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.
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.
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
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.
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