Is Classic Boating A Sport, Hobby, Or Passion?


Sport? Hobby? Passion?

I am not sure why I haven’t touched on this topic before, maybe I have. After close to 5000 stories over 10 years, I am not sure anymore. Heck sometimes when I am doing some research on a story, I end up finding a story we wrote 8 years ago as a reference. Which of course terrifies me, since I know the amount of deep research I do.. Cough cough, EEESH. Hey, thank god for the comment section. We have all been saved by that many times. After all, I just bring up the topics. You fill them in. And today is just one of those days, except for one painful thing. There is no right answer. So it will do doubt swirl around in answers. And we will them judge what is the answer.

In print from the other day! Sport!

Is it a Sport? After all we sport about? Run about.. have Sportsman models, we race, we compete at shows, it does take some physical activity. There are trophies? Awards? If you don’t enter shows are you still sporting?

Mmmm Glue smell

Is it a Hobby? Seems rather passive and whimsical. Never has felt serious enough for me. Building airplane models is a hobby. Pretty much anything you can buy at a hobby store is a hobby. Ahhhh, I remember those little stores. Gold mines of HO slot cars, little army men, Models, those small endless Testers paint colors. 

Dang, I am having a wonderful flash back right now.. I recall my parents being mad the entire house smelled like a body shop! And so it started.

What? Everyone needs more than one! Right Alex?

Or, are we a passion? Now this word is great, and maybe a bit much for some. If its a boat that’s been in the family since new and always part of the summer life, is it really a passion. Is that too much?

I imagine when you are weeding through zipper manufacturs you are obsessed. Obsession?

And even more deep is an entire culture, which I also struggle with. For some I suppose yes. I see lots of pals at boat shows across the country, and there fore I suppose that’s a culture.

Shaun, Alex, and Matt B

Now I know some of you are going to say, it’s different things to different people. SHUT UP! That’s not a great conclusion here. I need passionate answers.

14 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    OK, I thought we agreed many years ago that it is a “lifestyle”. Here you go again stirring the pot. As long as we are all having fun, I guess you can call it what ever you like! Let’s see what the rest of WoodyBoaterville has to say.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Greg: The only trouble with using the term “Lifestyle” is that the term is synonymous with “SWINGERS”, but maybe you are into that kind of thing, and Matt has done a story on that very subject.

      Matt: You left out ADDICTION, but non of us like to think we are addicted to anything.

  2. Mark
    Mark says:


    A sport is an active competition amongst athletes. Not many probably qualify for that any more. How many woody boaters are on the DL for a hamstring pull ?

    Passion is more like a description of how intense you are in your hobby. Obsession, sickness, etc. fall under the same category.

  3. Todd
    Todd says:

    The Sport is looking for parts and stuff related to boating hobby. The passion is for the boats I lust for but don’t own – yet.

  4. Briant
    Briant says:

    “There are many loves, but only one obsession,….ah, the smell of it.”

    (To borrow a line from an old 1987 advert.)

    Pretty much sums it up for me.

  5. FrankatFalmouth
    FrankatFalmouth says:

    Passion? Addiction, Obsession?…I dont know …but I cant stop looking at and acquiring more….just picked up a very nice Chesapeake Bay-built skiff at an online auction last night…Skipping work to go pick it up and bring it home this morning. Ive got a start on the history, but didnt want to jinx my auction chances by going too deep prior to actually getting it.
    Bringing home a new old boat has to be one of my favorite things, as I clean out the leaves and get to know my new find! Surely was built on the Northern Neck (Va) and has a single cly Palmer 8hp inboard..
    Finding and acquiring a new boat reminds me of the feelings way back when i’d meet a new girlfriend….
    the boats however never get old or bitchy LOL
    Im glad htere are others other there who can understand that there is something special about a wood boat…….and I dont feel totally crazy…
    Gotta go pick it up now!!!!

  6. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    My dad Leonard who published that first picture, learned me “Tommy, never get in a boat with a girl who has a shotgun”.

  7. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Tommy, better than coming home with a girl in the boat and meeting her dad and his shotgun… 😉 Matt, it’s all three, with one or the other dominant on any given day… And, as we’ve heard many times – “Boats, Cars, Planes – it’s all the same sickness!” In the end though, it the community of friends made and the adventures (and misadventures) shared along the way.

  8. Dan @ ACBS
    Dan @ ACBS says:

    Recreational is defined as relating to or denoting activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.

    Classic boating is recreational.

  9. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Wooden Boating is all those things and more. Mostly it’s a feeling that’s hard to define with words. Kind of a soulful experience wouldn’t you say?

  10. Johnny V.
    Johnny V. says:

    Personally I’ve gone from it being an interest to an obsession and maturing as a recreational hobby. Like many, I burned out (although I used a wooden boat as our main boat the entire time), but didn’t participate much in club activities or shows. My interest has been rekindled and I’m much more active. Like many have said, it’s really about the people.

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