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Pritzker’s sweet ride

Tuesday, Jul 2, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Not sure of the news value of this, but here’s the Tribune

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker was caught speeding on Geneva Lake in Wisconsin last month, he was driving a sleek, custom-built wooden speedboat that’s among the most expensive on the lake. […]

The boat Pritzker was driving is a brown, 28.7-foot wooden craft built in 2010 by Van Dam Custom Boats, a luxury wooden boat maker based in Boyne City, Michigan, according to a copy of the June 7 warning Pritzker received and the boat’s Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recreational vehicle information report, documents obtained by the Tribune. […]

The Don Don model is described on the Van Dam website as a “contemporary boat with exotic automotive style,” built with “mahogany milled from a single log” and a stainless steel steering wheel, and able to reach speeds of more than 60 mph.

Brian Jahns, a sales executive at Gage Marine on Williams Bay, who has sold wooden boats in Lake Geneva for 27 years, said the Don Don is “ultrarare.”

       

48 Comments
  1. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:46 am:

    I once ran into Pate Philip when we were on vacation on Michigan’s UP, he wasd riving a boat that looked like navy surplus, must not have been a Don Don.


  2. - PJ - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    God bless the reporter who had to chase down a boat salesman to get a quote on the rarity of JB’s ride. What would we do without this information?


  3. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:49 am:

    My 1972 Ford Pinto is rare too. Just sayin’


  4. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    You get a nice mix at Lake Geneva - from regular Joes bringing their family in a minivan to billionaires


  5. - Unpopular - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    Wealth is tolerated if you have the proper liberal political views to go along with it.


  6. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:54 am:

    Sweet is right. As my grandma used to say, tucking two dollars into my pocket, “whether you are rich or poor, it’s always good to have a little money. “ I was 43.


  7. - slow down - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    Governor Pritzker is rich and owns expensive stuff? I had no idea! Thank you Tribune!


  8. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    I’m shocked, shocked. A rich dude with an expensive boat. Who would have guessed. Thank you Tribune and contact reporter Mr. Obvious.


  9. - Yacht Rocker - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:55 am:

    It’s as much of a news story as Rauner’s nine homes.


  10. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    Nice boat, but clearly a step below the Don Don Donnnnnn.


  11. - ike - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    If JB just had the political savvy to just drive around in an old van like Bruce, then we would all forget how rich he is /s


  12. - Yacht Rocker - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    The Don Don is an ultra rare boat with ultra high fuel consumption too. Not going to get the Green vote jetting around Lake Geneva in that boat.


  13. - Cocoa Dave - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    The real news story is, does Pritzker’s Don Don have a toilet?


  14. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    If you got it, flaunt it.


  15. - SW - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:11 am:

    Give the guy a break. He’s rich. We all dream of winning the $500 million lotto and buying toys.


  16. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:12 am:

    I am guessing the family has a decent sized home on Lake Geneva and visiting the VanDam boats site and seeing those absolutely stunning woooden boats they built I would expect nothing less from him.

    Certainly less ‘compensating’ that some fiberglass monstrosity.

    Rich dude has sweet, sweet boat is about as much of a story as Rauner’s houses.

    Then again this story did allow me to go look at some sweet boats, so there is that.


  17. - danray - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Googled the Don Don.
    Wow, a beautiful watercraft. Good on JB.


  18. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Only difference between men and boys is the price of the toys.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    I’ll choose a person so comfortable in their skin they can have a boat like that and it’s not a gaudy centerpiece.

    The one I’ll reject will be someone who believes mocking “rubes” by wearing costumes and having vehicles or showpieces “just like us” because who they are… makes themselves uncomfortable.


  20. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    real “man of the people” stuff


  21. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    Kudo’s to JB. It’s a beautiful craft.

    A wooden boat is a bear to maintain. I realize the cost is not an issue for the gov., but a wooden boat is like a work of art that requires significant annual maintenance.

    Having owned a 1/2 dozen boats, I’ve never aspired to owning a wooden one.


  22. - Red ghetto in a blue state - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    Pritzker needs to bring that ride over to the big creek next time he visits forgotonia!


  23. - Leon Durham - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    Jahns estimated that when the Pritzker family bought the boat, it was valued in the $500,000 range and is now in the $700,000 range.

    Got to respect a man whose depreciating assets aprreciate


  24. - Joe Procol Haram - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    =Jahns estimated that when the Pritzker family bought the boat, it was valued in the $500,000 range and is now in the $700,000 range.=

    Being a boat owner - a boat that is viewed as an asset rather than a financial liability is truly remarkable.


