Yesterday in the comment section a commenter made an interesting comment regarding our thoughts on Algonac being a more than just another place to visit, and a must see destination for all classic boat lovers. In a way, I do understand the comment, and as you know we love a good debate, so today we thought lets keep it going.. Here is the quote.
“I roll my eyes whenever I read all this gushing about the old Chris-Craft plant. Get over it people. It was just a boat manufacturing factory, not some holy site.
I am sitting at my desk in my office right now in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The old Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co. plant is about 300 feet away from me. I can turn my head and look out the window and see it. I can see where the steam boxes protruded from the concrete block walls at one time. There are no statues, plaques, or people waiting around outside trying to get a glimpse of the interior. It’s just an old abandoned and empty factory complex. I wonder what Pete Thompson would think if he visited his grandfather’s grave (the original Peter Thompson) down the road and found bits of varnished wood on the tombstone.
If someone wants to buy the old Thompson Boat facility I am sure the owner would be happy to have you take it off his hands.
I love boats and boat history and the interest folk have in the nostalgia, but some of it is over the top.”
Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
We did state, we do love a good debate, so here we go… I will beg to differ here regarding Algonac. Algonac is far more than just a manufacturing plant. It is the home of power boating. Period. This is where it began, all of it, Before Thompson boats, before Sea Ray, and well all of it. Sure there might have been power boats made in other areas, but the lifestyle, the sport, the power of power boats and power boating started and was inspired in Algonac. You can not truly understand your boats history unless you know how and why it was created. Which brings me to the point.
It’s not about the manufacturing part, nor the buildings, or statue. It’s about the spirit, the texture and the way of life that is there, that you can only understand when you are there. And to really live it, breath it, you need to go out on the water. The very water that was in there when the first Cris Craft putt putted out to go fishing. Then raced with Gar Wood. It’s a complete picture, it is to us another religious term. The “archetype” of a classic boating experience.
I could go on… So I will.. wood, has a spirit, a memory, and is alive. Yes, the wood in your boat has feelings, and part of that feeling is it’s brief history in Algonac, where it was converted into its next life. In a way born again and baptized in the waters of the St Clair! I warned you.. I can go on and on.. So in fact, if you have restored your boat, put a new bottom on it, it needs to be reborn, it needs to be baptized again in the the aqua waters of the Woody Boater gods.
It is not complete or truly alive until that happens. So I suggest to our Algonac friends that we hold a day there when you arrive, to not just back your boat into the water, but have a ceremony of baptism in the only true water your boat was meant to be in.. The glorious River of Life in Algonac! Can I have an AMEN my fellow brothers and sisters? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone here? I lost you at wood has life didn’t I?