Should All Boat Shows Be Changed For 2020?

It’s the new look of 2020

As we watch this Pandemic rip through all our communities, and the tough choices we are all gonna need to make about what is a new normal until a vaccine is approved and given, we are gonna be around 14 months out. As in next spring ish. Forget that we will be back to work and doing things. We will have some sort of PTSD from all this and going to large crowd events is not gonna happen, or be responsible. So even if you can hold a boat show or event, traffic will be so far down, it wont be worth the work involved.

The one boat show

So, I pose this question not to be a trouble maker, but to think ahead. We are a community that does not like change, and in fact is passionate about tradition and the past.  And if you go into the past, after the great depression it took years to get over the emotional drain of it. This is a real thing, and if you are a club trying to organize an event. Even if your state has opened back up, people should avoid public gatherings. Here are some alternative ideas that may help at least create some focus on bringing us all together.

It was fun..ish

1. Virtual Shows. This is being done already in some areas. We did it around lake Dora and it kinda worked. I think there is a better way to go about it with Zoom, and Facebook live. Stay tuned.

2. Have an event in your town but spread it out all over the town. One boat at each dock. In a barn. parked on the street. make it a tour of history. Have old cars around. A Social Distance gathering.

3. Have a show on the water, Parade past folks homes. They do this with the Lake Wawasee Thunder Run and its a wonderful thing. 

Lets be creative today and help each other save the summer.

22 replies
  1. Syd Marsden
    Syd Marsden says:

    I have bee wondering the same thing if they will be held or not. I can start the one boat show this morning

  2. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    Here in Indiana on Lake Wawasee they do what’s called the ‘Thunder Run’ every Sunday morning. Mostly lake residents gather their Woodies (sometimes 30-40 boats), meet at a designated spot, then run around the lake in single file at around 20mph. Nearly every dock is filled with folks waving in appreciation. I’ve done it several times and it’s always fun. Easy to keep your physical distance in that scenario. That said, it will be difficult for other venues with crammed docks, group dinners, public boat rides, etc. to have their shows this summer and remain socially responsible. Sad, but true. Virtual shows in any form will attract a few, but obviously can’t substitute for gathering our classic boats and their owners in close contact…which is what the shows are all about. My guess is many early-mid summer shows will reschedule to fall dates in hopes of still having the type show we all enjoy.

  3. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    I hope they don’t change Hessel. (Or T.C.) I don’t need to shake anyone’s hand while I’m there. And by Aug. I think they should have something figured out.

  4. Rick
    Rick says:

    If there is a virtual show I’m coming with the biggest baddest fastest triple I can find. If it’s a real show I’ll be there with Panther instead. If she starts and has no fuel leaks.

    • Mark in Ohio (hopeing for da U P )
      Mark in Ohio (hopeing for da U P ) says:

      I aree Rick, If its a virtual show. With photoshop and endless pictures on the internet. I could show up in a beautiful Barrel Back with one of Troys queens riding shotgun.

  5. Mike Gridley
    Mike Gridley says:

    The Board of ACBS-TORONTO havemade the tough decision to cancel our 40th Vintage Boat Show in Gravenhurst, Ontario. It was a difficult decision but the right one. We’ll be back July 10, 2021. All shows really should seriously consider cancelling events this year. We need to do are part to protect our members and the public.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    We have done similar boat gatherings on Cobbossee but are not as organized and Jeff’s group.

    Got this image from a WB friend, unfortunately I had to do some serious cropping.

    Sun Tan 2020

  7. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    After 34 continuous years, the Michigan chapter Algonac show was cancelled this week. Very Sad!

  8. Patrick L.W.
    Patrick L.W. says:

    As a younger woody boater relativity, boat shows should wait to cancel. The data/denominator is not in. We’re going to find out that this virus is far less deadly and contagious than they feared. By the time a lot of shows are happening there will problably be more effective treatments – there may never be a vaccine. If an individual is at risk (hypertensive, diabetic, smoker, etc.) they should take precautions or continue to quarantine. A boat show is not like a bar or restaurant- it’s outside – with high humidity (virus’s hate that). Summer transmission rates will be much less with the lipid layer of the virus’ being compromised. Please wait and see! Life will be different for a long while – we have to take our shoes off now before we fly. We are going to have to make a lot of changes with the virus but we can’t shut down everything and stay indoors.

