Last weekend fellow Woody Boater Dane Anderson attended the 2012 Whitefish Chain Antique and Classic Wood Boat Rendezvous north of Brainerd, Minnesota. For the last few years we have always enjoyed sharing Dane’s unique style of photography here on Woody Boater, so let’s see what he has in store for us today… along with his report from last weekend’s event. And you can click on the pictures and they Blow up! They blow up real good!
Whitefish Chain Antique and Classic Wood Boat Rendezvous
by Dane Anderson
This year’s event was the 25th and their biggest yet, with over 80 boats boats registered and huge crowds all day. Minnesota collectors Lee Anderson and John Allen were both present this year and brought along some spectacular boats from their collections.
Dennis and Judy Madigan have been organizing the non-ACBS show for 23 of the last 25 years, and announced that they are passing the torch to the owners of Moonlight Bay, Bill Terry and Sally Egan. Joe Rittger tells me that the move to Moonlight Bay and the accomodating nature of the restaurant owners was a big reason for the success of this year’s show.
There were a 135 people at the Skippers dinner on Friday. Saturday crowds were estimated at over 12,000 people and 139 Volunteers helped Dennis and Judy Madigan and the staff at Moonlight Bay to make it all possible.
One of the secrets of their success is how they welcome visiting show participants…
They have a small army of volunteers “Dock Crew” wearing white gloves to help you out everywhere you go. There are crew members at the marina in the water helping get boats off and back on trailers. You’re greeted in the parking lot and your launch is staged to keep things moving smoothly.
When you arrive at the show docks they catch you at the docks and hold your boat while you get the dock lines set, adjusting bumpers to match your boat. It really makes you want to return every year. Many of the “Dock Crew” are children of the long time participants which seems to be a great way to involve the younger generation in the Classic Boating lifestyle.
Judy was in charge of registrations and awards, and Dennis has a gift for mixing humor with information to command attention from the skippers. Dennis likes to announce that he is happy to accept all complements and if you are unhappy with your dock assignments you should talk to Judy. Maybe now they’ll have time to get their own boats in the show. There was a waiting list for this year’s show so they gave up their spot.
The yellow Tee shirts are “Dock Crew”. The shot of “Will-O” has Dennis and Judy Madigan riding in the back seat. “Will-O” is part of the collection of the late Bill Robertson who passed away in 2012. He named all of boats after grandchildren. “Will-O” has served as the parade grand marshall boat for many years.
You may see the yellow Tee shirts in some of the photos but you’ll find kids in almost all of the photos. It’s a Minnesota lakes thing. Lake country in central Minnesota is all about family. They even give an award to the “Best Dock Person” every year. Charlie’s daughter Piper Underbrink won the award for “Best Dock Person” at this years show, and rode in the “Mail Boat” with Joe Ruttger.
The Greg Dively family had 4 generations working the docks and they came 500 miles from Omaha to be there.
I just love the deck crown on this Belle Isle. Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service was on hand at this years show and drove the Belle Isle Bear Cat it for the popular Fly-By, leaving his 28′ Hackercraft “Seaflow II” at the dock.
Pat Carnes owns this very cool 1955 Larson Thunder Hawk 18′ with twin Johnson Golden Javelins – It’s great to see these back in the water, especially with the kids riding along learning to appreciate these fine classic boats.
Special thanks to Dennis and Judy Madigan for all your leadership and help over the years, to Bill Terry and Sally Egan from Moonlight Bay, and to the many Volunteers that make this one of the best antique & classic boat shows in the mid-west.
Thanks Dane for sharing your this great story and your images with us here at Woody Boater – We appreciate it…