Fellow Woody Boater and intrepid Minnesota correspondent Dane Anderson spent some time at the big Minneapolis Boat Show this weekend, and sent us this report. We always appreciate Dane’s perspective on the classic boat hobby and his unique style of photography.
As we noted in our story yesterday, the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter ACBS is representing the hobby with an outstanding display of classic boats and motors at this year’s show, special thanks to them and all the volunteers for their hard work, making this another successful winter event.
2013 Minneapolis Boat Show
by Dane Anderson
My take is that the chapters of the ACBS are doing a good job of promoting the classic boat hobby. The BSLOL (Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter) display was busy all day Saturday with a wide mix of participants and visitors. The ’57 Falls Flyer was brought and represented by a father/son team who proudly engaged everyone who came by to look at their boat. They did all the restoration work themselves and the boat was a hit with everyone at the show.
The BSLOL Chapter signed up 10 new members on Saturday alone, plus some good interest from several others. I watched a young family approach the table with some interest, wondering if their Alumacraft runabout with a 18hp was considered classic. They happened to run into Lee Wangstad with their questions. As you can imagine they left oversold on how cool their boat was and ready to hit the water to start enjoying their prize. Lee’s passion for classic boats and his knowledge of the various marques is remarkable.
I watched past President Dick Mickelson encourage one visitor who had an unfinished Glenn-L and questions about how to install a modern powerplant. After talking to Dick and Scott Hawkinson he will be attending one of the upcoming workshops on engine installations.
Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service brought the 1959 26′ Riva Tritone (shown in the cover photo with the zebra upholstery) the 1930 19′ Dee-Wite Model 9 “Polly Von” (owned by Kermit Sutton) and also this very cool 1961 21′ Century Coronado “Endangered Species”. Dave was spending most of the weekend in the Coronado talking to show visitors.
(When Dane sent us these photos of lapstakes at the boat show, I have to admit these photos caught me off guard. At first glance I thought this was a Sea Skiff or a big Lyman with some modifications, but I was wrong…
Upon further inspection I learned that these are actually modern 2013 Skiff Craft boats which are hand made in Plain City, Ohio – and have been around since 1904! They are represented by Tonka Bay Marina in Minnesota, who had two 2013 models on display at the Minneapolis Boat Show. – Texx)
Here’s an excerpt from the Skiff Craft website…
Skiff Craft was founded in 1904 as the Henry Boat Company near Peterborough, Ontario, by two Canadian boat builders — Victor and Stanley Henry. They created their reputation by building quality wooden boats able to withstand the harsh waters of Canada’s lakes and rivers. In 1959, the company relocated to Plain City, Ohio, and was renamed Skiff Craft. There, veteran craftsmen of local Amish and Mennonite communities custom build each exceptional Skiff Craft boat using their time-honored woodworking skills.
Dane noted – Tonka Bay is getting lots of traffic with their two 2013 Skiff Crafts at the show, which is great to see. Tonka Bay Marina had the two 2013 Skiff Crafts at the show. Skipp LaJoy told me that although he hadn’t sold one yet this weekend they were getting a very positive reception from family boater types who came to look at new boats.
The Urban Boat Builders share some space in the BSLOL display. I caught Mohamed in a rare moment by himself. They are teaching trade skills and life lessons to at risk teens. Urban Boat Builders are building and restoring small boats and canoes. The Boat Show exposure helps them sell their finished products and solicit donations and volunteers. The Old Town canoe in the display is one of their restoration projects.
Dave Watts from Little Rock Boat Works in Rice, MN has a booth at the show this year with “Sa Gem” on display. As you can see by the photo, this wonderful 1934 27′ Chris-Craft Custom had the crowds attention.
In summary – I think these winter boat shows are a great place for the classic boat hobby to get good exposure. It’s important to be well staffed with friendly, knowledable people. As for the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lake Chapter, there’s no shortage of that.
Thanks Dane – Great report on the boat show, we appreciate your contribution today and the awesome photographs. For more information on the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lake Chapter you can Click Here to get to their informative website.
The Minnesota area continues to impress us with their passion for the classic boating hobby, their leadership and endless depth of knowledge. Hopefully we can get back over to the Minnesota area this summer and experience the great people, the huge range of classic boats and the rich history of the area first hand, at one of their many classic boating events throughout 2013.