Jim Gluek (Skeeter, DN, and Nite class) came across some family history in the form of this vintage trophy won by his grandfather back in 1927 on Lake Minnetonka. Jim’s grandfather raced a Johnson Boatworks-built B Class Stern Steerer. Jim also mentioned that when conditions are right on Minnetonka, Harry Allen rigs up his vintage B Class Johnson stern-steerer and takes it through the paces. (What iceboater wouldn’t want a shirt with that beautifully designed graphic?)
The Johnson Boatworks was founded by John O. Johnson in 1896 on White Bear Lake in Minnesota. In addition to building iceboats, Johnson was instrumental in scow and other soft water designs. (Johnson Boatworks is now known as White Bear Boatworks. )
More History: “Old ice boats: not for faint of heart”
Johnson Stern-Steerers have been featured over the years here on iceboat.org. This picture dates from 2013 when Fond du Lac iceboaters Dave and Jeff Lallier gave their then 84 year-old mother a ride in a Johnson B. Note the “banana” spar.
A vintage Skeeter iceboat built at Johnson Boat Works in 1945 before and after restoration.
If you are anywhere near White Bear Lake, MN on Saturday, June 22, you won’t want to miss the 14th Annual White Bear Lake Classic & Vintage Boat Show (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m – Lake Ave. at White Bear Shopping Center) where a vintage Skeeter and Stern-Steerer will be exhibited.
In conjunction with the boat show, the White Bear Press has published an entertaining write up about the Skeeter restoration and a historic Stern-Steerer that will both be on display.
(We’re glad you didn’t burn the boat! – ed.)
Old ice boats: not for faint of heart
By Debra Neutkens/Editor Jun 12, 2019
When he brought the project home, fellow ice boaters urged him to burn it. “I said, ‘no, we can’t really do that,'” Driscoll recalled. Then three people “put up their hands” and agreed to help in the restoration: John Taylor, Steve Wiberg and Steve Johnson. Steve is the grandson of Johnson Boat Works founder J.O. Johnson, a Norwegian immigrant who built his business on the shore of White Bear Lake. Continue reading.
UPDATE: Take a quick ride on Bald Eagle Lake in the PHANTOM Stern-Steerer. Tip of the Helmet: Pat Heppert