If you’re like most yachtsmen, your heart melts upon the site of a classic, all-wood runabout. Maybe you already own one, or perhaps you have one on your ultimate wish list. Either way, an auction being held in Minnesota in October will no doubt be of interest to you. Indeed, from the 15th to the 16th in the town of Winsted, not far from Minneapolis, 100 vintage wood runabouts will be offered — all at no reserve.
That’s right, no reserve. It’s your chance to acquire an authentic woody built by Hackercraft, Chris-Craft, Garwood, Riva, and other notable names. Judging from who’s offering the boats, you can rest assured that they are indeed authentic, and most, if not all, should be in good condition: F. Todd Warner. Aficionados among you will no doubt recognize the name. Warner is the founder of Mahogany Bay, which restores, sells, and transports wooden boats. Warner has also personally owned more than 1,000 vintage craft and is renowned as an expert on them.
For this sale, he’s tapping the expertise of Mecum Auctions. The company is known for its offerings of collector cars and has recently made inroads into the classic-boat world. Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auctions, says the October sale of the Warner Collection is “a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for hobbyists to find rare boats ranging in value from several hundred dollars to more than $1 million and for restorers to secure original parts for their projects.”
He’s right. Among the boats being auctioned is the one pictured, a 26-foot Hackercraft built in 1929. A 42-foot Moore built in 1909 is not only the oldest on the list, but also the largest. Then there are a few sturdy and speedy Dodge Watercars from the 1920s, built by the very same Dodge that’s been manufacturing automobiles all these decades. (On a related note, Horace Dodge, the company founder, was an avid yachtsman.) There’s even a 33-foot Baby Garwood replica, from 1996, faithful to the boat’s origins in 1923. Besides all of the boats, there will be plenty of original equipment like engines and hard-to-find parts up for auction, also at no reserve.
To learn more, including obtaining bidder information and seeing the full list of boats available, visit the Mecum website or call 815.568.8888.