Add A Under $5K Category For Your Classic Boat Show!

fla 2016 25

Best of show under $5,000

It dawned on us that one way to have some fun at your boat show that you are managing is to have a new category of under $5K boats. Thats right! Think of it, it says fun, it says bring your stuff and show the world you can get into classic boating for under $5K and talk about cheap fixes to keep them going. Part of the fun is also bringing in boats that are barn finds and un restored. The award can be a cheap award. Maybe make one from an old piece of wood, or plastic from Walmart.

big Weiner111

Maybe a pack of Wieners?

The ultimate point of it all is to illustrate that all are welcome, and that boating at any cost is fun and inclusive? Any other ideas that we could add to this category?

FLA 2016-45

Hell YA!

31 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    The problem with under $5k boats is that there are so many to choose from and so little space in the barn to store them all.

  2. Chris Wade
    Chris Wade says:

    Seriously, this is a genius idea. Best one I’ve heard to address the growing of interest in the hobby (or lack there of)

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      All you have to do is spray a little of this on the bottom. Its good for whatever floats your boat.

  3. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    great idea! ….love the pallet….looks like it might need some swell time though…

    John in Va

  4. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    The boater’s version of 24hrs of LeMons! Track day season opener at Gingerman Raceway brings out a wide assortment of track & race cars every April. The most popular car this year wasn’t one of the exotic single seat open wheelers, or still on the temp tag BMWs. It was this! Of course making people prove they stayed within the budget can become an issue.

  5. Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says:

    Richard Daley
    This without question the only way we are going to increase the numbers in our hobby. The first step was when acbs included fiberglass boats in our boat shows. As the numbers of classic glass increase we will have new members that will have a growing interest in wood boats. That’s what happened to me took a 69 all original correct craft to the big sky show in Montana and came home with 2 wooden boats and as they say the rest is history. I now have 9 wooden boats 5 of which are small hydroplanes (which by the way are a ton of fun).
    The point is lets get as many people as we can into the hobby with classic glass and many like myself will end up owning wood boats.

  6. Verne
    Verne says:

    That’s really a DUMB idea. It’s like having special seating in a restaurant for people who can only afford less than a $20. tab. It’s demeaning and embarrassing. And “give them a cheap award”?????????? Why not rub salt in the wounds????

    Our club wants to increase attendance so we’re offering cheap seats! You will still get to mingle with the elite but you will wear a tag that clearly identifies you as someone in a (not so) “special” category.

    I’m sure many people would want to flock to an event where they’re basically being made fun of.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Whoever pissed in Verne’s Cherios this morning, please apologize. The idea is to make this a welcoming, friendly community that appreciates people’s crab boats and not one that makes people like Verne crabby.

    • Sheepdog
      Sheepdog says:

      It’s the ugly guy in the band with the great personality that gets all the hot chicks! Could this be what the “hey look at me guys” are really worried about? ” But she spent 45mins. laughing, and talking with that FeatherCraft Hawk II owner! That’s time she could have spent over here telling me how wonderful me and my boat are!” Give me a break!
      Look, simple psychology folks. If you want to increase your fan base, have the under 5 grand catagory and show repect for them! People will always like high end classy boats, but they also like the “attainable”. Some of these shows have been “rubbing peoples faces in it” so to speak, for awhile now! Actually shunning the crowds they’re trying to draw. And for any possible narcissists, think of it as having the nicest house in an average neighborhood vs having a nice house in a neighborhood of nice houses. Your beautiful Chris Craft will stand out even more. You’ll be fine I promise! Let the cheap boats in!😌

  7. Vin Tin
    Vin Tin says:

    It is with great honor that I accept the ‘Under 5K$ Big Wiener Award’ and giving aluminum boaters a chance share in the fun. Boating fun knows no race, creed, sex or building material and quite frankly in the above 5K$ Big Wiener category there is some pretty stiff competition.

    This is my third Sunnyland show and I’ve have had a great time every year. This year four ships cruised from the ramp on the Dora Canal up to Silver Springs and back. It was a great day!

    Here is a photo of my 1950 Feathercraft Fire Fly on the Tennessee River last fall. About 25 Feathercraft enthusiast get together every spring and fall. Everyone is welcome.

  8. Shannon K
    Shannon K says:

    The point is, you can have a cool boat and be a classic boater without spending a lot of money. This is an important message that needs to get out to people who think they can’t afford this hobby. It has nothing to do with being “cheap” and personally – if I won the award I’d be proud of having my boat recognized as being cool without being silly expensive. Besides, it means I still have money in my pocket to buy my friends a round to celebrate.

    I think the days of flaunting wealth as a status symbol are long gone. The sponsor of this award and the chapter holding the show could easily spin the message so that it is perceived as positive and cool and inviting to people curious about the hobby. I hope Matt’s idea gets some attention…

  9. Tim
    Tim says:

    This is a wonderful idea, original too, and the guys that put out Woody Boater can enter their prewar custom utility Douchebag at Lake Tahoe where it’s sure to be a hit. I can imagine the adoring comments from the crowds right now: “You guys didn’t actually put varnish on that Douchebag?” “Look dear these guys entered their Douchebag and it’s a liveaboard”. “What do they call it?” “The name on the transom is Lavender.” “I’d rather have a Chris Craft than a Douchebag, let’s go look at the Rivas.”

  10. Randy
    Randy says:

    Matt, I love your idea! What better way to have parents get themselves and their kids involved in this hobby. When I was 10 I was able to purchase a small inexpensive utility hydro that I used to follow my parents outboard runabout — boating ‘togetherness’. And just look where it all led — to a lifelong connection to boats and the water!
    Not in my wildest dreams as a kid could I have afforded anything that you now see at any of the boat shows, but I eventually worked up to that point as the years went by.
    You just have to be inspired and start small — let this new category provide that ‘push’.

