Woody Boater Needs A Restoration!
Over the past 9 years we have redesigned Woody Boater three times. It’s a by product of the ever changing world of social media and how people are consuming information. Over the next couple months we are going to be rethinking stuff. Like content that is unique, sponsors, donations, and what our long term plan is? We also need to redesign the experience so it works better on mobile platforms. I bet many of you read WoodyBoater on I pads, your phone etc. We also need to seriously look at how we work now with Facebook and Instagram. It’s tough, and getting tougher to find unique content. On any given day, there are 2 or three stories on Facebook or instagram that would have been gold on Woody Boater, but its easier and more gratifying to post it yourself. That’s cool, and going to happen more and more. Why fight it? In a way, its like the universe is saying. HEY WOODY! You need to put up or shut up. And we seriously considered shutting up. But, I hate to give up, and I firmly believe that there NEEDS to be a place out there that is the open door to the culture. Not a confederacy of rag tag facebook pages and 17 year old instagramers. There needs to be a place where you can come each day and find something new, fun and trustworthy that you connect with. In our case, its the subject of classic boats.
Sponsors. This may wind up being the largest change. We have removed several key sponsors for the simple reason that they have failed to pay there bills. In fact, we are owed almost half of our years budget this year from slow or no paying sponsors. Why is this? Because we didnt check them out to be honest. We would ask around, and folks said nice things, but in this passion, we have found that everyone says nice things. Or in some cases, they go nuts and feel ripped off. No real middle ground. I can say now, that the sponsors on the page today, are good business to do business with. Since we have used them all. Some are part of the Woody Boater Community like Fine Wood Boats, who dont sponsor but support us in other ways. There should be a place for good companies to be with out the cloud of crap around them. We are NOT about the money here. Clearly.
So, I could go on and on, but we really want to know what you find good, and what you find useless? What could we improve? Like More Fiberglass? More new ideas? New Companies and suppliers? big events? Reporting live? Video? We lust over the quality of Petrolicious videos. But dear god, those take time we dont have here. Soon, but not today. Or get rid of stuff? The Classified page that does not much? or do less of? Really? Our mission is to be the portal to the hobby. To be the first place you go when it comes to Classic Boating and be an open free door into the good parts of the Classic Boat community.
Let us know!
Being a hands on, do it yourself, on a budget kind of Woody boat guy, my interest is in the story of the restoration. It great to see all the pictures of the perfectly restored boats at shows, but I’m more interested in how they got from gray to all brand new shiny penny looking. And what it costs$$$$$. Nobody ever talks about what it costs! It would be great to have one respected source monitored and contributed to buy professionals to learn more about the how to. Let’s talk about your boat bottom! For example.
i dont do well with change!
my wife gives me the hardest time because i still wear; penny loafers, topsiders, button down shirts. (i do have some non pleated pants)
i dont have the face book, now when i need to look at something there it limits the time i can look at it. also instagram wont even let you look at it unless you log in. i dont want to be bombarded with ads, (sorry matt) because i looked at something.
i agree with dan above. we are all friends here, i d like to know what people are spending on this hobby, to compare what i am doing.
thanks again woody boater!
Matt, Here you go again with the unique content stigma. I think you are spot on with being more friendly with mobile devices. Spot on with more fiberglass. Spot on with getting rid of deadbeats. Spot on with being THE place to go everyday for our woody boat fix…….BUT…..I think you are beating yourself up unnecessarily on having to have unique content. In this world of instant news, instant gratification, instant communication, we, the viewing public hear other news over and over and over and over and we appear to eat it up. News channels are but one example of this. Local news runs the same stories every hour at 4, 5 and 6 pm. Then there are the cable and satellite channels. If you are only willing to present unique content you will beat yourself up on a daily if not hourly basis. Granted unique stories are great when you can get them. But we, your loyal subjects need our daily fix and it is our habit to visit here to get that. Obviously we don’t mind old stories, in fact we cherish OLD! Our love and our passion is all about
OLD…25, 50, 75, 100 years old or older. So a little old news doesn’t bother us as long as we are getting our fix. Maybe a Facebook or twitter story from a different perspective, retold more completely or just plain done better. We tell our stories about woody boating over and over to anyone willing to listen, sometimes even to some poor stranger on the street that happens into our path. Perhaps instea oflooking for new, fresh stories to share, you could look for old stories to tell. Who among us has not been mesmerized by listening to Chris Smith’s stories of old, told over and over? In fact as we get older and our memory and hearing get worse, you would be doing us a service by telling us the same story again with your own special twist on it. Huh? What were we taping about?
