Gene Porter, Past President Of The ACBS, and This Months WoodyBoater!

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How much higher up on the ladder can one climb in the Antique and Classic Boat world than President of the ACBS? There is no higher step. But… now that Gene is a citizen like the rest of us, Woody Boater of the month is all I have to honor him. Sorry Gene, it’s a long fall…

I had met Gene in St Micheal’s last year not knowing that he was the big man on the dock, we talked and I fell in love with one of his boats. A very nice U22.. I even did a story called “I have seen the utility light”.

Recently after my rant with the ACBS about 2.0 and forums…. many folks from the ACBS spoke up, complained behind the scenes, and there was a general ill feeling towards WoodyBoater.. I was deemed “undiplomatic”…. I personally was sad that I had created a riff of sorts and was not sure what to do…By the way, I am a son of a diplomat… That one hit home… And then out of the blue, Gene Porter called me and asked to take me to dinner. That is the sign of true leadership I might ad. He reached out and was very gracious. I have met many leaders of corporations and in politics, and they all share the same attribute. Once you meet them in person you feel at ease and empowered. I must say that this felt no different. In fact it was a very nice dinner at Arties here in Virgina. We spoke about the ACBS a bit, but more about cool classic boating. His quest to find fun places to take his boats and ideas on how to help the ACBS.More importantly he explained the ACBS position on stopping the forum on the ACBS web site. Not only did it make sense, but now knowing what I know, I would have made the same choice today…. The true magic and value of the ACBS is it’s ability to act as a governing body, and help encourage events and local ACBS chapters to grow and flourish. To be the human side of things. Something us web folks seem to forget. Human contact is very powerful. It’s very easy for me to sit here with my key board and spew opinions with bad spelling and poor grammer. It’s another thing to help a hobby have places and things to go an meet, and create common ground for all of us to communicate about…. So here’s to not only Gene, but to the ACBS for being a true class act.

18 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Replying to your daily post…the one about you getting schmoozed over good eats by that ACBS bigwig.

    Did you get any answer about the question I posed? How could the recent RUDDER contain NO MENTION WHATEVER of the big show on Lake Dora in March that we all will be attending????? along with perhaps a gazillion NEW/potential classic boat virgins/members!

    Maybe Sunnyland did not submit any info??? Doubtful.
    Maybe they didn’t PAY for an ad in Rudder like Muskoka and other did? Their call..

    Look, Rudder is a super publication, much improved content, but to leave Dora off even the March events listing is just plain dumb or smells fishy???

    The gentleman may have explained blog blocking and tech rejection to your satisfaction, but not to mine, and that comes from someone too dumb to know how to even POST this rant….!!!

    I CAN open Classic Yacht digital mag though….and if ACBS keeps collecting dues and neglecting new age we will all be the poorer for it.

    Those “this is the way we have always done it” types may come to grief yet. Printing that phone book size yearbook with that ancient cross indexing is great, I love the book, use it all the time. But it could be on a CD and save shelf space and trees and have many times the content and indexing potential.

    ranting on……pretty day….going boating….

    See you on Lake Dora!!

    John in Va.

  2. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    Oh god! Here we go again. The dinner was not an interview or water boarding type event. Gene is a great guy and totally gets it. We spoke mostly about other things, like why in heck do I do this website. So I did not pose the question. I assume it was an over-site…. A horrible one, and clearly someone was not paying attention. It is the biggest show out there and the un-official start of bating season for many. So? Gene reads Woodyboater so i will assume that he may answer this himself.

  3. oldwoodboats
    oldwoodboats says:

    Its hard to disagree that”Look, Rudder is a super publication, much improved content, but to leave Dora off even the March events listing is just plain …..”

    I note with interest that Rudder has a prominent post telling all show sponsors to submit their dates online. The fact that Tavares/Lake Dora is in fact now listed in the ACBS online events calendar, but not in the winter Rudder Rudder seems to indicate that the posting was submitted after the Winter Rudder deadline of December 1st – also prominently displayed. Still, I agree it is an unfortunate omission, but Rudder is totally dependent on the sponsors timely submissions.

    With regard to technical stuff, it seems to me that the marque clubs – Boat Buzz, etc, are doing about as well as can be done in this volunteer world at answering technical questions. Museums are another but underutilized source of such info.

    Finally, with regard to the “new age” comment, I can’t tell if John is looking for more astrological content in Rudder, or more attention to non-wood boats. If the latter, I note several pictures of such boats in the current Rudder, as well as some ads. A non-wood boat won “best of show” at at least one ACBS show this past year. Or maybe it applies to the “replace the Book” with a CD idea. With a declining but still significant fraction of its membership not yet well plugged into the digital age, I suspect such a change would cause an insurrection. There is also the hazard of making this and other membership lists to easy to exploit for commercial purposes – thus leading to an excess workload on the General Counsel!

    The WoodyBoater is performing a very useful function to stir that pot and bring a fresh level of inquiry – and humor – to a hobby that from time to time shows tinges of mustiness. Keep it up!

