Boat Props That Help Move The Peoples Choice.

WOW, that’s alotta props

Over the next months as boat show season gets in full swing, we thought we would bring up the topic of props. We have covered propellers, but what about the other kind of props? Set design stuff. Stuff that tells a story about your boat and the mood you want to set.

A simple Faribault Blanket does the trick. Useful, fun and perfect.

NOW, this can be tricky for sure and should be done with focus and a certain amount of restraint. Now, this is a subjective thing, so we will point out how “we” think it should be done. Here are some questions to ask yourself when doing it.

Period local cooler up at the Algonac Museum

Does it help tell the story of the boat? People love the story embedded in the wood.

  1. Is it period correct?
  2. Is it over kill?
  3. NO MANNEQUINS! They are creepy. Hey, just ask your wife….x-wife…. Russian wife? That lady you breath hard on the phone with? BTW, mannequins in the barn is fine, strange, but fine, at a show is .. Well. Goes from Strange to Scary.

    Actually kinda works. NO, wait. NO! I asked one of the many 20 ish women at the office, and they all said… NO-WA!

    Now, “real” wives or girlfriends are far more fun.

  4. Does it over power the boat? As in too many things that cover the simplicity of the boat?
  5. Is it in the same condition of the boat?
  6. Does it help the boat stand out? Imagine four 18′ Sportsman at a show? Does yours have Lily’s behind it? Guess which one won
  7. OK, those are some rules or questions you should ask. Now, here are some optional ideas if you are thinking about going there.

    Look cool, but?

  8. Life jackets are always great if they are period correct. Not to many, just enough to tell the story.
  9. Water Skies, Fishing rods, Old radio, Picnic baskets, Only if they help the story of the boat.

    I have period correct fishing stuff in the factory tackle box on WECATCHEM

  10. Towels / Blankets and other fabric. Does it match? We will do an entire story on this.
  11. Hats, Sunglasses, All fashion, all good if right.For example Stinky has a race helmet.
  12. Flags, Always.
  13. Vintage Coolers, Great!
  14. Cup holders with vintage can or bottle
  15. Vintage Cushions are always right. BUT, they need to match the period of the boat and help tell a story.
  16. Tool kit, Tricky, I have one, but its stored away. Out in the open is a tough call.
  17. Paddle/ boat hook. But no aluminum new boat hook! Have some class. They didn’t just invent boat hooks. Get an old one.
  18. Theme related creativity. Like Lily’s behind a boat named Lily. Candy, Like Lemonhead handed out.
  19.  Vintage bottle of suntan lotion.
  20. Anything that may be very specific to tell your boats odd personal story. Was it Uncle Bobs boat? Bobs old pipe, Bob himself in a urn? OK, maybe a bit dark, but better than a mannequin! OUCH!

So there ya have it. A top 20 list of accessory ideas to win the hearts and minds of the peoples choice awards. Even if your boat is a pile of rat turds, you too can win a fancy show! just ask Stinky!

Stinky beat out WECATCHEM at the Lake Hopatcong awards. She has the ultimate prop. Her aromatic presence!

18 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    The mannequin can work, but it really needs a plastic boat for the plastic person. Throw in a plastic bathing suit and a 70’s vibe and a theme emerges.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I want to know if you have a “Period” correct tampon in the drawers of WECATCHEM.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      I would add a link to the original story, but I can’t find it. Maybe Matt will add it.

  3. Capt. Cranky
    Capt. Cranky says:

    I just load by broken down old butt into the Lyman…with my 50 year old Coleman cooler (a hand me down from when I was a kid)…and off I go. Authentic.

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Lily’s lilies and Lemonhead’s Lemonheads win best of show, but a Faribault blanket is always a safe bet.

  5. BobKays
    BobKays says:

    My boat and I were born a year apart, so I am period correct for my Chris Craft. And my name is Bob, so I’m all set!

  6. Sean
    Sean says:

    If you have an item that is period correct that’s cool but, I find a “staged” boat that looks like a Macys Christmas window to be too contrived. It looks like you are trying too hard to win a prize and the focus should not be the window dressing but, the boat. Fwiw: the Lilies were an elegant touch… nicely done.

    • Sean
      Sean says:

      How about a simple boat mat that gives the specs of the boat or gives a brief history of the craft.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      See, that works. Little yellow plastic boat with a plastic girl wearing a little yellow polka dot bikini all with a period thing going on.

  7. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    I agree whole heartily that adding some period correct items add to the conversations with the spectators. I have a whole picnic basket full of props, from the late fifties. Camera, transistor radio, water skis, even an Attwater accessories catalog from 1959.
    But I think a nice professionally made “Show Board” is the best way to present your boat. Tell the history, before after pictures, if restored, etc. The spectators will spend more time appreciating your efforts and display, rather than just walking past.

  8. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    There is one boat I have seen at several gatherings that always has a toolbox out, with its contents scattered everywhere. But it has never won best of show. The problem is that the tools are in use, and the boat always seems to be one step from starting, or one step from sinking. One positive: The tools and accompanying curses uttered by owner are period-correct!

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I saw a cool looking vintage portable phonograph and some beautiful flowers carefully placed in a prewar boat. And you know how well a phonograph would work and the flowers in a vase would hold up in a bouncing, rocking runabout.

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