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Huge crowds are what this is all about

In our two week long feature of the 2015 Woods and Water event, one thing kept sticking out to all of us there. This is the future of how all the events should be. Period. It was fun, it was about being in the water and using our boats and most of all, the way the event was set up, it was set up, to attract folks to the passion of classic boating.The Woods and Water gang was dead serious about this being the best event ever! Wow, did they ever deliver.

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photo Dane Anderson

In case you had not read it over the past couple days, the crowds were HUUUUGE! We are talking two solid days of packed docks and water ways. It was a massive turn out. Of course it had a lot to do with the fact that the boats were the top boats on the planet, but there have been plenty of shows with top boats, but not with crowds and smiles like this. Three things that made a huge difference though. Other than Dave Bortner, Lee Anderson and the amazing John Allen.

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photo Dane Anderson

One, marketing. No show in our memory was better branded and promoted. It was AMAZING, and done a long time ahead to get folks time to digest it and dream about it. Around the area, bill boards, videos, printed inserts, ads, appearances, all of it, and in the boating community, tons of exposure. They had it all, awareness, and a website to find out more. They took marketing seriously, and it showed….and worked.

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Two, Location. This could not have been a better location for a classic boat event. Bar Harbor Supper Club, is amazing and custom built for events like this.  The entire area, and other things to do are perfect, The lakes that all connected made a great boating experience, the docks were perfect, the woods were perfect with the touch of changing colors, the water was perfect, the restaurant was perfect, the parking was perfect, the volunteers were perfect, everything ran …mmmm, whats the word I am looking for?

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photo Dane Anderson

Three, It was FREE to folks wanting to come see the boats. FREE! The genus of this move was it attracted new folks and lots of them. We are talking free here, no $5 bucks at the gate and all that stuff. Open! And guess what, everyone was a winner. If you think about it, the gate is a small amount of money when you are forward thinking. Thinking about new folks to the culture, more talk online, more exposure of owners boats, much much better vendor sales, more people show up and eat at restaurants, more people stay at hotels. All of it! You may strongly consider this for some of the shows out there that are struggling.

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photo Dane Anderson

Now, what we are about to say here, may cause some “issues” for some. And will certainly garner some passionate comments.  This event focused on the consumer. Not the entity that put on the show. This group that made this happen, was 100% focused on the consumer. Not about the club. No barriers for showing up, Free Admission, fun events for participants is easy to do when your focused on the consumer. The crowd was young by the way. we are talking a ton of 30 year olds, the youngest group we have ever seen. And tons of them,. This was the cool thing to do this past weekend.

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photo Dane Anderson

A FUN RAISER, NOT FUND RAISER! It feels sometimes that many shows we go to are focused as fund raisers for the local chapter or International. I can tell you, and everyone that went to the Friday event will agree, there is no way in hell that was a $50 a ticket evening. More like $500 a ticket. The open bar, the food, the music, the location, everything was beyond the top of the game. ALL done to make it fun for the participants, not an obvious fund raiser. And guess what? The auction raised close to  double the amount of money than last year. DOUBLE! Ask anyone who was at the show as a participant, it was the best show….event ever. Ask around to the hotels, the restaurant, all of it, made money. This is the rule of basic marketing. Focus on the consumer, offer a great product or service and you will win. Focus on yourself, and you will experience a downward spiral of death.

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photo Jim Arneson

The other day, Dave Bortner left a wonderful comment thanking the folks that made this all happen, in case you missed it, here it is for the world to see. FOR FREE!

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Dave Bortner taking folks out for a fun ride.

From Dave Bortner.

Co-chair Steve Shoop and I appreciate the kind comments and want to take this opportunity to thank those without whom none of it would have been possible.

First off, John and Becky Allen, and Lee and Penny Anderson for their help, guidance, support, generosity, enthusiasm, and creativity.

