The Mikkelson Collection Auction May 18-20 – Don’t Miss The Boat(s) In Minnesota

, ,

Paul Mikkelson from Willmar, Minnesota is truly one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable Woody Boaters in the country. He is also one of the nicest guys I have ever met in the hobby. To visit the Mikkelson Collection Museum in Willmar, MN is like taking a step back in time, when the lakes throughout the midwestern United States were busy with recreational boaters and sportsman in their small utility boats and runabouts with their vintage outboard motors – a way of life in the midwest.  Over the years Paul also had a wonderful relationship with legends like Paul Larson and Bob Speltz, to name a few.

Paul has decided that it is now time sell his remarkable collection of Larson Falls Flyer boats, outboard motors and timeless collectibles for future generations to enjoy and appreciate – passing them on to the next caretakers.  This story is actually difficult to write, because I know how Paul Mikkelson feels about his life-long collection, but he also must feel the time is right.

Rich Penn Auctions is in charge of the Mikkelson Collection Auction which is now scheduled for May 18-20, 2012 and Woody Boater is planning to be on hand for the entire event.

Here’s an early update that we received from Jim Volgarino at Rich Penn Auctions on Tuesday…

“Texx – We are planning to have all new details and information on the Rich Penn website in the next 10 days (we hope) with the goal to have the complete catalog of lots available online and we will be printing a full color catalog as well. There’s lots of work yet that has to happen with the images, but it appears to be going well. The Mikkelson Collection Auction will include live streaming video from beginning to end so viewers can see each and every item and sale and we are going to have both phone and online bidding.”

“We will also be posting auction updates, information on the location of the auction and individaul item details on the Mikkelson Museum Facebook page, so please stay tuned.” – Jim Volgarino, Rich Penn Auctions

Featuring over 60 vintage wood boats, this auction will have one of the most unusual displays of rare small craft, over 200 classic outboard motors, well over 700 toy and small scale boats, advertising, display and dealer signage, and over 150 lots of vintage craft literature and original photos. The auction is handled by Rich Penn Auctions ( with further information available at the website, by calling 319-291-6888 or emailing

Synchronize your timex with your buddies for May 18-20, 2012 because there may never be another auction quite like this one… The time is right to pick up some great vintage boating stuff at in Minnesota in May.

So get your ducks in a row, (or decoys) and start dropping hints to the wife that you are busy in late May and are planning to make a quick weekend trip with the boys to Minnesota to visit a museum… That should work.

Something for everyone, from original models of Chris-Craft family cabin cruisers…

To rare and unusual toys…

To a mint original outboard motor, or two…

To rare original and perfectly restored outboard motors of all sizes, ages and manufacturers… Vintage water skis and life kackets from many different periods…

Or maybe your are looking for a rare Bendix Eclipse outboard – there’s one there…

I have to confess that a few weeks ago I was watching an old re-run of American Pickers and they came across some old original paper match books and commented how rare they were, but only if the match books were in original condition with all the matches still inside.  I immediately thought about Paul’s huge collection of vintage boating match books that the outboard dealers handed out to their customers back in the day… (Everbody smoked then).  All perfect, and individually wrapped in plastic.  Paul even had them displayed in dedicated sections like Mercury, Johnson, Evinrude, etc which was the same with all his vintage collectibles when I was there.  Paul even had cigarette lighters in the shape of outboard motors… and ash trays, and…

Looking for some vintage oil containers that you could display on the coffee table in your Man Cave or at the boat show?  Or some White Rose Outboard oil?  Paul’s got some of those too…

“Boondoggle” a 1939 16ft Falls Flyer Speedster is the rarest of the rare, one of only two single-cockpit inboards ever built.

We had the pleasure of spending the day with Paul Mikkelson in September 2010 for a personal tour of the museum which was fantsatic. In case you missed it, can see the four part series from that fun day at the Mikkelson Museum in the Woody Boater archive by clicking on the links below. And stay tuned for more news and updates as it comes in from Rich Penn Auctions. You can also go directly to their website by clicking here.

Here are the links to the series of stories on Woody Boater from the Mikkelson Collection in 2010.


20 replies
  1. matt
    matt says:

    This is the sort of thing the Antique Boat Museum should be all over. Or any town that wants to use the rich history of classic boats to promote themselves in this theme. Tavaras FLA?

