A huge thanks to our reporters Rabbit and Dane Anderson for the fun report from the great state of Minnesota. It’s no Reedville, but I suppose one mans crab skiff is another mans BearCat! Take it away gentlemen. And best yet, NO CAPTIONS, SO.. Yup, I GET TO MAKE THEM UP.
Bob Speltz Would Be Proud
So, Reedville wasn’t the ONLY boat show last weekend. The 44th Annual Real Runabouts Rendezvous took place on Minnesota’s iconic Lake Minnetonka Friday and Saturday, and it was a great way to cap off the season for the Land-o-Lakes Classic Boat Club (formally known as the BSLOL chapter of the ACBS.) It was our chapter’s second big show of the season, after the massive show at Bar Harbor on Gull Lake just two weeks earlier. How does a chapter pull off two major shows in a month? Tireless club volunteers (and their families) and a passion for this crazy hobby. It was board member Jerry Low’s first stab at chairing a show and it went off without a hitch. The Real Runabouts Rendezvous is a tribute to the late Bob Speltz, author of the authoritative Real Runabouts series of books and an early member of the chapter.
The weekend began on Friday, with the traditional cruise of Lake Minnetonka. It was a perfect sunny day and featured a great group of boats, including four Rivas, capped off with a picnic lunch on Big Island thanks to the hospitality of the Lake Minnetonka Power Squadron. The Friday night captain’s dinner at the site of the show, Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge, brought the club and show participants together before the big show.
It was overcast and cool for Saturday’s big show, but there were almost 70 boats in attendance with hundreds of spectators crowding the docks all day long. There was diverse group of boats, ranging from John Allen’s magnificent 1930 Liberty-powered Belle Isle Bearcat down to a pristine 12-foot Ole Lind cedar strip outboard brought all the way to Minnesota from Chicago by Blackhawk Chapter members Michael and Jennifer Furibondo. There also was a robust land display along with Hagarty Youth Judging. The real judging was led by board member and respected judging authority Dan Nelson. Of course, chapter President Dave Bortner, was resplendent in his bright plaid pants.
And where are all the young people? The father/son team of Pete and Alex Johnson demonstrated how craftsmanship and passion get handed down with their stunning 1951 Larson Cabin Special. And 30-something mahogany maestro Kevin Fitzke wowed the crowd with his gorgeous Ventor gentleman racer replica, Bug Bite.
Thanks to the generosity of the Rendezvous’ sponsors, the club was once again able to waive the entry fee. And there also was no cost for spectators. A huge thanks to Lord Fletcher’s, Brian Jensen, Butler and Associates, Freedom Boat Service, Hagerty, Stillwell, Midwest Boat Appeal, Mahogany Bay, Nelson Boatworks, Nor-Son Construction, and Industrial Equities for making this possible.
As a club we’re keenly aware of the need to continue to recruit new participants to the hobby, so members spent the day handing out free postcards featuring stunning photography of member’s boats by Dane Anderson, with information about the club on the flip side. (It works! Try it.) We also filled our merchandise tent with everything from T-shirts and hats to drinkware, all emblazoned with our new logo and sold at or near cost, to promote the club.
After nearly selling out at Gull Lake, our tent looked like the Woody Boater tent at Lake Dora, with brisk sales all day long. We also promoted our show heavily through social media and outreach to the media, resulting in a TV appearance a feature magazine story and big crowds.
There’s still a handful of perfect Fall weekends here in the Land-o-Lakes before our last gasp.
A huge thanks again to Bruce, and Dane for making this all happen. Below are the awards! CHICKEN DINNERS!
Best of Show and People’s Choice
“Bunky” 1930 Belle Isle Bearcat, owned by John and Becky Allen
Best Pre-War Utility
“Anne Marie” 1940 Larson, owned by Steve and Kay Nussbaum
Best Post-War Utility
“Miss Minneapolis” 1948 Hackercraft, owned by Steve Shoop
Best Amateur Restoration
“Maid in 47” 1947 Century Seamaid, owned by Bob House
“Bug Bite” 2019 Ventnor replica, owned by Kevin Fitzke
“Branch Office” 1971 Lyman, owned by Win Adams
1947 Century Seamaid, owned by Jay and Kate Fleck
“Aah Riva” 1962 Super Florida, owned by John Mulheran
“Goldie” 1979 Glastron Carlson, owned by Barry Gustafson
“Kinda Lee” 1974 Magnum Marine, owned by Aaron Hatz
1958 Higgins Magnum, owned by Rick Barkley