Woody BoaterOver the past couple months, Woody Boater has taken on a tone we are not to happy about. It’s become contentious and smutty. Readership is up of course, folks love a good nasty comment, and scantily clad girls are always a cheap eye grabber. But is it good for the culture of classic boating? Are negative comments about sponsors and other folks in the hobby good for the hobby? Every issue has two sides, is it fair to use the web to vent?

Sorry we pissed you off

We are a pretty open group here, we figured that if we just took our time, some of the stuff would correct itself, and in some cases it has, but in others its gotten worse.  Now mind you, we don’t ever want to be boring and PC. That’s worse than any negative crap. But there needs to be a balance.

This photo of Berlin says it all, a wonderful setting with a cool classic scooter, and some comments! Little did I realize the same was going on Woody Boater

While in Europe last week, I was unable to monitor Woody Boater 24/7. I usually am on it, but I had family I wanted to be with, and was also 6 hours off in timing.  Last week, several folks took the chance to go negative, and then it just kinda took over. As do most negative things, they attract more negativity. I was unable to delete them as usual until it was to late. The damage was done. Damage to very good friends and huge supporters of not only Woody Boater, but the entire hobby of classic boating. Many of you jumped in to help, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Buried Businesswoman

Ineeda hand !

Some called in question our choice of content and why we featured some folks over others. To be transparent, we are friends with the Katz’s Team, all 15 of them, but we are also friends and love the work done by others. Some sponsors, some not. Dennis, Matt and the team at The Antique Boat Center, Herb and team at Sierra, Carla and Team, at Hagerty, Brian Robinson, who is not a sponsor but contributes so much to the culture. The good folks at the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club who also have been dealing with negativity on the boat buzz.The good folks at the ACBS who are always trying to take the high road.

Speed boat ride

Its’ about boating, not bitching!

We rely on many of these folks for content, not marketing or promotion, but information and fun stuff that’s going on. When Brian is working on Henry Fords boat, that’s cool, if you need to be insured during the winter because it’s actually the most damaging part of the year, we talk about it, and if there are 6 Cobras in your marina being prepped for the 60th anniversary show in Florida, we are going to talk about it. It all in the end is about keeping stuff interesting so you and new readers keep coming back.

We are all about the love of classic boats.

There is a very simple solution if you have an issue with our content, submit some. We will look it over and if its fun and cool it goes up.

If you would like to submit a story to Woody Boater, we are always looking for fun stuff to report on. Especially during the winter. Kentucky Wonder called it for sure. To submit a story please consider the following

1. Keep it short.

2. We don’t sell stuff. Over 75% of the stories we get are folks trying to sell stuff or services.

3. Photos photos photos, great clean photography is always a way to get on Woody Boater.

4. Anything odd or cool, barn finds, family boats, unusual options. That’s what folks like to see.

5, If you are a professional restorer or broker, we are always glad to help, but if you compete with one of our sponsors it’s just not fare.

It’s really that simple, thanks for being patient, and thanks for your continuing support.

Lets Go2

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45 Responses to “A Deep Apology From Woody Boater To Our Readers.”
  1. Bob Kays

    Well said Matt. 99.999% of us love what you have created, but the haters gotta hate and you should be able to go away and enjoy family.

  2. Greg Lewandowski

    Matt, I am glad you stepped up and pointed out that things have gotten a little screwy. As a long time WoodyBoater reader, I was also not pleased with some of the things that were being said. As difficult as it may be, if you can keep the theme and flavor of your site positive and fun for all of your readers, most of us will appreciate it. Thanks!

  3. William Hammond

    I think I must have managed to miss the negativity. I spent quite a time in the hospital and then a rehab facility recovering from major surgery and didn’t have interest or access for some of it. I also only read the stories when I was getting caught up. That being said I too appreciate a site that doesn’t involve itself in negativity. So keep up the good work and keep out the negative! Oh and everyone deserves to be able to take time off!! Especially for family! I’m sure if you were to ask a few trusted long standing readers would be glad to ocassionally serve as admins in your stead. Thanks guys for a great job!!