I feel Woody Boater is great. I get my “fix” everyday by reading some crazy but cool stuff. You do a fantastic job Matt. I do like Dan T’s comment about more restoration “how to”. I can’t send my boat across country to have a widget fixed. Just saying!! Anyway, I like the format and comments. I don’t always comment, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested or ignoring. I get great ideas and inspires me. Sure you can throw stuff on facebook, but everyone does and it gets a little muddy at times. I love Woody Boater.
Matt, first PLEASE do not “shut up”!
I know I speak for the vast majority of classic boat enthusiasts I know that WoodyBoater is a quality, entertaining and useful place that we go every day and would not want to see it go away.
I admire the fact that you never miss a day, and although I find some stories more relevant than others, I think the evolution you have made over the years has continued to have a good mix of information. It is still where I go every morning with my first cup of coffee.
However, as you know, we have had some issues related to our chapter Facebook page, including very recently. I respect your position of exclusivity, but from our standpoint we are the P shooter and WoodyBoater is the bazooka. We post and comment on our Facebook page to our 200 Facebook member local audience, and will continue to do so, as it has been a benefit to chapter communication and attracting new local interest in the hobby. We only come to you when we think an event or story is “worthy” of being on WoodyBoater, and do that very selectively. I think there is a way for both medias to occasionally cover the same thing.
Keep up the great work, and steer the ship as you see fit. You have always done a great job of it!
There are some of us that don’t do Face Book or those other social media programs. Like Terry, we don’t always comment but we almost always tune in here sometime during the day because it is the only place we know to come. Perhaps the younger generation, to which we need to pay attention in order to perpetuate the hobby is tuned in to sources on telephones but for me I wouldn’t even know how and I’m to old to learn. For me…Stick with what you are doing. But I see what you are saying.
What Wilson said!
What Jim and Terry said!
If it ain’t broke…
I am a newbie at Woody Boater. I love the restoration part of this hobby and seeing boats go from dirt to gold. I also love the smell of varnish. I love reading about other Woody Boaters. So more submittals from your audience. This is a whole passionate community as I have found out going to boat shows and talking to brokers and restorers. But most of all I love what you have done with this website. What is the music you used on the video with Wecatchem out on the Chesapeake. it is great I could watch that for a lot longer than it is. Facebook is for Facebookers. not everyone is on facebook.
Thank again for everything you have done for the Woody Boater Community. You are THE BEST!!!
I can’t start my day without WoodyBoater!
KISS, keep it simple. A story about a barn find, an old wooden cruiser like Cinderella or a picture of a gorgeous Riviera. You got me. I’ll be back tomorrow as always.
Another area which I feel could get more coverage would be of the wooden boats built from scratch. I realize this covers a broad range of subjects and I wouldn’t suggest trying to recover the same ground covered so ably by DuckWorks magazine, but there those of us building larger designs, runabouts, cabin cruisers, speedboats, all from wood and most of very high quality. Although our boats are typically not Chris Crafts or other famous brands, they nonetheless are beautiful designs and the builders are every bit as proud of their boats .
Here is mine . There are many others.
I agree with the comments about unique content. Don’t worry about it! The only reason I use Facebook is to see pictures of my grandchildren and I don’t even know how to use Twitter or Instagram. If you decide to “throw in the towel” maybe your final article should be how to find all of that “unique content” elsewhere!
I am exactly with: Mike K, Terry, and Wilson…nuff said.
John in Va.
