The First Annual Woody Boater Git Together/Party/Show-ish Event Thing Needs Your Input.

IMG_3721.JPGWell, it’s been 8 years today that we started Woody Boater, yikes. Eight years, every day. I have no idea how that’s happened? Well, yes I do, it’s because of some amazing folks out there. You. Over 250,000 of you, the readers, the fellow citizens, the what ever we call our selves. Sons of Varnish? Anyway, we thought it would be a great idea to have us a shindig! A show, a party, an event. A non ACBS show, not that sort of stuff, a different type of event, a new type of event, real, not virtual, as in we actually have to meet each other, yikes, without photoshop!

M fine pumpkin

Pumpkin rules the wakes

Pumpkin has sold and the promise to Larry was to blow some dough on a party, so Larry likes the idea, we like the idea, we hope you like the idea. The big question? When and Where? We know this will take place next summer so we can plan it out. So we have narrowed it down to next year.. And in North America, that much we know, and there will be food, and music, and boats, OK that much we know. OK, and dumb event stuff to do on the water, yeah, lots of that stuff, and awards, some sort of awards. OK, then, this is sounding like a something or other. The real question is then where next year, and then we will do it again the next year someplace else, and so on.  So today, chime in, talk to your people in your area, cause we can’t do this alone, but we will make sure its one hell of a Git Together/Party/Show-ish Event Thing!

65 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Have the party where Larry would have wanted to have it. If Larry liked Michigan, we are ready to help. Make sure it doesn’t rain!

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    Clayton. Sweetwater so cleanup is easy and involve the museum for a behind-the-scenes tour for just us maybe pre event. How many days are we talking about?

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Wherever and whenever, I think inviting some of the previous Woodyboater Boat Babes would be nice. This is something lacking at ACBS shows. Think of the photo ops. I’d pay good money to attend that show.

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I don’t think the location matters. As long as Texx is there, it should be warm, sunny, and the collections of boats will be world class.

    So, who bought Pumpkin? Was the buyer one of us?

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Dang! So many GREAT options.

    The Chesapeake Bay area, where you are Matt, would be fabulous and could include the Mariners Museum (plus you would get cruisers there). Smith Mountain Lake seems like a wonderful location. You could honor Larry with Michigan or honor WECATHEM with an event in NH on Winnipesaukee (bring her home for a visit).

    Just let us know!

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      This deserves a Party Picture. (Photo credit Sandi Hersom, that’s why she is not in the empty chair next to me)

  6. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    I vote for Lake Cumberland KY. 121 miles long, 130 ft deep in many places so no underwater obstacles to worry about, clean water, Lake Cumberland Lodge is a great location to host as they have events there already and the marina at the water has another large marina (Jamestown) right across the cove with facilities also that the ACBS KY chapter has used before. All in all it is a good central location within a days drive of a lot of folks. Dale Hollow lake is also a great choice, Both lakes have marina’s with good restaurants on the water. Sounds like a lot of fun.

    • Kentucky Wonder
      Kentucky Wonder says:

      I would be very happy to help coordinate this event if it appeared at Lake Cumberland or Dale Hollow. Maybe combine it with the Bluegrass Chapter event that has been popular over the years. Maybe the week after next year’s International Show? Weather in KY is usually very good at the beginning of October. Also, dock space is much easier to find in autumn, as the summer boaters have vacated the slips. Let’s narrow down dates, so we can make reservations!

  7. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    i nominate lee andersons boathouse!!! (sorry lee)
    he could ferry us all in from the airport on that wirlly bird!

    besides i missed the show and party there and still feel left out.
    i was at the geneva lake show,


  8. Mike W
    Mike W says:

    Already loading her on the trailer. Dang is going to be an expensive haul. Anywhere on Lake Michigan and we can have a WBHQ. maybe a few.

  9. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    Not sure if you are serious, but if you are how about a brunch on Sunday following the ACBS annual meeting. Next year is Lake Tahoe.

