Thankyou, You Saved Me!


That is inner peace.

Warning, I am for this brief moment going to be a little more exposed in my feelings. So if you are looking for a fight for clicks, it aint gonna happen. Or maybe it will? I will also be peppering the story with photos from the show that mean nothing, except they are cool. Like these cool stereing wheel shots from YNOT Yachts

Blue magic

Mahogany magic

Blonde magic

Here goes. I admit, I have been burned out of this now since before Christmas. Work is very busy and lots of other things in my life are pulling me in many directions. Boating or writing about boating, became a chore. I know many of you have wondered how I do this every day? I dont know either, but I love doing it. But when it’s winter, and nothing is going on, it’s hard to be re fueled with the passion for classic boats.

Chris Wise saved my but at the boat ramp! Thanks so much. BTW, that is one fast pontoon boat!

When we came down to Florida I was fully prepared to say it’s over. BUT, the power of you, the many in person thanks, and the fun times with friends brought me to life again. You cannot imagine what sort of power this egnighted, like a pilot light was out. One can only do so many sausage days and ebay stories.

The Woody Boater tent is more of a social gathering area.

I have always believed that being there everyday even with a crappy story is better than missing the day. After all, there were more than many times where your comments made a far better day than some lame ass toilet story. You are the fuel, your kindness and help and participation makes this fun. And seeing you all in person takes it all to a much higher level. As nutso as this may sound, we are all one family. Crazy uncles and all. So here is to you, and THANKYOU right back. I hope you understand how important you are to the rest of our nutso family. Below is the actual moment it all came together.


View this post on Instagram


Into the sun. #classicboat #boatshow #chriscraft #lakedora #mercurymarine

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58 replies
  1. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    Matt you probably don’t realize how many days, especially in winter you have “saved” many of us. A lame ass Ebay sausage day is better than the news and weather. Plus all the photos and info every day!! So thank you! And the Boatress.

  2. Scott K
    Scott K says:

    Maybe it’s time to change the format. Post when you have content, instead of forcing something every day.
    Just a thought.
    Was great visiting with you and Suzy in Tavares.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Welcome back!
    Any of us who have gotten into the management of this hobby in some way can understand. The fun goes away when it becomes a chore.
    Know that you are loved and appreciated no matter what direction this crazy experiment goes.

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Thank you for what you do for all of us, throughout the long winters and for the shows we all can’t get to.

    If the daily posting is becoming a chore, perhaps consider spreading the load. Recruit a couple of people who can write stories or collect stories from the community and get them formatted, spelling incorrected, and posted for you. Like Texx used to.

  5. RH In Indy
    RH In Indy says:

    These months without a boat are hard on us! I appreciate and enjoy the content of every topic you post. None of us know how you do it. To us, it’s magic. If you were to miss a time or two, we would get over it! As long as its good for you! Just brought my two boats out of storage and even though it’s rainy and cold, what a difference in my outlook! Thanks for everything you do for us Matt.

  6. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Matt, my friend, you are and always will be the leader of WoodyBoaterville. You created this thing that we all enjoy, but it has to be something that also gives you enjoyment. I hope it will remain so. If you need another injection of this wonderful passion later in the year, we would love to have you join the Michigan gang at our Algonac party in June. Maybe also back off a little on that day job thing. If you can hit the correct balance, it will improve your quality of life. Keep the faith!

  7. Warren Perry
    Warren Perry says:

    You are one of a kind. When I needed help identifying my boat, you were the guy that made it happen! You are the guy that brings in the stories day after day at level we all can enjoy. I have pretty much stepped away from the daily news as the important stuff has a way of finding me anyway so this is now my daily news and I find it much better for the soul. Thanks for all the work you do! – Warren P.

  8. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    All I said was, “I appreciate what you do.” I wish I had said more. I am glad others chipped in. Everyone needs to be appreciated but who knew you were running on low. My boats each give me something different but they take a different piece of me too. Woodyboater is soul food for me. I love Sweet Pea !
    My boatress supports me too. The melt is on. Here comes spring. I am headed north “to watch the ice melt”!

