Yandt Boat Works
The Coeur d' Alene Resort is a fitting place to reflect on the history of pleasure boating. For more than fifty years the lake front where the resort now stands was home to the Yandt Boat Works. It was one of the earliest recreational boat building shops on the lake. Master craftsman Bob Yandt ran the business. (Later his son Robert and Robert's wife Barbara also helped run the company). Bob Yandt started building boats in 1915 and continued through 1967. During that time he built around 75 boats ranging from a row boat to large thirty six foot long taxi boats that were used for shuttling people and delivering groceries and mail.
“I used to spend a lot of time at my uncle's boat shop. It was located right there where the resort is and I spent a lot of time sitting on the shore with my uncle and watching the boats. I was pretty young then but I was able to see the boats being built. My uncle actually lived on a float house right at his shop. They moored boats for many of the people who had summer homes across the lake and people he had built boats for and sold boats to. The shop, there were two buildings with a hoist that came right out of the lake up into the shops and they would bring the boats up for repairs and in the winter times they were building boats on one side of the shop and storing them on the other side of the shop.”
Ron and his son Wes are working to keep the family's boating heritage alive. They've collected images and information about the boat works and are also restoring one of the original Yandt boats. It's a twenty-one foot utility built by Bob Yandt on Lake Coeur d' Alene in 1963.
“It was delivered to some local people in Coeur d' Alene and spent most of its life there and then ultimately ended up over on the sound in Seattle and dad and I happened to pick it up in 2002. We bought it as a project to have one of the original Yandt boats back in the family. We thought that we would bring it home, polish it up and go boating and of course you guys can see by now that that is not the case. Dad and I obviously we've been working on this project for a long time. We are definitely going to be happy when it is done. Boats are a big part of our life. Dad has always been around boats…it is what we do together as a family. The boat building part of it, although we were never involved in it, myself or dad directly, we always knew it was there and it was always very important to us and that is another aspect of this project. It gives us the ability to talk about Yandt Boat Works and tell everybody about it because it is important that that history goes on.”