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!

Registration for 2019 is Open!

OK… so Lake Michigan might look not quite ready for a classic and wooden boat festival, but that shouldn’t stop you from preparing for another terrific boating season.  We’re gearing up for this year’s fun weekend in beautiful Sturgeon Bay and registrations have already begun to arrive.  Don’t wait!  The best Door County Hotel, B&B, and Inn accommodations are available now.  So download our 2019 Registration Form, or watch this site for our new on-line reservation system which will be available, soon.

See you this August!

Two Days To Go!


Well here we are, just about ready to begin a fun weekend.  The weather forecast indicates perfect weather for both our Friday cruise and the entire weekend.  Make your plans now to stop by.

Thank You U.S. Coast Guard!

Maritime Week activities are underway honoring the US Coast Guard.  One of the highlights so far was the visit of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Escanaba. Launched on the Great Lakes in the mid 1980’s, she’s only been back twice and she was here in Sturgeon Bay this weekend. She was open for tours and they were terrific. Normally she’s patrolling the South American coastline involved in drug interdiction activities, and it was clear that this mission visiting Great Lakes ports was a lot more pleasant.  You missed seeing her, but don’t despair because the Coast Guard will have a 45 footer docked at the Festival on Saturday for you to visit. She’ll be just behind our tug, the John Purves.


Where Are All The Boats?

Here’s some interesting information to help make your visit to the Festival more fun.  Check out this photo which shows where all the boats will be.  Don’t miss the in-water displays next door to the museum in Skipper Bud’s Harbor Club Marina.  Skipper Bud’s volunteers to host the display, so give them an attaboy when you have the chance.  Without their support our Festival wouldn’t be the same.  You’ll find the boats clustered together in the first few basins.

Skipper logo


Maritime Week Fireworks!

After the first day of our Festival closes on Saturday, there is still plenty to do and enjoy in downtown Sturgeon Bay.  The city offers a number of fine restaurants from pub food to up-scale dining.  The waterfront is beautiful in the late afternoon, perfect for a walk and an evening’s cocktail.

Don’t forget!  On Saturday night there are the fireworks over the inner harbor sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and the Sail Training Foundation.  Take your boat out onto the water for the view, take a fireworks cruise aboard the Chicago Fireboat, dine at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, or find a spot along the shore.  Fireworks are a great way to end Day One of our Classic and Wooden Boat Festival.

Did you know that the week prior to our festival is Maritime Week in Sturgeon Bay?  There are activities for you to enjoy all week long.  Click on this link to learn more about what’s happening!



Take a Peek

I couldn’t pass up posting another couple of pictures of Providence, the 1960 teak ketch that will be gracing our docks during the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival.  She’s a real beauty. Wait until you see her in person!

image2 2 image1 3


Another beauty, although altogether different, is this 1958 Lone Star Meteor complete with her classic Gator trailer.  She’s a perfect example of the automotive styling so popular with the early fiberglass motor boating public.  She’ll be at the Festival for you to enjoy.  Until then, enjoy these pictures.  Incredible, isn’t she?



Click on a picture to view it full size.

Big Water Big Boats



One of the advantages our Classic and Wooden Boat Festival enjoys is being located on the Great Lakes with the possibility of attracting large boats.  This year we are thrilled to host Providence, a 1960 Mayflower Ketch designed by Angelman and Davies and built by American Marine at Junk Bay, Hong Kong.  She’s 40′ on deck and 52′ overall, built of 1 7/8″ teak and powered by a Detroit 3-53 50 horsepower diesel.   Her restoration is not  yet complete, but she’ll be at the dock for our Festival.  Here’s a chance to visit a truly terrific classic wooden sailing vessel right here in Sturgeon Bay.

Click on an image to see a larger version.

Remember, admission to the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival is free.  It’s really great for family fun.  Food, beautiful boats, kids’ activities and the Sikaflex Challenge!

image1 2

Maritime History Alive

One of the great advantages the Door County Maritime Museum brings to the Door County community is its ability to preserve the maritime history of the peninsula.  Our Classic and Wooden Boat Festival does its best to add to that effort.  This year we are honored to host a boat traveling from Minnesota to Sturgeon Bay- a boat with Door County connections and some real history behind it.   Here is Swan, an 18′ US Lighthouse Establishment launch from 1920.  She’s powered by a dual-cylinder 12 horsepower engine.  Her current owner purchased her from a fisherman in Door County in 1975.  She hasn’t been home in quite some time, so stop by the festival to see her in person.



