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Boat show host John Allen in “Belle Isle Baby” an early 1924 26′ Belle Isle BearCat as he arrives at the Bar Harbor Supper Club docks. Imagine this boat blasting down the St. Clair River with who knows what hidden in the aft cockpit.

THE ANNUAL GULL LAKE CLASSIC at BAR HARBOR SUPPER CLUB show in Minnesota, presented by the Land O’Lakes Classic Boat Club, never disappoints. A wonderful and diverse collection of antique & classic boats, some dating back to the 1920s, right up to the 1970s, from 33 footers to 15 footers (and everything in between) they’re all here. Offered by some of the kindest, most knowledgeable owners on the country.

Join us today (and tomorrow) for a visual tour of the event through the camera lens (and keen eye) of fellow Woody Boater Dane Anderson.

Most of these classic boats have some amazing history. If you have any questions please let us know in the comment section and we will do our best to help provide answers. – Texx

Another shot of “Belle Isle Baby” this time with Matt Allen (John’s son) at the helm. The impressive Belle Isle is powered by a Kermath 6 – 150.

I was first introduced to this amazing 1924 Belle Isle BearCat during a tour of John Allen’s collection back in 2014, before Fort Mahogany was finished. It started my love affair with the Belle Isle marque, thus all the photos or her today. It’s also one of Matt Allen’s favorite wooden boats.

“Belle Isle Baby” 1924 Belle Isle 26′ BearCat on display. This boat was strictly business back in the day, with a small front cockpit and no windshield required.

As usual, the impressive docks at the Bar Harbor Supper Club were packed with classic boats again this year.

“Godfather” has quite a history and now calls Minnesota home. It’s a very rare 1922 Chris-Smith & Sons (before Chris-Craft) dual-cockpit 26′ runabout. The sixth “standard runabout” built by Chris-Smith & Sons Boat Company of Algonac, Michigan. According to Wayne Mocksfield, this was the boat that was delivered to Gar Wood in October of 1922.

From the Lee & Penny Anderson Collection is this freshly restored (by Freedom Boat Service) 1935 Gar Wood 28′ stepped hull triple, powered by a rare Curtiss D-12.

A long shot of the 1935 Gar Wood triple. These boats take up a lot of dock space.

The Gar Wood dashboard is simple, functional, but very elegant – just like the rest of the boat.

The huge Curtiss D-12 power plant looks right at home in the 1935 Gar Wood. We should call these “Minnesota Jewelry Boxes”.

Of the seven or eight surviving 33′ Baby Gars that exist today, a total of four original 33′ Baby Gars reside in the Gull Lake area – three from the Lee & Penny Anderson Collection (“Sea Wolf”, “Johnny Johnson IV” & “Miss Jenny”) and one from the John Allen Collection named “Bolo Babe”. All four are powered by vintage Liberty V-12 engines that all run perfectly.

“Sea Wolf” a 1927 33′ Baby Gar presented by collectors Lee & Penny Anderson. This Baby Gar is powered by a vintage Liberty V-12.

This stunning 1926 Baby Gar “Johnny Johnson IV” is also from the Lee & Penny Anderson Collection, and is also powered by a Liberty V-12.

This years Lee Anderson Best of Show Award went to “Untouchable” a beautiful 1932 20′ Hackercraft owned by John & Linda Hanks from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Another shot of the Lee Anderson Best of Show Award winner “Untouchable” 1932 20′ Hackercraft at the dock.

Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service brought “Black Dog” this year, a very cool 1940 Chris-Craft 23′ triple cockpit custom runabout.

“Black Dog” – Sorry Matt, no dog photos today…

Another perfect 1940 23′ Chris-Craft Triple, this one is owned by Carl Mammel.

Our header photo today is this elegant 1949 Greavette 22′ Streamliner “Bellissima” presented by Russ & Maureen Sticha from Alexandria, MN.

“Bellissima” what a great name for a classic wooden boat. It looks at home in the water.

And while we’re on the subject of Bellissima, here’s a shot Dane snapped of a 1965 Riva 22′ Ariston owned by Marc Langva. “Work Optional”

I think these Woody Boaters should win the award for the Most Relaxed Classic Boaters on Gull Lake. Craig & Cindy Christianson (and company) on board their very cool 1968 Chris-Craft 20′ Grand Prix.

Another Minnesota Jewelry Box, a vintage V-12 Liberty from John Allen’s 1929 33′ Belle Isle “Bunky”. John Allen

And no boat show is complete without at least one classic Canadian built Shepherd runabout. “Nice Eh!” is 1956 18′ presented by the O’Conner-Johnson family.

Gar Wood Utilities are perfect people haulers, as witnessed here on Gull Lake. Joel & Jane Meyer having a block party on board their great looking 1936 Gar Wood 25′ utility.

We were first introduced to Charlie Brown and his immaculate 1964 Chris-Craft 22′ Cavalier Dory named “Ste Geneveve” in 2015. She still looks great – as does Charlie. There’s something special about motoring across a peaceful lake, all alone, in a Chris-Craft Dory.

