The ACBS Land Grab. A Good Thing?

If you read the minutes of the ACBS meetings, it’s clear that one way the ACBS is going to survive the change of how people interact with clubs, is to create a center/hub of communications. In other words a management or ad agency for other clubs and chapters. Local chapters can “hire” folks at the ACBS to do the work, as can potentially brand focused clubs. Those clubs can stay independent, and hire the ACBS communications team to provide support. It’s actually a great concept. Since Newsletters and social media are the primary reason you may belong. But if the ACBS provides a support system for your chapter club then its a huge value proposition. Smart. Very smart.


BUT!  Is this like GM, buying up Chevy, Buick, And RIP, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Saab? Makes sense on a financial spread sheet and in a meeting. But lets face it. It’s really about having one source, on society. Like all the Radio and TV stations are owned by several companies. Is there a place for competition? The Chris Craft Antique Boat Club, The Century Club? Could they be swayed to moved into the fold?

For us here at WoodyBoater, we believe of course in being independent. And our business model as lame as it is allows us to survive a nuclear blast. We are the cockroach of the hobby! Oh boy that quote will come to haunt me.. HA. But true. We eat others trash, take photos in bad light, cant spell and go bat ship crazy from time to time… Okay lots of times. But, isn’t our culture, or passion… and yes our hobby about that. Isn’t the one thing that keeps this fun is the one off crazy stuff. The hand designed and humanity of it all. Flaws and all? Yes! So, what ever the local chapters decide to do, what ever the clubs do. We will ALWAYS remain independent, and yes FLAWED!  I know some of you will think we are  being divisive again, we are not. Your independent voice can be heard here.

HAPPY HEADER DAY! just hit refresh and see some of the fun headers from the past!



18 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    We are WoodyBoater and we demand to be herd! Heard? Herded! Maybe the first one was right. Now where’s the Koolaide?

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    They need to evolve in order to survive. Communication and community are primary drivers for people to join clubs at any level, so building experience and expertise at the national level and then sharing it/leveraging it makes a lot of sense. The key is the experts really need to be good at it. If they rely on print media and bad Facebook pages, it will hold everyone back.

  3. Cincinnati Kid
    Cincinnati Kid says:

    Currently in today’s world, people get their information in a multitude of ways. Radio, billboard, Internet (multiple forms), newspaper and magazines, TV, etc, etc. Whatever the source you’re comfortable with and any business wanting to survive needs to recognize that it all will continue. For a while anyway.
    We have a “visceral” hobby though. While we might read about it, look at pretty pictures and how to fix it, we lust after the sights, sounds and feel of what a wooden boat can do to and for you.
    How many times do you ignore the instruments in favor of listening to the sounds and feeling the correct vibrations of what properly tuned is?
    I’m damn near deaf and can’t see well anymore (says my wife), but I use all my senses when I turn the key in my boat or antique car. No issues when I’m there.
    I have no time for politics in our hobby. All are equal. Every person and every boat they choose to care for and nurture.
    Enjoy the moment and at every turn, encourage all to see the beauty, hear the rumble, feel the vibration, touch the varnish and the leather and smell the oil and gas and the wonder of wooden boats. Sell the experience.
    Nothing better.

    • Ronald
      Ronald says:

      I totally agree with most all you have said, The last paragraph especially, When my wife and I are in the water in my early 22 Sea Skiff late in the late afternoon just cruising along about 1500 rpm as the sun goes down in a wood boat it just overloads my senses in a wonderful way listening to the motor and smelling the distinct smells that go along with wood,varnish, oil and gas, It all truly is the wonder of wooden boats for me also Cincinatti Kid, There is nothing better as you stated.

  4. Max Mueller
    Max Mueller says:

    Matt, I really appreciate your effort in the production of Woody Boater. There is always a lot to see in the “poor” quality images and the humor and banter is appreciated. Experience has given you the incite for your business model and perhaps others may be able to learn something from that. Thanks, Max

  5. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    Nice header Matt

    My 23′ Lyman is perfect for windy days at Clayton, on the Potomac, or Lake Champlain.

    I was just leaving the ABM dock in this photo and the fenders were shipped moments later.

    WRT your main message, the more administrivia support that ACBS HQ can efficiently provide the Chapters, the more they can focus on having fun on the water, which can only be healthy for the hobby.

  6. Steven Horwood
    Steven Horwood says:

    Got my Rudder magazine in the mail yesterday. I was like a kid at Christmas tearing off the packaging to see what was inside. I gave it a quick flip through before a thorough paruse. I came away disappointed overall. I guess I enjoy the Woody Boater daily rag much better. Something different every day and something to look forward to every morning. Misspelling and all.

    Stay independent

    • Richard Hansen
      Richard Hansen says:

      Gotcha, seems so bland lately, all diff font sizes, columns too wide, hard to read. Hate to say these things about my own club mag, but they seem to be missing the mark

  7. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Matt, a lot of the “back room” activities need scale in order to operate efficiently. I think this is a good step for acbs. Doesnt mean we dont love woody boater.

  8. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    The ACBS “Rudder” is not in competition with Woody Boarter; they serve very different functions, and I would hope that True Vintage Boaters continue to have the span and depth of interest to value both; WB breezy and eclectic short takes, and Rudder’s in-depth and thoughtful looks at all important elements of the hobby

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