ACBS Drops Woody Boater As Sponsor For 2018. It’s A Good News Bad News Thing.
This news is being reported reluctantly, because I am getting emails and questions, I did not really want to talk about this and stayed quiet, but the ACBS made a call to the members and announced this. Why? I don’t know. So I thought we would get it out there for everyone to understand and not read more into it. This hobby sure loves some drama!
Earlier this past week, we were informed that the ACBS would not be sponsoring Woody Boater in 2018. Due to expenses was the reason given. We understand and have no hard feelings. As you know for ten years it’s never been about the money here, and we exist to promote the passion, culture of Woody Boating in an open environment for free. This move by the ACBS has been underway for a while as part of a bigger move on the ACBS’s part to change the way they promote the ACBS. As many of you know, I own a marketing firm and this is a very normal and un emotional thing for my world. But, and yes there is another but, we will in turn need to drop the local chapter banner deal. It was a bundled deal. Don’t be mad at me? The entire ACBS deal was a financial looser for us here. And to be honest and transparent, it’s been an absolute political nightmare as well.
Why you ask? We have had to turn down stories from friends, because they opted off Woody Boater last year. The deal only worked if everyone played along. Which also explains why traffic to the ACBS sites is down. Most of the traffic from WoodyBoater was too the local chapters and was generated from stories, not banners. Around 3,000 clicks to the local chapters in all. And lots of people to please. So it’s actually a good thing for my anxiety to just be ACBS sponsorship free.
I know some of you may see this as confusing, or some how blame us, it’s the internet and we all see the world through different eyes. But despite all that, for the betterment of the culture, we were willing to keep it all going to help. It’s the ACBS that dropped out, not us. Regardless, stuff was going to need to change.
So how does all this effect the local chapters, the life blood of the ACBS?
Because of the package deal made last year, a reduction on the ACBS International part, we were forced to increase the local chapters to cover the placement. And the ACBS had to handle the sign up. Many were fine and understood the value, many did not. In other words, buying as a bulk rate by grouping together helped everyone. But once that fell apart, it’s each chapter on their own. Which is frustrating for us, since our mission here is too help. And many of the people in the local chapters are friends and contributors to Woody Boater. FOR THE RECORD. We offered two years ago, trade for media space with the ACBS, so no money was needed and we were turned down based on the ACBS International perception that the Rudder Media was more valuable. We tried. Frustrated, yes, happy now, sadly yes!
So. Here is what we propose. We will leave the local banners up for a short time after the new year as good will and too help build up to summer, and help cover the recent increase in ACBS dues. And of course we can now promote, and be involved in your local events without any of the ACBS politics. In other words, we are still here for you with advice, air time, and no longer in a strange sponsorship corner. If you are a local chapter, email us to find out how we can help your local chapter.
Measuring Traffic and the ACBS
We are only bringing specific topic, because the ACBS told folks on the call, that “0 traffic from Woody Boater helped new membership.”
During the recent ACBS International show traffic to the ACBS site spiked to around 15,900 views for the 30 day period between mid Aug and mid Sept. By the way in comparison, that same time, Woody Boater had around 150,000 views. No stories on The 2016 International Show. A normal 30 day period here. But a huge increase for the ACBS for that period which is on average around 9,000 a month now. Email blasts, and facebook sponsorship is working on driving trafffic to the new ACBS site.
But the ACBS, measured our sponsorship by clicks. According to our records around 2,500 in a year for International alone, and 3,000 to local chapters, which is down from last year, and a reflection of less stories and a lower setting on the banner. We warned them of this when they lowered there sponsorship last year.
We no longer measure success with long standing sponsors by clicks since many of our readers are regulars and clicking on a site that doesn’t change much isn’t motivating. Or they already know about it and have it bookmarked. Most media companies also measure this way. We measure by impressions. 2 million in a year, is more than all the magazines combined which don’t have any clicks or frequency which is top of mind awareness. For example the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club gets over 30,000 clicks a year from Woody Boater. Why the difference? The Boat Buzz. It’s something new to see and a very useful tool for your classic boat needs. The Boat Buzz is a major asset to the culture, and worth the cost of membership alone. But if the ACBS feels it’s being responsible with there marketing dollars, then it does track, that if 0 members are being made by Woody Boater, its not a good use of the money. If you track only that way, which we do not. Membership and renewal of membership, comes from awareness and perceived value.