Second, the commitment of our committee members: Michael Holland, Rob Haberkorn, Ted Rogers, Bill Butler, Dane Anderson, Ian Sandercock, Eric Sandin, Susan Tenney, Stu Holmer, Dave Huntley, Sandi Trocinske, Melissa Holland, and Nancy Rigelhof.

Third, our sponsors: Nor-Son Construction, Bar Harbor Supper Club, Korta Katerina Winery, Industrial Equities, LLP, RM Sotheby’s, Artful Living Magazine, Boathouse Classic Trailers, Faribault Woolen Mills, Niccum Docks, Jumper Cable Marketing, RBC Tile and Stone, Brian Jensen, Feltl and Company, Freedom Boat Service, and, of course, Woody Boater!

Fourth, special thanks to:
– The culinary rock stars at Bar Harbor Supper Club
– Our marketing team: John Karlson, Bruce Bildsten, and Mark Setterholm
– Our pals at the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum in Alexandria, MN for a great event on Thursday.
– Moonlite Bay Restaurant and C&C Boatworks for their help and hospitality during our Whitefish pre-events

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Photo Jim Arneson

Fifth, our numerous volunteers (wearing red vests) who consistently performed in a helpful, courteous fashion.

And last, but not least, all the attendees! We thank you for bringing, and representing, your great boats and for your participation in our show and events. We’re honored that you invested the time and energy to join us so there could be a show!

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Every shot is a header! Photo Jim Arneson

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49 Responses to “The Future Of Classic Boat Shows Is Here! And It’s Not Just A Show, It’s An Event.”
  1. Troy in ANE

    Even though I was not able to attend this event I am thrilled that it was such a success for all involved. This kind of enthusiasm is addictive and shows where our hobby can go.

    If it weren’t for all the efforts of you at WoodyBoater I never would have known how much fun this International event was. You are a major asset to our community and lifestyle!

    • Oldwoodboats

      Yes, the $50 boat registration fee riles some people, particularly considering how much many spend to get boats ready for such a show. On the other hand, there are show costs that must be paid, and, in the absence of a “gate” – which woodyboater celebrates as a crowd builder – the money must come from somewhere. Perhaps greater efforts to tap sponsors – such as woodyboater – for cash could eliminate both gate and registration fees.

    • Tuobanur

      Yes I agree, it always seemed a little bass ackwards that the ones that make the show are the ones paying for it, I do understand the financial part but it seems to me it should come from somewhere else.

  2. Bill Hammond

    What a great event! Thanks for sharing it and all those great photos!! I felt like I had been there with all the coverage throughout the week!

    You talked about the Marketing that happened. It obviously played a great part in helping to get the crowds there. The events themselves will cause returns and grow the Hobby!!
    2 things: •Can you talk more about what brought out the younger demographic.
    • It would be great to see a feature on just the Marketing – particularly of this event but also others. I’m sure that an awful lot of thought and planning and Im guessing some money as well went into this event. I believe that this is an area where most Clubs could use some help!
    Thanks Woody Boater for all you do to boost this Hobbysession!!

    • jfkarlson

      As part of the Woods and Water marketing team, I’m happy to share a little about how we approached this event.

      Attracting ACBS members and encouraging them to bring their boats to MN was certainly important but we felt this show also offered the best opportunity we’d ever get to attract new people from our part of the world to share our vintage boating hobby/passion/obsession.

      Beyond potential show participants, there were three target audiences: Wood boat enthusiasts, the general public of all ages and what we called the “youth outreach” target (adults 21-39).

      Woodyboater.com was the key to reaching the enthusiasts. There is no better platform period. Woody Boater is the voice of the hobby. Matt, Texx and the crew were incredibly generous in getting the word out and helping build anticipation for the show. Texx also helped us with great content on the Woods and Water Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WoodsAndWater).

      Fast Horse public relations volunteered their time to help us reach the general audience using traditional print and broadcast media – securing articles and live TV segments with top local media. The top lifestyle magazine in our region, Artful Living (artfullivingmagazine.com) came on board as a sponsor and provided generous wood boat-related editorial as well as free advertising in it’s gorgeous, large format publication targeting affluent households.

