Big triple cockpit wooden runabouts from the golden age of boating are fabulous to see at boat shows, and last weekend we had the opportunity to see a very rare, very cool, and very big triple cockpit at the Lake Arrowhead show in Southern California. “Miss Lindy” is a 1937 26′ Ditchburn Triple Cockpit Runabout with an interesting history, and if any of you have ever tried to photograph one of these big triples from the dock, you will understand how tough it is… Not to mention that there was a steady stream of spectators on the dock at Lake Arrowhead which represents even more challenges.

But by the end of the day on Saturday we managed to get a few dock shots of “Miss Lindy” (without falling off the dock) so we could share this magnificent boat with our viewers today. The best way to present the boat show photos with any level of detail is to show them in segments, so here goes…

The aft cockpit is similar to a rumble seat in an early Ford automobile, which also closes flush with the aft deck… and how cool are those vents on the engine hatches, similar in some ways to the Canadian designed Greavettes from the same period.


Also note the curved glass windshields which are original to the boat, rare to see curved glass in any early application as this was relatively new technology back then.


The Patton Family prepared a sign board for the show, with some historical information on “Miss Lindy” as follows…

“Miss Lindy”

1937 Ditchburn Triple Cockpit – Scripps 300hp V-12

Originally owned by Joseph E. Atkinson the publisher of the Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario, Canada Newspaper). “Miss Lindy” was boat house stored on Bigwin Island in the Muskoka District of Ontario, Canada from 1938 to 1989.


Ernest Hemmingway and H.G. Wells were among the famous authors and guests entertained by the Atkinson’s on board “Miss Lindy”.


(I love the unique design details such as the wooden sculpted bow light, twin spot lights and the original docking lights – Texx)


Bill Patton purchased “Miss Lindy” from the Atkinson estate in 1989 in surprisingly sound condition. All wood and hardware is original.


Completely restored and shown by the Patton Family at Lake Tahoe and Lake Arrowhead in the early 1990’s, “Miss Lindy” had been re-restored in 2012.


“Miss Lindy” is named for Melinda Patton.

The Patton Family

At this years Lake Arrowhead Antique & Classic Boat Show “Miss Lindy” won a total of four awards.

– ACBS International Most Original / Best Preserved
– Best Triple Cockpit
– Best Engine
– People’s Choice Award


If you like these big triple cockpit runabouts, stay tuned because these are also the featured boats at the upcoming Algonac Boat Show that begins in 8 days here on Woody Boater.

Texx
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Story Update – February 27, 2013

Today we received the following update and additional historical information on “Miss Lindy” from Mr. Micheil Hanczaryk, BA, DC

To whom it may concern,

Actually, I would appreciate it if this could get passed on to Mr. Patton or to whom ever owns Miss Lindy.

While searching the internet for a boat I once owned I came across… your Thursday, June 14, 2012 Woody Boater article.

“Miss Lindy made a rare appearance last weekend at Lake Arrowhead.”

Well there she was in her magnificence after 28 years! The pics were breath taking. She certainly didn’t look like that when I owned her. Which brings me to the purpose of this email.

Allow me to preface this email with, my correction of the historical record of Miss Lindy wouldn’t be considered for just any classic boat. I have owned a few classics though out the years such as a CC barrel back and a 1941 19′ CC runabout. Our boats took best in our class in Algonac, Blue Water and Hessel. That said, nothing compares to Miss Lindy, she indeed is special, a true rare treasure. Altho I do remember the Maltese Falcon back in the 80’s. She too was a show stopper in Hessel, Mi.

What I wish to correct is the historical facts regarding the lineage of owners. This is not intended to be self serving. The rare 1937 26 foot Ditchburn Greavette # 50E3453 now known as Miss Lindy was purchased on March 9, 1985 from Pinetree Enterprises for the sum of $10,000 Canadian and brought to the States on April 26, 1985. My bill of sale states that it is a 1938. It was I along with the late Carl Chapell and Lance Wilson that traveled to Orillia, Ontario Canada with an empty trailer and brought her back across the boarder at the Blue Water bridge in Sarnia, Ont / Port huron, Mi. to my home in Grand Blanc, Michigan. There she sat while we contemplated her restoration. I’m sure it was an over site by Mr. Patton but he did not purchase the boat from the Joseph E. Atkinson estate. It is true that the Atkinson family owned her from the time she was built however Mr. Patton purchased her from me.

I purchased the boat from D.J. (Joe) Charles that represented the Atkinson estate. Perhaps the only significance of this was the fact that the following month, the Ontario government closed the boarder and prevented “National Treasures” from leaving the country. This was perhaps the last “National Treasure” to leave Canada.

Mr. Patton purchased the now “Miss Lindy” from myself on April 13, 1986.

I know this is factual and perhaps you could pass this on to Mr. Patton. My intent is not malicious, its just for historical accuracy if that is important. Personally I feel that If there is to be a historical record of this rare treasure then it should reveal the true historical lineage. If Mr. Patton thinks otherwise I’m fine with that. I hesitated to write this but in the final analysis I’m glad I did and what becomes of this history is for others to decide. I’m proud to have owned her for a brief time in history and having brought her to the States. There can only be one runabout like this. Triple cockpits, triple windshields, docking lights and a rumble seat in the back. I recall sitting in her many times on the trailer in my driveway trying to visualize what she would look like some day when she was restored to her original beauty. Your pictures exceeded my imagination!

