- Pacific Northwest
A bridgedeck cruiser with a 106 hp Isuzu diesel engine, Cle Illahee cruises at 8.3 knots burning 1.75 gallons per hour. Her hull is Port Orford cedar over oak frames, her decks are yellow cedar, and her wheelhouse and aft cabin are mahogany. She is an award-winning yacht, having been named "Best Classic" in several Seattle Yacht Club Opening Day Parades and earning first place in the LaConner Classic Boat Festival.
Cle Illahee History
1929 was an interesting year...many events happened which would rewrite the history books. Back then gasoline was about 10 cents per gallon and prohibition was in full swing with bathtub gin as the drink of choice. That year, the stock market crashed and if that wasn't enough many banks failed causing people to lose their entire life savings. The entire US fell into a full-scale depression which would last well into the next decade.
This seems like a unlikely time to be launching a fine motor yacht, but that's exactly what happened. The Cle-Illahee, a Carl Nordstrom designed and Vic Franck built motor yacht, slid down the ways on June 15th, 1929, and was delivered to its new owner Judge Frost of Goldbar, Washington on July 1st, 1929.
During World War II, many boats of her kind were pressed into military service as patrol boats. Due to the rigors of patrol, many boats were simply abandoned after the War as the cost of repair would have been prohibitive for most people. However, upon researching both Navy and Coast records we have found no evidence that she was ever used in this manor.
Over the past 71 plus years she has retained her original name, which in a Northwest Native American dialect literally means "home on the water". Somehow this fine vessel was lucky enough to have owners (8 in all) who loved and cared for her over the years, which is probably why she is still around today. She was built as a pleasure yacht and has never been altered from the original intent of the designer.
Here is a animated .gif file created from an archive photo found. We believe this picture was taken sometime in the 1930s.