      Our youth outreach effort was intentionally under the radar. It’s no secret that a lot of young people are really into traditionally crafted products ranging from hand tooled leather belts to hand-thrown ceramic growlers. Authenticity is what they are seeking. We recognized this as an opportunity to invite those folks to share our appreciation for handcrafted, authentic vintage boats. We adopted the visual design conventions of this audience in a poster campaign targeting the top local coffee shops and brew pubs. A highly targeted Facebook campaign engaged over 13,000 young people with sympathetic interests such as Americana music, craft brewing and American made products.

      None of this marketing would be effective if we did not have a coherent and aspirational brand to market. Fortunately, our chapter is blessed with some top notch communicators. Bruce Bildsten contributed the name of the show (Woods and Water), countless ideas and lines of copy as well as overall creative direction. Mark Setterholm wielded the significant powers of his production company, Drive Thru Productions in creating the teaser video that resides on the Woods and Water home page. Fellow committee member Dane Anderson opened up his vast library of beautifully shot, local wood-boat photography. We also twisted the arm of sympathetic friends including local designer, Chad Hagen who created our logo and Shaun Fenn (thanks Matt) who contributed an astounding photograph for marketing materials.

      Finally, our sponsors generously allowed us to lower our admission price to zero, removing a big barrier and conveying the feeling that “we really want you here.”

      When you have a great product the marketing is easy. It’s all about making connections. It was tremendously rewarding to see the pieces fall into place with so many wide eyes on the docks of Bar Harbor.

      • jfkarlson

        I should also mention that John Allen and The Bar Harbor Supper Club stepped-up with local billboards and print advertising targeting the Brainerd-area audience. They even reached the general aviation audience with their rooftop billboard! Im sure a boat show first.

  3. Gary Visser

    I came to help wipe-down my brother’s Riva and I’ve never seen such a great crowd at any show I’ve attended. I sincerely appreciated the hospitality of the hosts, the Bar Harbor staff and the weather gods who blessed Minnesota with a perfect weekend. On Sunday the folks were still there helping the last boats get loaded and home. You want a crowd at your boat show? Look at this picture and ask…what did Gull Lake do?

  4. Rabbit

    Well said, Matt. I hope the ACBS begins to realize that inclusiveness and, well, fun is the future. And nothing exemplifies this better than Woody Boater and the community you’re creating.

  5. Royce A. Humphreys

    I’ve been to a number of shows across the country as both a visitor and exhibitor. This show was hands down the most well organized and planned event that I’ve seen. Gracious hosts, launch and retrieve assistance, docking teams, all I can say is Wow! The Iowa contingent is making plans for the annual Gull Lake show next August! It sets the standard for other shows to follow. Cheers to everyone who made it happen!

  6. Matt

    Thanks for the kind words, but the credit here goes to the gang at Woods And Water. As you know Mr Rabbit, if the product sucks, no marketing in the world can fix it. We will be more than happy to offer marketing advice to many, and have before. Link HERE.
    https://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2012/04/04/the-top-10-ways-to-promote-your-classic-boat-show/
    I will add, that that was 2012, things have changed a bit with social media, but the principles are the same.

    As to 30 year olds. That’s the style of the marketing and targeting of the media. The style of the ads was very cool and made the event attractive in a cool way, and it was all.. ALL focused on fun for the person coming to the show. The marketing we saw was targeted to get boats to the show. The marketing of this event was beyond complex. Great marketing looks simple to the target, but is deeply thought through, which is why so many companies and clubs mess it up. Because they all think its easy, and an after thought.