  9. Donald P
    Donald P says:

    You have no idea how much you have changed the hobby and lifestyle of wooden boats since you have started. Keep up the great work that you and thank you.

  10. gary visser
    gary visser says:

    Heeey, relax. That light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train! Its spring and water is the universal solvent.

    My wife (who’s a pretty fair judge of character) met Matt at Dora last week and said: “who’s that nice guy?”

  11. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Agree as I do with all the positive comments above….I will not be much help when I load you up with the responsibility that comes with this simply truth:
    YOU are the Jon Wilson of the digital age!
    Said it before, still true. He founded WoodenBoat with a dream a copy machine and a phone nailed to a tree at the end of his driveway.
    Now that magazine, like this blog, is the face of the hobby.
    World friggin famous….amazing.
    I’ll take some sausage please…any day. see you soon
    as Suzy has promised me a ride on the trawler.
    John in Va.

  12. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Matt, you are an essential part of my sanity every morning! Not just because of woody boat pictures, but your attitude, wit and smartness. Do what you gotta do to keep it going…

  13. FrankatFalmouth
    FrankatFalmouth says:

    Foe many years I thought I was (and many people swore I was )strange for my collection of wooden boats and stuff. As John acknowledged , WoodenBoat was the face of teh hobby back in the day but covered a much broader subject range… Upon finding it in my mailboax id tear open the plastic cover as I unlocked the door and would read it from the back forward…(boats listed for sale first!) Id pull out back issues to reread over teh winter to get me thru the off months

    Ever since I discoverd WoodyBoater years ago its been that same pleasure EVERY DAY! In spite of all the other daily “news” I can always go to WoodyBoater and enjoy your fresh, daily, witty and heartfelt posts , and yes I dont know HOW you are able to do it everyday!!! I almost want you to skip a day and see the fallout and reactions!!
    You bring a face and presence to our shared passion that will end someday, I just hope its a long long time from now! I am not worthy to offer advice, just heartfelt thanks for a daily dose of something good, be it zippers, toilets, or sausage.. Ive never been disappointed.. And dear God, keep it up with all those increadable photos…
    Thank you
    Frank Eggert

  14. Berlin Büro
    Berlin Büro says:

    “It always comes back to Woody Boater,” even in the remote world of digital marketing in Germany. Thank you all for keeping my Dad occupied and motivated within this community, hobby, and digital space. Overall this community is what online communities SHOULD be, and what I always find myself referencing and siting in meetings all over the world. You all make this awesome.
    Dad, glad to know you have such an awesome and supportive community. No weird made up fans, fudged numbers, catfished boatshows – all real people who really love the hobby. Just make sure you keep the hobby going long enough for us to enjoy when/if we move back, then you can do whatever 🙂

    Here’s a picture from 2016 with Mom, Suz2, Oreo, myself, and you!

  15. Terry
    Terry says:

    Matt, we all may not write every day, but knowing you are there for us is what we all need. Don’t ever give it up my friend. You are the Woody Boater whisper that we all need on good days, bad days and everything in between. Keep sniffing that varnish and giving us your witting window to the Woody Boater world.

  16. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Thank you, Matt & Suzy. Always something interesting here. Often something to learn or be amused by. I enjoy the sausage & the eBay bits. Understand if you need a break. But sure do enjoy the photos from places & shows I can’t get to.

  17. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:


    My coffee time in the morning would not be the same without Woodyboater. Keep the faith brother, love what you do.

  18. Tracy E Miller
    Tracy E Miller says:

    I look forward to opening this email every day. It makes me laugh and glad that my husband and I have joined this is group of people that want to continue the passion and artistry of wood boats!

  19. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    The only thing I have to say is “we love you Matt”. Since I have retired you and this blog have been a major part of my mornings. I check into other blogs/forums everyday. This one is by far the best. You bring such a personal touch to this site. Sausage days have sparked so many memories for me. The photography is excellent, and the stories are always informative and entertaining. If you need any help all of us have millions of woodie boat stories and pics that we are willing to share. Keep up the great work we need you.

