Classic Boating Magazine Apreciation Day!

Some of my back issues of Classic Boating

A couple years ago I purchased the entire collection of Classic Boating magazine.. Mixed in with the issues were some old Brass Bells, Rudders and other magazines that started and then stopped for what ever reason. Last month I took them to our river home since I don’t read them while at work. And there is no web at our river home .. So its a great place to sit back and flip through the years of classic boating that I missed due to the fact that I had not yet been enlighten to the wonderful world of Antique & Classic Boats. I was buried knee deep in Porsche parts with the occasional Corvair Spyder.. Don’t laugh.. my Spyder could eat a Porsche for lunch.. until I had to turn a corner or stop, or turn on the heat.. Or look cool… Anyway, I digress into a world of air cooled hell.. I have been reading my back issues of Classic Boating, and you know what.. Dang gumit! that’s a great magazine.. And man oh man do I feel like an idiot. Here I am sometimes thinking that we are bringing you new stuff here on Woody Boater.. HA.. We are just reporting on stuff that is 10 years old.. Just discovering boats and people ( Thinner back then and more hair BTW) that have been in many issues of Classic Boating. In a sense we seem to be re telling many of the same stories only now on the web. Boats that I am looking at today to buy are in there being restored , sold, bought and sold again.. But while reading the back issues.. I could not help but notice that the tone of Classic Boating is..great.. They are 100% focused on boats and making sure they are accurate as can be..Like a collection of books.. There was a wonderful story on not taking all advertisers because of reader complaints.. Dang, standards… they got it, get it, and embody the spirit of the hobby. heck, they are in a huge part responsible for the hobby.. While reading a great interview with Dick Clarke of Sierra Boats.. They gave him credit for saving the hobby… making it a hobby.. But I noticed that reporting on the world of wood boats is in fact on of the key ingredients of making a hobby.. If a person restores a boat and no one see’s it.. it only helps one person, if the world see’s it. We are all better off because of that, we get inspired and found resources to do that restoration, or just keep the old gal going.. . They also printed posters, books, all sorts of cool stuff. The design is timeless and never gets in the way of the boats. It’s odd to look at an ad for something and no web address, just a PO box.. dear god, no instant gratification, that’s for sure.. But it’s all there.. And still is.. Now with web addresses on the ads.. The fact that they have stayed true to who they are, and ignored the web is kinda cool as well, and in keeping with the traditional mind set of the hobby.. After all, we all like things the way they were.  Here I am typing this stuff and all along in a way taking some of the magic out of the hobby.. There was something special about seeing a boat in a magazine, and letting your imagination do the rest.. But time marches on..  Now if I could only figure out how to renew my subscription.. Where are those 20 cent stamps anyway.. What.. Stamps are 40 cents.. what the? when did that happen????

23 replies
  1. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    I have found that I will often take out the oldest issues I have of Classic Boating and start paging through them – only to wind up over the next several weeks – moving up through my collection. I never cease to find and read something I missed the first, second, third, etc., time around. In 1993 – when I first discovered an article in Wooden Boat on classic boats and my interest in “wooden speedboats” was re-ignited, I found and ad for Classic Boating in that same magazine. I wrote for a subscription and ever since that first issue arrived, I find my heart quickens and the pace of my travel from the mailbox to my favorite reading chair quickens when I see that white cover wrapped in plastic with all the other junk my postperson delivers.
    A well deserved tribute.

  2. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    I remember what a thrill it was when issue #1 arrived so many years ago. It is still a thrill when I see an issue in the box. Every winter a read through a few back issues just to keep the snow and cold away for a few hours. Thanks to Classic Boating for doing it right for all these years and I hope for many more to come.

  3. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Take a look at issue #38 – Nov/Dec 1990 – It features an event we used to have out in Port Ludlow, WA called the Rendezvous by Land, Sea and Air, featuring classic cars, boats and planes. (at a nearby strip, doing great fly-bys)

    I ran across this issue the other day while going through some old stuff – great memories!

    The event ended when they put condos on the point where the cars were shown – a sad day for us.

    And yes – we were on the salt water…

  4. DonD
    DonD says:

    Glad to see you are ‘catching up’. I only wish you could attend the shows 20-30 years ago when the ‘Best of Show’ boat sat there with two bilge pumps running continuously.

