The Antiques And Classics Stand Out At The 2013 Minneapolis Boat Show


Fellow Woody Boater and intrepid Minnesota correspondent Dane Anderson spent some time at the big Minneapolis Boat Show this weekend, and sent us this report. We always appreciate Dane’s perspective on the classic boat hobby and his unique style of photography.

As we noted in our story yesterday, the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter ACBS is representing the hobby with an outstanding display of classic boats and motors at this year’s show, special thanks to them and all the volunteers for their hard work, making this another successful winter event.

2013 Minneapolis Boat Show
by Dane Anderson

My take is that the chapters of the ACBS are doing a good job of promoting the classic boat hobby. The BSLOL (Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes Chapter) display was busy all day Saturday with a wide mix of participants and visitors. The ’57 Falls Flyer was brought and represented by a father/son team who proudly engaged everyone who came by to look at their boat. They did all the restoration work themselves and the boat was a hit with everyone at the show.

The BSLOL Chapter signed up 10 new members on Saturday alone, plus some good interest from several others. I watched a young family approach the table with some interest, wondering if their Alumacraft runabout with a 18hp was considered classic. They happened to run into Lee Wangstad with their questions. As you can imagine they left oversold on how cool their boat was and ready to hit the water to start enjoying their prize. Lee’s passion for classic boats and his knowledge of the various marques is remarkable.

I watched past President Dick Mickelson encourage one visitor who had an unfinished Glenn-L and questions about how to install a modern powerplant. After talking to Dick and Scott Hawkinson he will be attending one of the upcoming workshops on engine installations.

John and Nancy Grech from Champlin, MN had their beautiful 1937 Century Utility “Nancy Jane” at the BSLOL display, which was very popular.  This boat was an award winner at Table Rock last year.

Another crowd favorite this year at the BSLOL display was John Allen’s rare 1926 22′ Hacker Craft “Tampa Baybie” which is powered by an immaculate 120HP Scripps straight six.

Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service brought the 1959 26′ Riva Tritone (shown in the cover photo with the zebra upholstery) the 1930 19′ Dee-Wite Model 9 “Polly Von” (owned by Kermit Sutton) and also this very cool 1961 21′ Century Coronado “Endangered Species”. Dave was spending most of the weekend in the Coronado talking to show visitors.

There were also some interesting lapstrake utilities at the show…

(When Dane sent us these photos of lapstakes at the boat show, I have to admit these photos caught me off guard. At first glance I thought this was a Sea Skiff or a big Lyman with some modifications, but I was wrong…

Upon further inspection I learned that these are actually modern 2013 Skiff Craft boats which are hand made in Plain City, Ohio – and have been around since 1904! They are represented by Tonka Bay Marina in Minnesota, who had two 2013 models on display at the Minneapolis Boat Show. – Texx)

Here’s an excerpt from the Skiff Craft website…

Skiff Craft was founded in 1904 as the Henry Boat Company near Peterborough, Ontario, by two Canadian boat builders — Victor and Stanley Henry. They created their reputation by building quality wooden boats able to withstand the harsh waters of Canada’s lakes and rivers. In 1959, the company relocated to Plain City, Ohio, and was renamed Skiff Craft. There, veteran craftsmen of local Amish and Mennonite communities custom build each exceptional Skiff Craft boat using their time-honored woodworking skills.

Dane noted – Tonka Bay is getting lots of traffic with their two 2013 Skiff Crafts at the show, which is great to see. Tonka Bay Marina had the two 2013 Skiff Crafts at the show. Skipp LaJoy told me that although he hadn’t sold one yet this weekend they were getting a very positive reception from family boater types who came to look at new boats.

The Urban Boat Builders share some space in the BSLOL display. I caught Mohamed in a rare moment by himself. They are teaching trade skills and life lessons to at risk teens. Urban Boat Builders are building and restoring small boats and canoes. The Boat Show exposure helps them sell their finished products and solicit donations and volunteers. The Old Town canoe in the display is one of their restoration projects.