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      Thursday this year would have worked fine. Sort of a slow day.
      Big question is do you want to tag along or make it a separate event.

  10. steve franchini
    steve franchini says:

    anywhere that has a vacant pontoon boat for texx. just remember us coming from the left coast.

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Since the Sept big ACBS show is on the west coast, sort of, there will be a lot of East Coast, and Mid West boaters not going to be able to attend, so to hold such an event like you want, I think the week before the ACBS event would work, in getting as many folks to travel any WoodyBoater event East of the Mississippi.
      Algonac, MI would provide great boating pre events, with good boatin weather and be a draw for those of your readers that had this site on their bucket list.

  11. Steve L
    Steve L says:

    Well, if it is to be annual, you could alternate locations east / west. If you follow a large event , people could stay an extra week and cut travel expenses?

  12. Derk Brill
    Derk Brill says:

    I’m with Tim R. Why not get together out here on the Left Coast for a change? We are just as hospitable as you folks in the East, and don’t get near as many opportunities to be involved in local events. Besides that, our travel budget was severely dented transporting our entry and personnel to Gull Lakes. Tahoe is a great place to get together!

  13. Laclede
    Laclede says:

    Here is an idea- just an idea. If you want to make it very different, and concentrate on people actually getting together, and staying in the same room and talking – have it in a convention center in Vegas. Have it the same place every year, so you have to focus on making it different and exciting each year.
    This would be the boats without the water – but could be filled with talks about history and practical workshops.
    One advantage is you would get a lot of people outside the hobby wandering in and seeing things
    What you guys are suggesting is just another boat show- maybe more fun and random; I am suggesting taking out the variable of changing place each year, and concentrating on a very organized agenda, with very organized sessions, and work-shops. This would be county fair meets business convention.
    Not fun? It’s Vegas. What gets varnished in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
    Anyway, this is an idea that would “Trademark” woodyboater gathering.
    It is also interesting to imagine it as something like a formal course on woodyboating. Hobbyists could work all year on a formal presentation about some aspect of the field.
    Woodyboater University, although someone has to spellcheck all the flyers and handouts.
    Maybe it isn’t possible, or desirable, but I like the extreme constraints of the hobby being forced into an almost academic forum.
    Different, educational, Vegas. The Maritime Museum could be tasked with a yearly gallery.
    Chris Craft Corp could also be tasked with a yearly historic talk.
    If this route was attempted, it would also open up the very organized Convention industry consultants/planners.
    It is the most mainstream type of venue- maybe we should try it?
    It could be in the mid Fall, and weather would be less of a factor.
    The event would end up on all the Vegas promotional websites, and give exposure to a much wider audience.
    Hell, I can imagine even a formal parade of boats down the main strip. Could get a CSI Las Vegas cast member to host each year, or William Shatner, who is everywhere.
    Give it some thought. It would instantly put WoodyBoater, the hobby, and the boats, and the people- on a new stage.
    And for Bilge Rat, there would be Boat Babes like everywhere. Seriously, everywhere.

  14. Ron - Seattle
    Ron - Seattle says:

    Not Seattle. No place to park boats. East coast – more folks back there, close to WB head 1/4. It would be nice to tag team with a trip to Mariners museum or something for the first event. And maybe see fall colors after marinas are empty. I think a higher possibility of more boats there than here.
    2nd Annual could be left coast or “the wet edge” as we call it. Coeur d’Alene is nice, or Tag Team aT Tahoe! Then you have boats on hand from that meet.

  15. Sam Hansen
    Sam Hansen says:

    I vote Lake Union/Washington. Perhaps Seattle Yacht Club could host? Perfect location because they have a crane for launching small boats and all the big cruisers in the area could come in through the locks from the Puget Sound.

  16. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Smith Mountain Lake gets my vote, good central location for the east side and a beautiful lake from what I hear.