  4. Boat Boy
    Boat Boy says:

    While I agree that the ACBS/Sunnyland Chapter’s Festival at Travares on Lake Dora should not have been omitted from the current issue of Rudder we must understand the Editor’s reasoning. With 55 chapters having multiple events each year it is very difficult to pole each chapter for each issue so the responsiblity has been placed with the individual chapters. Woody boater, this is my first blog posting ever-it was great. Thanks

  5. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    I am glad it was enjoyable! Something about hitting post Comment button that is very freeing.. As to Dora omission…I can understand all the reasons… but, to be candid. It’s a tad odd, since it is the unofficial start of the year, and folks look for this event for months. Seems like a missed opportunity to market a huge event.An event that is a ACBS event from the largest most active ACBS chapter out there. Also it’s right down the ACBS’s ally. Events and promoting them.. Missing the Reedville Show, sure, but Dora, clayton, Tahoe, Keels and wheels and some others…Clearly editorial was not talking to classified. One other possible explanation is that they report on the show after it’s done, not to promote it. And with that said, if you promote that show, what about the others.

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    ACBS is in the past. Imagine no discussuion board? There cannot be a good explanation for this. Maybe they should take everyone to dinner since they apparently have the ability to tell people to go to hell in such a way they look forward to the trip.

  7. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    For the record, I can’t be schmoozed with money. Food now is another story. I have to say, the meal did not feel like that. It was less ACBS and more BS about boats and such. If I had felt like this was some sort of go to hell thing, I don’t think that it would have been as fun. And if going to hell is that fun! mmmm wait, my wife says that when I get around other boat nuts it’s hell….wait a minite! Maybe I was in hell…OK!. So! My meal and company was better than yours that night I bet…I stand behind my first and second impression. I can not fault the ACBS for there position on this. I want to, but a poorly run forum is worse than none at all. And that was what was happening.

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Concerning the ommission of the Mt. Dora show from the Rudder, instead of mean-spirited invective and conjecture, why doesn’t someone simply ask the Sunnyland Chapter and/or the Editor of the Rudder what happened? Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Anyone interested enough to post on the topic should at least make an effort to become informed before doing so. Opinions formed thereafter are at least possibly valid.

    Regarding Matt’s dinner with Gene, I would be more inclined to believe in his perception and interpretation of the evening than I would anyone who was not there themselves. If any of you were there and can offer a dissenting opinion – great, have at it, but in the absence of actual first-person participation from anyone else, I’ll stick with Matt on this.

  9. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    Oh dont you try and squeeze in on my dinner….By the way. If any of you folks are ever in DC check out Arties in Fairfax. You will not be disapointed, And if you are here and dont take me to dinner,I will do a story on you and lets the comments fly…..

  10. jfrprops
    jfrprops says:

    HEY HEY! I have touched a nerve! Folks are reading anyway….
    I hope I have figured out the Google post deal so I can respond here:
    1) John Rothert (john from Va.)is the original poster on this topic, it is MY RANT. NEVER want to go the anonymous route, but was too cyber stupid to post.
    2) no criticism of the dinner talk Matt had…but he was to ask about the Dora ommission from the rudder…and he kept on eating and never asked the question…
    Matt is my buddy and I know his food priorities…all is forgiven. Still one wonders???
    3)”oldwoodboats” opines it is ok to leave Dora out because they might have missed the deadline? Looks like the biggest and best show at the start of this or any boating season might deserve an unsolicited mention.
    leaving Dora out of the March events was STUPID…or something??.
    4)”oldwood….” goes on to ask if I am looking for more “astrological comments….or more attention to non-wood boats.”
    Well I lived through the 60’s so maybe astrological fits, but as to the non-wood boats comment…..well brother, thems fightn words!!! Associating me with Tupperware fans goes too far! I am 62, agile, mobile, and hostile, if you want to make that accusation in person, show up at highnoon on the sat. of Dora event in front of the CC tent and we will get this straight pronto!!! lol.
    I’ll be the old hippie that smells of varnish. I will recognize you by the dust and glass fibers on your clothes I guess?
    I just love this site.
    5) John has a chip on his shoulder about ACBS??
    Nope. Been a loyal member, long time.
    But as they say: you pays your dues, you takes your shots. Would their skin was as thick as their book.
    I love this site.

    See you all in Dora!!! won’t be long….
    John in Va.

  11. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    Happy Valentines Day just does not sound right…right about now, does it… The Tupaware fins line is good though! Thats a new one that will see the light of day again for sure…

    Save some of your spit and vinegar for some belly laughs..

  12. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    I have emails into Terry, and Chris the editor of the Rudder. I will do a story on this Mon or Tues. Stay tuned!

  13. jfrprops
    jfrprops says:

    I have been AIMING for some belly laughs since this rant started! Talk about good laughs, I get one every time I see some grown man bobbing along in a Clorox bottle!
    Grins to all.
    John in Va.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Well, seems that Matt will hopefully get the answer to John’s question in the near term. Wonder what it will be? Would have been more effective had the answers been known by the complainants prior to their assailing the ACBS for sins of ommission, real or perceived.