  7. 7FTCWBY

    As one of the younger members in the hobby it was a privileged to be part of this great show and welcome everyone to MN. I had the luxury of being at the launch both days assisting with the putting in and taking out of boats which allowed me time to interact with captains on a personal level. The thing that I can tell everyone is that if you want to keep us younger folks involved continue to be welcoming and open to teaching and learning with us. So many of us 30 somethings are interested and excited about the hobby and all things classic but we need to feel as though others want us there in order to continue to show up. Once you have a few good active younger members don’t be afraid to open the floodgates to them as we have social (networks/circles) that can increase attendance in a 140 characters or less. Also don’t fear the tupperware (fiberglass) the price point on retroglass is something that makes it very appealing to us younger boaters. Most of my friends love cruising in my Glassics and we often chase Wood as the dream for our future. Think of this in the same light as your youth: a Corvette poster on the wall while you tuned up dad’s 4 door Impala for a Friday night cruise. Everyone has a dream but we want our current ride to be cool at the same time. All I can say is just because we don’t have 30 foot triples today, it doesn’t mean we won’t in the future so engage us younger members/attendees as I have no doubt we are here to help and enjoy the water along side you.

    • Greg Lewandowski

      Very well said my friend. I, and the Michigan chapter that I belong to, could not agree with you more. We are trying to walk that talk in every way we can. I hope you can join us for one of our events in the future.

    • Roger Martin

      Well said, I have hopes that the younger generation will come out and play with us old goats weather it be in an old wood boat or a classic fiberglass or heck even an aluminum boat could be cool as all vintage boats deserve respect. Happy Boating

  8. Wilson

    Matt:

    Great recap and suggestions on marketing…

    Your ideas probably suggest that one of the national classic boating groups (ACBS, CCABC, Century or maybe one of the magazines) needs to invest in a full scale marketing program to be used by others.

    Second I’d suggest developing a vacation package, at least for the major events. If I’m going to invest $500 or $600 dollars to fly from Florida to Minnesota ( twice that, if I take a wife) then offer me something to do before or after the event. Likewise if I am going to invest a similar amount to fly from the Northeast or Midwest to Georgia or Florida give me ( especially, if I take family) something else to do when I get there.

    I remember too when I used to travel there were such things as travel agencies. Not sure if they still exist but if they do work with them to promote boats shows as a destination event..Same with travel magazines and travel groups like AAA.

    Similiarly there are regional magazines, ie Southern Living. Feed them stories about boat shows.

    All this from a guy with a rotary phone.

  9. Paul H.

    I could not agree with you more, Matt.

    The remarks by outgoing ACBS Pres. Brian Gagnon on Saturday night echoed the call for change and the need for it on an ongoing basis- and that included changes to the old boat show model. There were a few very nice fiberglass boats there at Gull, but I would have liked there to be more. We have to reach those guys and get them to bring their boats out. I can understand that it may have been intimidating to bring a small glass boat to that show, which was populated by the best display of boats I think anyone has ever seen assembled.

    I prefer active boating events to dock shows by a huge margin, and judging by what I hear, so do many people. We have to combine active boating with a dock show/exhibition of boats so the public can see them.

    Venues like this are hard to come by at affordable levels, and even more scarce are benefactors like Lee Anderson and John Allan. Those two gentlemen and were unique to this event and were enormously contributory to the tenor, feel and uniqueness that we all enjoyed.

    I don’t care for fees anymore than anyone else, but there are costs and obligations that must be covered and the absence of a gate shift the burden to us as registrants. We need mass exposure as a hobby more than the BSLOL or ACBS needs a gate, in my opinion. We do not charge at our little local show and I was happy there was no charge here.

    • Tommyholm

      Paul, you will not believe how many rude comments I got about my classic fiberglass boat – mostly from “old school” acbs types. Even next year’s show chairman thought it was cute to slam a Century. I won’t be attending another. Contrary , many show attendees related a story about having a fiberglass boat much like mine in their youth with grandpa or father.

      • m-fine

        As much as I may enjoy jabbing at Century, it is never with true animosity. I truly appreciate many of their boats and would be proud to own several from a wooden Seamaid to a classic glass Cheetah. There is a time and a place for ribbing and jabs, but it is disappointing to hear someone in a leadership position would disparage one of the top marks in the industry.

