Hello. I am new to this and just looking for some info on an old boat of my dad's. I believe it is either a 1955 or 1956 Larson Falls Flyer. My sister told me it was the first year Larson made fiberglass boats and she believes it is only one of three ever made. I don't know if that is accurate or not? The boat is in central Wisconsin and I have not seen it lately. I have one picture that was taken this past summer by someone else but it is not very good. If anyone can provide any info on the fiberglass Falls Flyers I would really appreciate it. Thank you and happy boating.
An original Flyer like that is most definitely "worth something" to the right buyer. The biggest difference between the early and later models of the Falls Flyers is the reinforcement of the floor. Mine is a 57. It has more ribs across the bottom than the 1955 model.
The Falls Flyer is a very desired boat. Not sure of numbers but there are a few around. It looks to be complete and resoration is very possable. Well worth cost of resotoring. Having title and or regestration can help its value.
All of the production data on these boats was lost in a factory fire. The fire happened in the 1950's. There are a good number of Flyers around, but they are unique enough to hold collector interest and their value.
Consider what you have here and apply the theory "They are only original once". Yours looks to be an unmolested survivor. In my opinion, even with the holes drilled for the horn and the spotlight, I would keep it original. There are very few factory painted Flyers left. Everyone wants them perfect by today's standards, which isFAR better than they ever were when originally produced.
The motor that would have come on a Flyer from the factory was a 25 hp Johnson.
People who know a lot about these boat are.
John Monahan. Little Falls MN
Lee Wangstead. Here on Fiberglassics.
Ross Pfund. Also in MN
Pfund published a news letter called Flyer Feaver for about 2 years in the 1980's It covered almost all information known about Falls Flyers. I have a few issues but not all of them. ( I suppose I should scan them and post them, but I suggest the Moderators work with me to contact Ross to see if that is OK first. He may be willing to donate the issues I do not have for publication here.
Do you know how the Flyer got its name.
Paul Larson and Larson boat works are from Little Falls Minnesota. Also one of the most famous aviators of all time is from Little Falls. That of course is Charles Lindberg. Paul wanted to pay tribute to Charles and decided to make and name a boat for him. Thus Falls for Little Falls and Flyer for Mister Lindberg. The Flyer is a close copy of the Genny airplane that Charlse flew when he lived in the Little Falls area. I believe he flew this plane to deliver mail.
Here is a picture of one of the few Flyers that have survied with the original motor hood.
Did you know the paint scheme was patented by Larson for a good many years?
My dad owned one of 18 produced, 16' outboard Flyers. He sold it about 1950. I have a 57 glass 14' and my dad now owns a 1941 13' outboard. The serial number on the 1941 is consecutive with 2 Flyers in the Paul Mikkelson collection. So 3 1941 Falls Flyers with consecutive hull numbers still exist. Several years ago we bought a 21' inboard Falls Flyer but sold it. It was just too far gone. Todd Warner of Mahogany Bay in Minnetonka bought it and built an entirely new one using our our boat as a pattern. I think it has about 200 hp and does in fact plane and "fly". LOL I think it lives on Gull lake near Brainerd MN.
A friend of ours bought a wood 14' Falls Flyer new in the early 1950's. He still has it and uses it every summer. He had the motor bubble until about 1980 when he finally threw it away. (and wishes he had kept it)
You know.....it is about time for another Falls Flyer Homecoming. Last on was in about 1990.
Well, enough of my mindless nattering about Falls Flyers. (for now)
The Larson Falls Flyer has been one of the most well researched and documented classic boats. There has been tons written about the Falls Flyer. Many articles.
There are a series of four articles about Larson Boat Works history at
and certainly mention of the Falls Flyer.
There were hundreds of these models built. Many survive. There is a museum full of them in Willmar, MN and another collection in Little Falls, MN (both mentioned above in previous post).
It was around 1954 that Larson started working with fiberglass. The continued to make wooden boats thru 1956 and into the 1957 model year. 1958 was there first year with no wooden boats in their product line.
The fire at Larson Boat Works in 1949 destroyed any pre-1949 records. I don't think the company kept very good records so they really do not have any database of how many were built after the fire.
I do not know if anyone such as the Mikkelson Colection has been keeping track of the surviving ones.
UPDATE: Thank you to all that replied and provided information on the Larson Falls Flyer. We have decided to put everything dealing with our boat "on hold" until the spring of 2012. It is not known at this time if we will be selling it. I will update as soon as I have more information.
I have copies of 7 issues and still have many questions. I believe my Flyer is so early that it may be a prototype as it had only the Larson decal but not a Falls Flyer decal. Where was the serial number on the boat or did it not even have one.