Foxy Lady Takes Home Big Award..s – Could This Be The Most Perfect Classic Boat In The World?


Foxy lady out on a nice summer cocktail run

I know this is a rather bold statement. Considering that there are some truly amazing classic boats out there. Certanly some more iconic. But at the crossroad of rareness,  quality preservation, care giving, and socialization, Foxy lady, a very nice 1955 Higgins 23′ Speedster stands out there as one of the top in the Classic Boat Culture. Don Ploetner Sr. & Don Ploetner II from Sparta, NJ are very well known and respected in the world of such things. They are at many shows and a dominant father son team. Bringing all sorts of fine water craft to the dock to talk about. That in combination from the full support of Katz’s Marina, and you have a very powerful force working towards perfection.

Foxy lady Sitting at the dock on Lake Hopatcong

All done in a fun and very gentlemanly way I might ad. This father son combo is an amazing thing to see. Ya see, you can not just talk about a boat without talking about its family. That’s the magic ingredient here. Dan Nelson of Nelson Boats Works originally saved her. Then the two Dons picked her up and with the help of Katz’s  Marina have made sure that Fox lady Delivers not only stunning showings, like best preserved at Clayton and just this past week,  best preserved at table Rock and the coveted Hagerty Youth Judging Award. I have been at some small local shows with Foxy Lady. NOTE, to the boatress. the boat, not some lady that is a fox. That I would use that term to refer to a woman, as a fox any more. OH god! This is a rabbit hole that I am trying to dig out of. Anyway, back to the Higgins. If you want to know more about her, we had done a story on her a ways back.. HERE when she won the big one in Clayton.. Congrats to Foxy lady, The two Dons, Dan Nelson, and Seth Katz for doing what you do to make our little world a better place. Now if you will excuse me I need to go buy my Foxy lady some flowers.

The boardwalk on Lake Mohawk. Thanks to Alan Johnson for some incredible graphics

A fun small shot of Foxy lady going through paces.. Gotta love a hemi!

Foxy Lady shows us all what she is really made of.


21 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    The most perfect boat!? What have you not seen mine? Oh yea you have….and I need to have it refastened…..and clean the bilge…….and new linoleum, bigger engine,touch up some scratches, sand off the gold-leaf to add stickers…Well you just wait. BTW absolutely beautiful boat, very envious.

  2. Steven Reichman
    Steven Reichman says:

    Does anyone have a complete list of the awards from Table Rock? Miss Lisa, Foxy Lady,….one at a time, it’s going to take awhile!!

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      I was docked about five slips beyond this stunning vessell, and all week long, every time I walked past her, I had to slow down or stop and drool. The paint finish was so glossy it looked like it was painted/sprayed on glass.
      Seeing boats like this is one of the reasons why Ronnie and I travel around the country and attend classic boating events. You just do not see all the different types, styles, or beautiful craftsmanship, if you just stay in your own local waters year after year.

      Contrats to all who had a hand in this finished classic.

      • Paul H.
        Paul H. says:

        Fpr what is wprth, I will second Dennis’s comments. The vairety of boats was astonishing, as was the level of workmanship and pride. I happen to like almost all types of vintage craft, and national shows like this are the place to see them at their finest.

        I found the experience welcoming as well – we had our user Sea Skiff there, by no means at all a show boat. However, plenty of people stopped by to chat and ask about her anywa, and with genuine interest. From a boating persepctive, I doubt many more folks had more fun on the cruises than we did in that accommodating and relaxing boat.

        The two best Higgins ‘ in the world were there, this lovely boat of course and the 26′ Cruiser. (maybe the nicest Higgins’ in the world is the PT boat out at Portland – and discussion for another day). It was a pleasure to see Don Sr. and Don Jr. on the podium accepting their award, they are very gracious and derserving folks and I believe genuinely shocked with the win. Congrats one more time guys.

  3. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    yes, a lot of great boats and great people at the show. More higgins that one would normally ever see at one spot. Don, to answer your question, I dont know how many of the speedsters were made but the only other one i am aware of is here in the panhandle of Idaho, and it is restored to the 9s as well.

    Which reminds me to mention to those who now want to come to an international show. we will have a great one in Coeur d’ Alene next year in one of the best venues in the country, both for displaying the boats and for the scenery. Put it on your calendar or as they say, you’ll be sorry.

  4. Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy says:

    It aint a lapstrake but its painted white! This is probably the only boat I would go into hock to own!

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    …and its got a hemi. Was on the St Johns River Cruise when Dan Nelson first cruised “the Fox” and it had my druel marks all over it the whole week. Still looks fresh. Another 16″ of foredeck and it would turn a fox into a Diva. But hey, she’s a utility (fox in sheep’s clothing).

  6. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    The boat or boats that you own are the boats that are most rare, they are the oats that are the winners in your mind. All the boats that I see are the winners in someone’s mind, ie the owners.

  7. Dan Nelson
    Dan Nelson says:

    This was my personal boat for many years. I restored this boat to it’s original condition, which was easy since she was so pristine. It was hard to part with her, but I am so glad to see the two Don’s taking care of her.
    As to all the positive comments, I can’t thank you enough.

    Thank you,

    Dan Nelson

  8. ian
    ian says:

    Up north of the 49th parallel we have father son team by the name of Peter and Jeffrey Breen. They have been building some very beautiful and award wining boats such as Tolka a 38ft Launch built by bell labaratories, or Heldena II a JJ Taylor 36ft race boat with an original beautiful V12 liberty engine, to Tenewa a reproduction of Rainbow III hull which is my favorite boat for many years. A story like this needs a hint of Canadian balance for all your Canadian viewers.
    I hope you might run a little tribute to a great Canadian boat buidling family, Breen

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    Ian. Woah. North of the 49th? My beloved Hessel is just north of the 45th. Good God man, you are brave to be into classic boats up there. Not so much because of the cold water, but moreso because of the heartbreakingly short season you must get.

    Canadians make Timbits, Totrierre, and Sugar Pie. That’s good enuff for me to be worthy of ACBS, Pulitzer, Nobel, Olympic Gold, and any other awards of distinction.

  10. Alex
    Alex says:

    PS. No offense meant Ian. I say this with the utmost respect for the nation of my birth [yes, (O) Canada] and the unbelievable boats nee around the Muskokas.

    Oops, I forgot to mention Mott’s Clamato and MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese.

  11. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    don’t want to hijack this comment thread but Peter Breen is the Lance Armstrong of wooden boat restoration, he’s inhuman. The speed, level of detail, and uniqueness of all his projects are out of this world. But, there are so many others, too that do such great work in the “cottage district”. I’ve got spring tour pictures from Muskoka that clogs my “Tera” drive.

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