The Top Three Things You Need To Know About Your Classic Boat! OK Maybe Four…


Yup, we had it all right all along.." Lift and Sniff "rule the day

Wow, what a fantastic response yesterday. With over 3,000 visitors and over 7,000 hits.. and some great comments, thanks rabbit for the idea. As selfishly driven as it may have been.. I was also taken by some great comments that did not make me feel alone. Like, “you will never have a dry bilge” .. There was a theme though.. Gas, Oil and safety. Even though I think what Rabbit was looking for was the sort of tips and tricks advice like getting a carb started or how to use a dollar bill to clean the points.. My favorite trick.. Varnish tricks.. All the stuff folks that have been down this trail..Rabbit trail… The top thing folks talked about concern on issue though. SAFETY! Check the bilge, Smell for gas…. ” Lift and Sniff” and ALWAYS CHECK THE DRAIN PLUG was a favorite. I think thats one that is learned by trial and error.. Do it wrong once and you will never forget.. And another small but cool tip.. Keep the bilge clean. that way you can spot oil in the bilge and follow where its coming from. Oil and wood are bad.. The damage on the inside of your hull is far far worse than the damage outside. Wood rot for water and oil soaked frames are the number one reason major repairs happen.. There was also a great thread on the “Black Box” way to think about classic boating.. Here is that comment from Mike M.

My guiding principal is “Vigors Black Box Theory”…I’ll summarize it here….

“The basis of the theory is that there is no such thing as fortuitous luck at sea. The reason why some boaters survive storms or have fewer accidents than others is that they EARN their luck by diligent and constant acts of seamanship.

Aboard every boat there is an invisible black box. Every time the skipper lifts the hatch, checks the bilge plug or takes any seamanlike precaution, he or she earns a point that goes into the black box.

In times of stress, in heavy weather or other threatening circumstance where human skill or effort can accomplish no more, the points are cashed in as protection. The skipper has no control over their withdrawal. They withdraw themselves, as appropriate. Those skippers with no points in the box are later referred to as “unlucky”. Those with points to spend will survive – but they must start immediately in their effort to replenish their savings, for the sea offers no credit”

This excerpt is from the excellent book “The Practical Mariners Book of Knowledge” by John Vigor.

Don’t take anything for granted and don’t rely on anyone else to do your checking. I always ask my kids to “sniff” for me just to get them used to it. I make up another reason to open the hatch and follow behind them….

My personal favorite theme of comments were the just enjoy yourself and wave at people alot..

It's easy, you can do it anyplace. Smile like you are li'n the high life and wave your little brains out. You are repp'n the team out there!

I love it..” the Woody Wave” is a big deal, its all part of the lifestyle. How the hand is treated, slow arm lifted wave.. No spazzy shaking.. More on the Woody Wave later.. Please keep adding any insights you may have. Its feels great to know that everyone has the same issues and fears.. Many of us are new to this. We make mistakes and dumb moves.. As long as no one gets hurt.. It should be fun..

15 replies
  1. Phil Jones
    Phil Jones says:

    Hey no promo on the ST. Mich show this weekend:( Betty B is brusing for a head to head slugfest against Chucks Miss America 9. BB say’s I Know I can I know I can:)

  2. matt
    matt says:

    I am off to st Micheals. I hope on Friday. Miss America does not stand a chance..

    Bobble head waves is a genious idea

  3. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    OK now I must practice the correct wave! Not the index finger raised off the steering wheel, like we do in our trucks or the wrist twisting beauty queen wave, but a slow full arm wave! Love the t-shirt idea and sure, make me a bobble-head! Just be sure I’m wearing my woody boater captains hat!

  4. Ron Stevenson
    Ron Stevenson says:

    I like the “Woody Wave” idea, aka “The Parade Wave” using elbow-elbow, then wrist-wrist, to move the hand back and forth. Proves to be less tiring!

    However, it is very dangerous, and in fact illegal to sit on the bow of a boat with feet and legs dangling while underway. Think about what happens when you hit that wake, the kid falls off and goes into the prop….

    but please keep up the good work guys!

  5. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Guys don’t usually sit on the bow with their legs crossed at any time while boating or otherwise. We got in trouble with the Water Patrol for sitting on the bow with no handrail while under way once.

    On the Mississippi it seems that everyone waves, even the tow boat pilots pushing 1,000′ long barges. There are many wave styles but the most common one is a simple hand extended well over the head with hardly any motion, sometimes a little wrist action but hardly ever any arm motion (except for kids, who put their entire body into the effort).

    The Woody Boater Wave would look just like 90% of the waves I see around here unless we change something to make it more unique without doing the “YMCA” thing (“W” “B” with arms and body).

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      Hmmmm. YMCA kinda thing? I don’t think the Village People are currently employed. Maybe get them to do a WoodyBoater song, album and then take Matt on Woody Wave Tour. Sell the bobble heads in the lobbies. …….. Then again Woody Tour with the Village People? Maybe not.

  6. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Rick is on to something, The Woody Boater Bobblehead. I will take five for my boats and cars and trucks and some extras for gifts. Remember there is money in nonsence. Long live Matt’s world view.

  7. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Hey, while we’re at it…how about a Woodyboater “Pet Rock”?

    You never know…..I still have a Petoskey stone in my rain coat from last years Int’l show….

  8. Phillip Jones
    Phillip Jones says:

    Matt we got in to the St Mich Best Western tonight, we’ll look for ya Fri. I have just got to have that bobble head I can see it plain as day and when I close my eye’s I still see it AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    Mike, can I borrow that Petoskey stone to counterweight the Starboard-biased Scripps in my SP? (But only if it weighs about 150 lbs.)

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