Classic Minnesota Part 3: A Fun Day On Gull Lake As Boats Gather For The Big Show

, ,

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 006 - Copy Friday was a fun day in Classic Minnesota as we had the privilege of spending the entire afternoon with fellow Woody Boater John Allen. After lunch at Bar Harbor, John toured us through his impressive wooden boat collection and then took us for a tour around Gull Lake in “MOWITZA II” his amazing 1928 Ditchburn 27′ Viking currently powered by a 454 Chevrolet big block. John has an original Sterling Petrol engine, which will eventually be reunited with the rare Ditchburn.

While cruising on Gull Lake, in the distance we spotted “CHEERIO” a Chris-Craft Sedan out cruising, enjoying the warm weather. We asked John if we could take a closer look… No sooner did we say that, and we quickly caught up to the Chris-Craft approaching from behind. The passengers on board the Chris-Craft got a kick out the fact that the big Ditchburn appeared out of nowhere and two guys in the Ditchburn were busy snapping photos of the great looking sedan as we passed by… All part of the fun.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 008 - Copy
Then we made our way over to the launch ramp where John’s right hand man Greg Kasson had just launched “Princess Paige” – John Allen’s award winning 1926 Earl C. Barnes launch which will be on display this weekend at the boat show. A spectacular boat see in person.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 003

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 021 - Copy

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 016 - Copy

Greg Kasson on board “Princess Paige” – John Allen’s award winning 1926 Earl C. Barnes launch, the first boat ever built by Earl C. Barnes after leaving the Minett-Shields Boat Co. This year “Princess Paige” has won Peoples Choice Award at Lake Winnipesaukee, Clayton and Hessel boat shows.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 011 - Copy

Vintage hardware on the 1926 Earl C. Barnes launch.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 017 - Copy
The fun continued when John joined some friends on board his Boston Whaler and left Dane & I to drive the Ditchburn. I can honestly say that in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be driving one of John Allen’s wooden boats while he looked on from behind the wheel of a Boston Whaler. Great fun with a first class host.
3 - A Gull Lake Friday 010 - Copy

John Allen’s classic Boston Whaler – It’s a beauty!

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 014 - Copy

Another amazing boat from the John Allen collection which will be on display this weekend during the Gull Lake Classic Boat Show at Bar Harbor, MN – “Bolo Babe” is a 1926 33′ Baby Gar powered by a Liberty V-12.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 001

The Liberty V-12 in “Bolo Babe”

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 015 - Copy

Dick Mickelson in his rare, all original SuPreme 14′ Spifire runabout powered by a 60HP Scott outboard.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 020 - Copy

Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter ACBS President Steve Shoop arrives in “Miss Minneapolis IV” – a rare 1948 Hackercraft 22′ Utility, which was a Lake Minnetonka amusement park ride boat back in the day.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 018 - Copy

“Stella” a rare 1907 Fay & Bowen 25′ Standard Launch from the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum in Alexandria, being launched and heading over to Bar Harbor for the show.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 009 - Copy

The Bar Harbor Supper Club – the venue for the 2013 Gull Lake Classic Boat Show with “Hornet” a lone Gar Wood Triple at the dock, just before the docks begin to fill up with over 60 classic boats this weekend.

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 001 (2)

3 - A Gull Lake Friday 023 - Copy

John Allen in his beautiful 1928 Ditchburn 27′ Viking cruising across Gull Lake.

Special thanks to John Allen for his hospitality, for touring us around Gull Lake in his 1928 Ditchburn and taking from his busy schedule to share his amazing wooden boat collection with us yesterday. And thanks also to our tour guide / photographer Dane Anderson for his assistance and for sharing is wonderful photography with us today.

Another great day in Classic Minnesota.

Stay tuned for our Live-ish reports from the 2013 Gull Lake Classic Boat Show at Bar Harbor, MN.


9 replies
  1. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    Texx, looks like your getting the royal treatment, a we are getting some great articles, and some of the best examples of cool Canadian boats and there in Minnesota !

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Yes Chris – The hospitality here in Minnesota is outstanding. And the boats are spectacular!

      Some serious wood in Bar Harbor today. Stay tuned.

  2. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Great story. Great assignment, too!! I bet the Coburg Kid is wondering why he gets stuck reporting on boat shows up in Canada in the winter while Texx gets all the great summer shows. Hang in there CK.

  3. Mike Dovichi
    Mike Dovichi says:

    Every day there is another photo of a fantastic woody, better than the woody from the previous day. Has anyone “with authority” ever been so bold as to say that a particular wooden boat is the best boat ever? How about a top ten of woodys?

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Interesting question – a great topic for a WB story on its’ own.

      I don’t think a list like that is possible – everyone wants different things from their boat, and the boats were built for a myriad of divergent needs. I would venture to say that from the persepctive of hand-built quality and elegance, the Canadian stuff coming out of Muskoka from the early teens to the mid ’30’s was unsurpassed. Recall that an American, John Hacker, actually designed many of them, but he was not building them like they were up there. These bespoke beauties cost literally multiples of what CC’s cost, so the comparison is moot in any practical sense. They were pretty much built to custom order by hand, and were very exclusive – then as now. Comparing them to Dodge’s or CC’s would be like comparing a Duesenberg to a Chev from that time – pointless.

      Personally, of my small collection, the favorite is my 24′ Sea Skiff – it is not the prettiest or most elegant or a high point concours boat, but it is my favorite.

  4. Troy
    Troy says:

    Great article Texx!

    Love the pic of that Liberty. If you click on it and than enlarge it you get amazing detail.

Comments are closed.