Author: Bill

Registration is Open!

Spring is just about here, and registration for our 2022 Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Show is now open. You can register on line or via the US Mail. Take your pick. Remember to register early, and if you are coming in from out of town, don’t wait too long to find lodging. Door County is very popular in August!

Enjoy the spring. Get that boat ready. We’ll see you soon here in beautiful Sturgeon Bay!

2021 Sneak Peek 8

Just a few days to go. The weather report for the weekend is fantastic- mid 70’s and sunny. Perfect weather for the Festival.

Have you ever heard of these boats? Wizard Boats, Inc? Permacraft? A Marsh Cat? How about a Warren Cole or a Delta? The Rice Brothers or Higgins or Burger? They will all be represented at our Festival this weekend. Come and learn about the history of recreational boating and experience the boats yourself.

2021 Sneak Peek 7

Have you visited the museum lately? It’s a real treat for the entire family. Learn about the Door Peninsula and its fascinating history with Lake Michigan, Green Bay, shipbuilding, and more. Visit the new Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower and see Sturgeon Bay as only the lucky seagulls can!

Check out Our Museum!

2021 Sneak Peek 6

After checking out all of the wonderful classic boats at this year’s Festival, you need to find a little something to take home with you. So, the best idea is to visit our annual Boatyard Sale. Look for the big tent in front of the museum and there you’ll find all kinds of nautical treasures. The proceeds support the Museum and it’s mission, so you can feel really good about making a purchase.

What will you find? Try this!

This lighthouse was built by Leroy Liebe and Mike Maltby and donated for The Boathouse Sale by a couple in Jacksonport. It is 7ft 3in tall and 27in at the base. The lens is wired and it’s ready to shine! Just what you need! It is all steel and very well built. The price? Only $500! See this unique gem at the Boathouse Sale or, right now, at 1205 N. 3rd Street in Sturgeon Bay.

2021 Sneak Peek 5

When you visit our Festival, you get to see great classics, but you also get to experience life with the Great Lakes’ really big boats. They are classics, too! Whether it’s the Coast Guard, working tugs, or Great Lakes freighters, Sturgeon Bay has it all.

And don’t forget that ashore, adjacent to the Museum, the new pedestrian Promenade is open for your enjoyment. It will be a great place to watch Saturday evening’s Classic Boat Parade.

2021 Sneak Peek 4

Built right across the bay, Thompson boats are some of the most popular classics in Wisconsin and their owners put them in the water and have fun. Andreas Rhude is bringing this terrific example to the Festival this year. Come and see her.

She is a 1959 Thompson 17’-0” Sea Lancer wooden lapstrake boat powered by a 1958 Johnson 50 HP Super Seahorse outboard motor. The motor is original to the boat. The rig was sold at Krueger’s Boats and Motors on Harper at Nine Mile Road in Detroit. She spent most of her life in the greater Detroit area. The boat was restored in Peshtigo, WI about 500 feet from where she was born in 1959. She is a typical plywood lapstrake by Thompson, one of the tens of thousands the company made as the world’s largest builder of outboard boats.

2021 Sneak Peek 3

Yes, there will be classic fiberglass boats at the Festival! And, as always, there will also be beautiful wooden boats for you to enjoy. Here are three. A 1929 Port Carling Seabird, seen here in the shop prepping for the event. A rare (1 of 16) 18′ 1939 Century Deluxe Utility Sedan named Relic. She’s a beauty. And last, but certainly not least, The Jeffery Dave, a gorgeous 23′ 1949 Higgins. Jeffery Dave is making her second appearance at our Festival. Don’t miss her. Photos just don’t do justice to these boats, by the way.

1929 Port Carling Seabird


Jeffery Dave

2021 Sneak Peek 2

1987 Switzer SS20-C 

Here’s a great fiberglass classic you may not have seen before. Born in Crystal Lake, Illinois this Switzer is a blast on the water. Come visit her at our Festival next month!

After a long search for a Switzer, her owner tells us a bit about finally finding the boat,

“Wow! A complete 1987 rig including original trailer, boat, and motor.  Motor has an hour meter, reads 325 hours – in 33 years!  Owned by the original family, an uncle had purchased it new in 1987.  It had been stored by him for 15 years, and then second owner, a nephew had also stored it several years.