  4. Troy in ANE

    I feel like Bill. I think I missed something, unless of course I am the cause. Than the only thing I really said was “Tongue in Cheek” about Texx taking down pictures that were inappropriate to begin with, only to find out that Matt took them down not Texx. Sorry Texx!

    I Love what you guys do and like I have said in the past. This is your blog to do with as you wish. Most stories are fascinating and informative. I am still amazed that you can get something put up EVERY day.

    Love

    Troy

    PS: I will go easy on the girls.

    • Ron in Seattle

      Troy, Nooooo! please keep the girls!
      Matt, you deserve the vacation, man everrryyyy dayyyy, whew!
      The rest of us, and those of you reading and not even commenting (Rob) WRITE A STORY! You all write good comments! YOU have the stories! Not to pick on Troy, have you ever written a story? Think of it as a long comment with some pictures! Send it in– Matt & Texx do a great job of editing and getting usable story stuff out of my jibberish, they can do the same with your jibberish!
      Thanks Matt, for what you do…..every day….

  5. Steve Moreau

    Matt I hope you had a great Christmas! If you can’t spend time with your family and the shop take care of it’s self then put us on re-run. We are all grown men and women and should know better. Oh yea buy the way one great looking shop!
    As for the apology it goes both ways! I not a big fan of the smut, and lewdness but I sure can throw out some offending commitments at times. Not to personally be-little or attack any one in particular but just in general. If I’ve gone overboard then as I said I need to make an apology as well. So if you or anyone else has been offended for some of the post and commitments that I’ve made, then I to apology to you for the offence. I how ever do not mean that I’m never make bone head post or questions, for I have a lot to learn, and I’m as blunt as a two x four!
    Anyhow still the best web site I’ve found and a great jumping off point in the morning! Have a nice day hope hope to see all ya’ll soon!

  6. Steve Moreau

    one more thing to my fellow posters. I’m glad that your get involved, it’s what makes this interesting, informative and fun. How ever two points here be proud of your name and what you have to say! Just the way I feel but if you have to enter a post and do it anonymously you just as well keep it to yourself. Second If you plan to call someone out please do it by name as I said I’m as blunt as a two x four and thick headed as a brick. I do take negative comments well when I’m on my medication.

  7. Mike K

    sometimes when i write on here i think its amusing, and then when i see it in print i see its not. ill think twice, write once.

    whos shop is that in the header, i have the same saw, same organizational skills, no cool stuff in the rafters!

    tell me the monkey stuff was ok though

    • matt

      Monkys are a seperate topic. Fritz is now the official mascott of Woody Boater

    • matt

      The shop in the header is one of two shops we have for Woody Boater. This one is located in Falls Church VA 5 miles west of DC, the other is in Reedville VA on the Chesapeake bay, pictured here.

  8. Rick

    I appear to have missed most of it as it’s been a pretty busy holiday season. I’m be more than happy to admin the site when you’re away but it might turn into more of a cooking afloat blog than about the boats. Just more growing pains. When there were only 4-5 comments in a day monitoring was easier than now when we see 30-50. Maybe it’s the fiberglass contingent causing the problems, LOL. Chill Matt and keep it up and just send some of Texx’s biker friends to straighten out the haters.

  9. Andy B.

    Matt,

    Thanks as always! Not sure if you look at it this way, but I look at it that for websites like this, some folks donate $ in form of t-shirts, sponsorships, donations, etc… sometimes, you might not be able to or take the time to give the $ thing.. but if you’re in the hobby, chances are you have some good stories you can share with others and support the website from the content end of things. Keep up the good work, the $ people, and the content people make this site the awesome site that it is!

  10. Tuobanur

    Dang!! take of a few days off and missed all the excitement…

    One thing I can honestly say, anytime I see a reply with anonymous as the name, I don’t even bother to read it, its like it doesn’t exist. 😉

  11. Sean

    The schnitzel must have hit the fan on Saturday. To be honest I glanced at the story and moved on to the rest of my day as I’m not very excited by CC Cobras (I love “Miss Step” though). I must have missed something…..

    Sunday morning, I enjoyed the German e-bay find story and again went on with my day. By happenstance I clicked my WB bookmark later in the day and saw the post from my friend Cobourg Kid. Okay, I did miss something.