Matt, I agree with all of the above… I visit the site everyday. I can’t imagine how much work you put into this. Deadbeats? Have a wall of shame.. If I remember, a few years ago you asked for a donation if you wanted to to help offset costs. You are a free daily magazine as far as I’m concerned. I’m a yes to what stuff costs, I know it’s expensive, and I’m sure the places you do business with don’t want the competition to know what they charge, so that might not be a good idea. Yes to older glass boats, and smaller outboard wood boats. I have 3 small wood boats, and after owning a runabout for 27 years, I bought a used Donzi, a whole different experience. Whatever you do, please don’t stop doing what you’re doing.
I don’t see any other boat articles but yours every day! So what if 200 facebookers will see it twice? Thousands will be seeing it for the first time here! Your classified link doesn’t show up on my phone. Never has. I only see that on my PC, which I rarely use. Maybe that’s why there’s no traffic. Lastly, what is the stigma for new builds? There’s some great replicas and other newer builds that are awesome, either amateur or professional. Hardly anyone shows those. What’s up with that?
I like fiberglass, but I still come here most days. Classic boats are classic boats, no matter what they are made of. Mainly I like it because it has new stuff every day.
Thank you again, Matt and Texx, for all you do.
I think you’re overthinking the exclusivity thing. I think I speak for the overwhelming majority here when I say that you are the definitive resource and even if the story was already shared on FB (and seen by 200 people?) we count on you to do it right. That said, I think we can all do a better job of making sure you get the story first.
You know how much I, too, love the Petrolicious videos. But they have a completely different revenue stream. There’s SO much more money in cars. But let’s hope that your readers who do produce video can start creating more films for you. (Mark Setterholm, let’s you and I get to work on that.)
As for content, we need more stories about the next generation. I’m 57 and feel young in this hobby. I loved the story last month about Kevin Fitzke, who’s making those stunning wood paddle boards. That’s the future. He’s a member of my BSLOL chapter and I haven’t even met him yet. That said, I’m saving up for one.
I love reading about fiberglass -bring it on- but never change your name.
It has been about 9 years since I deleted my Facebook account. If I wanted to read fake news stories and ads that are tracked by fraudulent metrics I might go back, but I don’t see that ever happening. So if you wont publish it because it was on FB, I will never see it.
Add me to the strong majority who do not feel everything on WB needs to be unique. A story that has been shared locally on FB can still be done better and to a bigger better audience on WB. Be the source or quality news and not part of the race to be first at all costs that has helped destroy the mainstream media.
I spend better than 95% of my time reading and posting from a mobile device, so I appreciate making “mobile friendly” part of the design.
As for video, I would love to see WB get more into HIGH QUALITY video production and distribution. It is a TON of work and can not be your daily medium with the current funding levels and staffing, nor should that be the goal. Maybe shoot for a half dozen 5-10 minute videos per year that are highly polished entertainment. Heck, 2-3 per year would be a great start. Perhaps you can also become a video library for restoration videos, maintenance tips etc. put together by WB and WB contributors. Well, at least contributors NOT named Troy…unless you censor them first or make sure all the actresses were 18 and signed the proper forms.
Things you could do more of: Series of stories following a restoration or a build. Stories that include dogs, chocolate, and bacon. Along the food line of thinking, cover more of the show than just the boats. What shows have the best food vendors, captains meals, nearby BBQ joints and water-side bars? What other activities are taking place at shows around the country?
Did you see the item I found for you to keep your toes warm this winter?
What is the blue item in need of winterization in today’s header?
Looks like the engine box of wooden a utility.
M-Fine is correct. It’s the engine box of my U-18.
i enjoy woodyboater and glad you do it, fun and interesting. i do not facebook at all. send you things but you never use any of it, oh well. it has got to be a lot of work for you i know, but glad you do it, great job
Just a suggestion to tweak the business model enough to create long term and sustainable cash flow. Convert to an app centric environment and come out with a new app every year. This will be a paid app so we will all have skin in the game. If some folks need scholarships to pay for the app, fine. I’m sure their are individuals who would sponsor scholarships.
Then, your intellectual property is worth $. Reorganize and convert certain content, mostly media and imaging, which can be purchased at the store. Kind of an uber-cool paid Pinterest.
The people who visit the website will never see a change, but the cash flow will make it worth your while to continue.
The reality is we often take WoodyBoater for granted. Just make it a little less difficult for us to do that in the future.
