WoodyBoater Is 10 Years Old Today! Well That Went By Fast!

My first ride, first classic boat. I was hooked! 2006

It was October 9th 2007 when I decided to sit down with my buddy Scott Sawyer and take a shot at this sort of thing. I have been asked a thousand times why I do and did this and to be honest the answer changes. At the start it was that I felt there was no place on the internet out there for information and fun without a boat being sold.

The very first header.It was up for a year.

And for some reason anyone that seemed to be an expert on the subject either had no clue about the web, or wanted to share. Even though the passion was there, it was very closed. And to be candid, still is in some places. So I suppose if one was to put a large umbrella over what we have done here, it would be to promote, invite and expose everything about our wonderful classic boat universe. It’s really that simple.

In 2008 I started dreaming bigger. Rough Layout.

This was the final layout for the new Woody Boater in 2008. For around 9 years we have tweaked it, changed it and tried to adapt to the future.

Has it been a money maker? Never really cared or thought much about it. I will say that if we break even its a miracle, and two years ago we made a $500 profit. HA. I think it was a mistake though. Cause the next year we went into the hole. But that’s OK, because it’s my way to go boating every day. I get to have fun with a virtual boat every day, and we are very proud to have done that and not missed one day in those 10 years. I am just as amazed as you might be. Without help from Texx, and our first real big reader Al Benton who kept me going, and others out there, we would not have made that record. Or to this point.

Never alone and friends have made this an amazing journey

Al Benton was our first Woody Boater of the month

Texx, who never likes to be seen. He rides the world on his Harley and looks for stories.

2008 with Chris Smith celebrating our 200th story

No water is to deep to go grab a cool shot. Torch lake

That was a cool shoot on Torch lake

Yeah, then there was that thing. YIKES . We still get flack, but it broke Woody Boater into another level of readership. Thanks to Pat Curtan and the Myklos Bros for keeping the battle going!

Fun at lake Dora for 10 years! We almost won this race. Yeah!

Even breaking down with Jimmy can be fun!

We have watched Lily grow up. Thanks Chad!

10 years of T shirts. We made 25 Yellow t Shirts the first year. Last year we sold over 300 in two days at the show.

For about three years we made Big Woodys. But we are old now and well, making big Woodys aint so easy anymore.

We have made Life long friends along the way.

We have traveled back in time!


Started a cult!

Enjoyed improving our photoshop skills.

We drive and drive and drive. Road trips are our Mojo!

And of course the Harrisons never ending battle with breakdowns.

We are published all over the world and love it!

And thanks to amazing sponsors, who help fun it all for you to enjoy!

And yes, we spent an entire week of stories about a Zipper brand. you think your sick of Plaid now, Try zippers. People still have PZD over those stories

The annual Virtual Holiday parties

So, at this point? What point? Well, some big changes are coming. You may not even notice them, which is how you like it, but need to be made. We are rebuilding the site to be faster and improve our search, so we can be found by more people.


And we are thrilled to announce that an APP has been in the works since May, and is waiting approval from Apple. Which is a nightmare BTW. Its been BETA tested and a small group has been playing with it and seems to like the new 360 degree experience. You will be able to find other WoodyBoaters, recommended places and yes, read WoodyBoater on your phone easier. And best of all, FREE! That’s right. FREE! What is the point of doing all this and not make it available to new people sniffing around the culture.

Photo on the first ride of Sylvia, the barrel back restoration that started it all.

So a HUGE thanks to all of you, us and everyone thats been a fun part of the Woody Boater life. Here is looking forward to the next generation of WoodyBoater!

I thought you may enjoy the stats for 10 years. now these are estimates because the first two years were very spotty. I will say that in year one it took some time to reach 1000 people. Months. Today.

4043 Stories

55, 556 Comments

Over 2 Million different people have visited us. (2011-today)

They have vied 9 million times. This is from  ( 2011 – today)

They spend about 4 minutes on the page and read about two stories when here. Over 60% of the readers return on a regular basis.

On any given day there are about 3000 – 5000 of you here a day.

Our top day was over 20,000 readers. That was the day of the CBS Sunday Morning Appearance.

Header days double traffic for the day, because you all click so much to see the new headers.

One of my favorite headers of all time. Lake Dora Headline written by Bruce Bildsten “Rabbit”

Saturdays are our slowest days. Mondays our largest. Yes you all are reading at work!

90% of readers are Men, ages 35-65+ and the 10% of Women that come here, over 68% click away fast! Hey! It is what it is.

The Boatress reads because she is scared about what I might say!

70% read on a desktop and 30% read on phones and tablets.

80% USA Readers

8% Canada

Australia is the next with 2% and then its a 1% for the rest of the planet.

People start reading around 4AM and slow down around 8PM. But most readers are here in the morning East Coast Time.

Michigan is our largest audience by almost double other states. Next is Minnesota and NY, then Florida and so on. Wyoming and new Mexico are dead last. But we do have readers there. And yes Alaska!

Hope this has been as fun for you as it has for me! Thankyou so much for keeping it going!

44 replies
  1. Tom McGowan
    Tom McGowan says:

    Congratulations and thanks for our daily dose of wood and varnish. Looking forward to 10 more and beyond.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Congratulations from your largest reader audience here in Michigan. There are not many classic boat conversations that do not include some mention of WoodyBoater. You have achieved a celebrity status over the last 10 years. We have always had a ball when you have joined us at our annual Algonac party. Thanks for all you have done for our passion and I personally don’t know how I could drink my morning coffee without WoodyBoater. Keep up the good work and good luck over the next 10 years!

  3. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    10 years on the web is like 50 years in the non virtual world! Something to be proud of for sure! Thank you and thank your family for sharing you.