    Slightly perplexed, I moved down the comments and was quite surprised to see a post that mocks foreign efforts in speaking English. How embarrassing! I can see why the poster did not use their own name. (I won’t even go to the social ramifications of representing themselves as the last President of National Socialist Germany….even in jest!)
    What’s even more embarrassing is this post is displayed where apparently, many English speaking people have trouble with English spelling and grammar.

    I’m not the PC type (or innocent) and I usually ignore this stuff but, while we are apologising for our shortcomings lets not stop at just offending sponsors and advertisers. We can be better than this.

    Two days, post deletions and a blog apology (and some peer apologies too) but, this embarrassing post it is still up… can’t we raise the bar a bit more?

  12. Chris B

    Happy new year. I guess some folks have had to much time off. I have been working alot and missed a bunch and I guess that’s good. I left another site years ago do to there rants that were left unchecked as it just feeds on itself. Happy to see Matt has been on top of this. Had no idea he had to work so hard at it. However it is not woody boater that needs to apologize. Keep up the good work. Sitting having a coffee on a job site enjoying the user friendly mobile version!

  13. don vogt

    Thanks, Matt. Any time a site is open to the public, you are bound to get some comments that are unfortunate. I think you are doing a great job, and the focus on the positive aspects of the hobby is greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work in 2015!

  14. Marty

    Well said! Totally agree with balance as the key overall. Love the website and I think that we all try and pass things along when they might be enjoyed by others.

  15. Rick S

    Matt you can’t please all of the folks all of the time. I enjoy visiting this site and all that it has to offer. I admin on one forum and am a moderator on another. So I know it’s not easy, and decisions have to be made even if they are not popular. Keep up the good work.

  16. floyd r turbo

    I have to say I enjoy the comments made as much as the stories in most cases. I am not fond of the term “haters” when people take time to voice what’s on their mind. Sometimes things have to come to a head and venting occurs, then things get back to normal after some admonishing by the “blog” administrator (Matt, Texx, et al). What I do “hate” is that they feel their brand has been tarnished from these questionable comments and if I had anything to do with that please accept my apologies. I understand you guys are trying to insure this blog is acceptable to all viewers and still allow “freedom of speech”. I have to remind myself without the support of the “majors” such as Katz’s, Antique Boat, Antique Boat America, Hagerty, Grundy, etc., the hobby would not have the exposure it has. I still hope there is room for the little guy and small shop near the bottom of the food chain. I think the story on the Fairliner (and many others) is proof of that. Sorry this has created an issue in that Matt was unable to enjoy his family time, for that is the biggest travesty.

  17. Victor F

    Just to make sure people don’t think I’m trying to hide behind a pseudonym, “floyd r turbo” is my posting name if you have a problem with what I post. Having attended 4 different high schools (1 outside NYC) and worked in a technology “bullpen” I’ve gained a pretty thick skin over the years. Many readers may not have that same “insulation” but Sean’s comments regarding the foreign accent thing does not appear to make fun of foreigners with accents. When you’ve got guys like Mel Brookes doing it in Blazing Saddles, Hogan’s Heroes or Dr. Strangelove, to name a few are they the only ones that have comedic license, does that give us the same license? That’s for Matt to decide, its his (Texx’s et al) to decide. I don’t envy that job, I know its hard enough to produce this without those issues but that’s what gives it character. If I wanted to just see pictures, I’d scroll through Pinterest or Instagram (boring). Its the content (and the opportunity to comment) that gives this site its character and brings me back.

  18. Philip Andrew

    Thank you Matt and Coberg Kid – I’ve become increasingly disheartened with our blog in recent months for exactly the reasons Coberg Kid calls out. I didn’t come to the party this year for this reason. For years now WoodyBoater has been a great start to my day but as the misogyny and negativity have occasionally crept in and then gone unchecked I’ve found myself less inclined to visit. Lets keep this an oasis of artistic delight and engineering passion.

  19. m-fine

    A few random comments.

    The smutty issue is a tough one because everyone has their line drawn in a different place. I will also point out that the blog has long had a “boat babes” category so it is not just certain commentors that have ventured down the lines of smut/objectification of women/misogyny. I don’t post pictures of women but I am not bothered by them either, so I don’t care where the line is drawn, just draw it consistently for the stories and the comments.