We wanted those who know to understand our position on this issue, so we can not have to respond to all the emails and calls. We are all in this together, and we will always try and help whenever possible. Even those that don’t sponsor our effort. Now can we get back to Woody boating?
Bummer way to start the day. Going to need to open an extra can of varnish today to find my happy place again.
Have loved your site for years…and will continue to make it part of my morning ritual. Any chance the Pirate/Navy banner might become a T-Shirt?
Agreed! Love that T-shirt idea.
So they raised the cost of membership to cover dropping Woodyboater sponsorship? Must be new math.
If it makes you feel any better they sent me notification that my membership expired Dec 31, 2017. I’m a life member. Does that mean they know something and I’m gonna die?
As I’m sure others have reminded you by now, Life membership was only for ACBS International, not for each chapter (unless they have set that up. One of the several services provided by ACBS HQ in Clayton is to handle the membership billing for the Chapters; hence the automated renewal billing even for us life members
i tried to renew once online! never worked. oh well.
ZIP, whens the Christmas party?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had an inside view of this, being on the ACBS BOD from the inception of the ACBS sponsorship of WB until this past September, just prior to the apparent end of it. I recall one of the most contentious (needlessly so in my opinion) BOD meetings I ever participated dealt with the initial sponsorship in 2011 or ’12. I had no input on and nor was I privy to this decision, though I was not surprised. I was not present on the call where it was apparently discussed.
I suppose it is about money and return on investment, and the expense must be justified in that or some other similar metric. Anyone who manages a business must make such evaluations and subsequent decisions. One thing that surprised me was that when we looked at the clicks to the ACBS website, the % of the total that came from WB was very small – that surprised all of us, but the number was consistent and it continued to slowly diminish. We did not have numbers for impressions to local chapter site. From that, it became very difficult to ascribe any membership growth directly to the sponsorship and at the end of the day, that is how a direct return is measured. How many widgets did I sell this year, and how did I sell them? The WB sponsorship was the ACBS’s single largest such expense very year, and as such it required a critical and reasoned annual scrutiny,
I am not on the BOD, I am not a marketer and much of this is stuff I am not familiar with. However, one question I have always had about on-line marketing and most especially social media is that “how does one measure the efficacy of a program through linking impressions, clicks, likes or some other statistic to sales and revenue?” In the absence of a correlation between membership sales and commencement of a Facebook campaign, WB sponsorship or some other activity, what does any of it mean? Does it really matter how many likes you get on FB if you don’t sell more widgets, tickets or whatever it is you are trying to sell? To most, no.
I stopped using FB personally years ago, and therefore have no likes or impressions. Does it mean I have fewer friends? (In my case it probably means I have more!), but the answer is no. I just don’t think the ACBS could link the return on the sponsorship $$ to any attributable or measurable membership growth and that became the crux of the discussion. I am sure that any sponsor who leaves a sponsorship program anywhere is confronting a variation of that theme. The loss of the chapter banner is a indeed a sad thing, but I think the uptake rate by chapters for this opportunity was only about 30%, which really surprised us. Big chapters likely saw the benefit, many did not.
At the end of the day, the ACBS itself gains and loses sponsors every year – just like WB and any other business that seeks sponsors. It’s generally not easy but it is part of the business side of what is for almost all of us here, a hobby. Sometimes the distinctions between the hobby we all enjoy and the necessities of some of the organizations and businesses that contribute support and infrastructure are not easy to see.
Yes, Paul, there are ways to track a click to a purchase, but we did not want to dive that deep. The real reason the clicks are lower for the ACBS is that there was little to see. The new ACBS site is an improvement. BTW, the ACBS was at one point a normal click rate, but we backed off the stories on shows which is about half of the clicks. There is also the issue of relevance. Is a club like the ACBS relevant in today’s digital age? With information and fellowship available for free with …one click… That is the real challenge of clubs in todays market. The boat buzz is a case of how a membership can be relevant.
That greater question of club relevance of course applies to all such clubs, not just those related to classic boating. I bet there is a ton of hand wringing going on at car clubs, bike clubs and all manner of old-line service clubs as well.
I don’t believe that online will ever totally replace first-person, tactile social interaction – at least I hope not.