    I am also a member of the ACBS, and on the collectable side I own 1 classic glass boat and 2 woodies. I enjoy seeing people retore and preserve classic glass, almost as much as I enjoy the wood. The fact that a person takes an interest in boating and enjoys the water is fine by me – whatever way he chooses to do it. I don’t understand the antipathy towards the older glass stuff- not everyone has either the skills or the finances to handle an old wooden boat, and I think that the encouragement of anyone who is interested in old boats is far more valuable than is the harboring of derision towards non-wooden classic boats.

    I see this in motorcycling, primarily amongst Harley aficionados. They tend to be dismissive of almost anything that is not powered by an air-cooled, wheezing under-powered V-twin museum piece. Why I don’t know, but as a BMW rider I don’t waste much time trying to figure it out. I simply want as many people to ride as is possible, and I will ride with anyone, no matter what he’s on. I feel the same way about our hobby. Maybe someone can explain to me why the superiority complex amongst wooden boat owners, and disparagement of fiberglass, is as pervasive as it seems to be? We need inclusiveness in this small hobby, not exclusionary attitudes.

  15. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    I love the jokes…well…and the boats to be honest. A very nice Feathercraft is a secret dream. As well as one of those car fiberglass things. If it floats I like it. But you have to admit, the clorox bit did make you chuckle. I suppose there are jokes about splinters and sagging varnish..

  16. jfrprops
    jfrprops says:

    Hey Hey! Don’t misunderstand, I would die for a sweet vintage Bertram 31! Bullet proof tupperware!!! We are going for humor here guys!
    As to assailing the ACBS…..I have been suitably defferential….but, my brethren, there is NO POSSIBLE EXCUSE for Rudder containing zero mention of the March 09 Dora event. None.
    John in Va.

  17. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    This is Chris Eden, editor of the ACBS Rudder now for over 12 years. It seems I have been drawn into this discussion, whether I like it or not. I did receive an email from Matt, and consider this a reply as well. The ACBS Rudder serves many functions, first and foremost to be a service to our readership on many levels. Our Calendar of events is built from the many boat show chairman and committee members responsible for getting the word out for their show. Our print deadlines are published clearly, as well are the submission guidelines. This past issue page 15. It is not the role of the Rudder or its staff to babysit these committees and determine for the many shows nationwide whether or not they have their submission in by deadline. We compile the information, many times making phone calls to double check on what seems like incorrect information submitted (duplicate contact numbers conflicting dates etc.) We do this as a service and a benefit to the organization. If a boat shows chairman or its committee members have not sent in the information to us, we take no responsibility to pursue them for submission. This is their job, not ours. We have over the past few years taken steps to streamline the process, have confirmation emails going back to chairman to confirming receipt of the information etc. In short taken every step to make this as easy as possible, short of doing the work for them. In this case my team did not receive the information from the Mt. Dora show. Simple as that. Nothing sent, nothing printed. In addition we have taken steps to now have information that is received past the print deadline, to appear on our site, even if it did not make the Rudder. The accusation in this blog, that this event was left out due to lack of advertising with the ACBS I find insulting. I have known Terry for many years and we have a great deal of respect for each other. As a matter of fact we have, during my 12-year tenure printed major Mt. Dora stories after the show perhaps 3-4 times. Terry is very good about getting this information to us. We offer this to anyone wishing to summarize and celebrate the events of the show, given space in the Rudder. Matt has also asked a question with regards to our policy of boat show stories prior to or after shows. In general it is my policy not to do stories about a show prior to its show date. With over 55 chapters, and everyone wanting as much PR as they can gain, this would be very difficult to manage. We have on occasion, and still will do so if a very unique story can be drawn into the event, going beyond the boatshow itself. As I just stated earlier, we are happy (given space constraints) to print small summaries and images after the fact, for those chapters who take the time to pull that information together for me. The ACBS and the Rudder is about for more then boat shows, but we certainly all want to celebrate our achievements.
    I think Matt is doing a nice job with this blog. I’m not sure if it is a commercial venture or not. I would like to say for those seeming to take so much time to be negative and critical of the hard work done by others, I would like to see them spend some of this energy writing great stories we can all celebrate in the Rudder. There is so much positive our there, and we are always looking for great content to make our publication as rich and full as it has become.

    Thanks for your support now and in the future. Chris Eden ACBS Rudder Editor.

  18. jfrprops
    jfrprops says:

    I appreciate Mr. Eden taking the time to respond. I experienced some trouble understanding his shifts from “I” to “we” in regard to positions and policies. He points out that the deadline for the Rudder is on “page 15”. As a reader/hobbist I am not all that interested in that. I am more interested in page 12, “Calendar of Events”, no where in which, for the month of March, appears any notice for one of the biggest and best antique boating events in the world.
    If the Rudder is not just a bulletin board for submitted notices and paid ads, then Dora show MUST be in there.
    If I ran such an old and prestigeous publication, I would simply take the Obama position and say I (or we?) “screwed up”!
    We all do. Mayhaps I have screwed up by opening my cyber mouth about things that are not my business? No intent to offend, just a dues paying member raising questions. Seems to me that is a healthy thing for any orgainzation. Bet Dora is in there next year.
    John in VA

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