Along with the boat, the owner package contains the original SCI (the group that bought the Switzer operation in 1982), build sheet, the transfer sheet from SCI to the dealer, the temporary warranty card from Mercury, the Owners and Warranty Manual for the motor, boat and trailer titles, 3 registration cards from the 1990’s, and other accessory literature.

I had a friend at Mercury run the Serial Number through their system. Motor was recalled in 1987 for a intake leak problem, repaired, and they haven’t seen it since.

Not original to the boat is the CD player and sound system.  There had been a radio in the same location, and the boat has a power antenna!

I did pull the fuel tank out and refinish it in the original cream paint, added a transom mounted trim switch, and recently pulled the axle and springs and rebuilt the suspension system with all new bushings, paint, and grease.

The motor came with a Mercury 24” pitch Chopper propeller, great top end prop, but nothing for cruising.  I had a 23” pitch round hub Laser that I had hammered a bunch of cup into for my son to run on his 1989 Checkmate Starflite/Merc 200.  That prop worked good on his boat but he is now running a newer 23” Tempest, which I am going to try yet this year.

The Switzer loves the hammered up Laser!  From 35 mph through 45, the prop and tachometer mimic each other – 3500 RPM is 35 MPH, 4000 is 40, and so on.  We cruise at 42 MPH/ 4200 RPM, the boat and motor have a sweet spot there. It does top out at almost 65 mph!”

2021 Sneak Peek 1

How’s this for a unique opportunity. Jeff and Renee Davies are bringing a 1949 Garform- one of the first “fiberglass” inboards to our festival in Sturgeon Bay. Here’s your chance to inspect what the future looked like in the middle of the 20th Century. This is special. Don’t miss it!

“This was a barn find!  After sitting for 50 years, we completely restored her back to original condition!  Built by Garwood jr. and designed by his father Garfield Wood, Garform was the first fiberglass inboard boat line built.  Actually at that time the fiberglass substance was called Nautolite.  This boat has aluminum frames, western red cedar inside and weighs less than 800 lbs.   Only a few exist with most being in museums.  We named her Garfield Jr. after the man who looked into the future and designed a boat unlike anything like it at that time.”

Thanks to Renee for the photos! What a beautiful boat.

Watch for more Sneak Peeks to come.

Don’t Delay! Register Now

Don’t forget that Door County is a very, very popular resort destination, so if you plan to find great accommodations for our Festival, you need to act fast. Don’t delay. Click here for lodging.

The Museum staff and Festival volunteers have been hard at work, and the 30th Anniversary Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival is going to be lots of fun for the whole family. It will be great to be together again!

You’ll get to explore the museum’s newly renovated exhibits, view Sturgeon Bay from the peninsula’s tallest building- the Museum’s Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower, take a classic boat ride, marvel at a fine collection of great boats, talk to the boats’ owners/builders, and much more. The Sikaflex boatbuilding competition- an annual wonder- will thrill the crowds on Sunday with its on-the-water race. There will be Wisconsin’s best fresh Whitefish sandwiches on Saturday, kids’ activities, and our traditional Boathouse sale of slightly used nautical treasures.

So don’t delay. Remember, we love all classic boats- wooden, fiberglass, aluminum, home-built, sail, outboard, inboard, show-perfect classics and user boats, too. Canoes, kayaks, and model boats fit right in. So joint the fun.

Register now.

And here’s something new-

To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’re offering a special 30th anniversary pennant that you can purchase when you register. They are unique, limited in number, and are sure to be a great addition to your own collection of maritime treasures. They look great even when the boat is still on shore. Get yours today.

We’ll see you in August!

Registration is Open!

Green Bay from Peninsula State Park

Ahoy! It may be hard to believe, but it’s time to start thinking about classic boating again!

The Bay may be frozen, the Lake may be cold, but now is the time to plan to attend the 30th annual Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. August 14 and 15, 2021. You might plan to come early for the pre-event cruise on Friday, August 13th. The ten-mile afternoon cruise for registered boaters is a great opportunity to take those classics out on the water, and it’s followed by our traditional pizza and cocktail party at the museum. The Festival itself runs Saturday and Sunday and there are lots of great new attractions for you to enjoy as we wrap up Maritime Week in Sturgeon Bay. There’s a parade honoring the men and women of the US Coast Guard through the city on Saturday morning, the amazing new 10 story Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower at the Museum, boat rides, a classic boat parade on Saturday evening, a waterside market, live music, a Bloody Mary Social, the Sikaflex Boatbuilding Challenge, classic boats to view, and much, much more.