Yes, car clubs are seeing the same issues. The sad thing, is there is a NEED for clubs, but they need to rethink why they are in existence and refocus. back in the day, you joined for a shared reason. Information and like minded people. Thats all been replaced on the web, facebook etc. So what is it we all need? That is the question the ACBS and other clubs should be looking into.
Interesting subject as one who utilizes a webpage in business for sales and product information, let me chime in here. The science of marketing IS measurement and in most cases a web presence (with small businesses) is something to spend money on, when the operating budget is flexible enough to accommodate cash outflow. As we have discovered the ROI is unpredictable. This unpredictability is based on not understanding the metrics needed for success. The conversation here is based on “hits” or visits to the site-This can give you the big picture as to how well the message, product or campaign is driving traffic. When numbers drop from one month to the next, it’s time to investigate the causes. When this decline has happened with my company we referred to “Google Analytics” and this metric. How many new sessions or hits have occurred this will tell you how many visitors are new and how many are recurring, this is a good metric, it tells you if you site is fresh, (sticky) enough to encourage repeat visits. We found success in constantly changing the message or strategy (information) keeping the site “healthy” a static site is a basically a one or two hit and done as far as repeat hits are concerned. My IT guru gave me this bit of advice. There are 4 basic channels to watch regarding traffic. “Direct” which indicates how many people hit your site directly. “Referrals” which includes external links from other sites. “Organic” includes hits or visitors after performing a web search and “Social” Hits from or through social media I think the relationship between ACBS and WB is mostly through Organic and Social, with a good mix of referral thrown in. It appears the discussion is the question of value of the relationship, the ROI and for calculating that is a never ending process-It boils down to a basic question-What is the average value of (in our case) the customer or in this case the member. Tough call sometimes.
Well said Paul.
Politics schmolitics. Loved the Munch parody! Nicely done.
Well politics sure do suck, don’t they…Butt my big take away is now you are free to let that little creative mind of yours run full throttle and I am really excited to see more coverage of the local chapters and events. Thanks to WB there are groups we want to meet and shows that we hope to attend one day and very few of them are the big ones. There is no other way than WB for us to even know about those fun loving folks. Thanks Matt!
I “attended” the ACBS phone in meeting though I just listened and did not speak. The WB discussion was just about cost and their perception value etc ….Like Matt’s, theirs was well expressed and in a “…this is just business” way. So let’s stick together on whatever “platforms”….and offer advice and stories…and
Viva la Diff
Whatever!! I support and like both. I want that T shirt, though. LOL
The Pirate One!!! LOL
How much actual money are we talking about?
You should run the story with the Classic Boating magazines by the toilet again. I remember that being very unpopular among a few of the board members a few years back. It would be a fitting send off….
I loved it…but all these years later, the magazine is still there.
Interesting…I subscribed from Vol 1 # 1 and then heard Norm retired and never go another renewal notice. I thought Classic Boating stopped publishing long ago. I heard mention of their calendar on the ACBS recent town hall conference call and wondered how in the world you could find one.
Ahhh the good old days
This club stuff is probably the biggest reason I gave up all of my trailer queens (antique cars and boats) years ago because personal politics got involved in what is just a HOBBY damn it! Unless your ego needs to be stuffed with some silver platter or small plastic boat mounted on a piece of wood, for crying out loud, like Matt says, GO FOR A RIDE!!!! Enjoy what they are and what they can do for your soul.
Enjoy the camaraderie of friends on land or water, you don’t need an organized club’s permission to do so. Or for that matter, another yearly check written for membership.
I’ve found that like people gather together by accident or choice; at that point you decide to part company or go have a drink and swap stories.
You don’t need the ACBS Matt, they need you.
p.s. When can we purchase the new pirate T-shirt?
The ACBS new blog hasn’t added anything interesting and their site ain’t that great so go figure- wait ’til you stop the count down to Mount Dora, we’ll probably be able to find dock space at the ‘Gardens’
Very well said !
I had a really long comment today…. and I deleted it because what is done, is done and fingers do net need to be pointed.
What I will say is, I have been an ACBS Toronto chapter member for over 15 years and will continue to be, as there is real value and tangible benefits to local membership. Woodyboater AFAIK, is unique in both content and delivery. It’s clearly the leader in subject matter for my interests and it’s easily accessible. What else do I need?
