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Boating and TV

Every time I see a TV show that includes positive scenes or references to people having fun in RV’s I grit my teeth! Why aren’t we seeing more references to boating on TV, I always vocally complain? Well, it appears it’s time for me to shut up — boating is hitting the tube is a positive way – and we need to pause and acknowledge it.

For example, the popular host of NBC’s Today Show, Matt Lauer , recently revealed he’d purchased a new Boston Whaler 19’ and extolled the qualities of the boating lifestyle. As reported in NMMA’s Currents, Lauer, talking about his summer activities, said: “After years of resisting, I finally relented and my family and I got a boat. Not a big boat. It’s definitely a beginner boat. I thought it was going to be a time-consuming nightmare to have a boat, but it turned out to be the home run of the summer! We got an enormous amount of use for it. We went on picnics, went tubing, fishing, just had a lot of fun with it,” he added.

Let’s face it, our industry’s national Discover Boating campaign couldn’t cast a more favorable image than that reflected in Lauer’s comments. He further shared his enthusiasm this way: “I can only hope that my son will be on a boat with his child someday, passing the passion along again. And I pray I’ll be with them on that boat, too.”

Boating was also the central subject of “My Boys,” another popular TV prime time comedy show. It aired Sept. 11 on TBS. One of the show’s main characters, Andy Franklin, announced he’d just bought a boat. He invites all his friends to join him for the official chistening and the action moves to dockside in a sunny, boat-filled Chicago harbor where Andy’s friends participate in the excitement of boating.

What’s the importance of all this TV exposure? It’s one more slice that will contribute to the long-term positive impact of our Grow Boating initiative and we should always take time to recognize these successes when we experience them. For a lot more updates you should be regularly checking in at

Norm Schultz recently received an award for his exceptional stewardship of Lake Erie. Click here to read more.


2 comments on “Boating and TV

  1. Bill Large

    Recreational boating could also get some very favorable exposure if marinas offered interesting boating stories to the news departments of local TV station and cable operations that run news shows. News producers are always looking for stories with local color. For instance, here in the seasonal northeast, a marina could mark the coming of spring with a “first boat in the water” story. Boating safety is always topical so a 90-second story on a USCGA boating safety check would make good TV. Many TV stations here come out and shoot the fall foliage, so why not invite them to do it from a boat? If there’s a fishing derby of some kind – especially if it involves kids on boats – that’s another opportunity. All it takes is a few minutes to make a call to a TV station’s Assignment Desk. If they like the idea, they will need to know exactly where and when, and when they arrive, give them a one-page description of the event, the names of the people they will photograph and any other background that they can use when they edit the story. These are basic techniques that are used in lots of other fields, so why not boating too? It could even become a little communications program run by the state’s boating industry group.

  2. Chris

    I think one of the problems is that boating is very regional. Boats and boating in Maine are different in many respects than boats and boating in Florida or California…Even is you have the same boat in all three states, the type of boating activities, let alone scenery are very different. I think that this hurts the ability to convey a universal boating image on TV. I don’t see the same type of problem in the RV industry, where portability (going from state to state) of the product is a key sales point.

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