  20. Bob in Mazeppa
    Bob in Mazeppa says:

    Thank you Matt for all you do in Woody Boaterville. Winters are a little bit better even in Minnesota when their is a place to go to remind us that spring is coming.

  21. Royce Humphreys
    Royce Humphreys says:

    Didn’t we just have that conversation on Friday? You have no idea on the positive affect that Woodyboater has on all of us. Its like the much needed cup of coffee each morning to start off our day. You and the Boatress are so greatly appreciated!

  22. Randy
    Randy says:

    … please don’t give it up and turn this back into an ‘electronic’ wasteland!!!!!

    I’ve found the best way to recover from the ‘dumps’ is to buy another boat.

  23. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Matt, for the past 9 years, each morning I make a cup of coffee and push that one button that takes me to a place far, far away from the daily issues.
    I often wondered, like most, how you do it, AND run a big business, with all the traveling, and deadlines.
    Like you, just sitting in the Woodyboater tent last week, refreshed me, to look forward to the ice being gone, and firing up the boats when I get home.
    Meeting good friends in your booth is always a great way to put faces to names we see here on the site every day.
    And then you go thru all the hassle of bringing boxes and boxes of merchandise just for us. A lot of work and effort setting up and tearing down each day at the show. I would think you would get more burned out!
    But, I just want you and Suzy to know, coming home with a new shirt and hat, makes me realize how special the trip and show was. I will think of our conversations last week each time I wear them.
    I will also join in with the others to supply you with a story or two, to help ease your daily burden.

  24. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    It is time to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”again.
    You have forgotten how many lives you have touched over the years. You sir, yanked me out of a huge hole one morning when I clicked on my Woodyboater page and tbere was this awesome video of Clif’s Last Run you had posted. That was the day I had my 2 1/2 year olds funeral. As I said that day, you put me in a better place that day. Since then I have purchased a woody boat and when I am out riding in it I think alot about her and the few boat shows I took her to. Emily always smiled being out in the sun.
    You are a rare breed and you have a passion that runs deep. Thank you for what you do for all of us and the Boatress for allowing you to do this website.
    Thank you again, Matt.

  25. LJ Brorsen
    LJ Brorsen says:

    Matt, what an example these replies are of a deserved dies of peace, love and understanding. All the best and mucho gracias.

  26. Jeff Neppl
    Jeff Neppl says:

    Matt… just to let you know like I mentioned on a i.g. post … you unknowingly helped and brought me into the hobby of woodenboats. Sure I always loved and appreciated them but I been reading and learning all I can here for years and your content and photos have let people know that you dont have to have a Concours level boat to enjoy classic wooden boats. You have helped me in more ways then you realize by answering tons of questions, handing down books, referring me to good people in the hobby and when we hung out and you checked out my boat for me and much more. Thanks again for everything Matt and I hope you keep going. The poster you made about owning a woodenboat is also a help. I know I’m a rookie and I haven’t even launched my ol 40 yet but it’s coming and just know that you made and still make a big difference in people’s life. I’m not young but a younger guy in this hobby and you are part responsible for my love for this stuff. Have a great day Captain…..

  27. Herb Hall
    Herb Hall says:

    Matt, Your contribution to the hobby is invaluable. Woody Boater brings people and stories together and hopefully, helps to fuel the hobby. Good stories or bad, you are there every day and Woodyboaterville appreciates it. Glad Florida was good therapy for you.

  28. Craig A. McIntosh
    Craig A. McIntosh says:

    matt, your blog has become like a second religion for me; i love it and depend on it daily…
    one of my true friends in this life was chris schmaltz; not a day goes by when i don’t think about him by reading through all this wood boat stuff that he and i shared in common. keep it alive!

  29. Toby Hall
    Toby Hall says:

    Take care of yourself first Matt. A header day always works….call it a header day for your head. If you brought back the little animated inboard I could always just stare at that too!

