Classic Minnesota Part 6: Diversity At It’s Finest – Gull Lake Classic Boat Show Sunday

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“Fortunato” – 1970 Riva Junior

Today has been declared as “No Dock Shot Monday” here at Woody Boater, so we thought we would try something different to give you a glimpse into the diversity of boats at this years show. Late afternoon light is not always the easiest for shooting photographs, but Dane found this great spot to shot from as many of the boats navigated under a small bridge towards the lake, kind of like the old Chris-Craft factory photos – from above.

The weather on Sunday was warm and sunny for the final day of the 2013 Gull Lake Classic Boat Show at Bar Harbor, MN – A perfect way end to a perfect weekend in Minnesota. After the awards were presented, many of the boats set off for a late afternoon cruise out on the lake and some boats made their way home by water.

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Andy Anderson and crew in “Ethyl-Ruth IV” – 1934 Hacker Gold Cup Race Boat

For years I have been thinking about making a visit to Minnesota to experience first hand what so many people have told me about the area and it’s rich history of boating. Then after visiting the Warner Auction in Winstead, MN in the fall of 2010, the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum and the (then) Paul Mikkelson Museum on the way home after the auction, I was convinced that this area was special in so many ways – but required a visit during the summer months to fully appreciate what was here.

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Mark & Barb Anderson in “Excelsior Amusement” – 1960 Chris-Craft 19′ Capri.

After spending five glorious days in Minnesota’s central lakes region, I can say with confidence that the diversity of the boats and knowledgeable people in the classic boating hobby here is second to none. And the passion for classic boating is evident wherever you go, and around every corner.

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Brian Mark and crew in “The Big Bop” – 1964 Chris-Craft 21′ Sea Skiff.

Boating is and has been a way of life for generations of Minnesotans since the early 1900’s as they traveled to the more than 10,000 lakes for sporting and recreation. Regional boat shows like the annual Gull Lake Classic reflect this history and diversity in spades.

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Steve Lively in Lee Anderson’s “Rebel” – 1925 33′ Hackercraft Triple powered by a 200 HP Hall-Scott LM-6.

From small wooden and fiberglass outboards to 33′ Gar Woods and everything in between, its all here to see and appreciate. On every level, regardless of what you are interested in, the knowledge of the people in the hobby is just as diverse as the boats. Ask a question and you are guaranteed to get an informative answer.

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Bill & Mary Hermanson in their cool Thompson 16′ outboard.

The people are proud of their history and are always willing to share it with you, and will go out of their way to make you feel welcome in Minnesota. Here are few more examples from the show.

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Mavis Zachary and crew in “1955” a Century Resorter.

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1949 Chris-Craft 20′ Custom owned by Michael Holland.


“White Wings” early turn of the century Fan Tail Launch from the Lee Anderson collection.

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1958 Chris-Craft Continental 18′ – Chuck & Kris Driessen.

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The award winning Hydrodyne Ski Boat.

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“Squaw Point Lament” 1966 Century Resorter 17 (for lovers only).

A special Woody Boater “Thank You” to everyone who made this great show possible. We would also like to thank Lee Anderson, Steve Lively and John Allen for their kind hospitality while we were in Minnesota. We appreciate what you do for the hobby.

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Dave Thompson, MC – Ted Rogers and Lee Anderson.

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MC – Ted Rogers with John Allen.

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A special shout out to fellow Woody Boater Roger Moberg who tunes in to Woody Boater every single day on his iPad from Minnesota.

A big thanks to fellow Woody Boater Dane Anderson for being our tour guide the last few days, for sharing his great photos again today and for his hospitality and hard work this week. There were many long days and even longer nights preparing the series of Classic Minnesota stories. He managed to open some doors in Minnesota, allowing us to see some things that we would normally not have had the opportunity to see and experience.

Tomorrow we are off to Lake Minnetonka for a few days to do some more exploring – Classic Minnesota style.


25 replies
  1. Troy
    Troy says:

    Dane: Those are some GREAT shots!

    I love looking at boats from that angle, and what a selection.

    Still waiting for topless Tuesday.

    • Dane
      Dane says:

      Sorry Don,
      I think that I broke Texx’s concentration talking about the nice Olympic that Gene Grengs had at the show.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks Don – Repair made. Dane was right, we were having a conversation about Riva Junior’s vs Riva Olympics at 4:00 AM and somehow the wrong word made it to the caption.