    Classic Boating magazine has been around for 28-years, they have been imitated many times (and still are).
    It was Norm and Jim, looking at a replica GarWood I was showing at Mt. Dora, in 1995, that asked me if I could write a book on boat restoration.
    When I thought I had it done, in 1996, they were out of the book publishing business and asked if I could split it up into articles for the magazine. (around 80 to date).
    It wasn’t until 2002 that MBI asked if I could put those articles together into a book?

    I feel the same way that Jack S. does when finding it in the mailbox (oh boy!) because of the articles and photos other than mine.

    I also find that woodyboater does this for me (instant gratification) 3-4 times a day.
    Its your enthusiam…, look.., a Hacker, look.., a Century, oh look.., a pony!

  5. Rich and Wley
    Rich and Wley says:

    In total agreement with DonD…woodyboater has done it for us every single day for the entire 5 months we’ve been in the hobby.

    Still, having been in the mag biz myself back in the day (Chicago Magazine, ca. 1981-88), I do like a glossy pic on shellaced paper about the best of all. Especially if it’s a boat.

    So…we’re a bit confused: is Classic Boating Mag still publishing? And if so, where the heck can we sign up?

    • Andreas Jordahl Rhude
      Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

      Yes it is still published. 280 LacLaBelle Drive, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 is the world HQ. NO website. Gotta do it the old school way; pen and paper and telephone and checkbook!

      Ring up Terri, Norm and Jim at 262-567-4800


  6. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    Nice Header. Nice Lyman. 23 footer pre 1961. Nice ventilator windshield. I do not have the time to look at mags I spend too much time on Woody Boater where the story may show up. Thanks for all your efforts.

    • DonD
      DonD says:

      OK, so you get it by snail-mail. It is a fun surprise!
      Its like $33 per year, if you pay first-class postage!

      Do that and you get to say, Yeah, I saw that before you.., na-na-na-na!
      Otherwise, its $28? for six issues!


      Please be gentle, Norm’s daughter answers the phone, and is very soft-spoken.

      Its called a ‘telephone’.

      • Rick
        Rick says:

        I’ve been wanting to get a subscription for a couple of years now but in the time it takes to find an envelope, stamp and actually mail it in I always have gotten sidetracked. At least with a phone number now I stand a chance of actually completing this before a chicken shows up.

  7. Woody
    Woody says:

    Is that what that thing is on the wall in my kitchen? You mean you can still talk with someone live? That is so cool and retro..

  8. Pete
    Pete says:

    Classic Boating… I have most all issues from #1 on and it only arrives every other months so in between I pull back issues out and they are just like new. The reading never ages only the reader and the boats in the article. Computers are fun and full of information but nothing like getting the Brass Bell and Classic Boating in the mail..

  9. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I have a “run” of all Classic Boatings, Woodenboat, lots of Brass Bells and Rudders……also….some “good old boat” mags. While the last is a sailing mag…there are great stories and how to’s in there.
    Love thuming the back issues.
    John in Va.

    • Boat Guy
      Boat Guy says:

      I actually just received my first issue of “good old boat”. That is really a nice mag. It is not packed full of advertising like so many of them are.

      It makes you feel as though you are thumbing through one of those older boats like John said.

  10. Wilson Wright
    Wilson Wright says:

    nteresting…I remember subscribing and getting Vol #1 Issue 1 of Classic Boating and the next 100 or so and then they quit coming…I thought Norm and Jim had gone into retirement

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      My son-in-law used to give me his old copies but that dried up. I called about a month ago and ordered my own subscription. Norm’s daughter didn’t ask if I wanted regular or first class delivery. Guess I’ll know which I’m getting when I get the bill.

  11. Lynn Romel
    Lynn Romel says:

    I am looking for Clasic Boating Magazine issue #72 (July August 1996). I believe it has a article on the Hacker Boat. My boss is the now owner of Hacker Boat Co., Inc. and would like to have this issue to display at the Hacker showroom in Lake George with other memorabilia. any help locating the issue would be appreciated. I ahve already called the Classic Boating & they do not have it :(.

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