  17. John Bailey
    John Bailey says:

    We could always split the middle. Woody Boaters could put in and use the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers (and connecting tributaries) converging near St. Louis and then keep going, ending up with a great party in New Orleans! That would be some trip to remember!

  18. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If it is going to be an annual thing, perhaps opposite coast from the International so more people have a shot of making one event. So East this year, West next.

    The big question is how many people and even more important, how many boats? We have a lot of really great boating lakes to choose from, but far fewer places with docks that can handle 50+ boats.

    As for time, shoulder season would be best for me. Perhaps April-May or Oct somewhere south of the frost line. We have so few summer weekends, it is hard for me to give one up and leave Keuka, but any boating in April would be a bonus worth a trip.

  19. John Gambill
    John Gambill says:

    Well, I’m a Michigan guy however if you do this event it needs to be centrally located in the heartland of the country with accommodations for possibly up to 250 to 300 boats. I bet you anything that if centrally located that’s how many will show up for the Woodie Boater guys for the simple fact that they have done so much for us all.
    Look at the map and put your finger in the center of the heartland and you will see that it has the most metro area within its geographic area. The center is Kentucky, Tennessee. For instance, take a compos and stick it in downtown Louisville and draw a circle 700 miles out and look at the metro area that falls within that circle so find a place within the two states mentioned that will handle it and you will get a turn out that will set records!
    So, this means you need a location with a big marina, good water and tons of hotel accommodation that aren’t in tenbucktwo from the show site, food, and stuff to do. Algonac is a wonderful area however the hotel accommodations for a big number event are not there, Algonac won’t handle it.

  20. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    Happy B-Day WB folks. Eight years of true boating enjoyment; kudos to Matt, Texx, and all those other contributors. Keep up the great work. Just a thought, tagging along with another big show will bring more boaters.

  21. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    I’m from Mi. but I would think central U.S. would be Iowa or near there. Although a big lake in Ky. or Tahoe would work. The Vegas idea is a real good idea. And not far from Tahoe eithe . Fall would probably be a good, lots of time to plan. And the colors would be nice for a water cruise.

    • Laclede
      Laclede says:

      Thanks for saying the Vegas idea is a real good idea.
      There are some obvious problems with it, but I think they can be overcome.
      First, most big Vegas venues cost a lot for space- generally recouped by sales. You would have to sell a lot of WoodyBoater tshirts to recoup the rental for the space. But, perhaps, we could find some bargain place, on the wrong side of the tracks, for a few years. If the people come, the companies that sell to wood boat restorers will also show up.
      Second problem is boats out of water. People don’t get to see the bottoms of boats that often- and it might be very educational.

      The main idea I am getting at is that you can pick a beautiful Lake, and a local chapter, and you can give boat rides to kids, and give out awards; and cook hot dogs and hamburgers. And, with good weather, you will have the usual good boat show.
      But it won’t be that different, even if you recreate Matt getting his boat stuck in a lobster pot at one in the morning.

      Do we need to recreate the idea of a boat show? Maybe not. But isn’t it worth thinking about doing it differently?

      Boats, water, yeah.
      For me, I would love to go to a show where it was wall to wall hands on lessons , meeting the good restorers, meeting all the vendors related to wooden boats.
      Having it actually feel like a University course with people with skills lecturing on the history of Chris Craft, or Marine Engines. You guys know the TED talks- like that, with experts in our field.
      Also, a very consistent set of workshops on where the hobby is going: and how to catch up with technology and social networking.
      I can imagine a 4 day event at a Vegas place, where you see a lot of boats, with their owners, but you also had almost a formal curriculum, where you walk away from it saying, ” I learned more in this four days, than the past five years”. Can’t that be done?
      Matt and Texx are known for having fun- and there is no reason why it can’t be fun and educational.
      So that is one off the normal path idea. Can anyone else come up with another idea? Even a worse idea? Have it at Disneyland? Have it at some place that has a huge Country Music star turnout?
      Have it in Memphis?
      The assignment, if you want to, is to come up with how to have a Boat Show that isn’t like anyone you have been to. Eight years of WoodyBoater evolved because these guys basically can’t spell, and that is a twisted package that, against all odds, succeeded.
      I would hate to see a yearly WoodyBoater event that is distinguished only by giving out strange prerestoric awards.
      Ice cream cones were invented when a concession at the worlds fair ran out of bowls. So they grabbed waffles from a neighboring booth,and rolled them and put ice cream on top. Why don’t we run out of bowls and plates.
      At a minimum, whatever this event looks like, there better be someone selling little heroic ceramic statues of Matt rescuing his boat from the lobster netting- in the same style as JFK dragging a wounded comrade away from his PT 109.

