Rendezvous Tips

Accounts of trips taken in Boston Whaler boats; organization of rendezvous for Boston Whaler boats
Keith Currie
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Rendezvous Tips

Postby Keith Currie » Thu May 23, 2019 12:42 pm

Greetings! We had a mini gathering at Priest Lake, ID last summer. We are moving forward with our second “Priest Lake Whaler Regatta” in July.

A couple of questions for any feedback, greatly appreciated in advance.

1. Must it always be “rendezvous?” Can it be “regatta?”

2. our only regional Whaler dealer wants to partner with us. Any advice? Do we need an LLC? Waivers?

3. branding: will Whaler offer graphics to print up flyers or gift items for winners? Oldest, biggest, smallest, classics, best restored, etc?

Thank you for any feedback.

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Phil T
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Re: Rendezvous Tips

Postby Phil T » Fri May 24, 2019 8:22 am

I organized a dozen whaler gatherings in the ME, NH, and MA region, here is my input.

There are two kinds of gatherings (not regatta), sponsored and non-sponsored.

For a sponsored event, it is wise to work out the all the events and include the Sponsor on the planning. They should be your partner. When I worked with a whaler dealer I would ask if there was something interesting they could demonstrate or share (new model, feature, service etc.). I would incorporate their sponsorship in my communications. I would take photos that included them,

You do not need any waivers or organizational entity. It is an ad-hoc get together.

For non-sponsored, I would work for group consensus on the date, itinerary, events, meals, activities for the kids. Always have a plan B in case of bad weather or seas.

How large a gathering is this? 20, 50, 100 boats?
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1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

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Re: Rendezvous Tips

Postby jimh » Thu May 30, 2019 1:30 pm

The word regatta is defined as: a rowing, speedboat, or sailing race or a series of such races.

Regatta has been used since the 1600's with that meaning. Unless you are trying to organize a speedboat race limited to Boston Whaler boats, using the term regatta seems inappropriate and confusing as a word to describe a rendezvous--"a meeting at a particular place and time"--of Boston Whaler boats and their owners.

At one time the Boston Whaler company seemed to be quite interested in assisting their boat dealers in organizing Boston Whaler boat owner rendezvous. I attended several. The usual situation was a bunch of old guys with 20 to 40-year-old Boston Whaler boats in tow showed up. I think the concept of the dealer-sponsored rendezvous with factory support was to draw in potential new boat customers that might buy a new Boston Whaler boat from the sponsoring dealer. But old guys with maybe $20,000 invested in their old classic Boston Whaler were not the right prospects for a new Boston Whaler boat that might cost $75,000 to $750,000.

It's perfectly fine for someone to think that their Boston Whaler boat designed in the 1970's or 1980's that's basically a big open skiff with a simple console and seat made of wood is the ultimate achievement in recreational boat architecture, but to go to a factory-sponsored event and tell that to the dealer-sponsor to their face might have been a bit too much and may have dampened enthusiasm for the dealer to host follow-on events.

One of the nicest features of dealer-sponsored events was the availability of demo rides on new Boston Whaler boats. That was how I was able to get aboard and go out on demo rides on a bunch of nice new boats:

Boston Whaler's Will Rogers driving me and others on a 305 CONQUEST demo ride; Stuart, Florida, April 2004. I did not get to drive on this ride; the boat was the dealer's boat, and it had a very big price tag.

Chris and Susan on a demo ride in a 240 OUTRAGE with twin 150-HP engines. Stuart, Florida, April 2004. I did get to drive this one, but under close supervision.

At the Torch Lake event, I got to drive a 230 DAUNTLESS with a VERADO L4. We had to hold it down a bit as the engine had almost no run time, and we were only able to get out on a long canal. Also got to drink a lot of free beer at this event. I think was was c.2006, Maybe the beer is why I can't find any pictures or notes from that weekend.

At the Harbor Springs owner's event I got a ride on a 250 OUTRAGE with twin L4 VERADO engines. This was the last dealer-sponsored event I attended, and it was held in August of 2008.

After c.2008 the factory or dealer-sponsored owner events seemed to go on hiatus. The big economic dip probably had something to do with it.

The factory does seem to still sponsor some events in Florida, usually a run from Miami to Bimini, and most of the participants own much newer Boston Whaler boats, much bigger Boston Whaler boats, and those boats have two, three, or four Mercury VERADO engines on the transoms.

My local Boston Whaler dealer, COLONY MARINE, is having a shindig this month. I may have already missed it. I went to one of their events several years ago held indoors in the winter. There was a big crowd and some catered food. So no demo rides, but it was nice to see some new OUTRAGE models.

You can see an index of articles about Boston Whaler trip or rendezvous events from 2013 to 2015 in the old TRIPS AND RENDEZVOUS forum archive; ... Index.html

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Re: Rendezvous Tips

Postby biggiefl » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:29 am

I agree with Jim. Will Rodgers was the best. I attended many of the rendezvous sponsored by Whaler and marinemax. They stopped after 2008 except for the bimini run and I think one in Islamorada for FL. They used to give out gallons of Optimax oil to patrons. My Opti friend loved me and I bet others too as not many of us had Optis. Sarasota & Stuart were great events with Stuart taking 1st place with the boat of beer and a lobster dinner. I have not been on Whaler's website to see if things have changed. I just restored my 19 Banana for the 2005 Stuart event and I remember employees crowing around it scratching their heads because they never saw one before. They were asking me for a test ride. We were not their target audience like Jim said.
On my 24th Whaler. Currently in the stable: 86 18' Outrage, 81 13' Sport(original owner), 87 11' Sport, 69 Squall(for sale cheap).

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Re: Rendezvous Tips

Postby 6992WHALER » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:28 pm

In the Summer of 2018 the local Whaler dealer here in the Lake Minnetonka area sponsored a rendezvous: only two boats showed up.

Let's just say we ate well and picket up a few free Whaler Tee shirts and hats.