12 Years Of Stories, A Lifetime Of Friends


Funny how these simple photos can mean so much

As I was reflecting back on 12 years of WoodyBoater, one of the most powerful thing hasnt been about boats, or the day to day of doing this. It is, was and hopefully will be the friends made, and joy and yes pain that brings. After all a painful argument or disagreement wouldn’t be painful if didn’t care. Oh sure its internet crap, but here in this crazy place called Woodyboaterville real friendships and lifelong pals have been made.

The hands in pockets gang – This ones for you Staib!. Bob Rice, Woody, Ed Barns, and Bob “have i got a calendar for you” Kays. All here helping Seth.

This digital age is insane crazy and has opened up an entirely new type of friend. A friend you have no idea what they look like or live, or other things in their lives. So is it a friendship? For me yes. You all have made Woody Boater what it is. Sorry, I blame you. This place would be dead without you. Good and Bad BTW. You all know secretly I love a good attack. Sure its painful and hurtful. But that is life. And the best part is how it all comes back together in the end. Makeup comments are always more intence. And the stories it can create is amazing. Especially in the winter when we all are going to go nuts. So the nuts come out. Yes, metaphorically and any other way you want to read that.

Yup, thats me and my life long pal Scott Sawyer, who is the guy that really got this started and keeps it going behind the scenes. I think this was in 1982? And it must have been hot as hell out in Richmond VA

Genuine smiles from genuine friends. Carla and.. and… that guy with the pants? Only here he has changed it to his shirt?

Thats better

Paul and Karen Harrison are always good for a breakdown self deprecating story. But without them, our world would not be the same

From Coast to coast. This photo ahs two of the best! Herb hall and Terry Fiest. Feist? Fiste?

Woody gal, and Larry. Poor Larry, we wont let him rest in peace.

Chad brings great humor and joy, and we have all been there to watch his family grow. Amazing!

The other Matt, who brings class to us all. Well, thats not a very hard thing to do BTW.

That reminds me We cant forget Troy. Do you really need to see a photo of Troy? I didnt think so.

Mfine who makes me laugh every day! BACON POWER!

John Rothert from Virginia who even makes rainy days fun!

Eric Zelman and hi Zel-man cave!

Clif Aimes who knows how to talk to the spirits! Or maybe its just the spirits talking

We have classy pals to ballence the universe. Fellow Hall of Famer Charles Mistale

From around the globe we are all close. Phil Andrews

My favorite header, with great pals, Jim Frechette, Woody Gal and the Boatress at the Palm gardens.


The first Woody Boater Al Benton! Look back, way back, Al kept me going

Always Knights! Always there and ready to help!

The entire Turner family, I know they put up with my nutsoness. But they are the real deal, and ballence the universe from all the nutso’s out there. I have hope for little Own though. That kid makes me laugh big time!

Still cracks me up

I love this shot! Steve Lapkin, Bob Kays and Kent O. Smith Jr! Guess how they help? Come on.. Its right above their noses.

Big smiles with big boats and big generosity keeps this all fun and exciting.

Dane, who can make great photos with his eyes closed!

Texx, who hates to have his photo taken.

Alex and Salter remind us of the the power of a fathers love.

Don Ploetner who I think is really Horrice Dodge

Mike green who really is Christopher Smith.

The Mayors! Mayers? Mike!

Ya Mike!

A man with many name tags. Jim Staib! is ALWAYS ready to help!

mike Green and Don Dannenberg and Someguy. By the way Someguy is just not Anyguy, thats a different guy.

The YNOTS. WOW, what a great family. Bert is in there someplace as well.

Marty Felloto!

Still cracks me up. Marty, the Hamster and Jim in Florida

The entire Sand bar gang in my Northern Neck of the woods.

The Marsden clan! And Phil Andrews. What a fun happy photo

The guy on the other side of the phone, Dave VanNess. The man!

Wow, you know for sure who your true friends are when you are broken down and have nothing left to give. They jump in and make you a functioning human being. We all know how much Jimmy is a friend and gives way to much.

Dick Warner who has an incredible sense of humor and still represents the best of the community for me.

And yes, the entire ACBS gang, who drives me nuts, and they always make me feel welcome, and without them there would be no society in our community! I thank three ACBS and that is not BS

Mr Plug a show! Fellow Woody Boater Greg Lewandowski

Allen and Shaun, Sean, Shawn at Katzs who help me sleep at night that our little universe is safe

Jara, who is the real soul of Katzs Marina and keeps things going and calm. YES, calm in New Jersey. Not easy! but she makes it look that way!

When Matt B and Chad get together its trouble. They steal all the trophies

Speaking of Trophy stealers. Mr Setterholm has his over fare share now

Mark and Emily remind us that there is love in the Mahogany

Rabbit, Bruce Bildsten who brings elegance to an otherwise classless group! DEEP RESPECT!

Bill Anderson who brings plastic excitement to the party

All the kids who put up with my Geezer jokes and low bluod sugar rants!

Andy C who brings timeless perfection barn finds to the story!

Here are to all of you. Gene, Floyd R Turbo, Tubinar,  Dim, Dan, Dan and Dan, All the Mikes, Matts, Shawns, how ever they are spelled, Bo, Kathy, Terry, and Terry,Randy,  and Darrel, Scott, Frank From, Speedboat Outlaw, Rick, Jamie, Bert, Greg, lots of Gregs, mikes, wait I already had Mikes, ahhhhhhhhhh! I cant remember.