    I missed the comments on Katz from the Cobra story. Yes I agree there are a lot of Katz stories, but they are sponsors, have good people, and a ton of cool boats. There are also a lot of high quality photos of those boats. Matt and Texx have to come up with 365 stories a year, year after year. You have to expect that they are going to go back to an easy and consistent well pretty often when they need some content. I would love to see more from other restorers as they should be a great source for winter stories when there are no shows and minimal boating to cover, and It would be nice to see more of them as sponsors too. Here and in the Brass Bell.

    Of all the posts that I think may have crossed the line, the one that crossed the furthest in my opinion was the one yesterday that compared the comments to the “nasty, violent and downright in humane stuff that pervades our world.” Seriously? Certainly some of the pictures can be viewed as disrespectful of women, and the fake German comments showed some cultural insensitivity, but nasty, violent or inhumane? Unless I missed some really bad posts that have been deleted, I have never seen anything close on WB. I saw that post as the most direct attack on another community member that I have seen here, and the threat that someone might be voted off our island if they don’t straighten up is not appropriate from ANYONE except our hosts IMHO.

    • Sean

      I would echo the sentiment that Matt and Texx do a fantastic job here. This is not about them, WB content, sponsors, advertisers, winter months or monkeys per post. Furthermore, I agree that a great part of this daily visit is to read the comments that add to the fun. I believe the message here is about US. All of us just need to think a little before WE post. Texx and Matt will look after the tough stuff as they always have.

      Happy New Year.

    • Dave Clyne

      M,fine- Agreed both on “smut” (Really ?) and crossing the line. Well said again.
      We’ve got your back, Matt !

  20. James D Thorpe

    Matt. I have been in Business for 49 years and I’m here to tell you bad news travels faster than good news so don’t worry about it. You’re doing a wonderful job and everybody loves it except the stupid ones and just remember , I’ve learned after 49 years you can’t fix stupid ! It’s part of mother nature. Best holiday wishes and keep up the good work we all love you , and love what you’re doing for the hobby . Respectfully James D.

  21. Ralph Young aka Oldernowiser

    I’ve typed out and deleted two posts in the last 45 min. I imagine that whatever I say will be construed by some as negative when in reality it is just a differing outlook on life. Not that important that I state my opinions anyway. We all take ourselves a bit too seriously at times I think. I’ll leave it at that.
    If you need me I’ll be out in the boat…searching for that Oasis of Artistic Delight…:) Joke, it’s a joke…lighten up a little people!

  22. Jack Schneiberg

    I had to go back yesterday and read the weekend postings. I was ill over the weekend and traveling to boot. So, I got to dose out on a variety of comments. Frankly, I recognize what I see as good taste and bad taste. I also recognize opinions of value and those of no value. But….realize that that is against my standard of opinion and my values. When I read “stupid” people posting “stupid” comments here, I also recognize that that is, again, my set of values and my opinion. When I see those comments here, my value systems wonder why the spouse kicked them outta bed this morning…or if they just found out the car needs a new engine or the boat a new bottom. I also know some people are just born….or more importantly raised that way. (Okay-this is going way longer than I intended). I log on here everyday – well almost – because I like the variety of comments I see. I like to think I’m intelligent enough to see when things go off the rails. When that happens, I chuckle at the idiots and move on. When I back off and look at WB over the long haul, I see something I value very much in my hobby life. I don’t miss it unless I’m unable to access the equipment to do so. For the most part – my day begins harmonically when I gaze at the header shot. It never fails to amaze. Next….I read the content. Some days it great. Some days I’m sure Matt (or Texx) are scratching the memory banks to get something up. Hey it happens. I don’t know Katz Marina personally. I know them from WB and any number of other publications. There are hundreds of other restoration shops out there. Good reputations and bad reputations are made over time. Katz will ultimately continue to grow or not based on their good reputation and not how much they are hyped (or pay to advertise) on WB. Any other shop IMHO has the same opportunity to expose themselves equally. Want to get on WB, give Matt a call. Smooze him a bit. Buy him a drink, ADVERTISE….Hey….it works and it’s call promotion. Contact some of your customers and ask them to write some promos for your shop. If you want to increase your business, you have to be a businessman. Hey, it is not that hard these days with the wealth of information available to put a bottom on a carvel planked hull. Nice varnish can be done with experience. Just look around and ask at the next boat show and see how many different restoration shops you come up with. Write the story. If you can write. If you can take some pictures…..send it in. Personally, I like the balance available here at WB just as it is. As you can see over the past several days……when it goes “tilt”, it also self corrects. That – to me – is what a forum like this is all about.

