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Anchors away: Annual boat show to take place Saturday at Arrowwood

Classic boat admirers are encouraged to attend or enter their own boat into the Chain of Lakes Boat Show on July 10.

The event will take place at Arrowwood Resort from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Old canoes, fishing boats, outboards or inboards, family or prize-winning showboats are welcome to enter the competition. Land displays are also available and classic boats are welcome in any condition.

A large variety of watercrafts will be shown on land and in the water at this year's event, hosted by the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum. Manufacturers shown will include Chris-Craft, Gar Wood, Larson and Alexandria Boat Works. Classic inboard utilities will be featured this year and are encouraged to be brought to the boat show.

Tom Akenson has been bringing classic boats to Arrowwood Resort since 1987. The first year he participated there were about 30 boats entered. He added that there has always been good weather for the boat show each year. He also remembers the year that Joe Soucheray entered a boat that he wrote about in the book, Waterline: Of Fathers, Sons and Boats.

Akenson is entering his 1960, 24-foot, Chris-Craft Sportsmen utility boat into the classic boat show this year. This boat is equipped with a 283-cubic-inch Corvette motor.

Akenson explained the difference between utility and run-about boats. Utility boats are for fishing, hunting or slow trolling and the engine is located in the middle of the boat and can be walked around. Run-about boats are much faster with the engine located toward the back of the boat, covered with a hatch.

The best part of the boat show is being able to talk with others who enjoy the boats, said Akenson. Many who bring their boats to the show stand near their craft to talk with visitors at the show. Good food is another enjoyable part of the event, he added.

Akenson has other classic boats that will not be in the boat show this year. A 1960 Pearson Tiger Cat sailboat and an older fishing boat given to him by Al Wicken, who was once a local fishing guide. The boat had been given to Wicken by the family who once owned Akenson's home. The boat is now at the Maritime Museum.

The variety of boats at the museum makes it a very unique place. There are both wooden and fiber-glass boats. After 1967, not many wooden boats were made due to the negative factors such as quick aging. This makes these featured boats at the museum a special group.

Jim Eidsvold is another classic boat enthusiast who enjoys the show at Arrowwood each year. This year he will be entering two boats - a 1957 Continental Chris-Craft that he once learned how to water-ski behind and his 1956 Thompson boat.

Eidsvold has other classic boats he will not be entering: A 1951 Alexandria Boat Works Boat that is located at the Great Lakes Museum in Iowa and a 16-foot Lady of the Lakes boat that is at the Maritime Museum.

Eidsvold enjoys the history behind each boat and talking with other people interested in classic boats.

He added that there will also be a live band playing at the classic boat show this year. A Steam Launch boat will also be at the show.

Both Akenson and Eidsvold have "user boats." This means that they not only enjoy entering their boats into the show, but also use their watercraft out on the lake, socializing or fishing.

People from all over the Upper Midwest bring their boats to the show each year.

They enjoy the landing, large amount of space and agree it is a great spot for the show.

The show is a celebration of summer and a great showcase of Alexandria, organizers said.

Admission to the boat show is free to the public. Arrowwood will have lunch and refreshments available on the grounds.

Docking will be available on a first registered basis.

The event is not judged but there will be a People's Choice and Skipper's Choice awards.

The registration fee is $40 for each powered watercraft and $25 for each non-powered watercraft, including canoes. Participants may enter as many boats as they like.

Registration forms and fees should be submitted prior to the show, however, entries are welcome July 10, during the morning registration, as well.

Registration is payable to Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum. Interested participants can register online at

For more information about this event, contact Mary Jo Verhaeghe at (320) 759-1114.

Entrants will receive a complimentary T-shirt and information about a "Skipper's Party" for boat entrants on Friday night before the show.

Events scheduled for Saturday, July 10 include:

Registration for entrants at 8 a.m., land and water showing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and awards at 2:30 p.m. There may also be an informal lake cruise after the show, weather permitting.