    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      A book about the life of Texx is going to have to wait until the statute of limitations expire in all 50 states and 13 provinces and territories of Canada.


      Hello Folks:

      If in need of something to do any boating pleasurable tasks such as stepping and fetching photos or verifying that things are where they are supposed to be, please call on me as I am willing to help you in any regard concerning classic and vintage boats with a prime example being the independent ability to authenticate and verify certain boats located and permitted photos being taken upon your private correspondence with others. I have helped authors out who do not wish to do the driving and necessary photos to simply docoment their sources in writings to be published. It protects you and complies with intellectual properly law rights that always profits your work properly as these ‘step and fetch chores are necessary and reasonable expenses’, so write please. Kevin

  2. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Fantastic array of boats and shots, Texx. I truly wish I was there. I sense a bike trip down next year for Karen and I, perhaps?

    I have heard the question asked here and elsewhere “where did the barrel stern originate?” – or something to that effect. We know that CC did not come up with the design, though they executed it very, very well. I think we may have our answer in today’s header shot, and the shot of the 1925 33′ Hacker.

    Stunning boats!

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      There is no doubt Hacker had a thing for curved lines. The barrel back is basically the ultimate evolution of a tumble home stern which had a long history in warships going back centuries. I would not be surprised if Hacker was the first to do a barrel in a runabout, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if several designers came upon it independently.

    • Cobourg Kid
      Cobourg Kid says:

      Roy Stanley, a obscure boat builder from Cape Vincent NY, may have built the first barrel back design boats in the early 1920s, possibly using a designed custom penned for one of Stanley’s clients by John Hacker. It is known that Garwood and the Smiths unsuccessfully tried to recruit Stanley on several occasions, recognizing his cutting edge work might be very useful to them. That talent most likely was developed during World War 1 when Stanley worked for Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company soaking up advanced aerodynamics and hydrodynamics ( as used in Curtis flying boats). Running Wild , featured in part 4 of my WB Clayton Show article, is a 1923 example of Stanley’s barrel back prowess.

      • Brian Robinson
        Brian Robinson says:

        Running Wild has some unmistakable Hacker influence at least, if the design was not his own. The earliest true Hacker “barrels” I have seen were from some 1922 custom boats. MacKerrer’s 28-foot Rochester’s (Lee Anderson owns two of the three in existence) were very barrelesque in 1925. MacKerrer himself credited the design later to John Hacker. What was really neat about the Rochester transom was the transom curve radius (viewed from above) that was an exercise in bending wood to get it to wrap around. Maybe Texx has a shot of Static’s transom to illustrate… It is slightly more radical than Chuckel’s

        • Texx
          Texx says:

          We do have some good shots of Lee Anderson’s Rochesters from last weekend.

          Dane & I were thinking about doing a story on them and the Belle Isle Super Bear Cats to focus on some of the unique design elements of each marque.

          I will also post a shot here when I have my laptop fired up.


          • Don Ayers
            Don Ayers says:

            One of the most prolific designers was George Crouch. AW respected Hacker no doubt but Mac told his son many times that he thought George was among the best!

    • Dane
      Dane says:

      You should come down. It would be a nice homecoming for your ’61 Continental. We could photograph a shoot out with Dave Bortner’s Coronado. A battle of the Gull Wings on Gull Lake.

  3. Mark Anderson
    Mark Anderson says:

    Texx: Your series has been delightful to read and Dane’s photos are equally beautiful. Or course Barb & I especially like the photo of us in “Excelsior Amusement” taken from the Gull Lake Narrows Bridge.
    See you both at the show in Excelsior in two weeks!

  4. Redbeardsraven
    Redbeardsraven says:

    I think the great variety of boats at the show is what makes a great boat show …outstanding !!!!

  5. brian t
    brian t says:

    Speaking of diversity……

    Lamborghini engines in a Riva – pay particular attention at the 2:10 mark… oh man oh man…..

  6. lee wangstad
    lee wangstad says:

    Stern shot of Static. Talk about a nice pair! It was hard to top these until you got to the nice pair of Belle Isle Super Bearcats! Of course, there was also one on land. Also tough to beat the three Baby Gars lined up in a row. Unbelievable. Every boat there was a winner.

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