Mike Sufka and happy crew on board “Torpedo” a beautiful 1939 19′ Chris-Craft Custom Barrelback.
THE 2021 MINNESOTA CLASSIC BOATING SEASON KICKS OFF at the historic Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar in Crosslake, MN. The event, which is officially named the 2021 Whitefish Chain Classic Boat Show was held on Saturday, with a sold out entry list of over 60 classic boats.
Dane Anderson captured this nice shot of the Moonlite Bay docks filled to capacity with classic boats on Saturday afternoon.
And thankfully for us, Bill Terry (event organizer) invited Dane Anderson who attended the show with camera in hand to cover the festivities. The recent upgrades to the facility make this a perfect venue for a classic boat show, and a number of other large events planned throughout the summer.
“Crispin” is a rare pre-war 1940 Chris-Craft 25′ Sportsman owned by Bob & Charlotte Shadduck.
So we thought it would be fun to share some history of Moonlite Bay while you scroll through Dane’s photos from the boat show. As many of our regular viewers know, Minnesota lake country is full of history, like the historic Bar Harbor Supper Club on Gull Lake, MN that hosted the ACBS International show in 2015.
From the Moonlite Bay website: It was 1933, Prohibition was over and it was time to have some fun in Crosslake. Carl Holt built and opened the original dance hall and a few rental cabins known as the Moonlite Bay Resort.
Moonlite has seen many changes over the years and it has all gone up in smoke a couple times, but the spirit of Moonlite Bay never seemed to change. We have always been and continue to be a place for good times and fun by the lake.
A classic boat show in Minnesota wouldn’t be complete without a Larson Falls Flyer. This perfect example of a made in Minnesota Larson is owned by Roger Ocel. It’s a 1957 14′ Falls Flyer powered by a 1957 Evinrude 35HP outboard. Notice how Dane waits for the Larson burgee to fly straight before snapping the shot.
With 70 boat slips and snowmobile trails coming from 4 different directions, getting here is never a problem. We are more than just a restaurant & bar. We love the community that we are in, whether it’s the Ice Tee Open to benefit Camp Knutson, the Evening for Education that helps to support Crosslake Community School, the Lions Club Fishing Contest, planning Winterfest weekend or working with the PAL foundation on the Whitefish Warrior run, we always seem to find a fun way to support the “Beauty spot of Minnesota”.
Our friend and classic fiberglass boat extraordinaire Del VanEmmerik never fails to impress us with one of his rare fiberglass boats, perfectly restored as always.
Del’s latest creation is a super rare 1966 Space Craft Corporation 23’6″ Runabout powered by a 302 Ford V8.
And the best part about Del’s unusual fiberglass restorations is that they perform as well as they look.
So when you’re ready to break away from it all and blow off a little steam, make it Moonlite Bay, a place where good friends meet and old friends reunite. The place to be since ’33.
It’s always a treat to see a nicely restored Chris-Craft Kit Boat, a reminder that in the 1950s you could order a kit boat from Chris-Craft and build it in your garage. Kristy-Craft is a 1954 17 footer owned by Ricky & Christy Hammer – powered by a Ford 223 Inline Six. Very cool.
The Thompson Thomboy model is always popular at these local boat shows, bringing back memories of when these boats were a common sight on the lakes of northern Minnesota & Wisconsin. Tim Searles brought his 1961 17′ Thomboy powered by a big Mercury 800 outboard.
“Good Like This” is clean 1962 17′ Dorsett Catalina presented by Andy & Anna Luikens.
Mr. Dean Wilson taking a well deserved break in the Minnesota sunshine after completing his Homemade Rushton Opus 1 Launch. She glides quietly through the water powered by a 5Kw electric motor. The diversity of boats in Minnesota is always great to see.
There’s something special about spotting a beautiful woman at the helm of a classic Riva (I can still say that, right?). This is Melanie Underbrink in “Tormento” a 1970 21′ Riva Ariston.
Another shot of “Tormento” the Riva Ariston on display at the dock. Fine Italian design & craftsmanship right there.
Charlie & Melanie Underbrink also brought out their very cool 1929 30′ Ditchburn Triple named “Tencendur”. This rare Canadian built boat is powered by an equally rare 680 Cubic Inch Kermath Sea Raider engine.
Any time you get to see a classic Lyman Utility at a boat show is a good day. This one is a 1971 23 footer owned by Mike & Sara Derus.
Our cover boat today is a exceptional 1946 Chris-Craft U22 Utility with a sedan top. “MaMo Nikkan” is presented by McKenzie & Kyle Kulseth. (I would love to know what that name stands for? – Texx)
Our friend, sponsor and all-around-nice-guy Dave Bortner (from Freedom Boat Service) was at the Moonlite Bay show with “AnnRita” a 1940 24′ Garwood Overnighter powered by a 300HP Crusader. You can check it out at www.freedomboatservice.com
A few months ago we ran a story about classic Larson Cabin Boats, with the objective of locating any remaining Cabin Boats for the record. On Saturday Dane spotted this one which has had some optional extras added by the owner. Dane noted that this boat was owned by a leather working cowboy and he has covered the boat in decorated leather (among other things).
Thankfully this Cabin Boat still has it’s unique design features developed by Larson back in the day.
Blake Ernst makes a few laps for the crowd in his Glen-L 10’2″ Super Spartan Hydroplane powered by a vintage 1956 Mercury Mark 25 outboard engine.
A stylish 2006 Comitti 25′ Port A Fino owned by Dave & Lynn Thomson.
Miinesota is also Skiff Craft country and there were four of them at this year’s event. Here is “Stuffed Keel” a 1987 26′ Skiff Craft owned by Lindsay Balmer.
And what would a classic boat show be without a quintessential Chris-Craft U-22 Utility? “Sue Baby 2” is an early-ish 1946 U-22 owned by Joe Ruttger. Interesting to note that of the more than 60 classic boats registered for this year’s show, 19 were manufactured by Chris-Craft.
Special thanks to the Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant & Bar for hosting this great event and to Dane Anderson for sharing his great photos. – Texx