  30. Brad
    Brad says:

    Matt, as others do, I also click here every morning with my coffee just to start my day right! and I thank you for it. I was looking at old posts and noticed one to help refill your tank. 3/28/12 “The Woody Boater lifestyle takes over the U.S., Canada, and the world!” Such a proud accomplishment for you!

  31. Bob Murdock
    Bob Murdock says:

    It’s always great to see you and talk about anything. I also echo all the positive comments and love for what you do for the hobby every day. We can’t take ourselves too seriously and you make sure that it’s a road map for life to enjoy.
    In fact, you made a final decision for us several moons ago when you ran a column on supporting your local marina and more so when they cater and know about wooden boats.
    Patti and I were on the fence about diving in to purchase our local marina because at sixty, really? Well, we knew we didn’t want to lose a working waterfront and see it all torn down for some miserable condos.
    Sooooooooooo……………..I am writing this to you from Howe Marine in Indian River, MI with Patti furiously getting the summer all lined up. It’s cold, it’s cloudy, but I just walked out to the craneway for a pick-me-up. Staring around at thirty or so woodies ready to drop in the water made it a GREAT day!!!!
    Soooooooooooo………it’s either going to be the GREATEST thing I’ve ever convinced my wife to do or the STUPIDEST thing I’ve ever done. (At this age, I could always blame it on the onset of early dementia…….)
    Here’s to you Matt for making it all happen and I sure hope all the Woodyboater fan club can drop by Howe Marine to see what Matt talked us into doing!!!!!

  32. Danny B
    Danny B says:

    Who da man? You da man! I appreciate the heck out of WB. I’m a rare commenter, but I’ve pretty much been on board since day one when you were posting Sylvia stories, checking in to get me through the work day, and get my daily dose of boating that I just can’t seem to get enough time, money, energy, and space to do in life, but grew up with like you did and enjoy immensely. My wife and I actually shared a table years ago with you and The Boatress at a ACBS meeting in Annapolis. I remember enjoying your company there and saying to my wife later “I hope they come back – they seem cool, but we probably scared them away like the rest of the cool folks that show up!” Hell I even really enjoy the sausage days – they’re like a virtual woody flea market to walk through! I know you get concerned that stories, boats, shows etc. get covered in other places on the virtual world, but the thing is, I (and I’d be willing to bet a LOT of other WB Fans) don’t have the time to look through all those different sources. I really just come here. Every day. I figure my time is limited (I just wasted half my lunch hour typing this), so I go to the one place I KNOW I will enjoy what I find. And that’s the simple truth for me. Keep doing what you can for us and make it work for you, and know that it’s much appreciated by many WB Fans out there in WB World! Matt Smith for President – 2020! (Sorry I went political there…)

  33. AndersonBill
    AndersonBill says:

    Matt, I am like the rest,we all appreciate the work you put out..I would think out of al the people some one could posta story to let you put it on the shelf til you need it,but I don’t know where you can find any old retired guys looking for something to do,,or just post Gone fishin when u want,,but Thanks again

  34. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    Matt, last summer up in Clayton, you stopped by my booth and my wife thanked you for putting a smile on my face every morning. What she said is absolutely true. You and your creative stories motivate my obsession with old boats on a daily basis especially when I have thoughts of getting rid of it all. Thanks again for all you do. Hope to see you soon.

  35. Dick Hansen
    Dick Hansen says:

    Matt, ditto to all the supportive comments today. You must realize how much you’re appreciated out here… We love you Man!

  36. Matt
    Matt says:

    Good god! i get stuck in all day meetings and come back to this. I do not know what to say. I was just thanking all of you. Dang. Now I have enough energy to do tomorrows story…mmmmm I wonder whats on ebay?

  37. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Yes, Matt thanks for all the stories so we can live vicariously thru Woodyboater. Now if you could only cure postherpetic neuralgia from shingles now going on 2 months I’d be more than grateful..

