Why I Love Classic Boating! Warning, I Used Big Words.


Photo Aaron Ladonne

I know to many the idea of owning a new boat seems like a fools folly, and owning a classic boat is for the deeply insane. Why? Why would anyone subject themselves to all the upkeep and care to own and run a classic boat? Well, I suppose to those people that think that, there is no hope. But to the person that loves a classic boats and stops themselves  from living out their dream of owning one. What the hell are you waiting for? This is a fantastic life, and always full of different options to enjoy life.

Time stands still on a classic boat

Classic boats are art, and machines that capture and propel us to a time of fun and relaxation. A time when we are not working, or in meetings, or digging a ditch. Classic boats represent a history of our time off. Time that is our own, and nothing captures and encapsulates that time like Mahogany. beautiful varnished, mahogany is the best, because it allows us to see the texture of history in the wood. The dock dings, the scars of time. But enough about the esoteric aspects of varnished wood.

mmmm fresh varnish

Let’s talk about the joy of a moving machine that floats on the water, and brings joy to so many. There is a dramatic difference that is palatable between being out on a new boat, and being in a classic boat. A classic boat needs me, a new boat needs nothing, A classic boat requires a human to be part of the enjoyment, a new boat can run off an app. You are there for the ride. A classic boat needs attention and love and time to keep alive, a new boat, just sucks your paycheck but could sit outside and not care.

A classic boat is like your dog, loyal, loves you, and participates in your love,  and a new boat is like a cat, it doesn’t care if you are there or not. So, thats just a small part of it all. I know my classic boats are more than boats to me, they are just as fun to be with out of the water and in a barn as they are in the water. They are fun to find, and still within reason to afford and can be found in obscure areas. The life that they represent, is still out there being discovered and brought to life.

History found in a storage unit

The fact that we found a photo of a historic moment from almost 100 years ago is amazing, and one more thing I love about classic boating. Finding history and being part of saving it for others.  And to think we are just a couple weeks from saving history again and Lake Dora. Please join us all there and show support to an amazing group of fellow Woody Boaters who have worked hard since September on making sure the Lake Dora Show stays fun and an exciting way to start the summer season! See you there!


16 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Matt: I love your take on this all, but for me I think you left out one of the most important parts. THE PEOPLE!
    I don’t care if you are talking about an unorganized group that meets at the local lake for coffee, donuts, and a boat ride or if you are talking about one of the many many clubs out there. The people in the boating world in general are GREAT, and the Classic Boating world are some of the friendliest, funnest, and most inviting people in the world.


  2. Jaxon
    Jaxon says:

    And the best part is if your human has wood boats it is usually more than one😊plenty of places to nap. We never go anywhere to get TREATS from someone that collects plastic boats.

  3. Bob Moreau
    Bob Moreau says:

    Trying to get in touch with the person who showcased the yellow Holsclaw at last years Lake Dora event (Donna R?). Noted the photo & name on your photos from last seasons event. Hoping to speak with Donna as I too have one of these that needs restoration. Can you please reply to my email with any info (photo of unit below).

  4. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    The true test……………
    “…..they are just as fun to be with out of the water and in a barn as they are in the water.”

  5. MO Whaler
    MO Whaler says:

    It’s still kinda close to Sunday and the spiritual and inspiring message/sermon is much appreciated – – Thank You – –

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I needed that inspirational boost today as I am facing a yard bill.

    Will be broke but happy to see all in Fla.

    John in Va.

  7. Rick
    Rick says:

    Had a group of plastic boaters at a birthday party this past Sunday and brought them out to the shed to see Panther. Lots of ooos, ahhhs and wows. Gotta love that reaction. Just don’t get that with plastic.

  8. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    With all of the stresses of daily life and the overload of negative news I find it very therapeutic so just go out to the garage, put on some nice music and lose myself in working on wood boats. I do also have a plastic boat but other than washing it there’s not much else to do. Varnish smells much better than fiberglass!

  9. Dennis J Mykols
    Dennis J Mykols says:

    Amen, to the comment that our classic boats bring as much joy to us out of the water, whether it is in winter storage, sitting on a trailer, or just waiting to be hitched up and go somewhere.
    This may seem weird to some, but I often just pat my classic boat as I walk into the garage and simply say ” How you doin ol’ girl”?
    Yesterday, I had the joy of hitchin up the old 1984 Whaler, and take it to my mechanics shop to tune up the carburetors on the 1984 90hp Mercury. It was a sunny, upper 40’s day in Michigan, and sure enough, as I was pumping a couple of gallons of fresh fuel at the gas station, I had three guys admiring the old girl. Made me a proud owner (Current caretaker)…

  10. KM
    KM says:

    the Lt-Gov of Ontario was a friend of the Toronto and spoke to our group on occasion. He was an old boat owner and fan’ He once mentioned that while recuperating at his cottage, he looked forward to going to the boathouse, sit in the boat, smell the varnish, feel the movement of the boat and listen to the water lapping against the hull…. That was his therapy……

Comments are closed.