Live-ish from Okoboji, Iowa

One of my favorites Dutches II

Thanks to fellow Woody Boater and super supporter Dave Bortner from Freedomn Boat Service for reporting in Live-is from the Jerry Dyhrkopp Iowa Great Lakes Chapter, ACBS, Boat Show at Historic Arnold’s Park, IA. Take it away Dave!

A glimpse of our future, and it is good!

Great turnout to a great show

I simply have no excuse. We have some customers on the Iowa Great Lakes, and we’re down there spring and fall, and we know there’s a boat show, but I had never been. Well, I went, and had a great time. Why was this year the year? Because of the crew running the show! There’s a group of 20-somethings, second- and third-generation Woody Boaters, who have taken an interest in leading their club chapter, and in producing their boat show. With the help and guidance of “old hand” Royce Humphreys, they’ve done a great job.

The Crew

(photo, “the crew” left to right: Royce Humphreys, Nate Protexter, Nick Houge, Alex Kent, Jordan Kent, Kristen Drake (with show ambassador Pippy), Wiley Mayne, Marya Kent, and Parker Hays)

The show site, Historic Arnold’s Park , is an old-time amusement park which was saved from development in 1999 by visionary community leaders and philanthropists who raised $7.25 million in six weeks to get the job done! It has since benefitted from ongoing philanthropic support, including a recent addition rumored to have been funded anonymously by a name you’d recognize.



Hafer – built locally in Iowa

The park operates as an amusement park, on the lake, with docks both public, and to serve as the mooring for the “Queen II” excursion boat. The facilities also house the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum, which chronicles the railroad/steamboat era of the late 1800’s through recreational boating, with several woodies on display.

Chris Craft

In front of this backdrop, an interesting and eclectic gathering of boats came together. The 1937 27’ Chris-Craft “Whirlwind”, powered with its’ original A-120 Chris-Craft V-8, and the 25’ Sportsman “La Duchess II”, were both displayed by the Jensen/Kent family. Two – count ‘em – two Steelcraft cruisers, including Chris and Jean Mugge’s 1950 35’-er (on it’s seventh set of engines!) were there. Where else would you see two of those? There were lots of Century boats there (Okoboji was and remains a Century place), including Chris and Jean Mugge’s 1963 22’ Raven, Ann Mugge’s pristine 1968 19’ Resorter with Chrysler 440, Dan Protexter’s 1993 Coronado, John and Sheryl Karlson’s 1958 22’ Raven. Wiley Mayne’s Chris-Craft Rocket was displayed on land, along with two Aristocraft’s, and a great Hafer, which was built locally. Royce Humphreys was only able to bring his two Riva’s, an Ariston and a Rudy Super, hopefully he’ll step it up next year!

Royce Humphrt’s Rivas

Royce has fun

Love this Riva Royce!

Royce doesn’t mess around

In addition to the Rudy Super and the ’93 Coronado, there were some other interesting fiberglass boats displayed, including a Glastron-Carlson CVX 23, and a Formula F-233 Interceptor. Great to see these boats embraced in the show!



Honey lets play cards. Hold on I need to slow down to 50

Not sure what plastic boat is what. It is cool.

Very nice Commander

It’s free to attend the show, which brings more folks who are enjoying the park, but it also brought people from the Corvette show, which was taking place elsewhere in the park.

Karlson’s 1958 Century Raven

BSLOL had a booth at the show, as well, and Kirk and Darlene Lillie were visiting with folks, and answering questions, all day!

So whats the Capitol of Iowa? Why is Corn Yellow? If it gets hot, do corn fields start popping? See, I bet these questions were not asked!

Following the show on Saturday, the boats took off from Arnold’s Park for the boat parade, led by the new Fire Boat amid a display of its’ fire suppressing capabilities, hoses blasting.

Steel Craft

Not only should we all add this show to our list, we should also join their chapter to support the great efforts of these active, engaged, and energized young people. In addition to being excited about boats, they’re excited about continuing the tradition of sharing them with the public!

Another extremely nice 1950 Steel Craft – Owned by Jean and Chris Mugge

Inside the Steel Craft

Sit right down here son!

Very nicely done – This sucker is 35 feet long!

Slick Steel Craft Dash/helm – She has twin 220 Hp engines!

A Huge thanks again to the entire crew there! And Dave. You can visit Freedom Boat Service RIGHT HERE and keep on drooling

14 replies
  1. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Great show. Thanks, Dave.

    Now just bring a few of those boats a little further north for the splash mob on Balsam Lake next Saturday.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Wow, looks like a great show with a wonderful variety of boats, including the “big water” kind. Thanks to Dave for sharing.
    However, I was disappointed that there was no photo depicting what Dave’s wardrobe consists of in Iowa!

  3. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Wow! thanks Dave, great reporting and wonderful show and boats…! one of the best liveish reports.

    John in Va.

  4. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Dave, thanks for coming to our show this year. It is great to enjoy everyone’s company and to share our love of the boats!
    Hats off to Alex and Jordan, Wiley and Marya for putting everything together!

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Oh man, Mugge’s Steelcraft is GD beautiful. Great details and seems so upscale compared to the other example. Love Royce’s Rudy Never seen that model until now and I’m hooked. Great photos, thanks Dave..

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    “Not sure what plastic boat is what. It is cool.”

    Matt that looks like a Flat Glass Formula to me! Very similar to Gottago, but it looks like a slightly shorter model and also may be a bit older.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Now that I have gone back and read the article (I always look at the pictures first) I see that it is in fact a Formula 233. AWESOME!

      FYI: Shannon K has been bit by the Formula bug.

  7. Tom Green
    Tom Green says:

    Anyone familiar with a ride boat known as “Teaser” that operated out of Arnold’s in the 1930’s to mid 40’s? My Dad has tried for years to discover who the manufacturer was and what happened to the boat—-at 94 and having grown up in a family cottage on the lake he has vivid memories of summers at Okoboji and would relish any information known about Teaser.

    • Tom
      Tom says:

      Miss Thriller and Zipper were the two boats that raced and crashed into eachother one night. 89 years ago. Zipper was made at the Hafner. 22 people were on Miss Thriller 6 died. Thriller was a former Navel sub chaser and rum runner chaser.. history in the museum at Arnolds park.

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