        It is even more disappointing to hear the ACBS old guard is still not welcoming to fiberglassics. They are the future of the hobby, both as an affordable entry point for young blood, but also as the boats the next generation grew up lusting after as kids. I know when I was young, Glastron was a much cooler brand than Garwood or Hacker.

      • Matt

        Thats insane, your boat was orange, cool and I want one. If you noticed, we were in a 1992 Century working the water ways. I will also add, we towed in a bunch of the fancy boats. I love the top on your especialy. Orange canvas is cool. You keep coming to the shows and smear that plastic love all over the place

      • Dane

        Tommy,
        It was a true privilege to meet you last week. Love the Arabian 180. Cool boat and don’t let anyone tell you different.

      • Wilson

        Come on Tommy…You know it would be no fun without you….I took my 17 fiberglass Chris Corsair to Mt. Dora & Tavares several times and it was always welcomed…One year it had the distinction of being the lead boat to the Friday picnic….I’d say if we are missing anything it is a few sailboats…I took one one year and must say it was not te most popular boat there…although it did get a lot of “I had one of those once” comments. But that didn’t keep me from coming back.

  10. Briant

    Sure wish the idiots than run the City of Portland would see this and get a clue…but that won’t happen in my lifetime. We used to have a Maritime Festival but due to the city charging asinine amounts of cash to use the docks for a three day weekend show, the organizers threw in the towel. No doubt the local restaurants and shops and hotels are happy that there are no paying customers anymore….

    • Texx

      BrianT – I covered those Portland Maritime Festivals a few times and they were fantastic venues. Next to downtown amenities restaurants, hotels, perfect access to the water, it was great. Too bad it ended.

  11. Jeff Funk/President ACBS International

    The Woods & Water was indeed a ‘Gold Standard’ show, and much credit goes to those of the BSLOL Chapter. Job well done, and kudos well deserved. That said, equal credit needs to be given to all the volunteers from ACBS International…from Kirk Smith who always does an outstanding job as Dock Master, all the ACBS volunteers who worked the Scholarship Auction, ACBS Judges who give of their time and money to attend the show (they recive no compensation), and also to the ACBS home office staff who spend countless hours in preparation to help pull off a show of this magnitude. This was the pinnacle of teamwork between BSLOL and ACBS, and it should be noted as such.

  12. Steve Anderson

    Does anyone feel sorry for the folks planning next years event? This will be a tough act to follow! The challenge has been issued… 🙂

    Congrats to everyone involved in this years show. I wish I could have been there.

  13. Matt

    Yes, I pitty the Tahoe guys. What they have though to be fair is a fantastic location and also amazing boats. The west coast can deliver if they go for it, and somehow I think that will happen. Its also clear that the location part of the three legged formula is critical, since many locations dont get it. Thats part of marketing by the way, marketing to the town or marina that you are about to take over. If the town doesnt get the impact of the event, dont do it. Just go tot the place that does. Now some areas like Wooten Park in Fla are built for this and make a living doing it, the resturants are there because the weekends are jammed with events. So they dont care if its boats or plains. Algonac is fantastic because of Petes place, that show was about to be double this year than the last two because of the location. Darn rain!

    • m-fine

      There are a few patches of grass in Wooten Park but nothing I would call plains! I think I t is a location that is better setup for sea planes than for those that want to see plains.

      Location is a big issue. Open dock space to accommodate not only a large and diverse collection of boats, but also safely hold a crowd of attendees is a very limiting factor. Add in grounds space, parking, banquet hall etc. and the list of options gets smaller. Then you want to be close to a potential audience. Boaters will travel, but the pool of browsers is going to be mostly from the local population.

      I am very curious to see how Tahoe and Clayton do at attracting the non-boater crowds. Especially the younger set.