  4. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Thanks for the memories, I miss the days of anonymous and frozen weenies a little but am happy to see wood boats and laugh at all the posts.

  5. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    Matt, Congratulations and Thank You, Thank you Suzy, for letting Matt do this every day, even on vacation!
    First thing in the morning is WoodyBoater and a cup of Coffee varnish. I had the drive and varnish in my veins to get a woody boat for years but reading WoodyBoater put my drive in high gear. I can now smell varnish, oil, and exhaust AND be part of this incredible community.

  6. Ned Protexter
    Ned Protexter says:

    Thank you for all you do. I just got started a year and a half ago with my first wood boat ride being this summer. Woodyboater has kept me motivated. Thank you. I need to get the story to you on getting my 1963 Coronado back in the water.

  7. Bob B
    Bob B says:

    Years ago I used to look for parts by phone, FAX (yikes!) word-of-mouth…then stumbled on, (we’re you Woodyboater blogspot or something back then?) and now have marvelous resources thanks to internet but mostly to Woodyboater, my one-stop go-to site everyday which points me in the right direction. And nonstop entertainment and information and interesting people (not you Joe Martel) and glorious photographs. Thanks Matt.

    And an extra plus——Zippers!

  8. Allen
    Allen says:

    Thanks Matt……great article and site for us to share and enjoy our hobby. Keep up the great work ……and spreading our illness……many of us are up to multiple woodys thanks to you…..saving barn finds from the bonfire. Go go go.

  9. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Congratulations on a decade of success and thank you for all you do!

    Ten years is longer than most of us thought you could keep it up, but I have to imagine there will be a day where you will lose the ability or desire to keep carrying the burden by yourself. Have you thought about succession planning or offloading some of the work to a wider team? Or even coverage if you become unavailable? Texx used to play a bigger role, but now is there anyone who can post a story or a few when you are jet lagged, or spending a day or two learning about vertigo, or just taking a well deserved vacation?

  10. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    I can’t think of anything that I’ve done for 10 years without missing a day! Keep doing what you do so well and, thank you!

  11. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    Thank you for the photos, the writers, the comments, the sane and the zany columns, the fuel for the passion and the soul. Accolades, my good man. Take a bow for a job well done !

  12. Dennis J Mykols
    Dennis J Mykols says:

    Congrats my friend, I have followed your amazing ride since I got back into Wooden boats in 2010.
    Like Greg Lewandowski stated, any conversation I have about Classic boats, always seem to include…”Did you see that post, or header, or storyline on WoodyBoater?”…
    Yes, 10 years without missing a day, how do you do it? I write the Classic Corner column just 6 times a year, and have a hard time coming up with fresh, interesting storylines.
    But in my opinion, it is you, Matt, the person that makes this site a draw to each morning. Your personality, passion, and witt, are what makes you a success.
    And as a friend, what can I say? Who else would jump into a bilge, elbow deep in water, to help an old fart replace a bad bilge pump, instead of spending quality time with the evening in Tavares with the Boatress?

  13. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Thanks Matt. It doesn’t seem like it’s been ten years already! Watching this thing evolve over the years has been fun. Looking forward to many more years to come. We all appreciate the commitment you put into your work.

  14. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Special thanks for bringing us all together. I do some writing and it hangs over me like the overdue college term paper…and I only do it quarterly…..I don’t know how you mange it but keep it going brother. Special thanks for mentioning my old friend and our mentor Al Benton….have not heard enough from Al of late, and to Texx the mystery man, and to Jimmy for putting up with you….and the Boatress for same. Ten years and I still nod off when golden pond resurfaces!
    Ten years if forever in the web world it seems. I have only slight abilities in that regard and not much interest in catching up with the latest gizmo….have no smart phone..flip if fine. But I do lament the fall off on the Chris Craft club site…people are using other platforms I guess.
    All the best my brother!

    John in Va.

  15. Bryan t
    Bryan t says:

    Congrats on ten years. I look forward every morning for your stories great job. Great site it keeps all of us woody boaters motivated and keep the hobby alive!

  16. Dennis Couch
    Dennis Couch says:

    Great Job! Love all of it!! Need to resurrect the old header and make some “retro” shirts and stuff!!! Thanks!!!

  17. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    I can’t even imagine how many hours and dollars you’ve put into this, Matt. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  18. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Thanks for getting all this started, and for keeping it going.

    In reference to landmark days, I still would take Alex’s XK before the Arabian. But Raquel was the best part of the article. Until the comment section got going.

  19. Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says:

    You are to be commended for the great job you do.
    My morning coffee would not be the same. THANKS

  20. Wicked Wahine
    Wicked Wahine says:

    Mahalo Matt for Great Stories, informative articles, nice pictures of all kinds of watercraft. And your contributers throughout 10 years.

    Gotta Luv a Lapstrake!

  21. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Talk about dedication to a cause….You are the champion.

    And we in Florida enjoy the annual week or more long focus on the Tavares show…Woody Boater keeps Florida on the international map.

  22. Wiseboater
    Wiseboater says:

    Congratulations on 10 years, Matt!! Thanks for always pointing us in the right direction.
    Or that way!!
    I enjoy starting my day with Woodyboater. I love all of the people that I have met in the wood boat universe and I have you to thank for that.

  23. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    Thanks Matt! There’s nothing like starting the day with a WoodyBoater article while drinking my coffee in a Woodyboater mug.

  24. Matt
    Matt says:

    Sorry that some of you are having issues with comments today. We are working on the site for the new app, and things are getting a tad wonky!

  25. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Congrats for all the work and effort you guys have put into this product. Just wish I didn’t have to have a cell or wifi to access. I’m in remote places and by the time I get access I don’t get a chance to get “fresh” news and responses to the latest story. But that’s life. I know its hard work but it would sure beat sanding bottom paint.

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