The “Woody Boater Effect”, It’s A Thing Now, At Least That’s What They Tell Me.

Large crowds are a good thing

This past summer while sweating out if the Jersey Weather gods had taken my bribe, I was relieved to see the sun come out, but even more heartening was the people that came out, up, and down from all sorts of places. While at the dock with Stinky and WECATCHEM, I met so many of you all.  I learn so much cool stuff from folks! I LOVE IT! What I did notice is that the place was full, ALL DAY! People just hung out and went for some rides and just had fun. So I asked about the numbers at the show. And got this wonderful email from the club. Is the Woody Boater Effect a thing now. You can bet your sweet bippy it is!

Stinky AND WECATCHEM at Lake Hopatcong

Bob Rice of the Lake Hopatcong show committee, said this.

“Despite a truly daunting weather forecast as Tropical Storm Cindy moved into our area, a record number of WoodyBoaters traveled from some distance with their boats to be part of the Lake Hopatcong Show…more this year than ever before….an exciting circumstance! Equally as exciting is the fact that spectator numbers spiked precipitously. Why did this happen? A strong case can be made that the 43rd Annual Lake Hopatcong Show saw these increases owing largely to what may be fairly termed, “The WoodyBoater Effect”. The stories which WoodyBoater has posted have given a wonderful visibility to Lake Hopatcong, our show, our boats, and the exceptional expertise of our support system at Katz’s Marina here on the lake and Van Ness Engineering just a few towns away. Our local community has benefited, as well, with our traveling guests causing local hotels to be full and restaurants to be even more busy than usual. How did we make out with the weather? It seemed like Divine Intervention as skies cleared at show time and gentle breezes prevailed for the rest of the day. Is the “WoodyBoater Effect” real? Well perhaps not for the weather, but you bet it is for our hobby, and it’s growing!”

Woods And Water, A Massive success!

So I thought, mmmmm, and reached out to Dave Bortner from the Gull Lake huge Woods and Water event two years ago. Here is what he had to say.

“If you’re building a vintage boat show of regional or national importance, Woody Boater is a critical partner. Right from the beginning, as we were planning the 2015 ACBS International Show, Woods and Water, here in Minnesota, we enlisted the help and exposure only Woody Boater can deliver. Of course, Woody Boater helps build excitement in advance of the show, while also delivering key logistic information. Woody Boater also brings the event, live-ish or after the fact, to those who can’t attend, which builds attendance in subsequent years. The Woody Boater crew is great fun, as well, and it’s always a pleasure to have them around.”

Terry Fiest and Fiesty at Lake Dora last year

And then I thought, why not go for the big guy himself… Terry Fiest Chairman of the Sunnyland Show Said this.

“As the Chairman of the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival for the past 21 years, I am always amazed at the popularity of our show. When we start planning for our annual event we focus on exposure and how to market our show. We have tried numerous outlets and we have concluded that the coverage we get from Woody Boater is the reason for our continued success. I provide Matt Smith information well in advance and his web site takes it to a new level. The Count Down to the Sunnyland Show is very similar to “Circus Coming to Town”. Woody Boater is and will continue to be an integral part of our annual event! Many thanks to Matt and his great staff for all their dedication to our hobby. Terry Fiest, Chairman, Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival.”

Dang! First what incredibly kind and generous words. Sometimes sitting here behind a key board or iphone can seem like I am just making myself happy. And the real truth is the events mentioned are amazing, and very well managed. So they would be successful without promotion. But, thanks.

Taking photos is a ton of fun

So what do we do with this? I have no idea. I do know we can’t promote every show. And it only seems to work if we are going to the show and make and take something to see. Which is beyond impossible to do. I will add that we are invited to many shows and cant make it. It’s painful, because they are all fun and full of fun folks, friends and I want to help. I am trying very hard to not make this a job. I will also add, that it can add up in the old expense department. OUCH. So I need my job! Ha!

Texx and I love visiting areas of the country. This is on Harsons Island years ago which started our love affair with the Michigan Gang and area.This coming year we are headed to Port Huron.


2018’s years major event will be Boat The Blue At Port Huron. Get ready now. This will end the year in style. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Now, the temptation here is that every group wanting to do a show will now email. And I will have to say I cant help. But, I am working on a partial solution and will be announcing it very soon. And hopefully it will have a Woody Boater Effect on all Classic Boating beyond boat shows and encourage people to have more gatherings and fun in innovative ways. !

Thanks again for your kind words. Matt.


16 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Matt, you are not telling your friends in the Michigan chapter anything that we didn’t already know, and we have always appreciated your WoodyBoater support. We look forward to having a great time with you in Port Huron at “Boat the Blue”. It will be an event to remember!

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    Thanks Greg, it’s going to be the event of the year. We also hope to see folks at Lake Dora which will be one of the more creative shows of the year. The michigan show is a must for anyone who loves there boats and the culture since its where it all started.

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Personally, I can say the effect is real for Sunnyland for sure. Come mid February when our lakes are too “firm” to boat on, the temperature outside is bitter cold, and the snow is relentless, all the pictures of boats, liquid water, sunshine and palm trees you see on WoodyBoater make it very hard to not browse over to and click the “Hell yeah I wanna get away” button.

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    This is the header that “closed the deal” for Sandi and I to attend our first Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival (AKA Dora) years ago.

    We will be at the Dora event again this year and are planning on attending “Boat the Blue” in Port Huron.

  5. Ranger
    Ranger says:

    Matt, we can attest to WoodyBoater effect. A few years back when we were putting together a small non-show event for US Marines and their families at Camp LeJuene and New River in NC; you and Texx got behind us and give us a tremendous amount of help getting to word out and then you covered our weekend with the Marines from start to happy finish! We had boats from several chapters come join us and give rides that weekend, it was amazing! Again our heartfelt thanks to WoodyBoater and everyone who was there with their boats to give our Marines and their families a very memorable weekend.

  6. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Mr. Bortner is right, Woods and Water would not have been the same without the Woody Boater Effect. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  7. Gene porter
    Gene porter says:

    Hey Matt
    I look forward to your help in bringing the Woody Boater Effect to bear in support of the ACBS INTERNATIONAL 2021 annual show/meeting now being planned for the new marina in Burlington Vt on beautiful and historic Lake Champlain. Hope you can also make one of the spectacular pre-event cruises; Old Montreal/St Lawrence/Richilieu/Chambly, or Hudson River Valley/ Champlain Canal/South Lake Champlain.

  8. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    Really looking forward to Boat The Blue next Sept. It’ll be great to see so many names associated with their faces!! Matt & Texx, you guys are unbelievable with your support of the entire hobby!! Thanks for all you do!!

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