I think that all of the above are correct to some degree or another.
But one that I'd like to add is that I feel that the number of "new boaters" coming onto the scene "into the fraternity" so to speak has slowed and that is a significant part of the overall picture.
When I was a newbie. I was invited on the Lip-Ship Luau's and then joined FPC and did Stu's runs to use the boat more and get some familiarity with the waters beyond the Rickenbacker.
That was all "undiscovered" country for me and it was important for me to me to try and stretch my legs a bit and learn how and where to use my boat and get something out of it besides crusing to Shooters and back.
In Lake Erie it as all about getting to Canada and Back, Detroit, and Windsor too.
At some point once I did it a few times I realized it's about the friendships and bonding that goes on and that became a HUGE draw for Angela and I.
But as the Boating Maturity Curve goes.
It then became getting together with closer friends and boaters and running to different destinations on our own. Maybe only 2-3 or 4 boats off to Hawks or Marathon for the weekend or Windsor ........
I think that the last 10 years have released a giant demand for this type of recreation. But without an equally significant and steady flow of New Boaters then the Pent up Appetite becomes satiated and a Plateau effect comes into play.
Maybe, just Maybe a little of that is happening now with a nudge from all the other factors..........
One other thing, For me it was always great listening and dreaming over the stories of the Annual Everglades Marina Poker Run to Marathon.
I felt very privledged when in 1999 I was invited on my first Lip Ship Luau. (truth be told my second Rice Hauler was on the 1991 Run but I wasn't in it, but that's another story...). These were both special invitation only events and that exclusivity is different than a Club run...... Not better or anything. Just a different and special experience.
Last edited by Rice Hauler; 04-12-2008 at 08:20 PM. Reason: easier reading
"Lovin' Life and Livin Large"..OffShore
I think it is the combination of all factors. We enjoy the smaller runs that are more group oriented. These tend to be more family oriented. As with any activity the more people the more issues to deal with, especially the safety issues. Egos, testosterone, and plain inexperiance in larger numbers get out of hand.
It seems that a great deal of people assume that if a guy is driving a nice boat he isn't interested in talking to those with smaller boats. A great deal of the people I have met with upper end boats have to work extremely hard to have that boat and are some of the most down to earth people you could meet. I myself am guilty (alot of the time) of just hanging with the people I come to the run with instead of just going up and introducing myself to strangers (regardless of the boat they are in). I think if we ( all of us boaters) put ourselves out there a little more we would all have a better time.
I agree with Peter.... Get out there and use that boat!!!!
As far as the comments about the big dollar rigs and people being unapproachable that is just not true. I usually have the smallest/slowest boat on the FPC runs (32/low 70's) and have finished every event I started and have met some really cool people with awesome setups.
My favorite day at the 1000 Islands Poker Run, not including the Saturday Run , is Friday.
Hanging on the docks with the great people from Typhoon, and talking to all the people who wander by makes for a great day.
I think you can control your expierence at an event.
If you want to sit in your boat, or your hotel room and think everybody else in the run doesn't want to talk to you, that's what will happen.
I also think that if you want to get involved, wander around, help somebody get in to their slip, be friendly, and talk to people, you can meet a lot of great people.
I dissagree....with respect to some of the runs... case in point...
AC Poker Run for "Me"... Entry fee is $1200 + $6 ft. fockage, Two tanks of fuel @ 4+ galllon ($1800) plus misc. expenses. It's easily a $3k+ weeken if nothing breaks....
NYC PR is $650, one tank of fuel and one hotel room.
Thats what boating and Poker Runs are all about (Not the Money) Meeting new friends and making great memories.
Alum Metal Fab
Custom Marine Sales
Dave's Custom Boats
Diamond Performance Parts
Double R Performance
Elton Porter Insurance
Fastboats Marine Group
GGB Exhaust Technologies
Grand Sports Center
Ilmor High Performance Marine
Lake Cumberland Marine
Lake Havasu Boat Show
Marine Technology Inc
McLeod Design Group
Performance Boat Center
Performance Marine Trading
Potter Performance Engines
Ron Sporl Performance
Speed and Custom Marine
Total Dollar Insurance
Teague Custom Marine
Wake Zone Marine Insurance
Young Performance Marine