Making Headlines in December 1927: Second Annual Boat Show in San Diego

SAN DIEGO—Boat shows such as the San Diego Sunroad Marina Boat Show and Los Angeles Boat Show would normally be making headlines this time of year. However, due to Covid-19 and restrictions on large crowds, these boat shows and others have been postponed as they wait for the greenlight to hold the popular events. For now, reveling in events past and looking forward to future events is all there is to do.

At least one local boat show was making headlines in December 1927. An article with a headline reading “Annual Boat Show Held This Week” was featured in the Dec. 6, 1927 edition of the Coronado Eagle and Journal.

While information on the internet on how boat shows got started in the U.S. is elusive, according to the article in the Coronado Eagle and Journal, 1927 was the second time an annual weeklong power boat show was held. The article provided a little glimpse into the early days of boat shows in Southern California.

The boat show was held in connection with a national speed boat race staged at “municipal pier No. 1.” The show, which started Dec. 6, 1927 and ran all week, was put on by the San Diego Power Boat Association and San Diego Chamber of Commerce. The article stated the boat show was free of charge and featured about 30 exhibits. The article said a highlight of the show was a large express cruiser exhibited by Staats and Chadbourne of Balboa.

“It was placed early in the week after much effort which was necessary because of its large proportions,” the article read.

The show accompanied a speed boat race held Dec. 10 and 11. According to another article from the same edition of the paper, 14 speed boats were set to compete for the great Elgin National Trophy in a series of five-mile heats.

“It is believed that speeds in excess of sixty miles an hour will be attained, since a new type of motor costing approximately $6,000 is being used in some of those in the unlimited group,” the article stated.

Provisions were made for visitors to be view the event on steel barges, with the capacity for 600 persons, moored alongside the race course on Point Loma, the article said. The event also featured a searchlight show put on by the Navy.

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