The Cost Of Going To Boat Shows. The Cost Of Not Going To Shows.

Bar Harbor Super Club Perfection

I was on the phone yesterday with a long time fellow Woody Boater who has contributed a ton to our wonderful community. Goes to many events, MANY events and has been doing so for decades. We got to talking about the cost to get to shows and stay. Various spontaneous repairs and the time on the road. By the way, don’t add it up. Because it’s a lot.

For some HUGE, for others, not so much. I suppose it’s all perspective, and at what point its worth it to bring a boat.

Home, Mecca, and a must see! Algonac!

Some shows are worth it in spades, Mt Dora is always great because it’s a chance to enjoy boating in a boaters paradise, as was and is the Thousand Islands and Algonac, and Tahoe, and Gull Lake, and small shows on water ways off the fast lane, and smaller more intimate spontaneous events, okay wait, all the shows are fun to go boating at, and you get a chance to hang around with other fellow boaters. Heck even indoor shows at shopping malls can be fun in the winter.

Carpet Boating

So obviously there is a money cost of bringing yourself and your better half… your boat. But the emotional reward is amazing. You get to hang out with people that enjoy the same “issues” you do. You get to bask in others hard work, and remind yourself that there are real humans behind emails and crappy Facebook posts.  This past couple weeks photos and stories are true reminders of the power of fellowship and humanity.

The photos from Alex bay were amazing, but I missed the true joy of being there, and the true joy of just hanging out and being totally immersed in the power of the moment. And that is priceless!

Thanks for all you all do by being at the shows

14 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    I like the header! I think we will be doing that Friday lunch run to Bryson’s island again next year. I hope you can join us for the fun and some real time WoodyBoater reporting.

    • Shep on Lake Shafer IN.
      Shep on Lake Shafer IN. says:

      Good point Matt. But I realy don’t want to know how much it cost to go to these shows. It is about meeting and talking to people with the same interest.

      A few weeks ago you were asking me when I was coming back to Algonac.
      I was told by someone at Alex Bay that I should tell you that I will be back at Algonac a soon as I see you at Mt Dora.
      FYI I plan to be at Mt Dora with Mom’s Mink this year.
      Hope to see you there!

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    The biggest obstacle for me is time. Time away from work and family, and from Keuka in the summer. Heck, I miss more of the Hammondsport shows than I make even though I am just a few miles up the lake and the financial cost to go is just a couple gallons of fuel.

    If I was a retired empty nester, I would have plenty of time to go from show to show, but then the costs would start to add up. Maybe I should get a cruiser and drive it from show to show with built in room and board. Yes, because buying a cruiser to save money always makes sense! 🙂

  3. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I always note the old guard in our group still refers to the Tavares/LAKE Dora show as Mt. Dora….and I guess we always will…those were the intro days for so many of us and the annual break out for the trailer boats. I have already started the countdown…ahead of Matt. Troy, you were awol last time….only excuse for you not to be at that show is if (and when) you are on the great loop. Just came back from Going Boating…..John in Va.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      They refer to A Bay as Alex Bay as well. Oh, and the Chris Craft Riviera as Rivera and…

      You can’t sweat the details around here.

  4. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    I have been taking my boats to shows for four years and still really enjoy seeing the other boats and people. I’m still working so time is limited but fortunately for me living in Michigan there are shows all over the state that are within driving distance [Hessel can be a long day but worth it!] so it makes it easy. At some point when I retire I may broaden my horizons so at that time money, not time, may be the issue. That’s in the future, however, which is always uncertain so who knows!

    On another note the water in the Great Lakes has hardly gone down at all which normally it does at this time of the year. Another wet winter and things could get really interesting next summer!

  5. Bert Harris
    Bert Harris says:

    I always say “ I spent all my money on boat shows, Booz and woman. The rest I just wasted”. I have taken a year off from shows, and boating for that matter. It got a bit overwhelming to be honest. We have let three boats go so far. Still have one or two, maybe even three. This year I will make a comeback as such. I missed everyone and every show I didn’t attend. Wasn’t the money. Heck, you can’t take it with you I’m told. I discovered that my life at home was being neglected. My garage was a mess, my yard was neglected. Everywhere I looked needed attention and all I wanted to do was get ready for the boat show. It’s a sickness and I agree, an expensive sickness.

  6. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    I’m glad Paul Bortner goes to boat shows
    I finally met him at the Geneva lake boat show
    I was able to thank him for a favor years earlier of him sending me photos of a Cadillac crusader I was working on
    He brought a sweet boat, maybe he can add a picture
    Btw I recognized him by his shorts!

  7. Syd
    Syd says:

    51 years of showing boats. It’s all about having fun with the boats and sharing it with everyone, your friends and all the spectators

  8. Dave
    Dave says:

    What a great opening overhead view of the INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW HELD AT THE BAR HARBOR SUPPER CLUB LOCATED ON GULL LAKE IN NISSWA, MINNESOTA from a few years ago. Due to the smart, hard work of the Land-O-Lakes ACBS chapter membership and others, including great sponsers, we enjoy no fewer than 5 or 6 shows throughout the state and into Iowa. Finally, thanks to John and Lee for the wonderful support they provide from their wonderful collections and otherwise.

  9. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Interesting that you chose this topic today. When we lived in northern IL, I made it to a couple shows a year. The Fox River/Lake show was right there at home & Lake Geneva was just over an hour’s drive. Started going to them before I even had a boat to take. Haven’t been to a show since we moved to northern KY in 2011. Closest ones are at least 3 hours away. Didn’t realize how much I missed going until I took the ’99 Malibu out Friday morning to shoot some pics of the Ohio Valley Chapter leaving on their fall trip. But my 12′ Aristocraft is far too small for a journey on the mighty river.

  10. bill davis
    bill davis says:

    For those of us that have “user boats” the cost of attending boat shows is indeed a problem unless it is nearby and travel expenses are not as much. I admit that part of my problem is self inflicted in that I have many “diseases”–boats, sail, and power(wood and tuperware),motorcycles, vintage cars, farms, on and on. I like to do most of my own mechanical and finishing work –amateur as it is. I do not have the “aviation” disease fortunately. I do enjoy following the wood boat issues and events and woodyboater is one of my regular stops in the morning:)

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