My compliments to Mr. Patton on the outstanding restoration. Also compliments to the photographer for depicting her magnificence in your magazine.

Micheil Hanczaryk, BA, DC

PS. It is perhaps not known that on her maiden voyage on Lake Ontario, both her engine supports and hull were under designed which caused the engine to fall through the hull and she sunk. Thanks for the wooden hull, so it wasn’t a total submersion. The original cast iron engine on the bottom of Lake Ontario is a Kermath, unsure of the size.
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Thanks for the update Micheil. We sincerely appreciate your assistance, and also feel that “Miss Lindy” is a very special boat with an amazing history. – Texx
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25 Responses to “Miss Lindy Made A Rare Appearance Last Weekend At Lake Arrowhead”
  1. Greg Lewandowski

    What a fantastic and unique boat! We don’t yet have a Ditchburn registered for Algonac, but we will Have Chris Craft, Hacker Craft, Garwood, Peterborough, Dart, and Indian Lake Boat Company tiples at the show. I hope all the WoodyBoater crowd are planning on coming to Algonac on June 23 to join us at the show.

  2. Rich Marschner

    Thanks so much for giving us an in-depth look at this incredible boat.

  3. Texx

    This boat was so long in the slip that it was tough to get a good shot of the engine. Also the engine hatches got in the way.

    It was one of those deals where you had to reach out your hand / camera, click and hope. No luck.

    If it helps, the big V-12 looked very nice. Still was running the original un-converted carbs…

  4. Rick

    When is WoodyBoater going to get a helicopter for these tough shots?

  5. MikeM

    Just get in the boat and take the dang shot….tell them your judging it or something.

  6. Texx

    Trust me when I say that this was one of those “Hands Off” boats…

  7. Paul H.

    Speaking for me only, I would and gladly do let anyone on my boats to photograph them or check them out, as long as they are careful and treat them with some degree of respect. I am a little more careful with the trophy winners than I am a user Skiff, but come aboard and look it over – that is my attitude. Oh yeah, and using them as well.

    I decry the thought that these are somehow jewelry that cannot be touched or experienced in any way other than visual. They are just boats.

    • Rick

      Shhhhhh, here’s a secret. I’ve even fished from mine. I won’t bring bluefish aboard because they’re too damn bloody but bass and fluke are fair game.

  8. Brian Robinson

    This boat was at the first Arrowhead I ever attended in 1990. Talk about a one-off! Lance Wilson had restored it a year prior.

    I asked the owner about the the lack of the typical Greavette dark stain and yellow deck seams, he was not sure if it was correct or not for this boat. I wonder if any Greavette guru knows for sure?

  9. Greg Wallace

    Mr Atkinson obviously had great taste in boats and apparently also appreciated the designs found “south of the boarder” as he also placed a very special order for a 1939 Chris Craft 27 Custom (hull# 27052). He must have still favored the Canadian style if the “specials” listed on the 2 page hull card are any indication. Most hardware was deleted or not installed to be re-positioned or substituted with Canadian style pieces. Special “dark” stain, a Scripps V12 and special upholstery and bottom colors were also specified among the many other changes from “stock”. She also sports a factory installed 3rd cockpit rumble seat style foldaway hatch similar to Miss Lindy. She is enjoyed by her current owner on Indian Lake, Ohio. Look in your current ACBS directory in the photo section under the Indian Lake Chapter for a look see. PS: He also had the Chris Craft name ommitted….Canadian Patriotism perhaps?

    • Texx

      Greg – Thanks for the great information, we appreciate it… Gotta love those old triples!

      • Paul H.

        yes Texx, agree. Thanks Greg, the guy had taste to be sure. Great to see that these two have both survived.

    • Texx

      After seeing all the cool triples in Algonac, we will be heading up to Hessel (home of Alex “Hotpants” Watson) to begin our triple cockpit treasure hunt.

      Three Days, Three Woody Boaters searching for vintage Three Cockpit runabouts…

      Aaahh – There’s nothing like the smell of a vintage A-120 exhaust in the morning…

  10. RiverRat

    Nice boat, but it ain’t no lapstrake. Sorry I have my shortcomings. Send me some more lapstrake love… when you have the chance. Thankyou for your support of my peticular kind of wood boat madness!!!!

    • Texx

      We have some Lapstrake Love lined up at the Algonac Show too… Just for you guys.

  11. Dick Dow

    We saw the boat freshly restored at the Tahoe show when we had the Miss America VIII there – Really sweet!

  12. floyd r turbo

    I’m holding out for a quadruple cockpit. If you’re going to dream, might as well dream in color.

    • Texx

      Floyd – You just raised the bar again… We may have to revert back to one if the vintage Canadian designers to find a Quad…

      How many cockpits did the John Hacker designed “Thunderballs” have?

  13. Brian Robinson

    Thunderballs has three, but Miss Catalina IV and V have four cockpits.