OK, online protest is in order. All WB followers click the ACBS banner to send a massage to the board, we will live on. If they want clicks, let’s give them clicks. I, for one, let my ACBS membership expire. I see what the do first hand. They spend lots of money and the new leadership are only about where the money comes from and where it goes. They sell off most of the physical donations to support their salaries and overheads. They were donated with the intention that they would be preserved and displayed. Neither of which is done in my opinion. So, that said., CLICK, CLICK AND OF COURSE, CLICK!!!
I would be interested in learning what facts you have to support your hypothesis, and what budgetary figures you can cite that would constitute supporting evidence. It may be a matter of perception more than it is reality.
As a BOD member for 6 years I have some insights into this. Speaking personally, I likely donated/spent near $100k of equivalent time/money during my tenure. It’s edpecially expensive for a Canadian and we can’t write any of it off. BOD members are 100% volunteer positions with zero expense reimbursement. We pay for our own meals at the meetings we spend our own money to attend.
The ACBS owns its right sized but modest HQ building in Clayton – acquired through donations in memory of a deceased but respected Pres. In the later ‘90’s. It’s operating overhead in respect of premises cost is very, very low.
The largest single budget line item is the Rudder – a direct member benefit. I believe salaries for the 2 f/t and I think 1 part time employees are next.
I make no qualitative judgement on all this, but figured that the introduction of some factual background information may be helpful.
The ACBS new blog hasn’t added anything interesting and their site ain’t that great so go figure- wait ’til you stop the count down to Mount Dora, we’ll probably be able to find dock space at the ‘Gardens’
I UNDERSTAND THE MARKETING SIDE OF IT BUT IF
YOU LOOK AROUND PEOPLE DON’T HAVE THESPENDABLE
INCOME TO STAY WITH SEVERAL ORGANIZATIONS
I AM THE VICE COMMANDER OF THE LOCAL DAV AND ALSO
THE LEGION AND PEOPLE MAKE HARD CHOICES TAHT IS
WHY WE ARE FORTUNATATE THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO
SHOW US A WORLD THAT SOME WILL NEVER SEE OR
BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN AND THAT WE ARE GREATFUL
TO YOU, MATT
Anyone remember the old Dean Martin song about; “There’s too many chiefs and not enough Indians.. around this place.”
Is the ACBS turning into another well paid, self-perpetuating non-profit outfit?
Its a butchered quote from Steve Jobs, and was also one we used at Chiat/Day, which was the ad agency for Apple at the time. So who knows who said it first. but its so true today!
All very interesting and somewhat confusing to an aged one that just hasn’t gotten into the on line world other than learning to send an email or click on a site like WoodyBoater. That being said, I’ve been an ACBS member for 34 years and am a charter member of Dixieland and Sunnyland Chapters. I am a Sunnyland Past President and served on the ACBS international Board for 6 years and participated in their recent town hall conference call, so you can see I’m pretty well imbeded with ACBS. I see it’s place as an umbrella to sponsor chapters which provide folks with a common interest an opportunity to meet and gather to enjoy that common interest. The challenge is that most chapter events only occur three or four times a year, only once a year in some chapters. Their directory is also useful in keeping track of friends across the country. So in my view ACBS has a purpose.
WoodyBoater on the other hand gives me the opportunity to enjoy my boating hobby on a daily basis. It has the benefit of being cost free and lets me participate when I want and sit on the sidelines and just look when I want…but it is always there.
So in my book there is plenty of room for both….how they get along with each other is their business.
No offense, but ol Zip and I share the same look and thoughts….what the hell are you all talking about….(takes a drag and exhales)….the only thing I know for sure is that Matt and Co. busts his backside every day to give me a damn good interesting and fun story to view and read…(another drag and exhale)….
I have been involved with the ACBS for a while, and as far as I know, with the exception of the Executive Director position and admin at HQ, no one else draws a salary. As a board member for a few years I can assure everyone that all travel and meeting expenses were on the volunteers.
Regardless, I think the move away from WB was a bad call.
Mike: I concur. I recall when I as on the Board, all the Board members paid their own way to all four quarterly meetings plus the then optional preplanning meet. I even traveled, at my expense to several chapter meetings to explain ACBS functions and activities when chapater members were asking, “What is ACBS doing for me?”
Maybe somebody should look at the current income and expense statements.