Dane Anderson would like to recognize the efforts of the entire Allen family and staff at the Bar Harbor Supper Club for making this show a resounding success. Also special thanks to Dave Bortner and the Land O’Lakes Classic Boat Club for helping to organize the event.

Join us tomorrow for Part 2 from Gull Lake as we dig a little deeper into a few of the classic boats and more photos from the show. – Texx

27 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Wow, I thought yesterday was the whole story and it keeps coming for three days!
    It’s hard to pick a favorite in this crowd, but the ‘35 Gar Wood triple with the black hull is amazing. What is the significance of the D-12 designation on the V12 Curtiss engine?
    Now really looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks Texx, Matt and crew!

  2. Mike Sufka
    Mike Sufka says:

    Another great event at Bar Harbor on Gull Lake. Thanks to Dave Bortner and John Allen for organizing the show. As usual, the boats were spectacular.

    I just wanted to say it was nice meeting “the Hanks”, who were parked behind me – beautiful boat and congratulations. I also had a nice talk with Brian Mark on the docks after the rain stopped and the docks were quiet.

    I can’t wait for next year and for Dane’s pictures tomorrow 🙂

  3. Kathy Muller
    Kathy Muller says:

    Fabulous boats, and the photos are terrific– thank you. I’ve been researching the early Chris Crafts and have a correction to make on Godfather. In 1922, Chris Smith was building custom boats for customers, Baby Gars and race boats and began to built the Standard Chris Craft, his line of production boats, later that year. Godfather is one of these early production boats, marked with Roman numeral VI. It was sold to J. S. Trites in 1924. He named it “Babe” (his daughter ?) who raced it in the 1924 Chris Craft Invitational during the Gold Cup races in August placing 3rd.

  4. Don vogt
    Don vogt says:

    Texx, your wonderful story reminds us of what we have been missing since you stopped your regular contributions. Hope to see you at the coeur d’ alene event.

  5. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    What I assume is the flame arrestor on the top of the Curtiss D-12 is massive. Lots of air needed for 12 cylinders. Looks big enough to be a record on a turn table (just dated my self with that reference).

  6. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    Anyone know the history of “untouchable” (20ft hacker)? I had the exact same boat that went to michigan. Wondering if this is it….

    • John Hanks
      John Hanks says:

      I have owned “UNTOUCHABLE” since about 2007.It is Hull #2003..I have traced the ownership back to ~1954 Where it was owned by Nelson D Abbey Jr from ~1954-1955 who lived near Toledo Ohio. Ownership then passed thru Ralph Hankin,Ohio~ 1955 then to Stanley Nitkiewicz Steve Vogelzang 1978 Holland Michigan to Bill Saunders 1980’s Mattawan Michigan to Ben Huizinga Holland Mi 1980’s -2014 who then passed it on to me in 2014..John Hanks Grand Rapids Michigan

  7. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Texx, you should trademark “Minnesota Jewel Box”. Just a great term. That said, I don’t think that applies to my lowly Chrysler Crown.

  8. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Very cool pictures! Like I have said before, that area and that show are on my bucket list👍

  9. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Texx, good to see you back on the tools. welcome back. Really enjoyed soaking up this post today.
    Dane thanks for the wonderful images you caught. I always enjoy seeing the details of the boats especially beautifully prepared engines. Great report today.

  10. tom
    tom says:

    I remember a boat for sale sometime during the last ten or fifteen years at the Lke. George, N.Y. rendevous.The boats name was Johnny Johnson, a big Gar or Hacker perhaps,don’t remember, maybe a Kermath in the hull.The boat was on a trailer,in rough but restorable condition.I believe from Long Island,N.Y.Is the Garwood here (Johnny Johnson IV) possibly that boat?Or one of a series with that name?Who was Johnny Johnson?

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Tom – Here is a link to the history of Johnny Johnson IV from That Old Boat. This is consistent with what you noted here. An excerpt from That Old Boat “Johnny Johnson IV was custom built by Gar Wood in 1926 for William Randolph Hearst (1863-1961). Hearst was an American newspaper publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism. Johnny Johnson IV was showcased at the 1926 (winter) New York City Boat Show for Hearst, and then delivered to his New York Estate the following spring.”
      The second owner of the Baby Gar was Johnny Johnson, thus the name. Lee Anderson bought the boat from the Johnson family in 2013 – Texx

      • tom
        tom says:

        Thanx for the reply,Texx,knowing now the boat had that kind of provenance I wish I would have bought her!(LOL)I hope it got the restoration it deserved.

  11. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    What a good report and pictures, I love the historical boats and totally have respect for those owners that retain rare original power especially the larger multi cylinders. Thanks for sharing

  12. tom
    tom says:

    Just found photos of Johnny Johnson IV at Gull Lake on the Woodyboater site from 2014.I’ve been visiting this site well before that and honestly don’t remember seeing that story.Memory going fast.Boat is stunning.

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