Maritime Person of the Year

The Maritime Persons for 2023 are.

Capt. Peter E. Riess and Dennis G. Ballard

Peter and Dennis have owned their classic wooden boat, RIPTIDE (a 1939 53’ Elco Motor Yacht) for 25 years. They purchased her in near derelict condition from where she had been deteriorating after the Riptide TV show was cancelled in the 1980’s. They spent five years restoring her to her current condition. Riptide has won many “Best in Show” awards over the years. This was their second restoration, the first being a 1941 Chris Craft 34’ Deluxe Enclosed Sedan.

Elco Yachts were in Peter’s blood, as he had cruised from New York to Maine on his family’s Elco, named Ripple. He has been boating his entire life, and holds a USCG 100 Ton Captains Credential.

Dennis came to boating much later, and has enjoyed both the cruising and the restoration aspects of owning a classic equally. He retired from Warner Brothers after many years in the film and TV production industry.

They divide their time between homes in Port Orchard, WA and The Villages, FL., and are members of the Classic Yacht Association where Dennis has served twice as a Fleet Commodore and Peter has served as both a Fleet Commodore, Fleet Director and International Commodore.

Learn more about how the Olympia Wooden Boat Association's Maritime Person/Persons of the Year is selected and see a list of past recipient by clicking here