I sent the club a wire stating, “PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”.
Telegram to the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills to which he belonged, as recounted in Groucho and Me (1959
Well I hate the politics of clubs
However they do provide benefits
I say what’s good for WOODYBOATER is good for ME
I want an outlaw shirt as well bring them on
We’re her for you Matt
I have a collection of WB t-shirts, but the Speedboat Outlaws is my favorite. I only wear it at selected events as I know I will never be able to get another one. However, if Matt ever chose to do a commemorative edition, I would be a buyer.
Bob needs one too, Greg
Me Too Matt!!
So small minded of ACBS. They need to take a look at themselves. A bunch of ( mostly guys) get together to share an interest in classic boats.
Some years later these guys have got a board of directors for gods sake. Think about that. A board of directors for a hobby. With a president even. It sounds like the lodge.
What a bunch of old farts. Cut em adrift.
I’m a bit disappointed to learn of ACBS’s decision here. WB provides a valuable service in promoting this ‘hobby’ of ours on a daily basis. How many dreamers and upcoming owners of classic boaters would be encourage to continue their ‘dream’ if not for their daily hit here on WB (and the people they meet through WB)?
Thanks Matt for your continued support of our passions — if not for this there might just be fewer people following our path.
Believe me — ACBS NEEDS this site if they are to survive in the long run, and I’m really surprised they cannot recognize this.
Sponsorship is a tricky issue.
Would I ever join ACBS because of a banner ad here or anywhere? No.
But, WoodyBoater is a lot more than banner ads. The stories and people HERE have gotten me to attend far more ACBS events than any other ACBS marketing…heck all other ACBS marketing combined. How much is that worth to ACBS and to the local chapters? Hard to say.
They missed the boat by not taking you up on the cashless cross promotion agreement. It would be better for all of us if the main orgs in the hobby worked together and reduced overlap and politics.
Even more important!! Baconfest Chicago tickets go on sale today.
Ahhh yes, the endless revolving door of management at ACBS HQ and their shallow promises of change and insight on how to move the hobby forward.
Then another election, and another set of promises. The committees are formed and they go to work behind the scenes with reports and member surveys (with little or no action) until the next election, Then the process starts all over again.
All along, the ACBS Chapters continue to do most of the heavy lifting for the organization, recruiting new members, organizing local boat shows and member activities – with little of no recognition from HQ.
The Chapters are the economic engine that drives the ACBS – HQ just collects and distributes the annual dues back to the Chapters once they complete the required “Health of the Chapter” report.
The Lake Tahoe / Northern California Chapter cancelled their annual South Lake Tahoe show this year. Did ACBS HQ do anything to help save the popular show?
In today’s world, with ever changing demographics, in order to remain relevant, organizations need to be constantly changing how they do business and marketing strategies. This goes far beyond simply measuring traffic on social media and reacting by cancelling advertising. Creating awareness for an organization goes far beyond measuring clicks on a website.
The ACBS needs some help from the outside, with a fresh perspective and some long range planning that is not impacted by the annual revolving door at HQ. They owe that to the hard working Chapters. – Texx
A very simple observation here, but perhaps part of the change which you suggest is not happening actually is – Eg. the departure from sponsoring WB? That’s a change after 5 or 6 years.
Some chapters work very hard and are successful, some are not. Lee makes a very good point below – on WB the same core group of people seem to dominate the posting volumes, just as core groups of people appear to dominate many organizations, big and small. You can also see it on Boat Buzz. WB is not different than anything else in that respect.
One of the first things I noticed about our local ACBS chapter was that it was largely populated by 20 to 30 really active members, and another 300 or so “viewers.” Woodyboater has a similar following. Most of the responses are from those who are really passionate enough about the hobby to take the time and effort to put themselves out there, and make a statement. Let’s say, 30 to 40. But most just read and move on, either nodding their head up and down, or sadly, from side to side, but make no real addition to the content of the site. Very much like the ACBS membership.
I see the two entities, the ACBS and WoodyBoater, not as adversaries, but as allies, both approaching the passion of antique and classic boating from two completely different venues. Is there a crossover of interest in these two delivery systems? Certainly. Some of us can’t get enough. It shouldn’t be us versus them, and the fact that there was any type of contractual or monetary dealings going on was probably wrong from the start. I peruse Woodyboater daily, from work if you must know, and maintain my membership in the ACBS, getting the weekly email that brings me to the new stuff on the ACBS site. I enjoy both. I also still enjoy my subscription to Classic Boating. Do I like it more than the ACBS Rudder? I like them both. I have written for both. What’s not to like?
