10 Universal Truths – Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Classic Boats.

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This year more than any other year we have been doing this, I feel a huge swell of new Woody Boaters. It’s wonderful and exciting. And from talking to many of the brokers, the under 30K boats are selling briskly. Which is entry level stuff. I suppose it all makes sense. Folks that can have relocated their lives to waterfront homes. Me included. And if you are a curator mind set. A person who loves anything with character than a classic boat is much more fun than a classic car.

Fun in the sun

So todays story is to you, the person that just joined our little universe. WELCOME. First, WoodyBoater is FREE, no membership, no nothing, you dont even have to care about spelling, or even what you wear. Right now I am in my underwear writing this. YUP. In fact I might stay this way all day.

Woman love men who smell like varnish here. And we all LOVE it when women love their boats.

For the record, no question is to dumb. In fact, the dumber the better. Trust me, I still get a tad confused over port or starboard. And don’t get me started on Reed and Prince Screws vs Philips heads. But at some point in your journey you will, and its the part of all this that makes it fun as hell.

There is a difference. Sorry. Now this is stuck in your head.

Here are some universal truths that will also make you feel better about your recent purchase.

  1. All our boats have a history of love, and weekend joy. Embrace it.
  2. They all smell like exhaust and dead stuff at some point.  Our new cars and stuff have eliminated the smells of engines. It’s normal to kinda smell a wiff every now and then.
  3. LIFT AND SNIFF is the rule for gas smell. Gas smell is not normal and your nose is your hero. ALWAYS lift the hatch and sniff for fuel smell.
  4. They all leak. Water in the bilge, ( the inside bottom of your boat) is kinda normal, in fact you want your shaft connection to kinda have a little drip.
  5. Breaking down is part of the fun. Have tools on board. Its usually something simple.
  6. Working on your boat is half the fun of owning it.
  7.  Enjoy your boat first, restore it second.
  8. Just like in life, her bottom is everything, make sure it stays healthy. Okay that one walks a fine line. HEY!
  9. When you are out on your boat, it stops time and whats around you kinda melts away into the meaningless crap of the day.
  10. Everyone starts out saying I don’t want a show boat, and wind up with one.

There are more and more universal truths. But a top 10 is always could click bait for me. And I am sure and hopeful that many of us will comment other universal truths so read the comments. Thats always where the fun is here on Woody Boater.

And it’s not a boat show until someone gets towed in.

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18 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    Also we’ve started to accept that fiberglass can be cool, though not all. We always make fun of pontoon boats but secretly many have them. Not me. My secrete is that I also own a Clorox bottle cruiser. Wait did I just put that in print? Please don’t tell Matt.

  2. mark
    mark says:

    Sorry Matt but I disagree with number 7. I went straight to restore, did it right and now I spend my time having fun.

    Can you disgree on this site ?

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:


      That is interesting since 7 is my favorite. I have seen people start the restoration and lose their motivation. I prefer to get the boat usable and slowly improve her a little bit every year.

      Yes! Of course we can disagree on this site.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    “Have tools on board. Its usually something simple”

    Very true but also carry spares for an on-the-water fix that can save the day or at least get you back home: plugs, points (or Pertronix if so equipped), condenser, coil, spark plug wires, fuel filter, spare fuses, oil.

    A decent multi-meter can help trace and identify an electrical fault.

  4. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    Wow that’s a lot of parts! Some of us would need to pull a small parts boat to carry all that stuff. Hhhhmmmm I think I may be on to something.

  5. Garry
    Garry says:

    Very Poignant! I started with using, #7, slick seam, burnished the points on car fan belt, got power for bilge pump, no electrical inspectors, which almost ran continuously, went to check every couple of hours in the first two weeks and we used it even with a knock in the engine.
    That first summer was truly fun and joy! Then came 10 years of restoration, two kids thru college & graduate school and finally back in the water older and wiser.

  6. Mark in da U P
    Mark in da U P says:

    I like 6, 7, 8, & 9 the best of all of them. And as Alan Jackson sings “you can’t beat the way an old wood boat rides”

  7. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I figure the Boatress slapped you upside the head for #8… Hey! 😉 Get a boat, use it as soon and as much as you safely can (if you can) before restoring it. I love the restoration process and have projects lined up for the next 10 years on my boats, but nothing beats getting out there on a calm morning or evening with friends and family and enjoying the ride!

  8. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Great story today. Missed my morning comment as I was towing Water Lily to Algonac for some engine maintenance work on the flat head. Don’t forget the significance of the WoodyBoater wave!

  9. Cody Taylor Sr.
    Cody Taylor Sr. says:

    Whoa, what a surprise to see our 1946 Century on Woody Boater picture with our Youngest son at the helm our G son in the back and myself riding shot gun. We boat a lot on Bass Lake Ca. ,we have cabin there and it is a great freshwater Lake.
    Note, she was named after my Wife. Thank you Woodyboater.

  10. Art
    Art says:

    Number 11, just for Matt.

    Left, Right, Port, Starboard, Red, Green, one Toot, Two Toots……………..and a easy to remember them.

    Shortest words (smallest number): Left, Port, Red, One Toot, ALL go together.

    Longest words (Largest number): Right, Starboard, Green, Two Toots ALL go together.

    See how simple Matt. 😎

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