I did a financial service niche app on my own. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
I agree, “Never Shut Up”!
I love your site and have been a loyal follower since 2009, when we found you while looking for a hat, remember?
I try to check in everyday and I scroll back to read stories I missed when I couldn’t check in on you guys.
On that thought, is it possible, in regards to the older stories for them to show up current when a new question has been asked/answered? There are questions that I would love to ask on some of them but I’m afraid no one might see it or I might miss a reply. Your content is amazing and some of your older stories are Pulitzer worthy and should be re-visited!
I would also love to see a place where readers could post pictures that they have taken at the shows; it would be fantastic for us to be able to go there and look/get pictures of our boats that others may have taken and would like to share.
I would love to see more boat show pictures. I understand when you posted awhile back about not running some show coverage if the chapters got it on their facebook page before your story ran… but I don’t know a lot of these other chapters and don’t follow them on FB, so to me, it would be wonderful to be introduce to them and who better than YOU to do that.
Please show us new and wonderful places/shows to take our boats. Your coverage of Smith Mountain Lake and meeting Phil has made that the show we are aiming for in 2017.
And we’ve tried restaurants that you have mentioned in Woodyboater stories and have really enjoyed them; thank you for that! Perhaps your faithful readers could introduce us to hidden gems in their areas… places we might plan to visit… travel related articles for us to take our boats to when we’re dreaming of a getaway.
On that note, I could us some help, I am looking for a Christmas gift for the boat… I am looking for a GPS thing that will show us where the restaurants, bars, marinas, etc. are located in the area we’re boating… as well as where we are on the lakes and how to get back to where we started (kind of a biggie). Any recommendations?
You might check the Garmin RV 660 – – Not marine design but good restaurant ref through foursquare and also links to phone data – – AND there might be an app for phones that does what your after – – the 660 is keen – –
I no longer use FB or social media with any regularity or certainly enthusiasm. I do not want to be so easily amused, or through “liking” or “sharing” to be the unwitting propellant for the incalculable volumes of hackneyed crap that passes for “content”. I do not want to go there for classic boating news or stories because to do so, I have to wade through the politicized, flailing legions of the self righteous, those with all the answers and all the criticisms. I won’t fall for it.
So, for daily classic boating stuff that leaves WB – you are right it needs change and evolution but it also needs to stay, to get stronger and to regain some vitality. It needs to distill the offal permeating FB into something targeting us, the classic boating hobbyist hobbyist. Save us all from FB, Instagram and all that, Matt – please. We don’t care about exclusivity – if nothing else, that sentiment seems to be shared by all today.
Thanks for everything, and thanks for inviting us all to the discussion.
you are a daily blog with comment section. blog away. why get trapped with the marketing hype of “must change or die” . you going to die. don’t drink the PR koolaid, business is business this is a blog.
I really appreciate WB and look forward to your daily post. I’m not crazy about all the Ebay stuff but so what? I would like to see more resto-mods and home builds to classic designs. I like to see creative solutions to old problems. There’s more to the lifestyle than strictly correct restorations. That said if you didn’t change a thing I would still be happy with your work. Thanks.
Hay Doug what are you doing in Maine? Did you finally give move over to the “RIGHT” coast? Maybe it’s a political thing? Say HI to Jake for me.
Hey Troy – two differant Doug P’s
That is funny! I know you are in Maine.
Sure there’s more and more stories on the Internet about vintage boats–that’s simply a sign of growing interest and enthusiasm as more people catch the bug. It’s not a zero-sum game. More is better. I’d be concerned if there was not an increasing amount of wood-boat content as that would be a sign of stagnant hobby. Woody Boater is the sun around which all those smaller stories orbit. Woody Boater defines the community.
What distinguishes Woody Boater is quality. Very few if any “competitors” come close to the calibre of story telling and photography found on this site. Quality is really hard to copy and people will always seek it out. Thanks Matt and Texx!
I like cool boats. Don’t care if they are wood, ‘glass, metal, or whatever else they could be made of. And I like to see a mix of outboard as well as inboard. So I’m definitely not a “purist” woody boater. Yes, there are days where the daily article doesn’t pique my interest and that’s okay. I say keep doing what you are doing – keep it fun and entertaining.
