If You Ever Wonder Why We Do Woody Boater. Read Below!


Kevin McQuown & Taryn Bell & Gar Wood

While we were all trying to figure out how to expand Woody Boater last week, I received this email. With out saying a word about what we should do, the email from fellow Woody Boaters Kevin McQuown & Taryn Bell (the future Mrs McQuown) reminded me why we started Woody Boater in the first place. To create a fun place for new folks in the hobby to meet the community in an open positive and helpful way. Note, Kevin even knows how to speak Woodyboterease!  Congrats you guys are Woody Boaters of the month!

Hi Matt

I have a kind of exciting post at least for me. My long time girlfriend and I have gotten engaged. Wood boats have been an important part of our relationship. Let me start off by saying that im 27 years old I grew up in a house of huge antiques collectors so I had an appreciation for everything old. My dad and I got into antique cars. I eventually went to school for antique auto restoration and now work at a car restoration shop. I got started in wood boats after seeing your website. I remember my grandfather talking about restoring a Chris Craft but we never got a chance. I bought my first wood boat two years ago a 1949 Chris Craft Custom Sedan. Its a gray wood boat. I have yet to get arround to working on. In the meantime I had inherited my grand parents house. I decided to buy a boat I could use and took out a home equity loan. With the wide variety of selection I ended up with a 1936 GarWood Model 601 16′ Split Cockpit runabout(it was one of GarWoods display boattsat the 36 NY Boat show). Right around the time I got the boat I met Taryn Bell and wood boats have been a part of our lives ever since. We both get up and check WoodyBoater every morning and enjoy boat shows together. Our first trip together was to the Buffalo, NY antique boat show. We just got engaged last month and the moment was shared in the GarWood. I had my mom make up a teddy bear like GarWoods good luck bears and a burgee that looked like the garwood one but said well you marry me on it. I asked her to go into the garage to look at the new burgee and she read it said yes and the tears flowed. We took the boat out for a nice evening ride and snapped a few photos after(note the snazy Garwood sweaters). The wedding is going to be September 21 next year at Lake Placid Lodge dockside with our GarWood and the lodge’s Hacker-Craft. Its a small wedding 15 people total and the dinner meal is going to be in their Baby Bootlegger room. Its a wooden boat themed room. We are taking our honeymoon boating throughout the adirondacks with the GarWood. In october there well be a larger reception here in Pennsylvania. It well be a 1920s party complete with big band. Thought id share if you needed a filler piece for a day. Thank you for getting me into this hobby we enjoy it very much.
Kevin McQuown & Taryn Bell

19 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Kevin and Taryn,
    Congratulations on your engagement and great story. I hope you can bring your beautiful Gar Wood to Algonac for one of our future shows. I you can make it, let me know, and the boat registration fee is on me as a wedding gift.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Thanks I may just take you up on that offer. I’ll have to see how my work schedule goes next year. We are hoping to get out to a lot more shows next year.

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    It is a great story! It looks like boats are bound to be a big part of your marriage — not just the event, but your lives together. Many readers here would agree there’s great value in that.

    I chuckled at this Kevin: “I decided to buy a boat I could use and took out a home equity loan.”

    Reminded me of a conversation I overheard at the Show in Hessel this August. A young couple was walking the docks admiring the boats. The husband said to his wife (and I’m not kidding here): “Let’s buy a boat instead of a house.”

    Warmest congratulations!

  3. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Great way to start off a marriage. Congratulations to you both and best wishes. Hopefully, the marriage will last through training her how to back a boat trailer down a ramp, lol.

    • Kevin
      Kevin says:

      Very nice place. Extremely expensive though. I have been saving every penny for a new bottom on the boat and the wedding. The Adirondacks have been a huge part of our lives so couldn’t be happier about the place.

  4. ranger
    ranger says:

    i can hardly type…tears on the keyboard…

    congratulations to you both…

    i’ve got to go find a box of tissues…

  5. Rick
    Rick says:

    Congratulations on finding your WoodyMate. Much easier than trying to convert one. Ok everyone, unofficial boat show Sept 23, 2013 Lake Placid Lodge. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a few boats there, black tie and SOV shirts please.

  6. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Will this be the first “virtual WB wedding”? This is kind of awkward now…..do they have to invite Matt and Texx now out of obligation?

    Anyway, congrats and best of luck!

  7. Larry Forget
    Larry Forget says:

    GREAT Story, 2013 can be the Engagement tour to all the boat shows. Prior Troy NY here, & sounds like a tour to Bryant Lake & Watervielt & Cohoes for all the Tourcotte Brothers facilities. !

  8. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Thanks for the kind words everybody. I’m going to try and make it out for more shows next year the auto restoration shop I work for has been so busy we can keep up so if I even miss a day it puts us so far behind. I have been learning the joys of an original bottom and am going to have Katz’s marina do a no soak this winter for me. I’m hoping next year to get out and meet you all at some shows

    • Chad
      Chad says:

      Congrats Kevin & Taryn!

      Makes me want to get married again (to the same woman).

      Early in our relationship, I was restoring a Sea Skiff. My appendix burst before it was finished. My wife crawled under the boat and finished the copper bottom paint job while I was in the hospital.

  9. Texx
    Texx says:

    I didn’t want to say anything but…

    Just last week Matt and I conducted another official Woody Boater Bored of Directors Meeting via a conference call. (and no, that’s not a typo, it was a “Bored” Meeting)

    And one of the main topics on the agenda was where to hold the first ever “Sons of Varnish Rally” and possible dates for the SoV Rally…

    The Lake Placid Lodge on the week of Septemeber 21st, 2013 was a consideration… But you won’t even notice us there Kevin, it will just be a quiet group of around 300 old farts talking about old wooden boats.

    Great story today and congratulations Kevin & Taryn!


  10. Dan Kinnard
    Dan Kinnard says:

    Congratulations! As the old saying goes – “A couple that plays together stays together”. Your article was inspiring and your wedding plans are awesome. Wishing you the best in the future years and may your boat always stay afloat. Dan

  11. Jay Wagner
    Jay Wagner says:

    Kevin,I also married a boat gal, and she drives the tow truck and backs in the boat when I am in it. People at the ramp marvel at our lack of effort in launching and retrieval. Taryn and you will be like us,it is so fun watching people’s faces when she backs you in!!! Congrats to you and her!

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