Matt’s blog is Matt’s blog. As a former editor, his writing drives me completely nuts. But I accept this. I can go with his flow. He can do as he pleases. He is a breath of fresh air from what used to be considered a stodgy old group of hobbyists. Just how he and the ACBS became bedfellows was always a cause for wonderment to me in the first place. It was brilliant marketing on Matt’s part, but I never understood how a “public” entity like the ACBS would take on a “private,” highly-opinionated enterprise in any type of partnership role. They both exist because there is room for both. If the ACBS deems this relationship unnecessary to achieve their goals, fine. Matt will move on, as will Woodyboater (I hope), and the ACBS will move on (I hope).
The greatest lessons that I learned came from my kindergarten teacher, Miss Stromquist: get along with others, and keep your hands to yourself. You know, living a good life just doesn’t get any simpler than that.
You got it right, Lee. What remains is that the 25 plus year old pension remains flat. Taxes and living expenses rise. Discretionary dollars are getting squeezed. So, I look at “value” and guess what will get cut? The 50 years of Model T’s have just gone out of the garage. The Corvair convert when earlier. So did the magazines and clubs. ACBS has just about priced itself out of the picture. I spend more on showing the boat (for others) than I do on annual boat expenses. Figure it out!
Well said, Lee.
And if one was to be a devils advocate he might look at the membership trends since the sponsorship began. I don’t recall hearing about any major membership spikes. The ACBS board is responsible for its members dues and the clubs money. It should (hopefully) make these decisions without bias.
I would like to say Woody Boater…brings a fun and sometime humorous side to this hobby.. I read woodyboater.com once a day..and the acbs site, I cant remember the last time I was on it!..I think the younger people in this hobby would be drawn to this site more, giving more of a chance to see cross over and see the acbs site than the other way around…In my opinion its a bad idea
Matt, I have been on Woodyboater for a couple years. I joined ACBS and the CCABC because of YOUR site. I did all this and then finally got a Woody Boat this year. Kinda put the boat before the horse so to say. So it was because of your site and my daughter that I am now a Woody boater. Not ACBS or CCABC.
Click this! Continue what you are doing. I am only one person but you provide more to me that the ACBS.
My story is also very similar. My brother sent me a link to the WB facebook page, I went direct and have barely gone back. I became a member of CCABC because of a story that WB did on The Brass Bell. I wanted a copy so I became a member (I am now President BTW). Later I became a member of ACBS because it was the best way to register for the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival (an event I never would have known about had it not been for a story on WB).
I don’t know much about clicks, views, impressions, and likes but I can tell you for sure that WoodyBoater brought me to these other fine organizations in our hobby.
I’m going to throw my I thing in the crapper. WB gettin all political and Boat Buzz works like sh….
i just read the classic boating story from 2009! not sure when i started here but missed that one, what a joy.
cant beleive that a story that even includes a toilet only received 3 responses. matt you have come a long way! job well done!!
you still eating corn?
Here is my .02. I think Woodyboater is consistently more on the mark as to marketing and promoting the wooden boat hobby and lifestyle than an ACBS chapter out there, or any of the ‘clubs’. The problem with both the ACBS and formal clubs is they are only really looking for and catering to the ‘collecting’ crowd. The collecting crowd and the boating crowd are pretty different, but the ACBS has never seemed to grasp that. I know lots of guys with wooden boat, and they are amateur restorers, and just plain folks, but they love their wooden boats. They are never going to have a museum quality boat, but then again, their boats aren’t going to spend the bulk of their time covered up in a garage, and only have ten hours on the engine meter in a year. Frankly, I find this site very entertaining, because it talks about BOATING. The ACBS and several of the clubs are in big doo doo. So are a few of the museums. Their patrons are aging, and they have not been able to attract a new crowd of enthusiast. I remember an ACBS member, who had been on the board several times over the years, telling me his friends used to use a term AFCC….. (another fookin Chris Craft), and he laughed. Well, I own two sixties Chris Crafts. Guess what, I would cut off my finger before I would join an ACBS chapter. They can kiss my … you know. In the meantime, I will come here, view the articles, look at the ads, talk to my fellow peasant wooden boat owners and never give the ACBS another thought!! Good job here, I would donate money to keep you going if you wanted to become an organized group.