Some 5+ years ago when I decided to immerse myself in the woody boat world after buying my project boat, I did a google search of wood boats and discovered Woody Boater. It was then and is now the center of the wood boat world and introduced me to so many aspects of the hobby and sources of information.
As an example, if not for your fervent support and anxious countdown to the Sunnyland, Lake Dora show, I would not have considered attending since it is a long drive from New Jersey. 2016 was our third year attending and we enjoyed every minute of it. If not for that we would never have met you and Suzie, Troy, John in VA, Dennis Myklos, Al Benton and the myriad of other great folks we encountered at the show, not to mention all the great experiences.
I’m not sure you understand that aspect of the service you provide but I suspect if you queried many of your readers, all would have some great examples of how you made their Woody Boating experience better.
I will be a supporter no matter which way you go as long as it’s not calling it quits. The idea of some technical stories is a great one as well as following some restorations. I am also a non-facebooker!!
Keep up the great work!
Matt & Texx, If you just keep doing what you have been doing so well, I think everything will be just fine.
Thomas Jefferson supposedly said: “In matters of style, swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock.” Look at your mission statement, and follow it closely. It has guided you well so far. Updating your look or offering alternative platforms for mobile devices is swimming with the current, but the mission to provide quality, positive content about classic boats is a principle. Do not give it up.
I, for one, applaud the effort to keep to unique content, but do not be offended when another outlet offers coverage about an event first. Just select better photos, and add complete information, and you are automatically relevant. (Along the quality line, could you please restore the ability to open comment photos in a larger size? Some of them need to be seen larger.)
You might even put together a downloadable PDF guide for submissions to aid in gathering the best stories and photos. Help us help you!
Lastly, thank you again for providing this place to enjoy each other and learn about classic boats. WoodyBoater has made my classic boating experience MUCH better than it might have been.
Matt: The way I see it you have 3 basic options (and about a million variations of these options)
1) Go BIG! Make this into a business where you have a CEO, reporters, and people to help your people. This is where exclusive content could be had.
2) Keep blogging. This is a blog, not a business. You are one man doing what you can to keep us nut case boat guys involved. This does not need exclusivity just your flare for the unusual and entertaining way of looking at thing at boats, boating and life in general. You will always have a following even though it may not be as large as you would like.
3) Give it up. If you are burnt out on this experiment called WoodyBoater than move on. I HOPE you don’t choose this route, but since Texx has seemed to cut back on his involvement it has got to wear on you.
As for the Classifieds: We as posters need to be able to go in and delete or modify our posts. I have a boat listed there that sold over about a year ago, but I can not delete the ad or mark it sold, so a lot of it has gotten stale.
keep doin what yer doin… Don’t screw itup!
Love what you do and how you do it. I would pay a yearly subscription to access.
I do like the plastic boats and vintage outboards. But I like a place that puts it’s focus on woodies.
I’d like to see more political coverage.
I am sure Troy has some photos of the first lady elect, but I doubt the include much “coverage.”
This is Woody Boater not CNN
So, when IS the Christmas Party?
I’m just going to pile onto what everyone has already said. I’m pretty much a daily reader and have been since day one or close to it of Woodyboater even though I’m not a regular commenter. I too appreciate Petrolicious. In my opinion WB IS the Petrolicious of the woodyboater world. I honestly thought about what I’d want different and can’t think of anything worth noting. I dig it now. Hell I check in every day for years and I don’t think I’m the only one – you guys must be doing something right! OK – totally selfishly, more obscure brand plywood boats would be welcome! I also agree with everyone else in thinking Facebook and other social media showing the same content is not the issue you think it to be as far as having compete with it or worry about duplication. Unlike most others, I’m a regular FB user, but I must be doing it wrong and maybe you guys need to hold a FB users master class. I have yet to see anything duplicated here, or anything on FB coming close to rivaling the quality here. Even the FB story that was in question a while back and was subsequently not posted here was nowhere to be found on my feed. I must be doing FB wrong. I really don’t look for classic boating content on FB because I already know I’m going to find it here, and it’s always top notch stuff. I can say with certainty that even if I saw something on FB first it would not bother me to see it here, in this format, with this quality and with this cast of characters commenting away. We woodyboaters are a fortunate lot to have you here and I certainly can’t say thanks enough.