And while this boat doesn’t have a true Door County connection, it’s likely the oldest boat you’ll see at the Festival.   Here is a Warren Cole Adirondack Guideboat from 1895!  She 16 beautiful feet long.  Think of it.  Grover Cleveland was President of the United States when she first hit the water.  This is a boat you’ve got to visit.

Varnished Cole Guideboat 1


Here’s a fun fact.  The Museum’s boatbuilding class constructed an Adirondack Guideboat this last winter and it is currently being raffled off through the Museum.  So if you would like a Guideboat of your own and you’d like to help support the Museum, buy your raffle tickets at the Festival or at one of the many events taking place around the peninsula this summer.  The drawing will take place at the Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor this fall.  The winner does not need to be present.  For information about the raffle, click here. 


Registration is underway!

We are looking forward to a great Festival again this year and it looks like we’re going to have a terrific collection of boats for everyone to enjoy.  Whether you enjoy kayaks and canoes, sailboats, classic fiberglass, historic craft, or varnished mahogany, we’re going to have it all this August.  Now is the time to register if you want to join the fun!

Here’s a sneak peek at a bit of what’s in store for 2018.  There’s much more.

Here’s a link to our 2018 Registration Form

See you in August in Sturgeon Bay!

News Flash 7

Only a couple of days to go!

Are you ready for the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival?  We are.  Nearly 40 boats will be on display on the museum grounds and next door in the water at Skipper Bud’s Harbor Club Marina.  We will accept boats right up to the festival opening at 9am Saturday morning, so if you want to be part of the festival, join in.  The weather forecast is still great.  It’s going to be a beautiful weekend.

Remember there is something at the show for everyone- classic wooden motorboats, beautiful sailboats, canoes, fiberglass classics and more.  Even the kids can have fun.  The Coast Guard’s Coastie will be there along with a damage control interactive trailer, toy boat painting, and the fun along Madison Avenue.

Admission to the grounds of the festival is free.  The museum and our tug, the John Purves, are open with low boat-show special entrance fees.  The always entertaining Sikaflex Challenge Boat Building Competition and time trials on Sunday won’t cost you a dime to watch.

So bring the family.  It’s fun, the displays are terrific, and the food is the best of any boat show in Wisconsin.

News Flash 6

Great Weather- Great Boats

chris miller
Thanks to Chris Miller Photography for the romantic Door County photo!

The long-range forecast for our festival weekend is calling for great weather, so now’s the time to register your boat and visit beautiful Door County, Wisconsin.  It looks like we’re going to have a nice variety of classics attending this year.   Take a look at this list of boat builders whose handiwork will be on display.  And there are more to come…

Cruisers Inc.


Chris Craft






Shell Lake



Correct Craft

Superior Plastics/Marlin

Lone Star

News Flash 5

Great Weather Predicted

We just checked the long range forecast for the weekend of August 12th and it looks terrific.  Sunny, mild, a cool gentle breeze.    Check it out by clicking here.   So it’s safe to send in your reservations now.  So far, we have ten boats in our pre-event cruise on Friday with room for more.  If you want to be part of the cruise, let us know right away by emailing us at dcclassicboatfestival@gmail.com.  The deadline is August 1st, but we may be able to accommodate late registrations if they are in ASAP.

For the Kids

You might get a kick out of seeing the toy tugboats and sailboats a dedicated group of volunteers have created for our Kids Boat Painting activity which will be located behind the museum next to the Sikaflex Challenge builders during the festival.  We supply the paint- the kids provide the talent.  We have a great fleet of these classic wooden vessels!

There are more great activities for kids at the festival, too.   Watch for more information.


News Flash 4

Lighthouses and “Fiberglassics”

Seven boats have already registered for the pre-event cruise on Friday, August 11th.  The 2nd Annual Bay to Lake Lighthouse Cruise was new last year and gives visiting boaters a chance to exercise their classic craft, pose for a couple of great photo-ops, visit two of Door County’s finest lighthouses, have a terrific lunch at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club, tour the museum’s signature vessel the John Purves, and finally enjoy a cocktail reception in the museum at the end of the day.  And all of that is before the festival officially opens!  If you are planning to bring a boat, we have to have your registration prior to August 1st if you are planning to take part in the cruise.


