Dave Bortner Woody Boater Of The Month, Freedom Boat Service – A Real Class Act.


Dave out in one his more fancy boats!

Those of you that know Dave are all nodding your head like a bobble head. To know Dave is to love him, and respect the hell out of him. Dave and his company Freedom Boat Service deal in the high end of our habbit. Sure Freedom sells fiberglass barn finds, but if he is listing it, its a time capsule or has some special reason for being there. But the real heat Dave and Freedom bring to the party are the high end rare one of a kind special boats.


Dave in one of the rare Twin Engine 25 Sportsman Special ordered for friends of the Smith Family!

The kind when you go to a show or museum, you need someone like Dave to tell you what it is and why? Twin Engine 25 Sportsman? Sure. Dave has several, including some made for the Smith Family. Rare Rivas? Yup, One of a kind Canadian boats.. The kind that float! OK, sorry..

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Dave is one of the big go to guys to help you find the extreme high end of the culture

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Amazing Gar Wood with Dave at the helm

Dave also has pioneered the use of RM Auctions to find new buyers out there. He has the sort of reputation to make RM feel comfortable with him.


Dave in a pristine Century Coronado

But forget the boats for a second, that’s just stuff,  but what has impressed over time about Dave and Freedom is how he has stayed above the crap and back stabbing that happens in the world.

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When you drop half a million on a boat, you sure want to make sure what your being shown is the real deal.

Algonac Dave Bortner

Dave being interviewed for CBS Sunday Morning in Algonac

Freedom Boat Service also has a buying Service. Where you can get Dave to help match you up to the perfect boat. This a sure way to save you thousands in hidden expenses and sleepless nights wondering if you bought the right boat. Many of the big guns in the lifestyle trust Dave 100%. So, if you are new to the passion and want a blue chip boat, you need to meet Dave. He is just a click away. RIGHT HERE.

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Dave running UNCUSS out on the St Clair.

17 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Only met Dave a couple of times in Dora. Each time has been a real pleasure, he is a first class guy.

    Even was able to buy a nice boarding ladder from him.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    All the great things you said about Dave are true and he considered a friend to many of us in the Michigan chapter. He is a fun participant in our Algonac show, and I always look forward to seeing what beautiful and interesting classic watercraft he will bring to the show every year. He has been a supporter of our chapter and a mentor to us in improving how we do our events. Dave is using his Gull Lake knowledge helping us in the planning of our 2018 ACBS International Show in Port Huron. He is as class an act as many of the high end boats he brokers, and I am proud to call him a friend!

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      I forgot to mention that as a conservative guy, I am always impressed with the statement Dave makes with his dynamic wardrobe!

  3. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    never met dave but can vouch he’s a top notch guy!!,

    when i had questions on my cadillac crusader engine, i contacted many sponsors of this site. dave was the only one that responded and took the time to send pictures and answer questions!

    thanks dave!

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    My head is a bobbing. As a minor member of the committee that worked on Woods and Water last year I can tell you that Dave was the driving force. He had a vision and he made it happen. And to make it happen he was diplomatic, tireless and so generous. On top of all that, there’s the shorts.

  5. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    As a new comer to this hobby, I have met several interesting leaders of the habit, as Matt calls it.
    I got to meet Dave this past June at the Algonac show. He walked up to ME, and introduced himself, and I can say we had several casual, down to earth conversations over the next couple of days at the many events the Algonac show has.
    Glad to have met Dave, and now being able to call him a friend.
    With his guidance, I know our Michigan Chapter will produce a wonderful pre event week, and a great show site for the International ACBS annual meeting and show in 2018.

  6. Chad
    Chad says:

    A couple years ago, I found my missing V-Drive transmission on Craigslist. A pair of them were sitting in a house boat in Minnesota, still attached to twin 307s. I made a phone call to Dave. Dave purchased, removed and hauled (+600 lbs) them to Illinois for me, having never met before in person.

    That’s the kinda guy Dave is.

  7. Carla
    Carla says:

    Dave is certainly a driving force in our hobby! I not only have the pleasure of being close friends with Dave (and his beautiful Michelle), but also Dave is the very first call I make when I need any information on a particular boat, event, or dozens of other topics. He is the real deal!! Thank you, Matt, for recognizing Dave Bortner as the “Woody Boater of the Month”. I will certainly second that honor!

  8. 7FTCWBY
    7FTCWBY says:

    I 100% agree with all these statements. As a younger boater I was very impressed by Dave’s interest in me at one of my first boat shows a few years ago. Now we see each-other at several events throughout the year and he is always a great guy to chat with. Secretly, my wife even sometimes has to stop me as anytime I talk about boating I always name drop Freedom Boats or Dave which she says is an obsessive tendency. Opps I don’t want to become a superfan just a friend.

  9. JFKarlson
    JFKarlson says:

    I can’t think of another person I’d rather be with when a flaming wheel melts off the (single-axel) trailer and flies over the truck in deepest, darkest rural Minnesota. That’s when Dave calmly lit a cigar and called for the flatbed – always in good cheer! Besides, who else can rock madras shorts and a madras shirt at the same time?

      • Sandy Kenyon
        Sandy Kenyon says:

        I met Dave at Amelia Island where he was selling via RM: a beautiful, 1930 Hacker-Craft 30′ Triple Cockpit Runabout belonging to Edward Everett Horton (the actor who played opposite Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers so often). Dave and Michelle have been so kind to Eileen and I. Dave has been so gracious as to take me on several adventures involving his boats “from the high end of our habit” and my life has been enriched from all of the good fellowship amid the swells. This week I’m enjoying the use of a vintage Century from Freedom Boat, and can hardly believe Dave trucked it to Wisconsin for me!! Thanks Woodyboater.com for throwing a spotlight on this fine mariner and good man!!

  10. Texx
    Texx says:

    Dave Bortner is a premium individual. Always offers a smile and a kind, gentle word. I am proud to be his friend. – Texx

  11. Jim Mersman
    Jim Mersman says:

    I met Dave a few years ago having purchased a boat from him site unseen. He didn’t let me down! Classic Act for sure. I just wish I was as comfortable with my masculinity as he is to wear the colors as proudly as he does.

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