My Family who inspires me daily to be a better person… And make more money

I have been now writing this for a while and my brain is getting mushy with all the names and people floating around. I know I am forgetting many, way to many. And the second you comment I will go into a deep funk that somehow I couldn’t remember, but I do. As my best friend in the world helps me every second says. He even forgets his kids names and birthdays. TRUE. And that’s my Wife my life. My sparkplug. Whats her name… Oh ya, The Boatress

He forgets! Just kill me! Ugh!

So, today, I thank you from the bottom of my oil coated, spider infested, collector of bottle caps and lost screws and nuts BILGE!

Bob Kays you said it all!

33 replies
    • Rabbit
      Rabbit says:

      I’m honored to be included in this rouge’s gallery. And I missed yesterday’s huge anniversary. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Matt, for making my mornings brighter each and every day, no exceptions.

  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Wow, with such a great and diverse community, who would have thought Troy would be the best looking?

      • ScottK
        ScottK says:

        So we know it’s you Troy, you’re gonna need to keep your mustache…..but I don’t think anyone will notice.

  2. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    Each year when we meet in Lake Dora you make me feel like we just spoke yesterday. There is a reason you have so many friends. You have created this community that is so amazing. Well deserved.

  3. SpeedBoat Outlaw
    SpeedBoat Outlaw says:

    I have to agree with fellow Michigander Greg ‘Mr. plug a boat show’ Lewandowski. Thanks for all the good times and starting the day off right.

  4. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    Thanks for being here every morning! This is especially true now with the season coming to an end and boats being putting away for the long winter here in the northern climate.

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    WoodyBoater is the only thing I look at every day before my morning bacon. Thanks to Matt for everything you do for us. Thanks to the Boatress for putting up with Matt and the baggage he brings (us!). And thanks to the Marriott for a proper post WoodyBoater breakfast.

    • Johnny V./John Vyverberg
      Johnny V./John Vyverberg says:

      Now I can spot Mfine if I ever see him around Keuka!

      Yes, the hobby is really about the people, not the boats.

  6. Paul H
    Paul H says:

    Matt – How many of this great group of people would you have met if it you hadn’t got into the hobby? My guess is very, very few and that says so much about the value of not only this hobby, but hobbies in general. Hobbies and the pursuit thereof can add so much to the lives of their participants.

    Think about this huge cast of hobby-derived friends the next time you complain about the cost of some boat repair or something, and realize that it’s about more than the boats. There’s value aplenty in classic boating, it’s just not always in the boats.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    strikes me Harrison is right…we would have never met all these cool and crazy folks if not for the cool and crazy boats…..and Woodyboater of course….

    best wishes to all and hope to see you soon,

    How many days to Dora?
    John in Va.

  8. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    It’s always nice to see the family together in one place! Thanks Matt for spinning the web that keeps us all together!

  9. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    Thank you Matt for my cups of Morning Coffee Varnish and miles of smiles every single day! It is all about the people that love these old wood boats. The people that help us make them run like a top, give us advice, and understand our love for them. Time to watch your video “Clif’s last run” again and smile. Here are a couple more of the younger generation that love this hobby.

  10. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Its an honor and privilege to be included in such an august group of bacon eaters, beer drinkers, and babe oglers. So many well known, Wilson, KW (Kentucky Wonder), to name a few more. I can’t imagine how you can recall everyone and then there’s the anxiety of who did I leave out. I remember lurking on the site for days before first commenting and it was during the first Thayer IV controversy that was so humorous at points when there were so many “anonymous” responses, I felt the need to remain anonymous myself to contribute my $.02 worth. Having had a “brush’ with some of the New Englanders involved, the story was so intriguing. I have to say here’s to “mfine” who succinctly drills down to the heart of the matter for me. Cheers to all.

  11. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Once again you hit the nail on the head with today’s post! In reading this and going through all of the cast of characters brought a smile to my face! It really is about people, the boats are the vehicle that brings us together. (That and Woodyboater of course!)

  12. MO Whaler
    MO Whaler says:

    Another great Commentary with Comments – – Thank You, Matt, for weaving the continuous thread and spreading a big part of the glue that holds everything together – – Thank You, again ! – –

  13. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Happy 12th Birthday Matt and the gang! I can remember finding WB when it must have been only a few months or weeks old even. It was like finding a treasure chest in a sea of lack lustre internet dribble on classic boats.
    Now it’s still my go to read each morning. Its held my attention for all of the 12 years and that’s saying something for me!
    I’ve met some of you in person and all of you here in Woodyboaterville. So many good times and sometimes sad times, and even some shitty angry times. Just like a real family.
    Without doubt the best time for me was hanging out at the Clayton show with you Matt. I still laugh to myself when I think back to this. So far I haven’t lost my hair. Thanks for the good times! Happy Birthday mate..

  14. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    congratulations on your 12th birthday, Its a fun place to come everyday even if I am to busy to even look at it everyday, yet you find the energy to find something to post everyday. it takes some kind of special to be able to keep this going.

  15. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Congrat’s on 12 years of continuous stories and news about this amazing hobby of Woody Boating. Thanks Matt for allowing me to be a small part fo this back in its beginning weeks. All great memories.

  16. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Thanks Matt….what a run this has been. I’ve made a lot of incredibly strong friendships in this hobby and specifically through the comment section of WB

    I didn’t even like beer or monkeys before Woodyboater.

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