So visit the Festival website at to see all the exciting activities awaiting you in Sturgeon Bay this summer. You can register conveniently on-line through the website, or if you prefer, you can download a registration form and register in classic style via US Mail.

The weekend is full of fun for the whole family. See you this August!

Congratulations, Skippers!

Here are the boats recognized by the public, the skippers, and crews as this year’s favorites.  Watch this site for more pictures from this year’s event.


2019  DCMM Classic and Wooden Boat Festival Awards

Skippers’ Choice 2019 – Classic Inboard

Jeff and Renee Davey, Berlin, WI. 1949 23’ Higgins Convertible “Jeffery Dave”

Skippers’ Choice 2019 – Classic Outboard

Jane Larson & Gary Berg, Mequon, WI  1959 17Cruisers, Inc Commander “Buster”

Skippers’ Choice 2019 – Sailboat

Rich and Sandra Dirks, Egg Harbor, WI 2013 15’ Home Built Marsh Cat “Li’l Boat”

Skippers’ Choice 2019 –Classic Fiberglass

Mark and Kimberly Porlier, Weston WI 1965 15’ Powercat 15T

Skippers’ Choice 2019 – Non-Powered

Lois and Bob Snyder, Green Bay, WI  2009 10’ Home Built Lawton Tender

Skippers’ Choice 2019– Model Boat

Michael and Julia Cosgrove, Sturgeon Bay, WI  26” Model Expo Skipjack S.S. Rhodes

Skippers’ Choice 2019 –Unique Craft

Paul and Janet Smith, Rapid River, MI 1941 Home Modified 22’ Lifeboat/Pocket Tug “Good News”

Skippers’ Choice 2019 – Best of Show

Jeff and Renee Davey, Berlin, WI. 1949 23’ Higgins Convertible “Jeffery Dave”

People’s Choice 2019 – Boat of the Year

Lew and Judy Juadis, Sturgeon Bay, WI 1957 19’ Cruisers Inc. 502 Vacationer Connie

The Weather will be Perfect!

It’s official, the weather for our Festival will be perfect.  Here’s the data from the National Weather Service.   Clearly, you should plan to attend either as a registered participant or a boating enthusiast.  Nothing beats a glorious Door County summer day especially when it’s paired with an exciting public event.  We’ll see you this weekend!




Lots To See


When you visit our festival this year, you’ll be treated to a fantastic variety of boats to explore.  They range from 9 inches to 25 feet long.  Some are models, others completely sea-worthy.  You’ll find classic fiberglass, cedar strip, plywood lapstrake, and classic varnished mahogany boats.  The oldest was launched in 1895 and others reflect the glorious 1950’s and 60’s.  With right around 50 hulls, this is going to be one of our best festivals yet.  So plan your visit now.

It’s not too late to register either.  If you have a boat or display to add, register on-line, or in person.  Check out our registration links here.


One Week To Go!




Tall ships visited Sturgeon Bay last weekend.

Beautiful Sturgeon Bay is waiting to greet classic boating enthusiasts for the 29th annual Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival.  If you have a boat and want to join the fun, you can register right up to the festival opening on Saturday morning.  It’s better to register earlier, of course, but last-minute registrations are welcome.  It looks like the weather will be great!

We’ve got 13 teams set to go for our Sikaflex boatbuilding competition and race and over 40 boats for you to enjoy including model boats.  You can take a ride on a classic, pedal a Swan Boat, try your hand at the Damage Control Simulator, watch a Kahlenberg engine fire up, tour a Coast Guard vessel, and much more.  Kids, on Saturday, can build their own sailboats or race miniature tugs.  There are fresh Whitefish sandwiches, cool beverages, the Maritime on Madison street fair, and all of downtown Sturgeon Bay’s merchants and restaurants to experience.  And don’t forget to visit the Museum itself and our 100-year-old tug, the John Purves.

We’ll see you in a week!


Check It Out!

Every year, our Boathouse Sale offers unique marine treasures for your boat or home, with all the proceeds supporting the Museum.  This year is no exception.  Check out this terrific offering, just one of many wonderful items you’ll have a chance to own.

A 50 inch ship’s wheel and sundial!


Wood and brass 50 inch wheel with sundial on a cast aluminum stand – unique!  The pictures show it makes quite a statement!  The wheel will be at the Boathouse sale in August, or if you can’t wait, you can call Jerry at 920 746 0516 to see before.  (no history available  of the wheel)

Don’t Forget!