Dave Watts from Little Rock Boat Works in Rice, MN has a booth at the show this year with “Sa Gem” on display.  As you can see by the photo, this wonderful 1934 27′ Chris-Craft Custom had the crowds attention.

And of course you just can’t visit a winter boat show without checking out the new models of Boston Whalers on hand. We thought Matt would like the powder blue accents on this Boston Whaler.

In summary – I think these winter boat shows are a great place for the classic boat hobby to get good exposure. It’s important to be well staffed with friendly, knowledable people. As for the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lake Chapter, there’s no shortage of that.

Dane Anderson

Thanks Dane – Great report on the boat show, we appreciate your contribution today and the awesome photographs.  For more information on the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lake Chapter you can Click Here to get to their informative website.

The Minnesota area continues to impress us with their passion for the classic boating hobby, their leadership and endless depth of knowledge. Hopefully we can get back over to the Minnesota area this summer and experience the great people, the huge range of classic boats and the rich history of the area first hand, at one of their many classic boating events throughout 2013.


15 replies
    • Texx
      Texx says:

      This summer we should fire up the old H-D’s and meet somewhere in Minnesota for a boat show.

      We can just say we are with Woody Boater and mooch boat rides all weekend…

  1. matt
    matt says:

    WOW, what a great effort by the club to make this happen. That Skiff Craft is a new favorite for sure. ROAD TRIP1

  2. Texx
    Texx says:

    Ha – Maybe if we play our cards right, we could get out on Lake Minnetonka in that big 30′ Lyman that Dave Bortner has. Dane says its a cool ride.

    • Michelle DeMist
      Michelle DeMist says:

      No maybe about it – Dave would LOVE to show you around Lake MTKA in the Lyman! He might even have another something special you could score a ride in as well – any time guys!

  3. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    What a nice collection of wood boats and the people who love them. Thanks to all for the great pictures. The inclusion of the urban boat builders makes me feel extra happy that the joy of boats is spread out to be all inclusive. Plus those new lapstrakes by Skiff Craft is great too because there can never be too many lapstrakes and to know that the supply is being replenished is a comfort.

  4. rabbit
    rabbit says:

    Texx and Matt, you definitely should plan on a Minnesota trip this summer. Attend a big show like Gull Lake or Whitefish, a day on Minnetonka (Marc Setterholm also has a 30 ft Lyman that was just finished, so you could each ride in your own), visit some of the top restoration shops here… we will treat you well.

  5. Brian S
    Brian S says:

    That canoe in the Urban Boatbuilders picture is an Airolite Geodesic boat. It looks like the same model I built a few years ago.

    It’s a great way to get introduced to boat building at a very basic level and a great conversation piece at the beach too.

  6. 72hornet
    72hornet says:

    What a great write up on such a neat show by The BSLOL Chapter! I would have loved to have been there, but layed up following knee surgery. Andreas and crew always go above and beyond! Matt and Texx need to come out to the midwest and see what fun we have out here! Great pictures!

  7. Chris Wade
    Chris Wade says:

    I’ll look for a photo of the 30′ Skiff craft I had on Lake Erie about a ten years ago. Most fun boat I’ve ever owned. Did a complete restoration including teak decks. Actually made money when I sold her, but wish I held on to her. Built in 1980 if I remember well, the first two big twin engine boats the built were 30’s, then they went to 31’s. Mine was originally a demo boat for Marina/Dealership, and stayed in their family about ten years, I bought her from the second owner. Sold her back to Skiff Craft and they did a Factory Reconditioning to her and sold her on Lake Minnetonka I believe. Sold her to buy my 38′ CC Commander.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Great story Chris, thanks for sharing it with us. We are going to learn more about the Skiff Craft marque and do some stories on them.

      If you have some photos let us know.


Comments are closed.