  9. Mike Watson
    Mike Watson says:

    Heck, I’m just hopeful that our MI governor will allow us to put our “motorized” boats in the water next month and allow marinas to operate and launch the big boats.

    Troy, you cut the best parts.


    • Dennis Hansen
      Dennis Hansen says:

      I hope you were meaning “when its appropriate to minimize the loss of life”.
      When the restrictions are lifted, power boat owners need to take responsibility to “social distance” at the ramps and on the water. If the recent situation at the Northport Mi ramp was any indication of the inappropriate behavior that happened, so that the Sheriff had to close the ramp, we will not see the rules lifted anytime soon.

  10. Scott Mason
    Scott Mason says:

    We have towed Rhubarb 23,000 miles from Washington to the last 5 International Shows with side trips to Lake Geneva, Muskoka and Duluth, MN. I will be terribly disappointed if the ACBS International Boat Show scheduled for Lake Couer d’Alene is cancelled. It’s only 350 miles from my home…almost across the street compared to our previous 5 years travel. In addition, I never was able to experience Dry Rot (Dick Werner’s annual Labor Day event) at Priest Lake, ID while Dick was alive, we are really looking forward to the pre-events at Priest Lake. I think it is way too early to pull the plug and the mere planting of the seed, although possibly realistic is discouraging.

  11. Bob Murdock
    Bob Murdock says:

    As a marina owner up in NorMich, I can tell you all of my fellow marina owners are waiting with baited breath.
    At this moment, no hope from our governor either……….
    Can we put docks in? Can we put motorized boats in? Can we rent PONTOON boats? Can we even open the barn doors and let people pick up their own property?
    How do we protect the public? How can you “sanitize” a wooden boat or ANY boat for that matter?
    A good summer is critical to ANY business that is seasonal and like any business is now forced to look for some chance to survive. Many won’t make it.
    There will be less tax revenue, less wages, less everything until we restart this economy. We all understand the risks involved.
    That said, if we don’t get going soon, the last Depression will make this new Depression look like a walk in the park.
    When we’re let out of our cages and if at all possible, PLEASE support ANY small, local business as they all will be fighting for their survival.
    Even the restaurant or business that sells something you don’t necessarily need right now.

  12. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    This whole thing reeks of politics, I am afraid the cure ordered out by our elected officials will be worse than original problem .
    I pray for everyone’s well being and that common sense will prevail soon.
    Truthfully this is a liberty vs an overreach, and tyranny of some elected officials .
    Time to open up logical venues and businesses before it is too late.
    Sorry Matt for bringing politics into the blog, but we cannot ignore it .

    steve and laurie

  13. Gene
    Gene says:

    With due respect for woodyboaters that are eager to relax the restrictions, I wish that they would be more specific. What increased death rate would they find acceptable if they were to be allowed to resume “normal” summer boat show activity? Or would they envision attendees to all be masked and gloved and carrying 6′ separation prods? Somehow I think that would limit attendance. Or perhaps they envision the new 5 minute testing protocol to become so widely available that every participant and attendee would be tested before being admitted.

    Hopefully this will become clearer before the ACBS BOD decides in Jiune about C d”A.

  14. Florida Kid Too
    Florida Kid Too says:

    FYI, the Florida Chapter of the Antique Outboard Motor Club and Sunnyland ACBS are hosting 14 sessions once a week for the next 14 weeks on a Lunch & Learn Zoom format. This week’s topic will be:
    1. Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Streamlining and their Influence on Outboard
    Motor Design
    2. The Early Years of Outboard Motors – 1866-1907
    3. Evinrude 1908-1934 – The Ole and Bess Years

  15. Russ
    Russ says:

    Since, like most of you, I am in a demographic where the odds are dubious at best, I have a vested interest in a rapid resolution to the corona outbreak. I still believe that improved treatment will be available within a month, and that a vaccine will be available in a year. Yesterday, a LI based company got FDA approval for a rapid (15 minute) antibody test which may allow proven immune employees to get back to work. Cheer up, things are bound to get better!

  16. David Hughes
    David Hughes says:

    Ordering vast swaths of the population to cower in their homes under threat of coersive action by the government will not change the ultimate outcome of this pandemic one iota…but it will weaken the freedoms we have come to take for granted – the Founding fathers must be squirming in their graves.

Comments are closed.