In an effort to lift myself out of Lee’s “viewers” category, let me just say that as a 20+ year ACBS member, I feel that I get far more value from my free daily subscription to WB than I have received from my club dues. The web site is beyond worthless. Nonetheless, I keep renewing my membership, because I feel that ABCS is providing some value for some people, just not for me. I hope I don’t have to make a choice……
I joined acbs because I read about it on WB
If never clicked on the banner or for that matter any banner except the Graves playing site because I was interested in getting some chrome refinished.
I am more aware of all of the sponsors because I see their names on the banners. Social media is as much about branding and public awareness as it is about sales.
Hang on. ACBS has a website? I only spend time here on WB. I do send my dues to the ACBS, but uh, only because I get the exact same amount in a discount in my Hagerty Insurance….so that just gets me four issues of the Rudder for writing two checks. The Rudder is nice, but if I did not get any insurance discount, I would not be spending a dollar for my ACBS membership. Not a local chapter member either…not to say they are bad, it is just not for this enthusiast.
Today’s story summed up in one photo.
I check out Woody Boater every night, acbs maybe 5 times a year, not much to see there. the rudder is boring. I know of at least one “executive”, could be more, that doesn’t even own a woody boat of any kind. seems to me if your gonna run a club about antique and classic boats you should at least own one.
Thanks everyone, this was great reading yesterday and a wonderful insight from everyone. The ACBS is a strange thing, since its not a thing, but a group of people ( Many great friends) all trying to row the boat in a direction. But I will say, it was strange to have a sponsor make such a big deal out of leaving. Sponsors come and go, its all part of business and fluid art of marketing. You turn one spiket on, and another off. I also realize that in an odd way, this is a milestone for the ACBS, who is thinking.. Woohooo, we are WoodyBoater free. BTW, this story was the most read story in months. And yes, some of you clicked over to the ACBS. So see, the old saying still rings true. Just make sure you spell my name right.. Oh wait.. Yeah, I have a problem there..thier…their.. No wait, its there.
I read all of the above, a rare investment of morning time for me….as this was a long one.
M-fine and Texx hit some great points…as did others.
Viva la Diff….I am Going Boating!
but….it was WOODYBOATER that I checked this morning, not acbs….and I am somehow…by connivance or ?? a chapter president??? Must have missed a meeting….
John in Va.
“FOR THE RECORD. We offered two years ago, trade for media space with the ACBS, so no money was needed and we were turned down….”
I believe this was a very telling statement of where the ACBS was at two years ago and things have not changed. I have always thought of the ACBS and WoodyBoater as a symbiotic relationship of sorts, very different but compliment each other. Clearly the ACBS doesn’t see it that way and that is their right. My bet is that someone in a position of power at the ACBS simply doesn’t like WB for whatever reason and now in their eyes you are somehow being punished. c’est la vie.
I read WoodyBoater almost daily, but for face-to-face activities, ACBS is the way to go. There is plenty of room for both.
Wood boats are great, but I have gel-coat in my blood, not varnish. To expand the hobby, fiberglass and aluminum boats, typically powered by outboards, are the way to go.
Guys like me, who were 14 in 1966, likely grew up with fiberglass and aluminum, if there was a new boat in the family. They were typically 14’-17’ in length. Also, in terms of volume, there are more than an order of magnitude of old non-wood outboard runabouts still out there, most waiting to be restored, when compared to wood boats of any type of propulsion. Go where the numbers are.
Wood is terrific, but given the numbers, the classic boat hobby will never grow without going after the non-wood boat owners and enthusiasts. I think ACBS knows this.
That being said, it all really comes down to this: a nice warm day on the water with family and friends is better than a day at the office, no matter what the boat is made of.
I am looking forward to my forth ACBS Sunnyland boat show next March. Each year a group of us head up the Ocklawaha to the Silver River then on to Silver Springs. It is a great trip and anyone who would like to join us is welcome. We are aluminum boat and antique outboard motor collectors and anyone who is interested is welcome to come along. We will be hanging around the AOMCI display area and our aluminum Feather Craft boats should be easy to spot.
See you there!