  23. floyd r turbo

    “Objectification of women” – check; “cultural insensitivity”- check; misogyny? really? I’ve never read any story or comment related to the hatred of women. Last time I looked that was the definition and now we have it mentioned several times here. I must be missing something. If you don’t want objectification maybe the 3 nude women posed for “Woody’s for Boobies” is not the message one should send.

  24. floyd r turbo

    …and I don’t feel like I’ve really come across any “idiots” here on this site. Well, maybe one, Jack – lighten up. “Haters”?, “stupid people”?, “idiots”? Maybe its time to move on.

  25. Cliff

    I think if you like WODDYBOATER, donate. I think it’s the best thing out there in the world of classic and antique boats. It hitting a younger and diverse audience. Go buy a T-shirt. Make fun of my typos. Talk about the amazing aroma of bacon and varnish. I love boats made of wood.

  26. MikeM

    Is being insensitive contagious? If so, maybe I’ve been hanging around with Harrison too much, because I haven’t even come close to being offended on WB.

    If all the comments were the same this place would be boring.

    Don’t any of you change….and that doesn’t mean I agree with everyone, either. Anyone heard from Alex lately?

    • Kentucky Wonder

      Last I knew, Alex was trying to decide how to convert a garage into a bedroom, and still store a 25′ CC Sportsman in it. No word on if the child or the boat was left out in the cold.

  27. briant

    Rats.

    I must have missed all of the fun as I cannot for the life of me find any offending stuff.

    In fact, I am offended that someone would think that I am the least bit offended by viewing any offensive materials here on WB.

    Matt and Texx – keep up the darn great work.

    (PS – Matt – can you email me the offending materials so that I don’t feel left out ?)

  28. steve bunda

    All I want to know is , in the header shop, where is the beer fridge?

  29. Kentucky Wonder

    For the last two years, I have truly enjoyed being a daily participant on WoodyBoater. At first, it was more of a research area while purchasing our Greavette. Then WB became a place to figure out where to float our chunk of wood. Things really got fun after joining the conversation, interacting with people from all over the US. I have to say that the best part of the WB experience has been MEETING some of the characters involved in the stories and responses. Paul Harrison hooked us up with a boat ride at Mt. Dora, Chuck and Diana Mistele have become good friends, shared a drink and great conversation with Floyd R. Turbo at Lake Chatuge, got a deluxe tour of the Les Cheneaux Islands with Alex in one of his superb Sportsmans. High quality people all around, and I am honored to call them friends. THAT is the best function of WoodyBoater – the making of friends. Looking forward to seeing you out on the water, or at least the docks!

    Bryan, AKA Kentucky Wonder

  30. RiverRat

    I have been away and have not read anything in a week or more. Just wanted to say whatever Matt says goes.

  31. matt

    Thanks to everyone for there, your, encouragement. Its a fine line on some of this stuff. I HATE THE PC WORLD that we have become, and will fight that crap to the end, its just as negative and a negative comment about someone. Rest asured, we will keep the dance going. Sometimes we will fall off, but always open to correct mistakes. Thanks again, and again! Looking forward to a fun positive 2015.

  32. Danny

    Matt and Texx and everyone else that contributes to WB thank you for all you do!

  33. Dennis Mykols

    I, too must have missed all the B.S. Had to go back and re read the posts to see what all the fuss is about. Glad to see a course correction, and keep up the good work in the new year.

  34. Don Ayers

    I often think of the sign that hung over the head of Bill “Mac” MacKerer’s desk (as seen on the cover of the book, View From the Bilge)

    To Avoid Criticism:
    Say nothing
    Do nothing
    Be nothing