  22. Tom
    Tom says:

    Happy Birthday WB.

    Glad to see Larry is getting his wish. Many great locations to choose from . What about Lake Dora as many readers will be there anyways. From pictures from the past I believe Larry liked that place. Michigan works well also.

    What location does his cousin Susan think would be the perfect spot for the first event?

    RIP Larry

  23. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    The one day I miss reading Woody Boater! Dang!
    Since Larry was a party dog, he would be happy with a party anywhere! His Bucket Boating list was a mile long and included Hessel, Algonac, Tahoe, Seattle, Canada, Italy and the entire East Coast or any place in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Florida, the latter his former home ports.
    So it looks like a dart board decision kinda thing?
    Lotsa happy people, boats, food and drink are the necessary items!

  24. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    The location is very dependent on the time of year. The International show rolls the dice a lot holding a September show in northern latitudes. I think other decisions need to be made before a location can be chosen. I am more in favor of a location that offers boating opportunities than a class room environment with dry land displays. The idea of having it at the opposite end of the country from the International is pretty good. It would offer options for a late season event however it would be difficult to get the WoodyBoater coverage that we have become dependent on. Tying it in with an established event could provide benefits for both the original event and the new one.

  25. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    Sorry I posted before I was done. Tying it in to an event like Hessel for example, could add a couple more days of boating to a already fantastic event. For those that are still working there are the time considerations….my wife is only willing to use so many vacation days for boat shows. Being from Michigan any venue here would be great for us but in reality I like the idea of having it a differ location each year. Obviously that takes more planning, perhaps a committee could be formed for the purpose of planning. All of that being said….I visited Joe Wheeler State Park in northern Alabama a few years ago and I think it would make a great venue for a show. Lots of water for boating, great hotel and restaurant on the water front and quite a bit of dock available. For a spring or fall gathering.

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      I also have visited and cruised the areas around the Joe Wheeler State Park. The annual Fall LOOPERS Convention is held there in October. The Tennessee River allows miles and miles of wide, big, safe river cruising, with many marinas and restaurants to cruise to, in either direction from their docks. The Hotel is steps from the docks, and offers many meeting rooms, and all the display area we would need for vendors, and land displays. Floating docks are in great shape.
      And not that bad a drive off I – 75 to get to.
      The local ACBS Chapter down there are a good bunch of warm hearted Southern hospitality kind of folks, that just may want to think about hosting the first event.

      • Dennis Mykols
        Dennis Mykols says:

        The photo above is on the TENN TOM CUT where you can cruise all the way down to the Gulf Coast, and on to Florida, if you want.
        Go the other way, up the Tennessee River from the Joe Wheeler State Park and cruise on up to Chattanooga, TN.

