On May 5 at 12:30 p.m., a starter's gun will boom out over Portage Bay, and $3,500,000 worth of boats, ranging in size from tiny putt-putts to plush diesel cruisers, will pull away from the crowded shores around the Seattle Yacht Club (right) to start the boating season. This year the colorful parade shown on the following pages opens the season not only for Seattle, but for yachting centers all across the northern United States, where the chill winds of a late spring have kept all but the frost-biters off the water. In Buzzard's Bay, Mass. this week, preparations were being made for the first Olympic sailing trials in mid-May. In Solomons, Md., outboards were being cranked up for a May 13 marathon; and in Wisconsin the first coats of varnish went onto the sleek racing scows. Nowhere, however, was there more activity than in Seattle, where each summer 50,000 yachtsmen (page 23) take to the water.
Spring parade of yachts past open span of Montlake Bridge on Lake Washington Canal officially opens Seattle's boating season. More than 900 sailboats and motor cruisers, gaily decorated with signal flags, gather for procession on Portage Bay (background), then funnel through canal on way to Union Bay, where they pass in review before commodores of Seattle Yacht Club.
Taking salute from passing boats, club commodores snap to attention on the crowded fantail of the power cruiser Blue Peter.
Taking the cake, bearded tars and girls in gold swimsuits celebrate best-dressed-boat award for Victor Beck's sloop Vixen.