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Must. Go. To. This. Event.
    No, listen to me man. Don’t look at the pics!
    Must. Go. To. This…
    No! Turn away! Turn back!
    Must. Go. Must… Must buy.
    For the love of God man, please!
    More. Must… must buy more.
    Stop I say! This is madness!
    Must. Must buy. More boats. Buy. Buy. Buy.

    Stay tuned for the next episode of:


    1. “Frankenbuyer”
    2. “The Day the Boats Got Bought” (also known as “The Day the Account Got Drained”)
    3. “Forbidden Boats”
    4. “Planet of the Boats”
    5. “2012: A Buy Odyssey”
    6. “Bidding Wars: The Wife Strikes Back”
    7. “Mad Buyer 2: The Woody Warrier”
    8. “Boat Trek 2: The Wrath of Wife”
    9. “Boat Runner”
    10. “C.C.”
    11. “RoboBuyer”
    12. “Boatbuyer 2: Judgment Day”
    13. “Close Encounters of the Auction Kind”
    16. “A Trip to the Boats”
    17. “Mikkelson Park”
    18. “The Marriage Strain”
    19. “Escape from Willmar”
    20. “It Came From Willmar” (honey)
    21. “Invasion of the Boat Buyers”
    22. “Auction Day”
    23. “Altered Bidders”
    24. “Flash Buyer”


    25. “I Know What You Bought May 18-20”
    26. “Gavel”
    27. “Flyer, Sweet Flyer”
    28. “Eyes of a Bidder”
    29. “A Nightmare on Benson Avenue”
    30. “Final Destination” (Hessel)
    31. “Friday the 18th: Paul Lives”


    32. “The 39 Buys”
    33. “The Cash Vanishes”
    34. “The Third Purchase”
    35. “Marathon Buy”
    36. “I Saw What You Bought”
    37. “Sudden Buy”
    38. “The Spiral Bidding”
    39. “A Kiss Before Buying”
    40. “To Catch A Bid”
    41. “The Man Who Bought Too Much”
    42. “Dial S for Sold”
    43. “B”
    44. “The Buying Game”
    45. “Anatomy of a Purchase”
    46. “The Buying of Larsons One Two Three”
    47. “One False Bid”
    48. “Touchez Pas Au Flyer”

    49. “To Have (a) and Have Not (b)”
    Legend: (a) = Boats (b) = Savings

    50. “MN Confidential”
    51. “Matt’s Baby”
    52. “Dr. Yes”
    53. “Strangers at an Auction”
    54. “The Money Vanishes”
    55. “The 39 Thousand”
    56. “Mike le Flambeur”
    57. “The Big Bid”
    58. “From Willmar With Love”
    59. “Sorry, Wrong Boat” (don’t laugh – this happened at the Warner auction)
    60. “No Way Out” (without a boat)
    61. “And Then There Were None” (boats, dollars, take your pick)

  3. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    How about a “Woodie Boater” “Junkie”?

    How about a “Woodie Boater” recovery group?

    Step One: I admit that I am powerless over my need to log on to “Woody Boater” each day, and because of that my life has become unmanageable.

    Step Two; Forget Step One – just give me a cup of coffee, or depending on the time of day – my cocktail, oh heck – NEVER MIND!

  4. Gregory D. Erickson
    Gregory D. Erickson says:

    Don’t sell your fishing rod. You might need it later. Someone has to catch enought ‘lutefisk’ or eat enough of it to control the overpopulation of norwegians in MN. I feel an ‘uff da’ coming on. Take Care! Greg Erickson. [the lost ‘lead’]l

  5. Todd McGonagle
    Todd McGonagle says:

    It is sad to see Paul’s Collection broken up. On the other hand, I like to see them in the water and at shows. Paul is only one man with many boats. When he does show them in the water it is a real treat. Hopefully these fine craft will make the local circuit under their own power in the near future.

  6. Pete L
    Pete L says:

    Amen. Putting them in a Museum is a waste, let’s hope the buyers show them in the water for everyone to enjoy.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Pete – Years later, after the Mikkelson Museum auction, a large number of the collection boats did make it back into service around the country.

Comments are closed.