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!

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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  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:

Mark your Calendar Now


Here it comes!

August 12 and 13, 2017 with pre-event cruise/social on August 11, 2017.

It’s time to mark your calendar for the 27th Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival.  Join us in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13, 2017 to enjoy a weekend of vintage and classic boating on the grounds of the Door County Maritime Museum.  Planning is well underway and it’s going to be a fun festival.

If you are considering bringing a boat, we have a special pre-event cruise scheduled for Friday, August 11th prior to the festival’s official opening.  It’s our second annual Bay to Lake Lighthouse Cruise.  If you join the fleet, the cruise will give you a chance to meet and socialize with your fellow boaters and take your boat out onto the water for some really good cruising and great photo-ops.

Watch this site for further announcements.


A List of Vessels


If you missed this year’s festival, you might wonder what kinds of vessels registered for our show.  It was a fascinating mix that ranged from an 8′ dingy to a 69′ tall ship.

Check out the list below.

1955 15′ Lyman Runabout
2008 17′ Sea Kayak
2005 17′ Canoe/Outrigger
2015 10′ Touring Kayak
1957 15′ Thompson Sea Coaster
1951 27′ Chris Craft Super Semi-enclosed Cruiser
1958 19′ Streblow Rebel
2015 19′ Glen L Torpedo
1963 14′ Amphicar
2012 17′ Outer Island Kayak
2015 18′ Voyageur Canoe
2006 17′ Rangely Lake Boat
2016 17′ Traveler Canoe
1969 16′ Steury V-416 Fiberglass
1918 30′ Leyore
1966 15′ Thompson
2009 19′ Oselver Faering
2013 15′ Marsh Cat
1947 17′ Chris Craft Deluxe Runabout
2015 17′ Penobscot 17
1967 22′ Chris Craft Sea Skiff Sportsman
20?? 10′ Lawton Tender
1960 10′ Saetre Combi-Jolle
1935 24′ Burger Crocker #159
1895 16′ Warren Cole Adirondack Guideboat
2003 18′ Redfish Return Kayak
2011 15′ Bear Mountain Hiawatha Canoe
1950 18′ Greavette DISPRO
2007 18′ Ted Moores Red Bird Canoe
1954 15′ Streblow
2003 15′ River Runner
1953 24′ Chris Craft Holiday
1941 11′ Dunphy Portage
1957 18′ Cruisers Inc 502 Vacationer
1957 19′ Lyman Islander Runabout
1950’s 14′ Jet 14 Racing Dingy
1959 17′ Cruisers Inc Commander
1963 36′ Chris Craft Roamer
1960 8′ El Toro Racing Dingy
1958 15′ Tomahawk Ski-Mate
1960 12′ Homebuilt Rowboat
2016 16′ Whitehall Pulling Boat

It Was A Great Festival


Mark your calendars now for next year’s festival, August 11 through 13, 2017!

We enjoyed great weather and big crowds at this year’s Classic and Wooden Boat Festival. 43 vessels were on hand for boating enthusiasts to enjoy.  Everything was here, from classic wooden fishing boats to canoes, kayaks, sailing vessels, to beautiful mahogany wooden runabouts. The Coast Guard offered tours of the museum’s 41 foot Coast Guard Cutter and encouraged kids of all ages to “save their ships” in the Damage Control Simulator.   Art lovers marveled at the original paintings and prints displayed in the museum- works by talented regional artists. The Kahlenberg Engine fired up providing a rarely experienced opportunity for fans of marine engines. The Chicago Fireboat and our tall ship, The Edith Becker  offered cruises. Visitors enjoyed delicious locally caught Whitefish sandwiches expertly fried and drank refreshingly cool beverages.  The Boathouse Sale offered “veteran” pieces of equipment for sale and anyone interested could buy a raffle ticket to win the museum’s newly built Whitehall pulling boat.  Visitors toured the museum amazed at Door County’s maritime history, and of course, spectators enjoyed watching the building, racing, and eventual destruction of entries in the Sikaflex Challenge Boatbuilding Contest.

Check out the galleries of photos from this year’s festival.

