Am I Nuts?


Over the past 10 years, I have heard it all it seems. I love WoodyBoater, I read it every morning with my coffee. An asset to the community and then it’s always followed by this. And every now and then he goes nuts. Like yesterday’s “Interior gate!” drama.

The what should have been the correct fabric!

Why am I not going along with the glossing over of it all. Why do I call out the ACBS? Why allow comments from readers that have an apposing view? Why can’t Woody Boater just be everything to everybody?

Well. We are. From time to time, it’s a nice reminder that everybody is not like everybody. Each of us see’s the world through a different lens. And in our culture there needs to be a place where people can express those views. Even if those views are not kind to ourselves. In a sense, we encourage these opposing views because it makes us all a stronger culture, passion, and yes, Community.

Why the ACBS? I ask, who else represents us all? When we take on the ACBS, it’s because we care, and want the best for all, not one place. I will add that the emails and phone calls after my last rant was over the top. And not what you may think. It wasn’t kind, and there is a serious split in the passion. And if there isn’t a place out there that allows that spirit to be represented then we will continue to live in a strange bubble. So, I suppose I am nuts. But no matter how you feel about it all. Ya gotta admit, it takes nuts to hang it out there.



22 replies
  1. Steve in the woods
    Steve in the woods says:

    Once a doctor asked me if I hunted; 1. Have you ever missed? 2. Have you ever wounded? 3. Have you ever hit? You can never do any of the above, if you do not pull the trigger! Thanks for pulling the trigger, and making everyone think!

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    It seems that we need a little more “hanging it out there”, and few less ruffled feathers over differing opinions.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    Well as recognition of Matt letting it all hang out and taking one for the team I nominate him for the first ever unofficial WoodyBoater readers ‘Kick In The Balls’ award. A damaged package of wieners may possibly be sent to you if I can design an appropriate label.

    • Gene Porter
      Gene Porter says:

      Lots of interesting commentary on ACBS judging today, but there is one important factor missing:
      ACBS judging is not about scoring for awards; its primary purpose is to encourage owners to preserve or restore their boats to as close to original as possible, safety upgrades excepted. And, as pointed out in other comments, real research is needed to ascertain originality . And yes, some shows could use more adult supervision when it comes to excessive effort to score such nebulous options as bilge paint colors and dealer-option outboard hull hardware.

      The awards structure is within the purview of the show sponsor. To be an “ACBS judged show” the sponsors need to use the ACBS judging sheets. The only show for which ACBS structures the awards is the Annual show and Meeting. All others are “local option”. Some chapters eschew the contentious “highest scoring in the show” awards in favor of “peoples choice” etc. The main customer for the score sheets should be owner, not the awards committee.

      In general, some folks need to lighten up. The competition is the originality goal, not the guy in the next slip.

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    It appears I need to make some things clear. First, Woodyboater is part news part serious and part entertainment. Everything you read here is not the truth. Pictures get edited, stories get artistic license and comments are the same way.

    To be clear, I do not really eat a ton of bacon. It is a joke. I do not hate Century boats. I like many of them and the wood Seamaids and glass Cheetahs are among my favorites in their categories. If Mike Mayer never owned a Century, I would have never said anything bad about them.

    I do not hate the ACBS. If I did I would strongly encourage them not to change a thing. A disturbing percentage of the attendees to the 2018 awards dinner won’t be around for the 2028 show. That is a reality. I think the ACBS can and needs to attract a wider and younger audience to survive. I encourage open debate about everything they do and everything they don’t do. Open dialogue and open minds are the best path to a solution. I fully appreciate and support the efforts of many involved including the efforts of Rich L, Paul H, Shannon K, Dan G and many others.

    I have no personal animosity toward any judge. It is no secret that I feel judging of boats is fundamentally flawed. Read Don’s comments from yesterday which lay it out better than I could. I understand there are benefits to judging and I also think there are negatives. My belief is that the practice and the focus it gets is a net negative on the hobby. I am open to other opinions on this and I don’t fault anyone for having an opinion different than mine. A couple of members from the Tahoe contingent had a friendly and positive debate about our different views. I don’t hate them for that, quite the opposite, I respect them for it, I enjoyed the discussion and I really do need to get out there to see how they do things first hand.

