Wooden Boats


Other than when our daughter and grandchildren came to visit, this has been the first fun outing we’ve been on since arriving in northern Michigan. Since all 3 of us are fans of classic boats, the Boats on the Boardwalk was an obvious choice to attend.

Interesting bow

Check out the unique raised panel on the bow.


SO SLEEK! This seamless 1991 Clarion looks like it was carved from one piece of wood.

Louvered windshields to allow air flow when top is up

The hinged windshield allows for air flow when the bimini top is in use.


Even the interiors are pristine.

Old style dock bumpers

Notice the old style dock bumpers?

Boats on the Boardwalk is organized by the Water Wonderland (Michigan) Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society annually. Held on the river walk along the Boardman River in historic downtown Traverse City, this year’s show, the chapter’s 30th, featured 50 boats from 1900 through present day wooden classics.


A classic!

1905 Long Deck Launch

The 1905 Long Deck Launch is very different. Seats 4.


Check out the tail fins on this 1958 Barnes Shark.

We must protect what's important!

In case it’s thrown overboard, it’s important to save what’s near & dear to us.


Even the ribs are polished to high shine.

We arrived 30 minutes after the show opened for viewing and already parking was at a premium. We shared the narrow dock with hundreds of other classic boat enthusiasts but I must say everyone was very polite. We began our viewing with the hand built wooden boats that local Boy Scouts had assembled. We were duly impressed with the finished products. Each one was unique.  All were row boats except one which featured a small boat motor that had been handed down from the scout’s great grandfather. You could tell the boy took great pride in the motor by just how clean and shiny he kept it.


This is the scout built boat with grandfather’s motor


This 1950 Chris Craft caught both Don & dad’s attention.

Check out this old Evinrude. It's as old as I am.

This old Evinrude motor was built in 1956 making it 1 year older than me. I think it’s better shape than I am.

Most of the boats on display were the much coveted old Chris Crafts but there were a few others brands on display too such as Lyman’s, Thompson, and Barnes to name a few.  I noticed a couple of old wood canoes off to one side and one in particular really caught my eye. Perhaps it was the pretty blue color, my favorite. Upon closer inspection I became more enamored with it. The richness of the canoe’s interior wood, the hand caned seats, or maybe it was the style, a 1915 Waltham Courting canoe, complete with pillows, an afghan, and wicker picnic basket that I found so charming. I complimented the owner on his boat and how he displayed it.

1915 Waltham Courting canoe

The 1915 Waltham Courting canoe. Isn’t she a beauty?


I couldn’t locate the year on this Chris Craft. Judging from the style it could be from the late 40’s or early 60’s. 

All of the watercraft displayed were beauties in their own right. The boats were polished to a high gleam, and the interiors and motors or engines were immaculate. One can truly appreciate the hard work that has gone into the restoration and maintenance of these vintage boats. Surely it’s a labor or love.


Here’s another unique beauty that caught my eye. A 1956 Arena Craft. 

Check out the boat butler

This 1957 Chris Craft comes with an important piece of equipment, the drink butler.

On our return trip home my father insisted we pull into Don’s Drive-In and pick up cherry milkshakes for the ride back. It’s hard to believe that Don’s Drive-In has been a Traverse City institution since 1958 and that pop has lived in the area for over 20 years and had never tasted a cherry shake until 2 weeks ago when I brought him here. Now he can’t get enough of the thick fruit laden shakes. 😋

Until next time, here’s lookin’ at you kid…..

hand crafted wooden kayaks

These amazing hand built kayaks are very lightweight, about 28 lbs.

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