Sunsets and Friends Photo Kent O. Smith’s Iphone

As I was preparing another slide show from Clayton this morning, I found a theme of photos that I felt was a more interesting point of view on the the Clayton Show, and all boat shows. Pals! And why we really go to boat shows. Pals! To be honest, I have seen about 90% of the boats at the show before. And walking around looking at the same stuff, misses the entire point of why boat shows exist. Friendship. And actual human contact. Something that no website can replace. And if I may do so. Suggest a new marketing focus for the ACBS, the Antique & Classic Boat “Society”. The Society! Preserving the social part of classic boating.That simple. BTW, great simple strategies are that simple. Focus on your strength and truth.

The smiles say it all!


This years Clayton boat show was the most fun show I have been too there. Why? Boat rides and friendship. Period. Sure it was great to see and smell the varnish. But that lasts seconds and you can breeze through a show in about an hr. but hanging around with fellow Woody Boaters is what its about. And this years Clayton Boat Show delivered the goods BIGTIME.

Miles of smiles – Katelyn Mardsen, Phil Andrews from New Zealand and.. My ugly mug


Syd and Phil at the helm of BLACK WITCH


Katelyn Mardsen and her pink perfect Century Roan. She makes this boat more special with her passion.


Syd and Katelyn Mardsen out on the water.


Phil Andrews and Ben LaDonne out enjoying why we are all here. From across the planet!


Stay tuned for what looks like a week of stories from Clayton. We have some very cool stuff to talk about. Including amazing Pal, Kent O. Smith photos on a real camera.. Can someone say THUNDERBOLT Sunrise photos with PALS having fun!

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8 Responses to “Clayton Live Observation – Boat Shows Are Not About The Boats-ish.”
  1. Greg Lewandowski

    Matt, your story today is spot on what this hobby is all about. Fun people having a good time an trying to rub that off on others so they will come aboard. We are working hard to continue that vibe at Boat the Blue which is now only a few weeks away!
    BTW, I love the two teddies on the dash of the Gar Wood in the first photo. The Silver Fox would be proud!
    I am looking forward to more of Clayton this week

  2. Philip Andrew

    And I second that thank you Mat! It’s been so wonderful to meet the people I have heard so much about on WB. Clayton turned on the magic for sure with incredible boat rides at the beginning and the end of the show. Thanks to the LaDonne family and the 3 hour cruise around the mind blowing area. I tell you it was a dream of mine to one day make it here. True bucket list stuff.
    Thanks too to Syd and Katelyn for taking me out in their super pretty Century Roan and then the mighty Black Witch.
    Both Matt and I took a lesson in boat handling watching Syd reverse into those mahogany packed docks. Syd the maestro! Boy oh boy.

  3. Matt

    You can say that again. Syd is amazing, he backed that hemi Hacker into the spot. CRAZY! I am not worthy!

    • Dave Nau

      Yup, seeing friends and giving/taking boat rides is the ticket!

  4. Dennis Mykols

    Matt, you have a way of picking up on things like this. Just this week, we were recapping the new format for the Whitehall, MI Classic boat show held last Saturday. I made a comment that I almost lost my voice by 11 am, talking with old friends, and meeting new ones.
    And this was a small local show, but still had a lot of foot traffic and Chapter members in attendance.

  5. Mark in da U.P.

    Great story! That is what makes it fun. I hope to see some “friends” in Hessel on Sat.

  6. John N. Allen

    Bulls eye observation. Well said Matt.

    Clayton was the happy corner of hot and 100 per cent for the wooden boat world this week end. Special place with even more special people. The true Smithsonian of Antique and Classic boats.