As you know, we are encouraging great boats from the early days of fiberglass to attend the show.  These “Fiberglassics” are becoming very popular collector boats and there are many in Wisconsin.  The photos above show one, a Shell Lake Rocket, that we be with us in August.  It will be great to see these terrific designs once again.

News Flash 3

If you haven’t registered yet for our festival, now’s the time!

We are going to have a few beautiful boats again this year as we always do.  Remember though, that well-maintained “user” boats are also welcome.  This show values heritage.  The history of each boat and the stories owners can share with visitors are priceless.  So what can you look forward to?  The Amphicar will be here again of course, but on Sunday only.  So if you want to see her in action, drop in then.  It looks like a good year for lapstrake boats, too.  Here’s a little teaser.


And while your visiting the festival, don’t forget to check out our Boathouse Sale.

(Click here)

Wooden Sailboat - 18 inches

We are going to have some terrific bargains available for you to purchase in support of the Door County Maritime Museum.  Not only will there be unique nautical items, but a nice selection of boats, too.  Plan your visit now.

Thank You Supporters and Volunteers!

The Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival relies on the generosity of many  businesses and individuals across the community who volunteer time, resources, and monetary support. We hope you will thank them for that support by supporting them.  Please visit them and let them know you appreciate their participation.  Check them out by clicking here.

News Flash 2

IMG_3225A Schedule of Events

The best way to plan for our festival is to look ahead at the schedule of events for August 11 through 13.  There will be lots to do at the Museum all weekend and fun next door at the Maritime on Madison street festival on Saturday.  Check out the Museum’s events below.

Friday, August 11, 2017

11 am – 5 pm Bay to Lake Lighthouse Cruise for Boat Registrants
6 pm – 8 pm Boat Registrant Cocktail Reception


Saturday, August 12, 2017     

9 am – 6 pm Door County Maritime Museum open

Boat House Sale

Special tugboat John Purves tours

Classic & Wooden Boat Displays (in-water and out-of-water)

Voting for People’s Choice—Classic & Wooden Boat (ends at 6 p.m.)

Demonstrations (Aquacar, Kahlenberg Engine, Coast Guard demos)

Kids’ Games

Wooden Boat Raffle

Concession Sales

10 am – 6 pm Sikaflex Boatbuilding Challenge –construction phase followed by decoration
10:30 am – 12 pm Chicago Fireboat Tour (purchase tickets onboard)
11 am – 3 pm Coast Guard 41’ Boat Guided Tours
12:30 pm – 2 pm Chicago Fireboat Tour (purchase tickets onboard)
2 pm Start Your Engines
7 pm Evening on the Bay– Boat Parade at Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club
Dusk Fireworks at Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club


Sunday, August 13, 2017

9 am – 5 pm Door County Maritime Museum open
9 am – 12 pm Voting for People’s Choice—Sikaflex boats
10 am – 3 pm Boat House Sale

Special tugboat John Purves tours

Classic & Wooden Boat Displays (in-water and out-of-water)

Demonstrations (Aquacar, Kahlenberg Engine, Coast Guard demos)

Kids’ Games

Wooden Boat Raffle

Concession Sales

10:30 am – 12 pm Chicago Fireboat Tour (purchase tickets onboard)
11 am – 2 pm Coast Guard 41’ Boat Guided Tours
1 pm Sikaflex Boatbuilding Challenge—Time Trials
3 pm Festival closes following Awards Ceremony

News Flash 1

Our Festival is more than an exhibit of beautiful classic and wooden boats.  It’s also a place to find a special treasure for your boat or home.  Nautical odds and ends will be on sale at our Boathouse Sale tent.  The proceeds of the sale support the Door County Maritime Museum, so you can feel good about buying yourself a special little item.  The prices are always right and the selection is always interesting.

Wondering what’s in store this year.  Look at this.  A sailboard!  Just what you need. To discover what else awaits you, plan to visit the Festival on August 12 and 13th.

donated sailboard

Registration is now open!


Registration for this year’s festival is open and several boats have already reserved space for this August.  Joining us in Door County is simple.  Download the registration material, fill it in and mail it with your check to the address on the form.  That’s it. You can download the registration form by clicking here.

We want to feature some of the boats that are coming in 2017 on this site as the year progresses, so if you can, when you register please include information about your boat and a picture if you have one available.

If it’s easier, you can always email your boat’s history and send the picture to us at: