The Perfection of The Imperfection of Woody Boating.


Woody Boater of the Month and winner of a big woody - Pete Beauregard driving his killer custom 1955 21' Cobra

Our day started like any other fantasy day, we were off to the old club on Harsons Island for a brunch, and small talk with the group from the Michigan Chapter of the ACBS. Which I am now a proud member of I might add. First though is a nice 5 mile boat run to the Island.. this is an annual event and very fun. I got to run with Pete Beauregard in his cool new custom 1955 Cobra 21…

New Crusader motor, Custom Blue cover.. This thing in person is cool as all get out.. And it screams! And a very nice ride, especially for a Cobra. We ripped our way to the event and arrived in brisk fashion.. Dang, ya gotta love that new reliable power….

Here I am embarresing myself.

We had a wonderful event, And so happens, gave Pete a 2012 Big Woody. Our last one, and the first one we made, a prototype that is perfect for this one of a kind guy. Pete is a quiet guy that likes to be behind the scenes. But gets tons of things done.

leaving the old club, ready to run home! Light her up!

After the event Pete gave a ride to a pal, and lit up the shore with his Cobra running.. Gotta love that reliable power.. We set out to go back home for a fun fast run and photo shoot of the Cobra for a later story. Texx was all set up in his photo boat.. A 1938 28′ Hacker with a Scripps v12, We knew that would keep up for sure, and with David Bortner of Freedom Boat Service at the helm Texx would be able to get some very cool shots.

All went well, after all it was a perfect day.. We went zipping off and then started taking turns..

making a wide turn.

And then it happened.. Sput sput.. pop pop, sputter sputter.. Within10 seconds we were at idol speed and that was all we were getting. At first, denial sets in.. Oh this is just some dumb thing… And then, frustration, then ya just realize that you are now in a small john boat with a 4hp on the back and you are gonna have fun on your 2 hr run home.

Here I am looking in the hatch like I have an idea of what i am looking for. I had no clue! But everything looked fine. We kept hoping it was something simple.

Then a couple minutes into this, I thought, maybe is something stupid. We knocked out a wire, maybe some water got into the injection area? your mind wanders and starts trying to figure this out.. Our best guess was that after the turn, we got some dirt in the fuel filter and that new reliable motor did not like that.. No glass bowl to clean out, and no tools.

After an hour or so, i realized i never put any sunscreen on. And poof, I recalled getting these cool sunscreen packs from Hagerty.. AGAIN, Hagerty was there again to save the day!

Top it off , one phone dead and mine not really connecting. the good news is that we had plenty of company, the bad part, we had plenty of witnesses.. Here we were. In a very fast cool Cobra, and the perfection of classic boating imperfection had made the day complete.

Eventually we had to get the tow rope out! that sea skiff was masterful.

Thanks to Roy, Judy & Carl for stopping and near the end of the long limp, towed us in. Right at the Marina we tried to go in under our own power, but wound up in the marsh.

I had to climb out on the back to get the rope.. Line...... I meant line!!!!! Thank god for those new shoes!

The thing that struck me was that we had just had the same issue with Ricks award winning Sportsman, its all part of the fun I told him.. And honestly it is. I had a ton of fun out there with Pete and the gang, everyone was laughing so hard that many of the shots are so shaky that they are unusable. So in my book, it’s the imperfect moments that make wonderful memories and stories. Stay tuned for more from Michigan!

This is my Algonac memory that I will always treasure. A fun slow ride home surrounded by pals on a beautiful day in a beautiful boat. it doesnt get any better..

33 replies
  1. Matt
    Matt says:

    Smart ass! I wish it had a distributer and carb. Non of the go to areas, all electronic and injection. The good news is that it stayed running at idol.. Sound familiar?

  2. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    You’re gonna get me in trouble with Greg! Marianne was not in the skiff towing you home, and my wife Susan gets the credit for the pic of you standing on the deck at the end of my tow rope. Glad you had fun, the good news is we kept you out of the channel and freighter fodder!

  3. Jim Godlewski
    Jim Godlewski says:

    Geeze, We should make a list of all the boat issues just to see who all had “issues” I’m not sure how to do that but I made the list. After the show on Saturday I was taking some guests on a cruise down the South Channel. We slowed down to a drift to look at the water when just like I turned the key off she died. It turned over but no fire so up goes the engine cover to see if something looks amuck. All seemed fine so I assure my crew we are OK. I wondered about that in my mind as we drifted down the shipping channel. Second time I tried to start the engine she fired up. One of my crew commented, Jim that engine never sounded so good. We all laughed and headed back to the Harbour Club without any more issues.
    Thanks everyone for a great weekend.
    A fantastic Michigan ACBS event for sure.

  4. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    When you use your boats like we do SH__ happens. It’s all part of the fun and makes for the great stories that live on for years. Welcome to the Michigan Chapter!

  5. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Any chance you could do a story on the history of the blue cobra? I’d love to learn more.

  6. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Smith, maybe you’re a curse? Makes me feel a bit better about running out of gas on Tahoe! Looks like you guys had fun, and when you actually use the boats like Greg says, all sorts of things can happen. For me, it is part of the epxerience and the lore. Wouldn’t trade any of it – well, almost any of it.

    • Matt B
      Matt B says:

      Paul, I was thinking the same thing. There is a pattern starting to emerge, Woody Boater shows up and boats have problems, web sties stop working, hmmmmm…… let keep an eye on this.

      • Texx
        Texx says:

        Matt B. – Spend three days with Matt Smith at a boat show and it will all make sense… Trust me, I know.

        (Also, I strongly recommend that you get lots of sleep before the boat show starts…)

  7. tommy
    tommy says:

    that Cobra at the end of the tow rope – it looks a lot like my Century. My Century looks like a Cobra! Thanks Matt.

  8. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    When Pete and I were Racing, he may have loosen up some junk in the bottom of the gas tank. We hit some big chop out in front of the Old CLub at 50+ mph. My teeth still hurt! And don’t even get my started on hoe much my back hurts today.

      • Dennis Mykols
        Dennis Mykols says:

        I love to get a copy of that to see, I pulled up to Pete, and said, lets give them a show, and befor I knew it, he nailed that Cobra and we were off…

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    The perfection of the imperfection. Love that. Maybe it can be defined mathematically.

    Imperfection = Perfection (our initial new-purchase delusions) X Number of Boats Owned (since more boats means more pain) X Amount Of Money One Spends On Them – Amount Of Money One Spends On Them (since that doesn’t seem to matter a hoot) X Inconvenience (circumstances one happens to be in when poo happens) X Number Of Young Kids Aboard, Squared (since this elevates the pain to bear-spray-on-the-thigh levels) X Time (towing, determining cause, finding parts, awaiting parts, installing parts) X Fear Factor (knowing another problem will soon arise).

    But somehow it seems to still end up being worth it doesn’t it. As they say in Chorus Line:

    “Won’t forget, can’t regret
    What I did for love”

  10. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    Now I know why I’m always in so much pain. Thanks for pointing it all out, made my day.

  11. matt
    matt says:

    Ha, and I know it was something dumb! I am sure of it.. thats what was killing us.. That dang sunscreen! Saved my day!..

  12. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Does the boat have a decent spin on fuel filter? Even the latest in fuel injection and electronic ignition is no match for a little old fashioned bad gas.

  13. Rick
    Rick says:

    Check the Cobra’s fuel pump. Tommy diagnosed that as my problem. Well that and fuel leaking into the bilge.

  14. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    I think it was simple cause he was out and about by 3:30, probably some loose sediment got caught in the siphon, fuel filter, or injectors after a couple of high speed turns. It was delivered Thurs. and didn’t even have MC’s on it yet. (don’t tell the Coast Guard). We use ’em, fill up and GO!

  15. Jim Frechette
    Jim Frechette says:

    There was a blue Cobra for sale at Houston Wheels and Keels a few years ago. Is this the same one or yet another?

  16. Matt
    Matt says:

    Ha, just got in.. Nice easy drive actually. After hauling around the 24 sportsman the whaler was like it wasn’t thete

  17. Alex
    Alex says:

    1) My vote (and my wife’s) is in favor of the blue. Sure, it’s not the period-correct black and gold combo (the “Bandit” Trans-Am look), but it’s hip, and striking. It takes guts to deviate, especially with an iconic boat. Well done Pete!

    2) Matt, er, WAS the trailer there when you arrived home? I mean, have you checked yet?

  18. Bill Lawrence
    Bill Lawrence says:

    The cowling looks hand painted with a roller & the blue color is probably the ugliest combination for a varnished classic boat. Why didn’t you just paint the entire boat white – yuck?

  19. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Initially, my first exposure to CC Cobra’s was not my kind of ride and the “gold” ‘glass just didn’t look right until I saw it in person and the same with Silver Arrows. The “bad” finish I think people are seeing is actually the reflection of the clouds in the sky on the finish. To each his own and whatever floats your boat.

    Just looking at the reflection of the water on the perfect topsides of Black Beauty amaze me to no end for a boat that size.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Yes – The quality of the blue painted finish on Pete’s Cobra was very good, as in car show quality… Thus the reflections.

      I have to say that the blue color on the fin / cowl kind of grows on you when you see it in person.

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