After touring the magnificent Mikkelson Collection Museum in 2010 and then seeing the collection of rare Larson Fall Flyers (and other Larson classics) sent to their new homes across the country at the Rich Penn Mikkelson Collection Auction in 2012 – One thought always crossed my mind. It would be so great to once again see these classic boats back in the water, doing what Paul Larson originally designed them to do.
Now, thanks to the nice folks at the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum in Alexandrea, MN – in July we are going to have an opportunity to once again see these classic Larson boats back on the water, all in one place. However – there’s only one glitch… In order to get as many Falls Flyers and Larson boats together, both from the Mikkelson Collection and from everywhere else, for the event – Bruce Olson and his team at the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum need to find them. That’s where we come in.
As we can appreciate, when a collection of boats like this is broken up and sold at auction, it’s almost impossible to know where many of them ended up. So we are reaching out to the classic boating community in an attempt to help the museum locate any or all Falls Flyers / Larosns that we know are out there, and invite them to Lake Darling, MN in early July. If you were lucky enough to buy one at the auction, or have one in your boathouse, or have a buddy that owns one – please contact Bruce Olson for more information.
The event that the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum has planned for July 13th, 2013 will not only include classic boats, but will also include a gathering of classic cars, featuring the iconic Porsche 356. And our intrepid Minnesota correspondent Dane Anderson has confirmed that he will be on hand to cover this great event for Woody Boater – with camera in hand. Here’s the details from Bruce Olson…
Minnesota Lakes Boat & Car Reunion
Hosted by the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum
Saturday, July 13th, 2013
Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center
Lake Darling – Alexandria, Minnesota
Boat Show: Reuniting Paul Mikkelson with his love of the Falls Flyer’s
Featured Boat – Minnesota built “Falls Flyer”
Honorary Event Chairperson: Paul Mikkelson – Former collector and Larson Falls Flyer historian.
Paul’s passion for the Falls Flyer built by Larson Boats of Little Falls, Minnesota began when he was a high schooler. In 1956 he obtained his first “Flyer” with the help of his father. Since then, its all history; over the years Larson’s seem to attach themselves to Paul! As Paul said during his tours, “According to my dad, if it wasn’t a Larson with a Johnson motor, it wasn’t worth a darn.” – Apparently Paul is a chip off the old man’s block!
Up until the Mikkelson Collection auction in 2012, Paul amassed the largest collection of Falls Flyers in the world, many rare one-off versions from the early days of the marque.
A Friday night boat cruise to Captain’s Party held at a private residence on popular The Chain of Lakes.
Show Hours: Saturday 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Featured Car – Porsche 356
Friday afternoon “Tour de Lakes” and reception.
Friday night has indoor display and detail space in the Arrowwood Indoor Tennis enter connected to the Resort.
Show Hours: Saturday 10:00AM – 3:00PM
Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center
Lake Darling, Alexandria Minnesota
Beautiful front lawn and marina with a festive atmosphere, food, refreshments, music & educational seminars are scheduled during the event.
If you have a connection to Paul Mikkelson, classic Falls Flyers or Larson boats, just like old boats or Porsche 356 sports cars – please consider joining us for this unique event!
Bruce Olson – Museum Director
Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum
We should add that the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum is also one of the premier classic boating museums in the country, which has a spectactular display of boats, nautical items and collections that reflects the rich boating history of Minnesota – The land of 10,000 lakes.
This promises to be a wonderful event and here at Woody Boater we are proud to be involved. Paul Mikkelson is a first class man who’s passion still burns bright for these very cool boats, and we know he will get excellent support from the Minnesota boating community and the nice folks at the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lake Chapter ACBS as well. Many Chapter members are also members of the MLM Museum.
For more information you can contact Bruce at the museum’s website by Clicking Here or you can contact us by e-mail at Texx@woodyboater.com and we will be happy to help get you hooked up with Bruce.
You can also find more inforamtion about the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center here.
Here’s a brief history of Paul Larson and the Falls Flyer as told by Louis Marine Ltd – an excerpt from “How do you build an American Dream”.
In 1940, Paul Larson patented an idea for a boat that would capture the American heart: the Falls Flyer. This “new, original and ornamental Design for Boats” was a sleek, stylish, modern, wooden wonder with an airplane-like body and cockpit. Most notable was its abbreviated transom, surrounded by a rear deck that sloped to the waterline — still the industry standard for high-performance recreational outboards. But this craft had something more.
Rendered in wood and later, aluminum, the boat always had that intangible quality that arouses a boat-lover’s passion. Today, collectors reminisce about buying an early original, seeing one for the first time, or saving one from a snow bank. “I guess if you wish hard enough, your dreams can indeed come true,” wrote one collector. A lovingly restored Falls Flyer still can turn heads — and steal hearts — today. Although the Falls Flyer was designed to emulate aircraft of its day, the compact shape, rounded lines, and responsive handling suggest a vintage roadster or sports car.
1950’s – The new, space-age material — fiberglass — was stronger, lighter, and more watertight than wood. It could be molded into any shape the designer desired. In other words, it was perfect for Larson boats. The company stepped forward as a leader in applying fiberglass technology to pleasure boat manufacturing with the patented Rand Gun. And Larson emerged as a hot national brand name. In the 1950s, Larson introduced numerous flamboyant new designs, including the Cruisemaster, the Pla-Boy, and the Thunderhawk — a two-toned streak with a swooping sheerline and trademark tailfins.
The Porsche 356 was the company’s first production automobile. It was a lightweight and nimble-handling rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 2-door sports car available in hardtop coupe and open configurations. Design innovations continued during the years of manufacture, contributing to its motorsports success and popularity. Production started in 1948 at Gmünd, Austria, where approximately 50 cars were built.
In 1950 the factory relocated to Zuffenhausen, Germany, and general production of the 356 continued until April 1965, well after the replacement model 911 made its autumn 1963 debut. Of the 76,000 originally produced, approximately half survive. – Courtesy Wikipedea
Although today is only February 18th (and it’s like a refrigerator outside today) it’s exciting to see that plans are now coming together for the 2013 classic boat show season, and with our fine contributors around the country (and around the world) we will do our best to cover as many of these events as possible starting next month in Florida.
I can hardly wait.