Are You Ready For Your First Spring Dip? Send Us Your Photos!


Phil "Ace" Jones is ready! Are you...

Varnish almost dry from this weekend? Hows the gas? Fresh? Interior repairs? Brass and copper polished? Cleaned all the oil out of your bilge? Got all your safety stuff, fresh fire extinguishers, flairs, life jackets, whistle, paddles. How are your “lines”? How’s that dried out bottom doing? Got a stand by bilge pump, and FRESH battery.. 5 gallon ACE bilge bucket? Remember when you took your last gasp, all was tight and things were all worked out from a fun summer of use.. It’s been a long warm winter.. How bout those trailer bearings? packed? Axle, not all rusty? by the way, they rust from the inside! Lights all ready.. Insurance? Did you pay up your policy? Hagerty is ready click here.  If you had your classic boat winterized right, it all should be ready. Just a good idea to check it all over.

"Suzy" floating off her trailer for the first time this year - Lake Dora, that's Karen Harrison Woody Boater pilot getting the boat ready to go..

And now comes the fun part.. The first Spring Dip. That nervous drive to the ramp.. Will she start, run, not sputter out half way down the lake? Did I put in the drain plug? That’s a very common one by the way. Well, when you do this send us shots, stories, whatever… We will have some fun with it all..If your boat sinks, FANTASTIC.. for us.. bad for you.. It’s all part of the fun in Woodyboaterville. Next week will be first dip week starting Monday..You can send us your images via email to or We will come up with some sort of lame prize.

UPDATE, SPRING DIP WILL BE IN TWO WEEKS. The great northern Woody Boaters have spoken. Send us images if you have already dipped in the water.

22 replies
  1. Alex
    Alex says:

    Hey. No fair. Tommy Mertaugh — my boat doctor — advises against commissioning yet in Hessel. Still a risk of cracking a block if / when we have a deep freeze. Can’t we defer this contest to accommodate Hessel’s shorter boating season? Say, until about a week before Last Gasp?

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Seriously tho, you mentioned Hagerty above. That triggered a thought. If your boat has been “Out of Port” insured by them (if, perhaps, it has been in extended storage or undergoing a lengthy restoration), before Spring Dip, be sure to switch your coverage to “full” so you are protected for collision, environmental spills, etc.

    Carla or Chris can elaborate on this.

  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    Then it’s unanimous. Our cause it just. We weren’t consulted on the matter. “MUTINY ON THE WOODY!”

    • Jim Frechette
      Jim Frechette says:

      Not quite unanimous! Some of us have been boating since February and have not had to drain the block since. Ahhhh, Texas!

  4. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    I’m with Jim….I was looking forward to sending in some shots from my afternoon boat ride…..then again, since I never really had a “last” gasp then maybe today can’t be my “first” gasp. Sorry to hear about your troubles, Alex.

  5. Texx
    Texx says:

    I checked the climatology data for Hessel, Michigan…

    The latest Spring frost recorded was July 1st.

    The earliest Fall frost recorded was July 15th.

    But there’s a two-week window that’s perfect for classic boating. Only 84 days left for your safe launch Alex, it will pass quickly…

  6. Alex
    Alex says:

    Just for that, Texx, I’ll order a few frosty nights for your visit. Since you are a Canadian, it’s the least I can do to keep you in your natural state.

  7. Texx
    Texx says:

    If you think about it…

    There’s not much point in launching your classic boat before July 1st in Hessel, because all your time would be spent Shoo-ing the Penguins away from the dock…

    But come to think of it, they could become your friends. How many Penguins could you get in a 25′ Sportsman anyway?

  8. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Already done the first dip..of the Whirlwind I redid this winter…all great…but motor is peeing like someone of my age….need impeller…or viagra.
    As to Matt’s check list:
    Trialer axels: yep, rust from the inside and right at the spindle or springs…have had them break right off while towing….check those out for sure…wish they made a solid axle….would be worth the expense.
    John in Va.

  9. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Even with two weeks no chance in hell plus it is too dry in the northeast. The lakes are low. No rain to fill after winter drawdown. Time to go into the prop buisness.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Yeah, our lake is still 4″-5″ or so too low for the people with props hangin’ under their boats. The lake is plenty deep to run on, but you would have a hard time getting from the launch sites to the lake. I don’t have that problem with the jet boat or the tunnel drive but out lifts don’t go low enough to get the boats on the cradles. So, it could be another month before we are doing more than test runs unless the sky starts dripping a lot more.

        • m-fine
          m-fine says:

          For the jet boat I could put in a oldschool permanent dock and boat lift that uses the lifting rings. That and insulate the doghouse and get an engine block heater with automatic backup generator protection. The Penn Yan would be a bigger challenge. Or I could wait a few weeks.

  10. Loren Sattler
    Loren Sattler says:

    Here are two videos from my first ride, Saturday, April 7th in Hessel. Check it out, it hit 60 degrees there Saturday!

    First Ride April 7, 2012, Part 1, Hessel, MI

    First Ride April 7, 2012, Part 2, Hessel, MI

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    Ahh Loren, thank goodness I revisited this posting just now. Otherwise I would have missed the great videos. Did my heart good, especially as it’s snowing today. Thank you.

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