  25. - Anotheretiree - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    Beautiful boat..But I can’t see where the livewells are or a place to reapply the catfish stinkbait, so it seems impractical for me. Will stick with the 1972 Fisher Marine


  26. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    A boat hand built by skilled craftsmen in the Midwest. The horror.


  27. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    === Wealth is tolerated if you have the proper liberal political views to go along with it. ===

    Wealth is tolerated if the holder is NOT trying to enhance his/hers at the expense of those who don’t have it. There I fixed it for you.


  28. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    Norseman,
    Seriously? “Not trying to enhance…”
    Need you be reminded of Governor STD’s (Scheme to Defraud) toilet debacle? He was clearly trying to put a greater property tax burden on other’s by reducing his.


  29. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Anyone else think the only reason he was stopped for speeding was so the ticket issuer could get a closer/better look at the H20 Mobile?
    Any other trespass to get a good look would be breaking and entering.
    If he lived on the coast, it’d be a yacht.
    If he lived on an island, a cruise ship.
    If he lived next to Miller, it would be a Griswold worthy festooned Pontoon.
    In Lake Geneva, a Cigarette Boat. Cullerton probably wants to triple the taxes on it for it’s name alone.


  30. - Nonbeliever - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    This is what really rich people do. They spend money on fantastic toys.

    No surprise and no news value.


  31. - Practical Politics - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:12 am:

    Meh, it’s not like Pritzker is going to win the annual Chicago to Mackinaw race. He is not a boater in the class of Commodore William Hale Thompson, Jr., whose racing schooner, “Valmore,” was 81 feet in length.


  32. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:28 am:

    It holds 80 gallons of fuel. Will he be filling up the tank in Illinois at least to help fund the capital bill?


  33. - Behind the Scenes - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:29 am:

    What? We’ve got no lakes to speed on in Illinois?


  34. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    == What? We’ve got no lakes to speed on in Illinois?==

    He knows better to bring it to Lake Springfield and swamp Rich’s pontoon boat.


  35. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    Downstate, the inference in the original comment was that folks were letting JB skate because he was liberal. When in fact, nobody should really care if he has an expensive speedboat when it doesn’t impact any of us. Of course your run to the toilet doesn’t change that point since JB was rightfully pilloried for that action by foe and friend. Perhaps that’s why he paid the money back.


  36. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    Used to run my chris craft on lake Geneva, wonderful times


  37. - Hamilton - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    I want to hear from the DNR officer about how much fun they had giving the Gov of IL a speeding ticket in his fancy boat.


  38. - BoSox - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    Geneva Lake and Lake Geneva are separate lakes my fellow flatlanders. Wonder when JB is going to change his residency to WI for tax purposes.


  39. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Have to say JB had good taste in boats.


  40. - Token Conservative - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    If Rauner had that boat, these commenters would be losing their spit.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===If Rauner had that boat, these commenters would be losing their spit.===

    If Rauner had this boat he’d call it a “garbage can boat” and deny its value, saying “it’s a small boat, I’m thrifty, had it for decades”

    So, there’s that.


  42. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    ==The real news story is, does Pritzker’s Don Don have a toilet?==

    That would be the “John Don”…
    (sorry)


  43. - oh? - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    The only surprise here is that the Trib didn’t slam him for using a private boat in lieu of a DNR owned garbage scow.


  44. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    Breaking News From The Tribune: J.B. Pritzker owns an expensive house. “Be sure to subscribe today for this and other important news of the day”


  45. - Downstate - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    ….”JB was rightfully pilloried for that action by foe and friend. Perhaps that’s why he paid the money back.”

    A bank robber is always willing to give the money back after he gets caught.


  46. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    Nice boat, governor. My lottery dream boat was a Chris Craft… Until now.


  47. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Jul 2, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    ===If Rauner had this boat he’d call it a “garbage can boat” and deny its value, saying “it’s a small boat, I’m thrifty, had it for decades”===

    And we’d also have to endure him wearing a captain’s costume, like Ted Knight in Caddyshack.


  48. - A guy - Wednesday, Jul 3, 19 @ 9:05 am:

    We come on the Sloop J B
    My grandfather and me
    Around Nassau town we did roam
    Drinking all night
    Got into a fight
    Well I feel so broke up
    I want to go home…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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