Last Minute Peek

Sportsmen and women all across Wisconsin will find some interesting craft at our festival this year.  Classic and wooden boating isn’t just about glorious varnished mahogany runabouts, it’s also about fishing and rowing and small boat sailing.  Take a look at this beautiful Dunphy.  It makes you want to spend some quiet lake time, doesn’t it?  See more like her this weekend in Sturgeon Bay.


Click here to learn more about this boat.

Sneak Peek Number 7

So how old is the oldest boat registered for this year’s festival?   Is it 35, or 50, or 75 years old?  Or is it none of the above.

The answer is 121 years old!  Yes, that’s right.  The year was 1895 and Teddy Roosevelt was Assistant Secretary of the Navy.  The Spanish-American War had not yet been fought. That year, Warren Cole of Long Lake, NY built this  beautiful Adirondack Guideboat.


Built to take wealthy guests hunting and fishing in the wilderness, the Guideboats were hand-built of thin pine planking and spruce ribs.  Held together by 3,000 screws and 5,000 tacks, these lightweight craft were known for superior workmanship and performance. She weighs only 63 pounds and is driven by 8 foot oars.  Visit our festival to see and learn more about this historical treasure.

Sneak Peek Number 6

Wooden boatbuilding is not a dead skill.  Amateur boatbuilders are a work across the country and Wisconsin building kayaks, canoes, pulling boats, motor boats and sailboats. This year we have a number of terrific home-builds, from canoes and kayaks, to the terrific Glen L Torpedo, to these great sailboats.  These are not kits- they are boats built by hand from a set of plans and a pile of material.  Take a look at some of the latest registrants in our sailboat category.

Pictured above is Li’l Boat whose home port is Egg Harbor, WI.  A 15′ gaff-rigged cat boat designed by Joel White, the boat is strip built with 7/16 inch Atlantic White Cedar sheathed with epoxy and finished with mahogany brightwork.  The owners modified the plans somewhat, changing the outer stem, after deck, the wrap-around coaming, seats, and rudder.  They even cut all of the cedar strips themselves!  10 years in the building, she’s a beauty!

This is a Olsever Faering built from plans by Selway-Fisher, England.  It’s a traditional craft often seen along the west coast of Norway.  With two rowing stations allowing for four oars, the Faering (faer=four) carries a spritsail to make life easier.


A boatbuilder’s workshop.  This is a Penobscot 17 in the early stages of construction.  You see her here on a strongback assuring a fair and straight hull.  The Penobscot 17 was designed by Arch Davis and she’s a plywood lapstrake sailboat.  17′ long she weighs only 350 pounds.  Her owner completed her in July 2015 after working for roughly 18 months.  She’s built of Douglas fir, ash, Sitka spruce, mahogany, pine, okoume plywood and cherry.  The cherry, ash, and fir were harvested in east central Wisconsin. Very pretty.


Venetian Night News

SBYC Burgee-2

The Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club has invited boat festival registered participants to join their Venetian Night Parade, Saturday evening following the close of our festival.  The parade takes place just off the yacht club’s dock prior to the evening’s fireworks display.  Anyone interested should know the following:

Is pre-registration required?  If so, by when?   Yes, 7:00PM August 13th.  Anyone interested should contact SBYC directly via email or phone.  Call Terry Kortbein at 920 743-5503.  Email: 

Is there a fee to participate?   No

What time is the parade, and what time must the participants be ready to go?    8:30PM start (sunset is at 8:30) should be out front at 8:15. Subject to weather. Fireworks at 9:30.

Is there a theme? Not really,  but feel free to dress as Neptune , Nemo, or Sponge Bob if you like.

Don’t forget that many of the show participants will gather informally at the yacht club following the festival’s close to have a bite to eat, enjoy a cool beverage, and watch the parade and fireworks.  The SBYC is open to the public that evening.

Sneak Peek Number 5

How about these?  Do you know anything about a Kahlenberg engine?  Or how about a 1912 Leyare?  If you’re interested, visit us this August.

Kahlenberg is still in business, although no longer producing marine engines.  Built in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, these engines qualify as native Northeast Wisconsin products!  If you’ve never seen or heard one run, this is your chance.


And then there is the 1912 Leyare, a gorgeous boat with a racing heritage that reaches back to the beginning of the 20th century.  Built in upper New York state, Soo Long will be in the water and running this August.  Read more about Joseph Leyare’s boats here.