Dear ACBS.

Dear ACBS,

As a marketing professional for close to 40 years I would like to offer up a strategy and observation for you all to discuss at your upcoming meetings. If I may be so bold to barge in and offer up this suggestion.

YOU ARE THE SOCIETY that we all need right now. Your time has come back. WHAT? But Woody Boater keeps pounding the airways about being fun and so on. YES, we do, that is our role in this crazy classic boat family we all belong to. But things are a little nutty out there. The world is raw again, and not very polite. Taking the high road is hard to do. Especially when many of us enjoy the dirt roads and back alleys. So there needs to be a beacon of sanity. Of respect and decorum. Whatever that word means. I know its a good word. Anyway, we need a Society, the world needs Society’s and its wonderful to know that the Antique Boat SOCIETY is a class act. Lumpy at times, corporate and bureaucratic, political, but always nice, clean and a class act.

Thus is the strength of timelessness. Classic is not trendy or reactive, it is what it is. And the ACBS has been and should be a stead fast beacon to all of us. It allows us all to be crazy, try new things and make fools of ourselves, because we know that there is an ACBS. And thus despite my never ending poking, needs to be supported, as does the Chris Craft Club. These two organizations are the life blood and support that our family needs. The Mother and Father. Woody Boater is the crazy son that is out of control, yet we all know represents our crazy side. But one without the other is no good.

So this year at the International, when you discuss the possible dropping of that critical word. Please don’t. We need it, you need it, and most importantly the world needs it.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this.

Matt Smith Publisher WoodyBoater


22 replies
  1. Mark
    Mark says:

    You look like Gilligan but sound like Thurston Howell III. I am so confused.

    “Lovey. Are we part of the Society ?”

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    HA, anyone want to bet who Troy brings to the comment party? Mary Ann or Ginger? For the record I am a Mary Ann Guy!

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      I’ll just bring them both!

      I have to admit being a country boy the farmgirl persona of Mary Ann has always had more appeal to me.

      (images may be subject to copyrights)

  3. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:


    “Society” conveys high-mindedness in general and high standards in particular and accurately describes what we are all about – even woodboater himself, despite his crazy spells.

  4. Rick
    Rick says:

    Just to be clear here, you’re not planning on raising the WoodyBoater flag up the pole at the next ACBS meeting are you? Offering them an olive branch to distract them while you run something up the pole (underpants or flag)?

  5. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    We all already get the boat part – we need the society align us non-Chris Craft people that don’t follow herds. Access to info, sharing and helping.

  6. Phil Little
    Phil Little says:

    Good points, Matt. It ought to be noted that the Lyman Boat Owners Association (LBOA) is one of the largest groups dedicated to the rescue, renovation, preservation, and enjoyment of classic boats. This is done in a family-oriented environment of helpfulness, information exchange, group activities, and passing on the enjoyment of these iconic boats to younger generations. The LBOA has dynamic young leadership that is open, approachable, and supportive in this mission.

  7. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Well said and to the point: We are sorely lacking in decorum, respect and tolerance in this country at the current time. Civility is nearly non-existent. One of the joys of belonging to the ACBS has been the people, their passion for the boats we save and restore. Not only has it been incredibly successful in it mission to save classic boats, it has been a class(ic) societal organization. The best course is to build on the strengths, not change for changes’ sake.

  8. Martin Field
    Martin Field says:

    Of course, really, an antique is over 150 years old, so…..
    Classic, ah now there’s a term. I once saw it described as anything of any age that anyone loves enough to save and subsequently care for.
    Veteran is pre 1918 I think. Vintage is pre 1931, Post Vintage Thoroughbred is pure snobbery, but we all know what is and what ain’t.
    In the end if it’s nice and you love it, who gives a….?

    • Bill Hammond
      Bill Hammond says:

      Chris Smith began building boats in 1874. Are there any pre-1904 boats out there? Probably but very few with Gas engines. I’ve seen quite a few with steam engines.

  9. Don Palmer
    Don Palmer says:

    I agree totally. Society is nearly non-existent anymore. It is more like us vs them. Civility is a good thing and it is great to go to ACBS meetings with people from both ends of the political spectrum and we do have civility and fun! Thanks for the good read.

  10. ACPS
    ACPS says:

    You mono-hull types will never have a true society. Pontoons of the past are the future the f antique and classic boating.

    -Antique and Classic Pontoon SOCIETY

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      Does that position come with a spellchecker? He might also start to hold meetings on sand bars at low tide or some remote beach in the Chesapeake.

  11. Walter Legett
    Walter Legett says:

    I will say that when we established the Bayou Chapter down here in Louisiana about 10 years ago, all the brass came down, had lunch, a boat ride, never heard from them again. When Dantook over, he tried to make every show, put out news and photos, we let him come along during judging. He was new at boats, we have maybe 100 boats, small up to 65 feet, many built by boatbuilders that we knew growing upon the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Madisonville wooden Boat festival isa true wooden boat show, not just shiny boats that someone paid a lot of money to restore, I know, spent 4 years on mine. ACBS and Dan is finally making a difference as far as I am concerned. Keep up the good work Dan

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