AUCTIONS - The Warner Collection

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More than 125 classic and vintage wooden boats go under the hammer in the USA next month

AUCTIONS - The Warner Collection
AUCTIONS — The Warner Collection

Tough economic times in the US has forced one pleasureboat company to part with around 125 classic and vintage wooden boats, rare engines, parts and tools at a no-reserve auction in Minnesota next month.

Known as the The Warner Collection, Mecum Auctions described the lots as an eclectic mix of vintage wooden boats built from 1909 to 1996, including some of the finest examples of Hackercraft, Garwood, Chris-Craft, Shepherd, Lyman, Century, and Riva models in the world.

The harshness of the economy of the past few years has forced F. Todd Warner, the owner of wooden boat specialist company Mahogany Bay, to auction his collection, which he began in 1974, and raise much needed capital.

"For Todd to sell his beloved collection of boats, like a 17ft Higgins which he has had since he was age 14, has not been easy for him ‘to get his head around’," said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auctions.

"As all of us in business have over the last few years experienced, the struggle (is) to keep a business running with the shortage of participation from the banking industry. The equity from the auction of the collection will take the ‘pressure’ off Todd and allow him to continue his life work and commitment to wood boats.

"Todd, a long-time educator and enthusiast, is committed to preserving the history of wooden boating in America and has decided to sell these priceless artifacts to new stewards in the industry at a Mecum no-reserve auction.

"With such a broad variety, this auction 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," Mecum said.

The Warner Collection Vintage Boat Auction will be held from Oct 15 to 17, in Winsted, Minnesota.

For more info, go to

Photos: Regarded as one of the most well-known Chris-Crafts in the world, the 1932 27ft 275hp triple-cockpit runabout Sugar Lady; The 1909 Moore 42ft enclosed glass-window launch Harriet is the only remaining example of pre-eminent Minnesota builder Moore Boat Works, established in 1886; 1949 Hackercraft 36ft 580hp runabout, Thunderballs, is one of the largest triple-cockpit Hackercraft ever produced; 1962 Staudacher 32ft 1500hp Unlimited hydroplane Alter Ego; Todd Warner.


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