  26. Darth Trader
    Darth Trader says:

    Make a list, prioritize it, check it twice, and pull the trigger.
    1-Decide on length- make it a three day to start; with the big day in the middle.
    2-Central Location with event-friendly local government
    3-Good water-calm, deep, fresh – Good Parking & shuttle
    4-Good docks
    5-Good weather
    6-Easy Interstate access
    7-Decent Airport close by; less than 1 hr away
    8-Motels and campgrounds
    9-Infrastructure-bars and restaurants or convention facility
    12-Have plenty to do-show, tour, seminars, vendors, trip and something for the non-boaters.
    13-Lots event commemorative wearables and contests and prizes. 14-Core group of early volunteers get in free. everybody else pays.
    15-Modest fee, but break even or it won’t happen again
    16-Figure out how to get the word out to non-ACBS folks.
    17-Put a cap on the event so it doesn’t get out of control and turn into grid lock at every turn.
    18-Line up some major sponsors-West marine, Hagerty, Hemmings, Sea Tow, Boat US, Wooden Boat, Crusader, Indemar, Chris Craft, to help offset the advertising and event expenses.


    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      darn, Dart Trader, lists off most of the items I just wrote about, and I did not read his post until after I posted my post, (posted, posts potts, wherever…)
      As much as I would love to have the event in Algonac, it just can not support most of the line items Dart listed. And from someone who has put on many major events in my corporate life, Darts list is A MUST for a successful event of which we are talking about.
      NOW, one thing I have learned from putting on two major APBA Offshore Powerboat Races; start out small, the first year, and GROW into what you envision in these posts. Do NOT try to hit a home run the first year out; planning for huge crowds, only to find out your attendance is much lower than you planned for. It will bankrupt you, the first year. Just a word of advice from an old fart who has “done that, been there…”

  27. Jon
    Jon says:

    I like the idea of having an “Antigue and Classic Boat” two day convention at an urban venue at which parts suppliers, restoration companies, custom boat builders, engine rebuilders , marine engine suppliers, insurers, etc. would come and display their products and/or services. Restorers and custom boat builders would be encouraged to bring examples of their latest work. Also, the event’s organizers would invite a limited number of owners that represent a cross section of the different classes of boats in our organization to bring their boats to the event for display.
    The first day of the event would be for ABCS members only with some exceptions allowed. Work shops, etc. would be scheduled on that day. The second day would be open to the public. An entry fee would be charged to offset expenses. Talks on the ownership and maintenance of classic boats would be held plus visitors would have a chance to see the boats on site and to talk with brokers, restorers, parts suppliers about the joys and work of owning a classic boat. ACBS representations as well as other club reps should be their to sign up new members.
    The event would held on land preferably inside at a suitable event center. We would have to start small. Maybe held every two or three years at the start

    • Laclede
      Laclede says:

      Jon, I agree with your ideas. In today’s post about Wood Boating being a “cult” – Matt said he is reading the comments on this thread – and there are a range of directions presented, which is nice to see; but the majority are having this event in the water, in the usual fashion, and even tagging along on a bigger boat show event that is already established.
      There has been very practical advise – lists made- of the required elements, and cautionary tone about overshooting. The good advice is to start small, not expect big crowds, and build each year. That makes sense.
      Now, there are several ways to draw attention to your own idea: type in ALL CAPS – but that turns people away. Provide attractive pics – we got one of a pretty woman on a boat in this morning’s thread.
      But,without being too annoying, I want Matt to at least consider doing it in a Boat Show Urban setting – I had suggested Vegas – and make it wall to wall vendors, restorers – and hands on learning.
      Out of the 48 comments made, I think, counting myself, there are maybe three people that think this is a new, good way to go. That is certainly not a majority, or even close. Salesmen and advertisers make pitches – so, Matt, my pitch is to keep your own “Cownsil”, as you would spell it. For eight years you have been successful by being unconventional. Use your head, listen to the voices in there: Do you want a yearly WoodyBoater event that is just another boat show – or do you want to come up with something that hasn’t happened before – like a parade of wooden boats down the Strip in Vegas? Napoleon had his Waterloo, but Google was started in a dorm room, with stacks of servers piled on empty beds.
      I am not asking you to be novel, just for the sake of novelty – I am reminding you that this is your party, and you can try if you want to.
      Go rewatch the first Hangover movie, and say to yourself, how could I make this into a Classic Boatshow?

