This weeks story line has to us here at Woody Boater been one of the most exciting in a long time. Sure we love reporting on shows and folks bung holes. But this week we hit a nerve and to be honest it took some nerve on our parts to reach out and ask some of the tough questions that have..honestly.. needed to be talked about for years. Texx is right. These are the conversations that happen behind the scenes, and are tough for clubs to talk about with out painfully looking inward and re assessing what and why the exist. So the conversation is tucked away and folks that talk are labeled trouble makers. My fat face is on a poster in a lobby in Clayton for sure.. As a marketing person in my real life, I am never threatened by such talk because in the end, it helps. And this week we stepped up and to our joy, you, our fellow Woody Boaters had a field day. To give you an idea of how big this week was.. We had over 30,000 page views this week alone. Comments have put some of the stories this week in the all time most popular stories area. We hit the nerve. And we have been rewarded by it because of the thoughtful feedback. We should all take notice. Because the future of our passion is at stake and the answers were right in front of us. We also were reminded of how fun this is. And shocked about the age issue. 50 is the new 20… Woohooo.I won’t have to pee 30 times tonight…
Two things came load and clear this week. One. Restoration is restoration, you can save money if you do it yourself, and if you want a quality professional job, hire the best. And those guys in order to survive, need to be paid. A novel idea.. mmm. But that lead to the bigger thought. We are a lifestyle, Not a hobby.. As a hobby, its painful to drop bucks on a bottom, but as a lifestyle, its part of your day to day life, no different than putting a deck on the back of your house. There is a comment from yesterday that if you have not read, you should. the comment is from a guy named “Rabbit”. It’s around comment 40 from yesterday. This comment nailed it. I know Rabbit and I won’t tell you who he is, but I will say that his opinion and knowledge of the world of marketing is at the top of the list in the world. He is the brains behind multi million dollar campaigns that you see each day and love.. Add those comments with some thoughts from Paul H who makes a fine living on understanding trends, with some others like this Quote from M-fine.. “Watch On Golden Pond again, does the old man make the kids day by taking him to Clayton, or does he teach him to drive the boat and let him take it out on the lake for a spin?” and you have what could be the first virtual think tank on the issue. .. You could not create a better think tank group on this issue in the world. I am not kidding or even exaggerating. We had some of the top classic boat restoration guys around chime in, Money folks that deal in what sells, marketing people from the finest ad agencies in the world, Collectors with some amazing collections and folks that own and make a business from this lifestyle. All spontaneous and from the heart. Amazing once in a lifetime stuff that is worth the read. As painful as it may be, all 40 and counting comments from yesturdays story are worth reading.
So whats to conclude from this? First. Classic Boating is in a transition from being a boater from that era and preservation of those boats to a lifestyle. I separate these for a reason. The ACBS, and clubs need to exist for the preservation to happen. For the folks that want to work on the boats and restore them and find out information on there boats. We all need clubs to have a common place to go for information and conversation. The youth programs are great to teach how to build a boat… BUT, as life goes on and a younger group becomes interested in boating. The lifestyle that these fine water craft represent is very romantic. They represent a time of leisure, weekends and a more simple time. They conjure up images of pin ups, BW photos of a more polished look, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra… Blonde Bomb shells.. Florida homes, Lake Tahoe sun sets, Cabanas, Martini’s, and yes.. Skipper caps. This lifestyle will grow the hobby. This lifestyle is the entry pont into the future and survival of our boats. fiberglass, aluminum, or wood, it does not matter. We are all “Curators” to quote Rabbit…of the Woody Boater lifestyle, and you, our Woody Boaters are in a small way the voice of that lifestyle. We need to keep that up. Wear your skipper hats proudly. And use your boat out on the lake, have a cocktail party instead of a boat show. Invite, “hot women” to the party. They might actually show up if you promise to go boating and not talk about Reed and Prince Screw heads.. Thanks for your comments. Lets go Woody Boating!
Matt & Texx