If you are bringing your boat to our festival and plan to join our special pre-event Bay to Lake Lighthouse Cruise on Friday, don’t forget to register for the event prior to August 1st.  (If you’re not cruising, you can register right up to the festival opening on Saturday.)   We have a nice fleet already assembled but have plenty of room for more boats and crews.  There is nothing more fun than running our classics along Door County’s shores from Green Bay to Lake Michigan.  See you then!

For cruise information, click here.

For pictures of the cruise click here.

To register, click here.

Countdown to August!

We hope you’ve set course for Sturgeon Bay to enjoy the city’s Maritime Week, it’s salute to the brave men and women of the US Coast Guard, and of course our Classic and Wooden Boat Festival.

There is plenty to see and do while you’re here.  You can visit real active-service Coast Guard vessels, browse Sturgeon Bay’s shops, eat and drink in the town’s restaurants and enjoy Maritime on Madison, Saturday’s street festival.  Then, too, stop in and tour the Door County Maritime Museum and its 100 year-old tug the John Purves, stroll through the beautiful and historic boats present at our Classic and Wooden Boat Show and cheer on the exciting Sikaflex Challenge our fast and dirty boat building contest.  You can even enjoy a short free ride on a classic motorboat.  (You’ll have to wear a life preserver!)  Experience the firing of a real Kahlenberg engine or try your hand in the Damage Control Simulator.  On Saturday, there are kids’ activities galore and best of all, the festival grounds are open to the public without charge.

If you want to display a boat, you can register on-line through this website or by mail if you prefer.  Just download a registration form, print it, and mail it in.

Take a quick peek below at just a sample of the great boats you’ll see this year.

IMG_1595IMG_2131 2Elsa Dee at Lake GenevaM3290021


Time to Join the Fleet

Elsa Dee on Little Tomahawk

Elsa Dee on Little Tomahawk Lake.

Here’s the latest news from our Festival!

It looks like we’re off to a great start with registrations for this August’s Festival and the variety of boats to enjoy is already outstanding.  So far, we have manufacturers Lyman, Powercat, Century, Thompson, Sunflower, Tomahawk, Chris Craft, and Higgins represented.  In addition, there is an award-winning home-built Glen-L Torpedo on it’s way to Sturgeon Bay, as well as a beautiful owner-built Laughing Loon Mystic Star Kayak.  There’s even an historic 1941 22′ lifeboat for you to discover.  The Museum’s own boat building class will have its new lapstrake pulling boat on display, and you might be the lucky enthusiast who wins the boat if you take part in the annual raffle in support of the Museum.  So plan to be part of the fun. If you haven’t yet registered, now’s the time.  Don’t forget you can register on-line if you’d like.

 Click here to register on-line.

Will You Join the Friday Pre-Event Cruise?


Our Bay to Lake Lighthouse Cruise is shaping up to be a winner this year.  We already have seven boats and crews planning to be part of the fleet.  Let’s hope for great weather.  It would be terrific to complete the entire journey for the second year in a row.  Will Mother Nature be cooperative?

Click here for Cruise Information

How about fresh Whitefish and a tasty Beverage.


Yes, our famous Whitefish sandwiches return again this year on Saturday only.  These freshly-caught fried fish sandwiches are the best boat show fare sold in Wisconsin.  New this year, and a perfect companion for the fish, is Door County Brewing Company’s special craft beer, Cana Island Pale Ale.  Local fish supplied by local fishermen and local beer by a local brewery.  Perfect!

Register On-Line and More!



Our boats may be old, but it is the 21st Century after all, and that means you can now register for the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival on-line!  Registering is simple, quick, and secure.  So don’t wait.  Register now!

Click here to register on line!

On-line registration is great news, but there is more to share. Registered boaters will soon have a chance to purchase beautiful Classic and Wooden Boat Festival hats and burgees.  The hats will feature embroidered logos and the burgees will be suitable to fly from the masthead or flagstaff of your classic boat.  Registered boaters will benefit from a substantially discounted price and will be able to pick up their treasures when they arrive at the festival.  The hats and burgees will also be available for registered boaters who don’t purchase them on-line at the festival for the same discounted price.

Watch this site and the on-line registration portal for photos and ordering instructions.


See you this August!