  14. gary visser

    RE: respect and fiberglass boats: At Gull Lake when you walked out onto the docks, this was front and center! Not relegated to the back or oddities, and an inboard Alumacraft (one of two ever made!) was right there too! What more could a show do to be inclusive? Kudos woods and water.

  15. Peter Mueller

    I like to see these shows set up as free to the public. Gives people a chance to fall in love with the classic boats we all love.
    The Lake Geneva show draws large crowds and is free to the public. When I go to the Gravenhurst show the gate fee is $15.00 for a 6 hour show. In order to ensure that folks enter via the gate they hire security and have fencing installed. Not sure if there is a net gain after the associated costs. Maybe it’s a way to keep the crowds down to ensure that those in attendance can actually have a chance to view the boats. The Gravenhurst show is a great show and worth the 15 bucks to a guy who loves classic boats.

  16. Kirk Lillie

    Here is a picture of old school telling stories to new school.
    I know for sure that new school was honored to have the story told to them.
    Just another way of getting younger people excited about boats!

    • Matt

      That’s none other than the man himself chris smith who is truly one of the greatest guys in the culture. We are all so incredibly fortunate to be able to have him around at the shows.

      • Kirk

        Yes that is Chris Smith telling the story about coming home from boarding school and taking out the same model boat that still had the war #’s on it and getting pulled over by the authorities just so they could see the new model!
        A Great Man!

  17. Roberta H

    I loved the fiberglass boats. Please don’t let a few jerks spoil what was a fantastic show. We had a jerk come by the Glen L and other contemporary boats commenting “this must be the replicant section” as he sashayed with his nose up in the air. There will always be dummies in the crowd. These plastic boats are as much of a classic and nostalgic as any woody and are a wonderful part of the show. Keep them coming!!!!

  18. Texx

    Absolutely right Roberta H – We are all in this together. We love them all, that’s what makes the hobby so much fun.

    There are many avenues to walk down in terms of classic boats and the further we walk down each avenue, the more we discover and share together.

    At the end of the day on Saturday at Gull Lake, we were standing on the dock and many of the boats had left. It was warm and sunny, and quiet.

    I looked out and saw Bill Anderson and Del Van Emmerik (and one more fibergass boat, not sure who it was) returning back from a classic cruise on Gull Lake in their very cool fiberglass boats. It was great to see. Sadly both my 32Mb data cards were plumb full after a huge photo shoot we just returned from. So no photos. – Texx

    • Dave Nau

      What a great hobby, and a terrific show this past weekend! Hats off to all involved – well done!

      I echo the two of the major themes here:

      1. Have lots of things to do that actually use the boats on the water. That’s what made my time at the ABM Clayton show last month so much fun. Boat rides for show attendees is another great way to do it – would love to see that as a standard offering at shows. No gate fees for attendees is also great. Our local ACBS chapter does not charge attendees (just those who show boats) at our annual show on Portage Lakes in Ohio and I know that greatly boosts attendance.

      2. To those with little outboard fiberglass and aluminum boats, I strongly encourage you to ‘just do it” and bring them along. I was a bit intimidated at Clayton at first this year, but everyone was so nice, that all quickly melted away, and having this shot on WoodyBoater the next week made it that much sweeter. My “Little Blue” MFG Niagara (14’ 4″) fit right in with all the beautiful mahogany that weekend, and I would have loved to see more fiberglass and aluminum than the eight that were there.

      I can’t make Tahoe next year, but will definitely be at the International ACBS show in Clayton in 2017. And maybe someday, I’ll get that Lyman I have a hankering for, to join the two fiberglassics I have!

      • Texx

        Thanks as always for chiming in Dave. We enjoy your insight and comments. – Texx

  19. Chris B.

    I love the added colour from the classic glass. bright orange, reds and blues, big fins and head lights make it all cool. Many were in top condition. now lets get the boats at the show to run, this static display is dull, and i got crustations on my boat from it sitting so long.

