Thursday, October 28, 2010

Missing the boats


By Kristin Tillotson,

Todd Warner has spent nearly four decades finding and restoring more than 100 historic wooden boats. Next weekend, his beauties go on the auction block, and he hopes some of them stay in Minnesota.

To modern-boat enthusiasts, the cavernous warehouse in tiny Winsted, Minn., might look like it's filled with 40-foot-long dinosaurs. Sleek, swift, gorgeous dinosaurs, maybe, but creatures that belong in the past.

To Todd Warner, owner of the largest private collection of vintage wooden boats in the country, they are objects of unparalleled beauty, timeless enjoyment and rich history.

Warner has spent 37 years collecting and restoring more than 125 boats, from custom-made power racers and runabouts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to beat-up rowboats and canoes worth the sweat equity needed to restore them.

Next Saturday, he'll be kissing many of the fruits of his life's passion goodbye. His beloved Chris-Crafts and Hackercrafts, runabouts and launches, boats with names like Thunderballs, the Gerry Lo and the Sugar Lady are being auctioned to raise capital to restructure his business, Mahogany Bay... Read more


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