  38. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:


    I second all the well deserved praise you see posted here. I go to you first everyday and you make my day. But man, I’m in the same business you are and I don’t know how you do it. You need some help! As others have suggested, you need another Texx to share the load. Or maybe some kind of simple repository where contributors could park stories and images and you pluck one on the days you need some rest. And if you don’t, no hard feelings. I’ve been honored to have you publish a few of my pieces over the years. I know there are a lot of your readers out there who can write and can tell stories from all over the world. You’re the editor, you make the call, no explanations necessary. Just a thought.


    Matt, I, too, visit your post daily. I have always been in awe as to how you do it every day. I feel that I am part of the wooden boat family, even though I have not owned a boat since my 14′ Chris Craft Kit boat, with a 10 HP Chris craft Commander outboard, in 1960. I actually met you at a Algonac show week luncheon at the Old Club many years ago. I was there while visiting my brother Art and he introduced us.

  40. JimF
    JimF says:

    Who else besides you would loan me their boat at Dora after I wrecked mine the day before? You are everything that is good for our addiction!

  41. Dennis ryan
    Dennis ryan says:

    Wow! You said the “portal” to me 10 years ago. Yes, it is, you are, excellent! Your guidance was absolutely spot on. A dream can be a goal, a goal becomes reality. Your dream has positively impacted thousands. Time for a party, Woodystock again! I really want a new poster for Debbie ….. Even daVinci had frustration…..

  42. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

    Matt: I feel that same pain. I rarely post anymore because im just to busy trying to run my business also, daughter getting married, working on her house etc. I lost my dock this season and i probably wont have 300 Bucks in the water this year. I am typing this at 8:42 pm, i used to post at 7am. I feel your pain.

  43. Charity chapman
    Charity chapman says:

    Keep the faith Matt
    I always check in to see what’s going on in woodyboaterville.
    Only way I know how to keep track of my own brother.

  44. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Thank you for all that you do and for asking for what you need.
    I apologize for not saying this sooner or more often, you are what you want to be. So sling all the sausage you want , we will still eat it up.

  45. Clay
    Clay says:

    I’m just another who, on my favorite days, enjoys checking out what Woodyboaterville is up to before my first hour of the day is over. I didn’t grow up with wooden boats but developed a love for everything else wood early on. My first woody was a 24 ft Skiffcraft hardtop bought 7 years ago and mostly restored myself, now residing on the Whitefish Chain. Maybe my only post was a couple years ago resulting in great feedback on my then newly acquired Wolverine that I am currently finishing and looking forward to rinsing off in May.

    While I mostly watch from the weeds, I fully enjoy most of what I witness here and do look forward to reading. I certainly know that I would miss this if it ended. I’ve gotten involved too late to have meet Bob Speltz but I can’t help but think of how overwhelmed he must have sometimes felt as he strived to put together his great manuscripts on runabouts. Of course, his contributions were timeless.

    I’ve also recently been reminded of life being so short. Do what you can and make certain that you are doing what brings you joy. Bag the rest or delegate it. I do like the idea of the “gone fishin” sign for a header and maybe a “best of” rerun when needed but if I could guess what John Rothert would say it would be “gone boating”! Look forward to meeting you on a lake someday.

    • Jerome
      Jerome says:

      Hard to add to the great comments. Woody Boater is part of my life. Your just damm goooooood Matt. Pardon me while I go to the shop to hug my boat. Hope to see you in Algonac in June.

  46. JFKarlson
    JFKarlson says:

    Thanks Matt for being the glue that keeps our community together. I agree with Rabbit with respect to sharing the load with guest contributors. Of course, that would require a Woody Boater Style Guide to help authors live up to the great copy we enjoy daily.

    • Kentucky Wonder
      Kentucky Wonder says:

      The Ofical Woddy Boater Stile Guide – the thought of how that might read absolutely cracks me up. I hope that all of us WoodyBoaterVille inhabitants get to participate in its creation.

  47. Allen
    Allen says:

    Great to read all the positive supportive comments…..just the energizer we all need in March to keep prepping for Spring….put Howes Marina and the Algonac show on your radar……WoodyBoayer…is the Best.

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