Bob Speltz Would Be Proud
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
The Minnesota boats are once again very impressive. Thanks for the great photos and report. Yes, Bob Speltz would be proud!
Hello! I grew up in Deephaven and spent many great days on Lake Minnetonka. We live in Edina but still go out there often. We have a relative who is 90 and had a Woody boat in Michigan many, many years ago. I would love to find a captain with a Woody boat to give us a ride later this week,when the weather is still good. It would mean a lot to him. Does anyone know if anyone does this? I am happy to pay for the time and gas. Thank you.
Are you telling me that someone other than M-Fine owns a wooden jet boat? CRAZY!
Thanks for the GREAT report!
Great Photos. I would really appreciate being put in touch with the owner of the Larson cabin outboard with the Johnson Javelin motor. The boat really does look perfect and someone obviously put a lot of work into it. I have a 1955 Larson cabin outboard (not nearly as nice as this one) at Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey and have only been able to locate a handful of other owners of this type of boat. I hope I am not violating Matt’s rules by adding that I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and would really like to hear from the owner of this boat
What a great collection of boats , photos and captions. Best caption award goes to….” What’s that? I don’t know, you know? Hit it. Ok that fixed it. Fixed what?”
Matt did you laugh when you wrote that?
I sure laughed when I read it.
hi Tom, your email or any link causes the comment to be held in a Que for aproval. Its a two fold deal. Its a way to stop spam and another thing to protect your email from being all over the place.
Matt. Thanks and appreciated. Got excited because this Larson looks even nicer than the one in the Mikkelson auction.
That bent rib mini cruiser is the bomb!
Matt: fight the urge on the twin engine deal….
John in Va.
Sure miss the Minnesota shows. Great boats along with the friendliest owners, spectators, sponsors etc. One draw to the show is betting on which plaid shirts will our good friend, Dave B, be decorating the docks with. I will be around next year (in some capacity) and look forward to viewing the hard work that went into every boat displayed. Cheers.😘
Damn! Another great show. Cool boats, good looking people. This one may have to go on my bucket list. Keep em coming. As bad as I hate to admit it the season is running out here in the north country.
Wow, that looked to be yet another great show. Our local show here in Lake Oswego never gets any airtime on WB because…uh, well because the 25 or so boats just sit at the dock all day. Look at these photos of this show…the boats have people in them and are motoring about. What an idea. You know, to get more people and younger people to become wood boat enthusiasts, you have to get them in the boat and on the water. But our locals upped the boat show fee from $10 to $65 so that the boat owner feels like they have to attend the stupid awards dinner to watch the same three guys win more awards. How exactly is that going to attract more new blood? It did nothing but tick me off. The bottom line…this year our show attendee numbers were way down…and to be fair, there is blame to go around…the club, the organization that controls the lake access, and the city. New ideas are needed if we want the sport to grow. But I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard members of the old guard say it has been done a certain way and it will continue to be done a certain way….even with shrinking numbers slapping them in the face. Ok, let me have it.
Regarding growing the hobby, it might be worth our while to consider who it is we are referring to when you discuss the widely accepted notion of “new blood” being essential. Yes, encouraging your neighbor, co worker or cousin to take up the hobby is vital. However, as our membership continues to age, some move on to other less vital, possibly less demanding or labor intensive pursuits. The Geritol crowd is not always “new blood”! However, their 35 to 50 year old son and his wife and their kids might be where its’ at! They may have career paths under control, understanding wives, and maybe kids willing and able and wanting a good hobby working alongside mom and/or dad or uncle Bob. This is where the “new blood” resides. The Florida Sunnyland Chapter of the ACBS has a successful 14 year old “SCAMPY” program (Sunnyland Chapter Apprentice Mentoring Program for Youth). Young kids and their parents or significant others come together weekly to build their small wood boats. The chapter has recognized this to be where “new blood” can be found and it has proven to be a very successful, self-sustaining program.
Woodyboater family, this was my second year of taking taking a boat to this show although I have been attending for a long time. The organization, people and friends who put this show on are simply amazing! Helpful, fun and the embodiment of what this hobby is all about! I highly recommend making this show!
Rumor has it that they will be adding a dress code next year in honor of a certain member in high standing. Dress code just may include “Madras”! Cheers and many thanks to Dane, Dave, Dan and company for the great fun!
No photos of Best of Show or People’s Choice???
If you are here wondering what all this strange imagry is. PHOTO HELL!
Matt: John Allen’s 1930 Belle Isle Bearcat “Bunky” (Best of Show) is in Dane’s photo album. Can you post it? I can’t.
Also, I believe the 1951 Larson Cabin Special is the work of the father/son team of Pete and Alex Johnson. Tom McGowen, I bet your could find them in the ACBS directory. It looks even better in person: Just perfect.
I looked for it. Wasn’t there. I posted all the photos. But now you or Dane can!!!!! Woohooo
The 33′ BearCat is breathtaking and powered by a Liberty V-12. The dock location at the Minnetonka show was such that there was no way to get any kind of decent shot of the big Belle Isle. Here is a picture from Gull Lake two weeks ago.
Are pictures back! Let er rip Troy!
Great photos and show! I can’t wait until I’m retired and can travel to some of the shows around the country… The Lake Union Dreamboat is a relocated NW cruiser and “Itchin”, our (former) 1953 35′ Chris Craft Commander family cruiser is somewhere back there. Who’s 1936 Garwood Sedan Utility is that?
The Garwood is a beauty and belongs to Ray Ellis.
Great pics and that Century in a sea of plastic was gorgeous. I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought so since it won. 🏆🏆🏆🏆
never nothin’ near me…
The best part of the show was talking to people who wanted to know about the boat .the other part is seeing it out on the water.
Thanks for all the great comments on the cabin special.Theres one more photo that shows that great Kirby paint.