  28. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    The more I read these posts, I can not believe we are talking about starting an event “from scratch. While doable, there are SO MANY great Classic boating events all ready up and running, even in the winter months. I can not believe we can’t find one or two events to piggy back onto their event to accomplish what we have discussed in the above posts.
    For the first two years putting this “Party” together, if we piggybacked onto anther event, it would:
    1. Be easier to start off small.
    2. Less site logistics, search
    3. Less startup costs
    4. Less volunteers needed to be found, Base event has a start on that.
    5. Local people, can help with city, site and other local issues easier.

    Now to find an event that can fit the list Dart and I talked about, and get the local chapter to agree to take on the additional events and days.

    Once this event grows and can stand on its own two feet, then a stand alone event should/could be looked into.

  29. John Gambill
    John Gambill says:

    As I read Matt’s first paragraph it appears to me that nothing is mentioned about his party that he wants to throw celebrating his 8 years of being our friend and helping us all says nothing about making it an ACBS event. Nothing at all against ACBS, that’s for sure but it sounds to me like Matt what’s to have his own bash to thank us all for supporting his platform here on the Woodie Boater Web site and he’s willing to dip into his own coffers to do it for us. So why all this talk about ACBS? Right or wrong Matt? Matt wants to just have a great party and some cool boats for all to enjoy and have a good time, am I reading this wrong?

  30. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    Why would you need ACBS? nothing against them but they have multi structured events all over the country now. Goggle Sea Ray’s Aquaplooza or Lake Cumberland raft up, May not need a large concert but you could get some ideas, Something loose structured for way more fun and no judging, just show up with or without a boat for a great time. I think with a good central location with enough rooms and this event would stand on it’s on without piggybacking onto another event. Possible attendees still working would have to decide to go to the piggyback show or this party as one only has so much vacation time. It sounds like a great idea but if the location is at any coast you are going to get fewer boats because of the travel distances involved. Don’t make it to complicated/structured. Just a few more thoughts. Happy Birthday by the way.

  31. Matt
    Matt says:

    Vegas? That could be huge. We could fill the convention hall with Water and go woody boating? All kidding aside, The idea of doing something new, something different so its not a typical show.

  32. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    in my comments, I was not referring to ACBS events, to piggyback onto, but other Classic boating events around the country. And if a local ACBS Chapter, wants to help out, all the better.

  33. Rdaley
    Rdaley says:

    Vegas for a party is always a good place.particularly in the winter when most of us are not boating.
    Three is a venue here that most people are not aware of called Lake Las Vegas resort in Henderson 25 minutes from the strip.
    This is a man made lake with resort features ie 3 hotels 2 golf courses an Italian Tuscan village write on the water with conference facilities restaurants even an event boat that could cater a function.Very private setting yet close enough to the
    strip. Also close to Lake Mead which has amazing boating,even in the winter.
    The one thing about Vegas is that it is easy and generally inexpensive to get in and out of and there is always something to do.
    Just a thought

  34. Bill Ballard
    Bill Ballard says:

    Blue Water, Green Water, Brown Water, every lake is special. The magic happens when you go boating with old and new friends. The amount of work that goes into an ACBS Annual Meeting is staggering, with meetings and planning starting two to five years before an event. Tim R had a good point in regards to a breakfast the morning after the show. Another way to start small and build the network might be a WoodyBoater Hospitality tent. A place in the shade to stay hydrated is always appreciated.
    Then there is the: Up front money for everything. Insurance. Venue politics. Dock space. The Weather.
    You folks are onto a good thing. We need to get together, meet each other and go WoodyBoating.

  35. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Had to come back just to catch up and see what more suggestions were being put out there.

    IMHO even though I understand the desire for education and thinking outside the box, a boating event without boating leaves me in the desert.


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