The Classic Boat Community Explained.

From time to time its a great idea to step back from the internal politics of the classic boat community and see it from a birds eye view. It’s actually quite interesting when you do that, a… Read more

14 Comments on “The Classic Boat Community Explained.

  1. There was a book some years ago called Bowling Alone. The premise is that today’s younger generation is so busy on social media, work and families, they no longer have time for participation in Rotary, bowling leagues, the Masons, the Lions or the many other community based activities, to meet their neighbors and peers to make a difference in the area where they live, help neighbors, help the community by gathering. The generation may think that a few smartphone clicks can accomplish the same by hitting a few keys to connect, without needing to commit time away from home or work. Unfortunately, we all seems to have the tendencies, not merely the up and coming men and women.

    Our issue is further complicated by how boats are used. We tinker alone at our docks or garages, pull out of our slips to meet friends and then return to our individual docks alone. At weekends and gatherings like Port Huron, we attend, have the time of our lives, see everyone we haven’t seen for a year, promise not to be that long before seeing each other again, then exchange email addresses we may not use and go home.

    I don’t have answers, but we are not alone nor the only organizations with aging memberships and declining participation’s. Ask your fellow Kiwani’s and the others on the welcome sign as you come into your towns.

    • You hit it on the head. John. I don’t know what the answer is other than the easy and quick access to ANYTHING on the web has hurt any and all communal clubs and organizations. I, a Mason, Shriner, have seen dramatic declines. All the organizations are good because of the fellowship. Millinials are definitely not “joiners”. Oh yes, we get a younger person once in a while, but they possess qualities found in their parents and appreciate those traits and don’t blame their parents for their shortcomings.

  2. John you make a wonderful point. We are in a time where smart phones are the rage, but humans are humans and the next generation is actually being less that way. They like real analog relationships, and its hart warming to see some humanity return. Its just how it works. The critical thing is for groups that represent this human style of conection to make it through the cassum of this. Thats what timeless organizations do. But they need to adapt, they need to change, which is sometimes counter to what they represent. Its not an easy thing to navigate. I did todays story to illustrate that together we are doing it. No need for one group to try and compete with others.

  3. I thought I knew all the words there were to know, but “cassum” got me. Had to look it up. Def: worthless, in vain. My word for the day. TY Matt

    • Its a brand thing for me. Back in the dot com rush, the issue was, which companies could survive the down turn. many dropped out, but those that survived became iconic brands. Most trends do this. Whats hot now, may date poorly. Some trends make it through the un cool phase and become.. Classic. The IZOD brand is one of those. Hummer is not. Chris Craft is, Gar Wood, not. It never evolved. Sorry, its a classic design, but relys on the past design to stay alive. Not a negative statement BTW, just how it is. Bell Bottoms, Trend.. White T Shirts, Classic.

  4. “They like real analog relationships, and its hart (sic) warming to see some humanity return.”

    As the great “philosopher” Joe Walsh sang…

    The whole world’s living in a digital dream
    It’s not really there
    It’s all on the screen
    Makes me forget who I am
    I’m an analog man

  5. Another good example is transportation museums, more and more museums are either closing, selling off the collections or simply dying a slow death. Seems like nobody has time or interest in seeing a museum in person, people think they think they can find the same information online.

    At almost every major classic car auction (RM Sotheby’s, Gooding, Mecum, Barrett Jackson, etc) another collection of cars (either a personal collection or museum collection) is offered for individual sale.

    Sad to see, but times they are a changing…

  6. You can define a community by the shared attributes of the people in it, and/or by the strength of the connections among them. When an organization is identifying communities of interest, the shared attribute is the most useful definition of a community.

    • These days;
      bourbon is more trendy than Scotch.
      Beer is now Craft Beer
      Pizza should be Wood Fired Pizza or replaced completely by some ancient grain bowl BS
      And bacon should be on the list several more times.

    • Chad, that is really an amazing graphical representation of the psychological definition of the WoodyBoater inner brain. I never knew you were such a deep thinker. See you in Port Huron and I will buy you a non craft beer!

  7. I don’t think smart phones or even the internet are the major cause. The decline of clubs like Lions, Kiwani’s, and in part the ACBS has its roots in the 1960’s and 70’s even if they didn’t realize it at the time. The gen X kids born back then weren’t online, yet they weren’t much more likely to join clubs when they got older and settled than the millennials are.

    To some extent, the evolution of gender roles reduced the ability and desire for a young father to spend time with the club rather than the family. Also, people have simply chosen other ways to socialize and found other forms of entertainment. The millennials I know are very social. They go out to trendy bars and restaurants frequently instead of club meetings, but they do go out…a lot.

    • I agree. With a demanding job and young kids, I has no time for any hobbies after doing work, taking care of stuff at home, seeing the kids play soccer, baseball, and the like, and making sure homework was done. There were no other hours left in a day.

      Back then, there was no time to even think about having a boat, until kids were much older, and even then, not much time to really use it until they were in college and I was getting closer to retirement. Keep in mind having that the company-supplied smartphone today means you are also tethered to your job during all waking hours, and sometimes even when sleeping! It’s very difficult to forget about work under those circumstances.

      Glad I am finally retired for good so I can spend more time on the hobby we all enjoy so much.