A different way to promote the Club.

A different way to promote the Club.

I tried something different recently to promote the club (and our family dog grooming and boarding business): my son Azrik and I took part in a local parade. The festival the parade was part of has a heritage theme, and we were among some 50 classic cars and a few old tractors; it was easy to not feel out of place even though we had the only entry of our kind. The setting was pretty intimate, with the route winding through suburban streets with many of the spectators in their own front yards on lawn chairs and well within earshot. 1950s style boating is clearly part of the local heritage and the comments from the crowd about the old wood boat and the old Viking on the back were entertaining to hear.

While the boat we towed is very eye catching, we were toward the end and the only other boat in the parade was the big Police cruiser they use to patrol the local lakes. Classic cars clearly have a better following in this neck of the woods but boats still seem to be what most people’s dreams are made of.

After the parade we set up in a traditional car show setting in a parking lot (photo). While many just walked by the cars, which they have apparently all seen before, there seems to be a fascination with a boat that a car does not elicit, especially for the kids and particularly with a classic wooden boat. In these parts everyone’s family seemed to have a cedar strip and an old Viking at some point in their family’s history.

It was too nice a day to not get the boat wet, so once Azrik and I packed it in at the show I made arrangements to pick up Al and Sue Lockhart for a cruise on the nearby lake, which in itself turned out to be a magical experience. While the water looked flat from the shore, the wind seemed to emanate from the middle of the lake and we found ourselves heading into the wind whenever we were heading towards the middle. According to the GPS the rig does a bit better into the wind than it does with it and it certainly feels that way when you head into even a small ripple. The strange phenomenon only served to enhance the pleasure of the ride, as it seemed we were always heading into the wind no matter what direction the compass told us we were heading. It was a grand day from start to end.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine. I certainly did as we were putting it together. Not only do we have quality technical and historical contributions but again great perspectives on what it means to be members of this great organization.

I truly love this club. Not only do the objects of our interest bring such joy to each of us, but you can see the joy that the objects we collect bring to others when we celebrate our history and heritage and bring our stuff out to show off. No matter how hectic, no matter how stressful life can be it seems little else can bring pause and perspective like exhibiting your pride and joy and seeing that joy reflected back in others. Perhaps the only better thing is enjoying a ride on the water with family and friends. These indulgences made my last Saturday a truly therapeutic experience. The AOMCI and my modest collection of junk is clearly the best therapy I invest in.

  1. fmanracer

    It’s always interesting to hear how members spread the word about outboarding to the public at large. There are times when I’m talking to someone and bring up my hobby of collecting old outboards and they say they have never heard of such a thing. I always tell them that if a man made something there are folks who collect it no matter what it is.

  2. Tom Stack

    I enjoyed reading your story. As a fledgeling outboard collector and restorer, I look forward to similar special days. Love the club.

  3. Avatar

    Our Minnesota Gopher Chapter, each spring, displays at the January Minneapolis Boat Show that has 50,000+ in attendance. We display along with the Land-O-Lakes Classic Boat club. They display members restored Garwoods, Chris Crafts and Hackercraft boats. Their display is located so its the main attraction at the entrance of the 200,000 sq. ft boat show.

    We are able to piggyback with them and each year we do not have to paid for our display! We usually bring along 16 to 20 motors and stands, several fully restored and a couple of nice barn finds motors. Each motor has it owe sign that gives a general information of each motor. We always have 2 or 3 members in attendance to answer questions and hand out both the national and chapter registration forms. This year we handed out 50+ sets of membership forms. We also had a form the attends can list motors they would like to sell or just get rid of. We’ve received a couple of unique motors for our members to track down!

    My thought is that every major market city has a boat show in early spring. I think these shows are an untapped way to market our club and hobby. If you have a marine dealer that you might know they maybe willing to let you set-up a table and your clubs banner at no charge. Make sure you have a couple of the AOMCI magazines, reference books, nice signs on each motors and membership forms.

    Most members are proud of their work and the hobby to have their motors on display. It’s fun to listen to attendees comment on your efforts to retain the history of the these fine machines. Good Luck!

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