    I appreciate the effort Jeff Funk put into improving the judging this year. If you are going to judge, I think the Silver, Gold, and Platinum awards without ranking is a great step forward. If they had stopped there I wouldn’t have had a single negative thing to say about the entire show. Despite the accusations, I didn’t create the controversy and my comments are not what is hurting the hobby. At a show where screw heads were scrutinized and debated, a Best in Show bowl went to a boat that didn’t look correct from 50 feet away. Right or wrong, that immediately caused mourners and discussions long before I posted a photo and comment. That is the nature of picking a single winner.

    One more thing. My opinions are not Woodyboater’s they are mine alone, and Matt’s opinions are his. After the awards were announced, Matt texted me and asked if I could get him a list of winners. I asked Dan Gyoerkoe for a list, he politely declined and said he wanted to publish it on the ACBS page first and then provide it to Woodyboater. I felt that was perfectly reasonable, Matt did not and ran the Sunday story. I don’t agree with Matt on the matter but I appreciate his opinions and point of view and marketing and mass communication. Please don’t hold that against me and especially don’t hold anything I have to say against Matt or this site.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Mr. Fine – You are a stand up guy, and over the years I have always respected your opinions – regardless if I agreed or disagreed with them. The hobby needs more people like you who are not afraid to speak their mind, and offer up fresh solutions.

      You will always be welcome at Woody Boater. Texx

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    One more thing. The color controversy is a tiny thing. The people who put on the show did a phenomenal job. The turnout of boats and people was amazing. I had a great time and nothing but positive interactions with every single person I interacted with except for that jerk Jim Staib, who ate all the bacon before I got to the breakfast buffet.*

    *This is a joke. I like Jim. He didn’t eat all the bacon, and as far as I know, he and I didn’t ever have breakfast at the same place.

  6. Scott K
    Scott K says:

    I’ve not been involved in this little hobby long, but have quickly come to learn that a “correct” boat was what the manufacturer decided to build with what they had on hand…..that particular day. The insight from those that have lived and breathed these boats is particularly valuable and enlightening, like Mike Green, the recently reincarnated Don D, and the others that talked then time to do the research. The rest is little more than click bait.
    Except for Troy….he’s an sly genius with his subliminal posts !!!

    • Dave
      Dave says:

      Some years ago as a guest speaker at a boat show, Chris Smith recounted some of the history he was involved in at the CC factory. He mentioned that at the end of the day various partially full bilge paint cans were dumped into a common bucket, to be mixed and used the following day. So much for a proper, correct shade of bilge paint 75 years later!

  7. Derk Brill
    Derk Brill says:

    Wow, miss a day, miss a firestorm. A discussion worth having, thanks Matt. I have mixed feelings about judging. It is at once the most invigorating processes imaginable, and one of the most anxiously agonizing as well. For me, not unlike playing sports as a kid. At game time, no matter how well prepared, I get nervous and sick to my stomache. I admit it, I take it seriously. I also take a lot of pride in a job done right.

    Matt made some good points about owners being on the docks when the boats are judged. Our first year in Tahoe, I was questioned by a highly respected Judge about the instrument cluster cowl color. He told me it was wrong in no uncertain terms. I had all my documentation with me, and after reading every sentence in every document, I was able to point out the specific spec. He stood corrected, and we still chuckle about that two this day. I have a responsibility to supply all of my documentation the judges, and make a case for my boat.

    Crazy things happen when the judges come out. At one high profile show when we in process of being judged, an individual came up to our boat, and stated pointing things he thought were incorrect about the boat, directly to the judges. This was a surreal moment, and took us by surprise. Turns out the individual was part of the entourage from a competing boat. That’s something I will never forget.

