Analog Boating! It’s A Thing.


Sea Skiff Dash – Photo Eric Frazier

One simple turn of the key, connecting the starter to the flywheel, the engine ignites with a rumble and your heart starts. It hit us here at Woody Boater that there may be a new term for the world we live in that is not defined by the material that our boats are made of. Our boats are mechanical and void of any fancy electronics or other stuff that goes out of date, or randomly fails for no reason other than its made of plastic and has electronics in it. We are “Analog Boaters”! Sure I will admit that certain safety sensors and such are all huge deals. But do we really need digital dash boards? There is a pure simplistic beauty in the purity of mechanical stuff.


each turn of a screw is part of the boats memory bank. photo Eric Frazier

There is an artistic element also, knowing that our boats regardless of material used are all hand made, designed by hand, and built by hand. No robots, or computers. Just drawing boards, talent and human emotion all put together in the boat you love. That is art no matter how you look at it. You can feel it in the slight imperfections of humanity


All man made – and remade –  Marine Services Unlimited – Photo Eric Fraizier

I have said many times that there is not an ugly part on many of our boats. Maybe just my mug, but each and every part has a purpose, and in that there is a truthiness to it all.  Heck even a 3 inch copper pipe is beutiful and purposeful. That’s what its about, there is clean purity of it all. Even varnish is a pure thing. It’s clear, and only enhances what lies beneath those coats of clear lust. So next time you are out there on your boat, celebrate the analogness of it all. Because, you my fellow Analog Boater are the most critical analog thing on the boat.


Life is simple Analog boating. – Photo Eric Frazier


15 replies
  1. Dan t
    Dan t says:

    It is definitely a thing. I love simplicity and quality and beauty of design. It’s just the best to be able to take stuff apart and fix it, maintain it and keep it looking great, knowing what’s wrong with something when it doesn’t work quite right. Today’s products are over engineered and just not tinkerable or repairable. Check Engine Light. Do we really need that?

  2. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Although I am forced at work to conform to a digital world, I do relish the relative analog simplicity of classic wood boating. As stated, stuff still breaks down and a “reboot” of the “system” usually will not fix the analog boat’s issue, but that is part of the fun. Its a bit if a culture shock thing when young passengers can’t find a USB port on board to plug in their “wireless” device for charging. Or teaching how to start a 60 plus year old engine and they cannot understand what the CHOKE knob’s function could possibly mean, let alone how to operate it. Part of the stewardship of owning a wood boat is passing on the knowledge of how things originated and how they still should be appreciated.

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      Not when it is also the on-board GPS.

      That said, I really like analog, also. No firmware updates, no having to visualize what the firmware is doing, and you can see all the wires without trying to figure out what the virtual ones look like. Although I am impressed the Evinrude makes a current 25-30 hp rope start (no battery) outboard that has electronic direct fuel and oil injection. That’s pretty impressive.

      And this from a guy who spent 40+ years in the IT industry.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      I think you are allowed to use digital technology to take pictures and video, and of course, call for help when there is an analog anomaly.

  3. Wes Yandt
    Wes Yandt says:

    One of the Eagle’s, Joe Walsh says it well in his solo tune “Analog Man”

    You Tube it.

    Whoa!! that is an oxymoron.


    • Kentucky Wonder
      Kentucky Wonder says:

      And since we have introduced songs on the topic, we must include Rush’s The Analog Kid…

      A hot and windy August afternoon
      Has the trees in constant motion
      With a flash of silver leaves
      As they’re rocking in the breeze

      The boy lies in the grass with one blade
      Stuck between his teeth
      A vague sensation quickens
      In his young and restless heart
      And a bright and nameless vision
      Has him longing to depart

      The fawn-eyed girl with sun-browned legs
      Dances on the edge of his dream
      And her voice rings in his ears
      Like the music of the spheres

      The boy lies in the grass, unmoving
      Staring at the sky
      His mother starts to call him
      As a hawk goes soaring by
      The boy pulls down his baseball cap
      And covers up his eyes

      Too many hands on my time
      Too many feelings
      Too many things on my mind
      When I leave I don’t know
      What I’m hoping to find
      When I leave I don’t know
      What I’m leaving behind…

      You move me
      With your buildings and your eyes
      Autumn woods and winter skies
      You move me
      Open sea and city lights
      Busy streets and dizzy heights
      You call me

  4. Don Palmer
    Don Palmer says:

    I have a dirty little secret… (don’t tell Analog) She is using a Pertronix in the distributor… Ouch!

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