Change , I do not like change, That is why I have a wood boat, spin vinyl albums , and drink beer.
Here we go again…
Quality photography and content are what sets you apart, please continue that model and you’ll get the hits. Obviously, reader submitted content won’t necessarily have the quality photo work that you and Texx produce (or some of your other regulars, such as, Alex Watson, et al) but not necessary if the content is well written such as the 3 part story of the boat owner who hired his boat to be captained from the east coast to somewhere past Detroit as I recall and was “run over” by a freighter. Fiberglass is ubiquitous and will have to be covered but it will never achieve the beauty of the woodies shown in collections you have featured here. That said, I enjoy classic ‘glass that is well designed. Sites such as StanceWorks, Speedhunters, Bikeexif, Pipeburn, and Silodrome must be running sponsored features to get the funding needed to operate I assume. Getting revenue from boating industry in general would be a source but would require featuring new products of course. StanceWorks got started just covering “slammed” rides but has expanded to many different auto events but mostly featuring significantly historic and/or classic models. With this younger crowd that has grown up saturated in technology and media, production is second nature for them. For most of us, its a little more labored. Having written, edited, published and mailed out newsletters for 6+ years, online production is somewhat easier than hardcopy but still daunting and I applaud your quality day in, day out and just wonder how the hell you guys do it and still have a life, a wife, and no strife (seemingly)
Matt, what you doing what you do. A few improvements would be fine, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I like the don’t drink the PR Kool-Aid!
A WoodyBoater app would be good — $1.99
Content to read easier on our phones and iPads would be nice, again I’m not at my computer every day but always have the phone.
More header days! I have never been able to use header days. It winds up being one of the days I’ve had to miss my daily fix. Ask for a donation on the header days!
More suggestions for people to subscribe. Ask them if they want to make a voluntary donation to subscribe.
I show people the website, they’re interested but I have to explain to them the little teeny red words “read more”. At least bigger font, all caps or maybe “FULL STORY HERE”
Get therapy. All these comments have told you to forget trying to compete with Facebook. I am on FB and Instagram to receive posts with regards to my daughter and other family members. I’m not on Facebook for wood boat stuff. Go to the authority, that would be YOU. Nobody ever writes much more than a few sentences.
Here’s something else – the left coast being three hours behind, by time we wake up, get our coffee, have some bacon, read WoodyBoater; if we post the right coast never sees it. I have posted M-fines bacon socks twice!
You mentioned doing a reruns. Just do it! You need a day off, and with nine years worth of stories there is stuff that we could certainly read again!
Finally, all the folks who posted so eloquently today have a story to tell. I would like to hear more of their stories. Anybody can write a few paragraphs about something they love, throw a few pictures at you and bingo! I know anybody can do it. I do! And I’m a first class doofus.
Maybe withhold one of their comments, email back to them, ask them to make it more complete, add a few pictures and you got a story.
BTW is there a donate button? I know there is, make a more prominent you’re not going to offend anybody by asking for a donation. Maybe frame it as you can own part of today’s story for only one dollar!
Keep up the good work Matt, your diligence and commitment is an inspiration to all of us…
As I travel, and see various boats ‘For Sale’ and ‘NOT for sale’ I think that a simple spot for pictures of these might be interesting to your viewers. Similar to a “Sitting and rotting” section like on Car forums.
I also do not ‘do’ FB, trying to compete with content there is a waste of (your) time
I agree with what so many others have already said. Please keep doing what you are doing! I found your site from another boat site (Glen-L). I’ve never posted but try to check your site everyday. If I miss a day I go back and catch up. I’m in my 40s and I have a FB account but go months without logging in. I don’t want to go to FB to get my boat fix. I follow you on Instagram, but only because I can. In other words, if you need to stop doing that in order to have more time to do this, I would stop Instagram. I almost always read WB from an iPad, and would be willing to purchase an app for a few bucks if that is the direction you need to go. Thanks for all you do!