Passion Play – Gull Lake Classic at Bar Harbor Supper Club


Peter Kreissle in Scotty, 1929 Hacker Hydroplane, Lee and Penny Anderson

Passion was in the air as thick as the Saturday morning fog at Gull Lake!
While the show has been held for several years, this was the first year BSLOL managed the show, and we bring with us a specific set of beliefs about how boat shows should work. First and foremost, we believe boat shows are the best way to share our passion for classic boats with folks who don’t own one…yet. We think the best way to accomplish that is to invite as many new people as possible, especially through social media. The we make it as easy as possible to attend, by not charging for entry. Second, there’s no boat show without boats, so we do our best to include and welcome all types of classic boats. Third, we like to provide opportunities to actually go boating.

People’s Choice and Hagerty Youth Judging, 19 36′ Elco, Dave Thomson

And boy, did we have a passionate bunch of boat owners in attendance! Not only did we have a world-class gathering of race boats from across the country, including 12 from the Lee and Penny Anderson collection, 7 boats from the John and Becky Allen collection, but also Peter Kreissle was kind enough to bring Ken Muscatel’s Miss Detroit III from Clayton, while Dr. Muscatel and crew brought My Sweetie from Seattle. Mark Mason brought Curtiss Wilgold III from New Hampshire, too.

Curtiss Wilgold III

But you don’t have to have a million-dollar boat to enjoy the Gull Lake Classic. All are welcome, and thanks to the hospitality of John and Becky Allen, their kids Justin, Paige, and Matt, and the whole crew at Bar Harbor, everyone is welcomed as family. We even had to encourage the Van’t Hul’s to bring their 1966 Chrysler 151 Charger; they weren’t sure it belonged, but we talked them into it!

Friday night cocktail party at John Allen’s Fort Mahogany

The event began on Friday afternoon with a cruise on Gull Lake. Friday evening, we were hosted by the Allen’s at their spectacular Fort Mahogany building, right down the road from Bar Harbor, with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception.

Hagerty Youth Judging

The show began at 9:00 Saturday morning, and the crowds rolled in almost right away. While spectators were enjoying the show walking the docks, they were also entertained by various Liberty, Packard, Hispano-Suiza, Allison, and Curtiss engines being fired throughout the day. Every time one fired up, a crowd would form on the docks. Hagerty Youth Judging was also taking place, and was a favorite of the boat owners.

Huge crowds

The Awards presentation took place at 3:30 in the afternoon, where Dan Nelson presented the Best Race Boat award to the Lee and Penny Anderson collection (it was too hard to pick just one), Best Engine went to Ken Muscatel for the Curtiss V-12 in Miss Detroit III,

Best Engine 1918 Curtiss V-12, Miss Detroit, Ken Muscatel

Best of Show went to the 1969 Riva Super Ariston “Bella Donna”,

Best of Show, Belle Donna, 1969 Riva Super Ariston

Best Pre-War Runabout to Brian Mark for the 1930 30’ Hacker “Charismatic”, Best Post-War Runabout to Jay Fleck for his 1947 19’ Century Sea Maid, Best Pre-War Utility to John and Nancy Grech for their 1937 18’ Century Utility, Best Post-War Utility went to John Humphrey and Ron Haberkorn for their 1967 19’ Century Resorter,

Best Postwar utility, 1967 19′ Century Resorter, John Humphrey and Ron Haberkorn

People’s Choice to Dave Thomson for his 36’ Elco, which also won Hagerty Youth Judging honors. John Allen was presented a Founder’s Award for his ongoing efforts and generosity in making the Gull Lake Classic special. The “Best Story” award went to Scott and Molly Martin for the boat that started itself, their 1951 33’ JJ Taylor.

1924 27′ Nevins Baby Skipalong, Lee and Penny Anderson

1923 25′ Dodge, Baby Horace III, Lee and Penny Anderson

1966 16′ Chrysler 151 Charger

Andy Anderson heading out in Ethyl Ruth IV

The show ended at 4:00, and an unexpected crowd of boats gathered near the Bar Harbor docks to watch this very special group of boats depart.

Bring your own vintage boat lift!

Special thank to the sponsors: Nor-Son Construction, Industrial Equities, Darrell Bush Art, Bar Harbor Supper Club, Stillwell, Freedom Boat Service, Nelson Boatworks, Express Composites, Nisswa Marine, Gull Dam Brewing, Zorbaz on Gull, Midwest Boat Appeal, and Boats and Beyond Rentals. Their generosity enabled us to invite guests without an entry charge.

1936 24′ Ventnor, Tempo VI, Lee and Penny Anderson

1936 24′ Ventnor, Tempo VI, Lee and Penny Anderson

1949 31′ Hacker-Marcy Hydroplane My Darling

1924 Nevins Baby Bootlegger, Lee and Penny Anderson

1926 33′ Baby Gar, Bolo Babe, John and Becky Allen

1928 28′ Purdy, Imp, Lee and Penny Anderson

1929 28′ Hacker Hydroplane, Scotty, Lee and Penny Anderson

Finally, we invite everyone to attend the 2019 Gull Lake Classic at Bar Harbor Supper Club on August 23 and 24, 2019.

A huge thanks to Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service for the report, Dane Anderson Photos and Sandy Kenyon Photos

10 replies
  1. Mark Setterholm
    Mark Setterholm says:

    Great article and pics!
    Just to clarify, Best of Show boat, “BELLA DONNA” is not a Super Ariston, just a 1969 Ariston, owned by Mark & Sandy Setterholm, Port of Excelsior Bay, Lake Minnetonka, MN.
    It was a thrill to win an award at this show.

  2. ian ho
    ian ho says:

    Nothing like a race boat show; fantastic time; well run; but my favorite boat was Wyndcrest- John Allen/Doug Morin has done a great job with this boat

  3. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Congratulations Mark on the Riva award! Great event with great people! The Bar Harbor setting is beyond incredible. Hats off to all who made the show possible!

  4. B Irwin
    B Irwin says:

    Wow! I’ve a Thompson with the same Speed Demon set-up purchased from the son of the original owner, who raced it ‘back in the day’. Never thought I’d see another!

    • Dane
      Dane says:

      Yes, Bella Donna – 1969 Riva Ariston #908 was a Lake Tahoe Award winner before making her way to Minnesota.

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