Heads turn when people catch their first sight of On Deck’s in-store boat. This icon of boats casually rests in the middle of the men’s display area in the company’s downtown Fish Creek location. On Deck Staff will tell you, “It’s amazing, they just stop, they literally just stop at first sight and so many times you hear a ‘whoa’ when they see this 1935 pristine condition Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout, equipped with a Chrysler in-line six-cylinder engine. There is not a day that goes by that patrons ask us, ‘How did you get this boat in the store?’ The next question that typically follows is ‘…does she still run?'”
When Mitch Larson, owner of On Deck, purchased the Fish Creek corner building in 1997, he wanted to have a proud representation for the love of Door County he himself experienced at a young age growing up in Sister Bay. This love was about summer boat rides in his grandfather’s 17’ Chris-Craft Runabout. “As soon as I purchased the Fish Creek corner store it was without hesitation that I knew I had to offer a visual experience for what I grew up knowing as ‘my Door County’.”
So, the answers are simple. With the grand opening for the new Fish Creek On Deck store location set for the spring of 1997, Mitch Larson and a crew of 2 took a quiet spring day, removed the front window to the store, and ever so gently eased the 17’ 1935 Chris-Craft Runabout through the window opening and onto her display area where she rests so prominently today. And yes, she still runs!