  11. Sean
    Sean says:

    Okay, can we get off the bean counter treadmill now? If I have to tell my wife how much really I spent on my boat, she’ll make me get rid of all the boats! Besides, it’s a hobby… people will spend what they want on what they want. No need to push them into something else just so they can get “in”.

    Also, this is not the best way to grow the hobby. You’ll just get the trophy hounds we already have scouring the countryside for the next U5000 winner. What we need to do is embrace a HOT ROD culture and stop punishing people that hate Reed and Prince screws and like to make their boat their own. There will always be originality buffs… let’s let some of the creativity flow in a “Customs” category judged on workmanship, cleanliness and “cool factor” (I.E peoples choice).

  12. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    It’s amazing to me how Matts idea has been interpreted in so many different ways. The way I read it makes me think it’s a great idea. I’ve been to a lot of boat shows all over the US and Canada and can’t recall seeing anyone made fun of for their boat.

    I bought a 12′ Penn Yann 5 years ago for my son. The boat was $350. I spent twice that on the motor and was very proud to display it that summer. All we did was repaint it to the correct color and went boating. Didn’t leak a drop.

  13. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I think the idea has great merit from the standpoint of inclusion and interest. Nothing has really changed in boating and in those who buy/use them since the first Chris Craft and Garwoods were being built. Relative to the “common man”, those boats were never cheap and affordable. To this day it is part of the perception those that on the “outside” of the hobby still hold – that they are somehow “elite” and expensive. Are they? Not really, particularly when compared to the current crop of wakeboad/party/”look-at-me” boats on the “elite” end of the spectrum. What do we see all over the water? Aluminum fishing skiffs, all manner of fiberglass outboards and IO’s – those affordable boats that people use to have fun, fish and raise their families in. The “elite” boats of yesteryear are sought after by those who dreamed of having one when they were young. The same will happen to the current crop. I grew up (that’s debatable – subject for another day) in plywood, fiberglass and lapstrake outboards for the most part, cruising the waters of PNW. A few years ago, (shown on WoodyBoater) I had a 1958 16’Skagit in the Seattle Boat Show along side a beautifully restored CC Barrel Back. Guess which boat got more attention? People related to the Skagit. I still have a little 1957 15′ locally built plywood daycruiser, bought about 15 years ago for $400. I repainted it and added some upholstery, played with different motors, etc. I get as much enjoyment out of it as the other boats I own, and it reminds me of the boats we cruised around the San Juans in the 60’s. I have shown it a few times – people walk by, smile and reminisce. Folks enjoy seeing something that reminds them of a different time, a good time, or perhaps that they have always wondered about or wanted. It’s the connection – it’s not about the money.

  14. Vin Tin
    Vin Tin says:

    It is with great honor that I accept the ‘Under $5K Big Wiener Award’. Thanks for giving this aluminum boater a chance share in the fun. Boating fun knows no race, creed, sex or building material and frankly in the above $5K Big Wiener category there is some pretty stiff competition.

    This was my third Sunnyland show and I’ve have had a great time every year. This year four ships cruised from the ramp on the Dora Canal up to Silver Springs and back. It was a great day!

    Here is a photo of my 1950 Feathercraft Fire Fly on the Tennessee River last fall. About 25 Feathercraft enthusiast get together every spring and fall. Everyone is welcome.

  15. Rick
    Rick says:

    Any under 5K, 25 year old Ferro Cement boats out there? Gotta be a category just for them. I mean if we’re going to be all inclusive.

  16. Mike U
    Mike U says:

    Ok, I need help in finding a boat that requires little work, if any, to enjoy this summer. Here are my desires – under $4k, 40 horsepower max limit (the rule of where I would use it the most – I’m willing to push it, maybe up to 50hp), 15′ minimum, have a windshield, seats four, a front dashboard steering wheel, vintage look (no aluminum hulls,please), and a decent trailer. I’ve done a few searches, no success – I really want to go boating this summer. Thanks.

    • Mike U
      Mike U says:

      A couple items I forgot – located within 400 miles of central Illinois, no fins and would ideally like to have a pop-up canvas top. Thanks again!

  17. Sheepdog
    Sheepdog says:

    All one needs to do is take a look at Formula One Racing. It forgot about the common folks. The sport became a rich man only club and almost went belly up!
    Obviously this is very different. But the principal is the same. Be inclusive! It’s all in the nose really. The higher the nose the less people. Again, be inclusive!

  18. Sheepdog
    Sheepdog says:

    Folks love a bargain these days! Watch Antiques Road Show. It’s the treasure hunt of it. Shows really should have the under 5k catagory! One of my under 5k ships.
    A 1958 FeatherCraft Hawk II

  19. Verne
    Verne says:

    I’ve read a number of times that the focus of this hobby is to have fun with whatever boat that floats you. It’s been said that it is not supposed to be about the money. By creating a “class” based directly on money, that flies in the face of that stated focus.
    Do we REALLY want to classify a boat by its worth? I understand the intent, but if you extend that same logic, then you should have classes for 5K to 10K boats, 10K to 50K boats, 50K to 100K boats, etc etc.

  20. MikeD
    MikeD says:

    How about taking this idea one step further and have judging categories based upon value (i.e., what the owner has them insured for, as an instance)? That way people can see exactly what each boat is worth. They can compare a $150,000 cruiser to a $20,000 runabout and decide the cruiser is beyond their budget but that runabout just might fit.

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