time to consider the Pick of the Day and get it ready for the 48th edition of what is proclaimed to be North America’s premier wooden boat show.

boat, Pick of the Day: Candidate for a different sort of concours, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Pick of the Day may not be your typical vintage wooden boat. It’s not an elegant (and expensive) Chris-Craft, but a 14-foot 1958 Elgin, a touring model, which was sold as a do-it-yourself kit by Sears Roebuck and Company.

The boat is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Jefferson, Wisconsin, which notes the craft has always been located in Illinois or southern Wisconsin, and comes with a folder with much of the boat’s ownership history.

“I am not a lover of the water, or boating, for that matter,” the dealer reports in the advertisement. “But I recognized the beauty and enjoyment offered by this lovely watercraft and had to pursue it.  My hope is that it will land in the hands of someone who has the time and skills to enjoy it.  It is in wonderful condition and is ready to be enjoyed.”

boat, Pick of the Day: Candidate for a different sort of concours, ClassicCars.com Journal

The dealer goes on to explain that the boat previously was owned by a woman involved “in a bitter custody battle for her daughter and loved her daughter much more than the boat.  I hope the cash helps win the battle.” 

The woman had owned the craft for only a couple of years but had invested into maintenance and improvements.

“The keel was restored and coated by a top wooden boat specialty shop.  The 35HP Evinrude Big Twin was completely gone through by one of the best in the business.  The prop is stainless steel and new.  The boat was in the water the day I purchased it.  It is proven and capable.

“The keel was epoxy coated.  The motor received a complete tune up, new recoil, carburetor overhaul, fuel system refurbishment and a new battery.  It starts easily and runs great.”

The dealer reports the boat has electric start, a steering wheel and inboard controls and plexiglass windshield, as well as bilge pump, horn, lights, beverage holders and reupholstered seats for as many as six people.

“The anchor and rope are new.  There is a fire extinguisher, dock bumpers, swim ladder and a pair of life vests.  It even comes with an American Flag.”

The Evinrude engine is a 2-stroke, “so you can expect it to emit some blue smoke and fumes.  But it is perfectly period correct.  It is a 1958 model.  While it is not powerful enough to tow a skier, it will certainly motivate this craft around the lake.  The combination of the boat and motor is simply perfect.”

boat, Pick of the Day: Candidate for a different sort of concours, ClassicCars.com Journal

The boat comes with a 10-year-old trailer with winch.

“If you are not familiar, the Elgin line of boats, motors and trailers were sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the ’50s and early ’60s.  You could order from the catalog and have it shipped to you.  Some assembly was required.  This offered people the opportunity to get into the hobby at a modest cost.  The boats and motors were supplied by major manufacturers and rebranded as Elgin.”

The asking price is $9,995. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


    • Nils, Yes, no problem using a boat like this in saltwater. Just additional maintenance required keeping her clean and the corrosion at bay.

  1. A beauty – and while many like it ran and run in salt water for decades – as it hopes the new owner understands what it is to care for one….I should think that would be done very sparingly and hours after spent getting remnants of salt of anything and everything.

    At this price, plenty of room and reason to buy something with steel bumpers or towing hitch and ability to accompany! Like a ’65 PU – or maybe Vista Cruiser?


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