  20. Rabbit

    Tommy,
    Your Arabian was one of the highlights of the show. Know that all of us who worked on Woods & Water love classic glass and aluminum. That’s the future. And it was a pleasure to finally meet you.
    Rabbit (aka Bruce Bildsten)

  21. Scott K

    The opportunity to run our boat on many lakes was a significant factor in the decision to haul our XK to Woods & Water.
    We ran the boat harder and longer than we ever have and loved it!!
    It was an awesome sight to be on the water surrounded by so many works if art……..the most impressive of which was Dane in the little Trojan (?) outboard, he was everywhere, regardless of the waves!!!
    Count us out if the show is just a static lawn chair event.

    • Dane

      Thanks Scott. The 13 foot Trojan is my “big water” boat.
      We all loved the XK!

  22. Sunday Funday

    As a rookie to the wood boat scene, I have followed these discussions with interest since I discovered Woody Boater a year ago. I currently boat with the “go fast” crowd of 28 to 40 ft twin engine fiberlass boats, but admire and hope to own a wood classic some day.
    It seems to me like you are all putting too much pressure on yourselves to keep the boating hobby going. A boat ride for a kid might create a future boater, but odds are, that kid will remember a boat ride, not a Classic boat ride. You might be better off targeting current boat owners and getting them into the classic world.
    The Woods & Water show seemed perfect to me because it offered the exibitor/boat owner something to do for the days around the show, and it offered the spectator 2 days of dock displays for me as the spectator to see the boats up close.
    Make sure the exibitors/boat owners have a good time and the people like me will see this and want to join.
    To all involved in the Woody Boater culture: Keep up the great work! Hopefully soon, I will be one of you.
    Scott

  23. Bill Anderson

    Texx the other boat that was with Del and I was Terry Dickson Glasspar My wife and I are thinking about next year,,even not being an International, this would still be a good week of boating,,take a cane pole catch a fish,,It sure was good Bill

  24. Jim Mersman

    I’m so happy for the changes the BSLOL chapter put into place. We weren’t able to make it and we’re sorry we didn’t. No doubt using the boats, focusing on the customer and promotions made a big difference. I hope this continues for Tahoe and Clayton for International and for those chapters and other non ACBS shows/event organizers.

    Getting on Tommy’s band wagon for a minute, (move over Tommy) I too have had my share to “plastic” jeers directed my way from some that I considered my friends within the ACBS. I sold my wood classics and now own a 1985 Resorter that I just love running around in. Granted, most fiberglass is not as “sexy” as wood but its more about what conjures up childhood memories and for those who were kids during the seventies and eighties, it was all about fiberglass. As they become adults, they tend to be attracted to those boats no different that a sixty year old wanting a wood one. For any one to marginalize the importance of that childhood memory because it involved a fiberglass rather than wood is as close minded as you get. The ACBS recognized this with their expansion of years and building materials classifications a few years ago, yet most are far from accepting this fact. This is just another slow change that needs to happen faster. Tommy, if it’s true that the ACBS leadership has placed a leader in charge of next years show who feels the way you say they do about fiberglass, then I seriously question if they really want to embrace fiberglass or are just looking for membership numbers. Remember ACBS, membership is a yearly buy decision one makes. It’s very short sited to think that you can keep a fiberglass boat owner as a member when they are treated as second rate members. Many ACBS do embrace them and I encourage all of us to stand strong and be patient. Change is slow. Thanks Matt for all you do for the hobby.

  25. Derk Brill

    I spent two solid days on the docks with my boat, talking to the public. What really struck me was how many people were there who were new to the wooden boat culture. Many, many first timers, who had never been to a show before, and hadn’t experienced the phenomena. It was so cool to interact with them, and see the excitement in their eyes. It was a chance for me to share my love of this thing we have, and see the reaction. Absolutely, I think that the reason so many attended was the fact that the event was free, and a lot of folks confirmed that. Speaking for myself, I really don’t mind the entrance fee. It paled to the cost of getting me, my boat, and my restorer there from across the country. This was a first class event, and one I was proud to participate in. Great work by all!