    As for the ’61 Continental in question, I have’t seen it, but I think I have the right to comment on it. I know the interior was not original, but that interior is impossible to replicate, at least all of the examples I have seen of it so far. Scott entered a world class boat, and I congratulate him on this success. It’s not my place to pick him or his work apart, or criticize the judges. It’s my place to congratulate him for his outstanding achievement. I can’t imagine the feeling of putting all that time and effort into that boat, and to have it picked apart in hindsight on this site. Not fair to Scott, or his achievement.

    Regarding judging, it will never be perfect. I’ve had disagreements with Judges, and there are one or two I really don’t care for. That said, I’m all in on this hobby. I love wood boats. My grandson/granddaughter will be the next owners of Fin & Tonic (unless, of course, someone is willing to persuade me they should be the next owners), and the indoctrination has begun!

    I don’t agree with every ACBS policy, but I am a member and I will support my club in trying to move forward to make our system better. I admire and respect our judges, and know they have a very hard task. They make mistakes, as do I. At the end of day, I am grateful that I am in the fortunate position to be able to participate in someing I love so much,.

  8. John Gannon
    John Gannon says:

    I have absolutely no opinion on the ACBS. I’m a member, but that’s it. My boat is not show quality and I committed what to some is blasphemy, I put a modern outboard on my 60 year old Lyman. I made that decision knowing full well that it would probably disqualify my boat from winning any awards. But I didn’t bring and old wreck of a boat back to life to win awards. I did it because I have a lot of history with the boat and I love it and believe there is value, especially in our plastic, throwaway culture, to saving and preserving things of value, things that tell a story, things that are part of a tradition of craftsmanship that has been lost. I restored the boat to use it, to share a piece of my past with my wife and kids, to make memories.

    As to mfine’s comment on the age of the attendees at the ACBS show. I can only offer the counter example of the Lyman Boat Owners Association of which I’m a member. Our top three officers are in their early thirties and there appear to be a lot of active members who are in the same age range or around my age (mid forties). I take that to be an encouraging sign.

  9. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    Having had three daughters compete in judged competitions over the years for various sports I can say that this controversy is nothing compared to the infighting and backstabbing I witnessed – from the parents!

    Like many hobbies we derive gratification and pride from our boats so of course there will be some emotion attached. That being said, however, I have nothing bad to say about the judges and competitors of any of the shows I attended this year. I have made new friends with owners of other boats in my class and we always congratulate each other if anyone of us is fortunate to place.

    Are we all nuts for our passion for old boats? If you ask people outside of the hobby I’m sure the answer is probably yes but that is the nature of most hobbies. The reality is if it brings us pleasure in these crazy times than it’s all worth it.

    I think we all read “Woodyboater” because it connects us with other people that share our passion and we can learn things about our hobby [yesterday I learned about Frearson screws – I told my wife but she didn’t care].

    As others have said – lets just go boating. Here in Michigan the short season is rapidly coming to a close.

  10. John F Rothert
    John F Rothert says:

    John is Going Boating….or more precisely going to the Wings and Wheels and Keels in Topping Va…..then maybe hit the water!
    viva la diff.

    John in Va

  11. Mark
    Mark says:

    Was enjoying my other hobby golf yesterday and missed all the pissing and moaning. What a shame.

    Will be back in the water tomorrow enjoying my boat that I restored for me.

    If I want drama there is enough of that on TV.

  12. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Keep it going Matt! I have a couple of great Tahoe judging stories from long ago that we can laugh about someday – both were learning experiences, particularly for the judges… No one and nothing is perfect in this arena – to think otherwise is folly. That said, there is a place for all of it and as long as civility, respect and friendship prevails at the end of the day and a few boats are saved along the way – it’s all good!

    … Boatride this afternoon – pulling the Red & White to get ready for Mahogany and Merlot next week! 🙂

  13. Doug F
    Doug F says:

    Nothing like a long debate over blue vs. green to bring young people to the hobby! 😉 I do respect folks’ passion though. While my favorite WoodyBoater stories are those featuring the lifestyle -seeing all your boats in use, buddies. kids and grandkids, dogs etc., I do love the site for being a forum for it all.

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