What happens when you mix a passionate boating and motorcycle enthusiast who is jonesin' for adventure? Sparks fly!
In 2013, Wanda Kenton Smith launched a new national touring concept entitled, "Boaterz n Bikerz of America: A Hull of a Tour"… the first-ever 3000 mile road trip from Florida to California aboard motorcycles that featured fabulous boating stops and fun activities along the way.
In addition to Kenton Smith Marketing serving as presenting sponsor, Wanda secured additional boating industry sponsors to help underwrite the adventure including Legendary Marine, Marinas International, South Coast Yachts, Soundings Trade Today, My-Villages and Southeast Sales & Service. The Motorcycle Industry Council also sponsored a VIP Celebration Dinner.
Boaterz n Bikerz Hull of a Tour 2 proudly presented… “THE FREEDOM RIDE”… an East Coast adventure that combineds the best of boating with a salute to our nation’s history, sponsored by Freedom Boat Club, along with marine media sponsor Soundings Trade Only and platinum support sponsor Hurricane Boats. Kenton Smith Marketing proudly served as event producer and publicist.
The trip ran from May 15 – 24 and featured a guided nine-day motorcycle and boating trek from Sarasota, FL to Washington, D.C. The tour sported great roads and scenic byways routed once again by Road Captain and Regal Marine Regional Sales Manager Jim Krueger.
The event was heavily promoted in the marine industry trade press. Twenty-two hardy boaters and bikers joined in the inaugural tour, experiencing a full gamut of memorable experiences … from riding in the deep south on Kentucky Derby Day in Natchez, MS, to navigating through the dangerous turns of downtown Dallas. We rode through desolate west Texas to Lubbock, then into the breathtaking vistas of Santa Fe, New Mexico. We rode through snow, sleet, hail, thunder and lightning from Taos through the Chamas Pass, then rode the rim of the spectacular Grand Canyon. Our day in the blazing hot Mojave desert in 107 temperatures proved a scorching hot ride, with a welcome retreat in Palm Desert. Our grand finale splashed down in San Diego as we wound through the lush green San Jacinto mountains, replete with flowering meadows and pastures. Boating stops in Destin, Dallas and San Diego provided respite, with a delicious waterfront dinner in Destin Harbor, a sunset wine and cheese cruise aboard 90' Miss Tejas in Lake Grapevine, and the ultimate retreat – an afternoon barbeque and boating adventure aboard beautiful Beneteau powerboats and sailboats in San Diego Bay!
Boating events were hosted at select Freedom Boat Club locations including the launch in Sarasota at Marina Jack; a boat ride and tour of Flagler College in Saint Augustine, with brunch in the president's dining room; sunset dinner at Bayou Bleu Marina in Savannah and evening celebration at the famous Riverwallk; lunchtime dock party in North Myrtle Beach at Harbour Gate Marina, with an official welcome from the chamber; and the grand finale, a boat trip and party in Annapolis as we watched the Blue Angels buzz directly overhead, followed by a barbeque cookout! The Freedom Club hosts treated the group like a million bucks and demonstrated true coastal hospitality!
But Freedom was much more than a catchy title. The group visited many historic venues en route. Key stops include St. Augustine, FL., Charleston, SC where we visited the USS Yorktown and dined at Shem Creek; a ferry ride from Okracoke to Cape Hatteras, NC., and then a visit to Kill Devil Hills where we viewed the monument to flight honoring Orville and Wilbur Wright. Our trip then wound us to Williamsburg, VA; Gettysburg, PA where we toured the battlefield with expert Richard Mancini; and York, PA, where we took the Harley-Davidson factory tour. We rode the spectacular Shenandoah Skyway with its many twisted elevations, and on to Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson's beloved Monticello. The grand finale took us through the sleepy, verdant Virginia countryside, winding up in Washington D.C. where we rode in the 900,000 motorcycle behemoth, Rolling Thunder, which honors POWs and MIAs, as well as military. On the last day, a small group visited Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, where we watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
As we all bid one another farewell, we had discovered new friends and new experiences together that will never be forgotten.
The Florida riders boarded the Amtrak AutoTrain in Lorton, VA for a comfortable 17-hour overnight ride home, while our other crew members throttled off to their destinations.
"It was another hull of a tour and one we all enjoyed," said Kenton Smith. "Our two rides to date have both been very different in terms of terrain, but the shared experience, camaraderie and love of the open road and waterways bonds us together like nothing else."
Added title sponsor John Giglio, CEO and President of Freedom Boat Club, “We’re very pleased to have served as the title sponsor of the tour and to help promote the fun of the recreational and outdoor lifestyle. We have many active clubs along the eastern seaboard, and those tapped to participate were all very proud and enthusiastic to be part of the adventure and to support our boating industry colleagues.”
Freedom Boat Club has 15,000 members in 120+ locations and 21 states coast-to-coast, with a fleet of 1500 boats nationwide, including member-favorite Hurricane deckboats.
THE PACIFIC COAST RUSH launched in the Wild, Wild West on Saturday, July 23. A dozen motorcycles were shipped from all points in Florida for download in Seattle where East Coast bikers join others from Ohio, Washington State and California for a 2000 mile weeklong cruise from Seattle to San Francisco, with a swing out to Big Sur.
The group launched the tour with a brunch cruise aboard a 78’ Ocean Alexander luxury motoryacht hosted by tour sponsors Regal Boats and Alexander Marine USA. Riders enjoyed scenic vistas including stops at Mount Ranier and Fort Hood, the rim of Crater Lake, plus a rendezvous with the Giant Redwoods. The tour stretched along the spectacular Pacific Coast Highway with visits through multiple iconic California towns like Eureka, Bodega Bay and Half Moon Bay.
After rolling over the Golden Gate Bridge, the tour spent a few days in the famous Monterey/Big Sur area, with a visit to the famous Hearst Castle in San Simeon. The final included a scenic twist through the Santa Cruz Mountains and Alice’s Restaurant, with final splashdown in San Francisco where Title Sponsor Freedom Boat Club hosted a Sunset Sailabration aboard a party-sized Adventure Cat on San Francisco Bay!
Pacific Coast Rush was sponsored by title sponsor Freedom Boat Club (www.freedomboatclub.com), Regal Boats (www.regalboats.com), Alexander Marine USA (www.alexandermarine.com), along with boating industry media sponsor Soundings Trade Only (www.Tradeonlytoday.com)
The Lobster Roll was a blast, thanks to its spectacular geographic focus on New England and the rich culture and terrain we covered! Boaters and bikers flew into Portland, spent a week exploring the mountains and coastal byways along with quaint lakes and waterways throughout the region, with a final splashdown in boating city USA – Newport, Rhode Island.
Three-time presenting sponsor Freedom Boat Club was back, along with four-time media sponsor Soundings Trade Only and two-time returning platinum sponsor Regal Boats. The tour is especially pleased to have welcomed newcomers including Sea Tow, sponsor of the official chase vehicle, power sponsor BRP/Evinrude, plus boating event sponsors Moose Landing, Freedom Boat Club of New Hampshire and Freedom Boat Club of Rhode Island. Kenton Smith Marketing returned as event producer and publicist.
Boaterz n Bikers of America took to the Great Smokey Mountains for the 2019 Dragon’s Roar, sponsored by Evinrude!
Instead of our traditional daily drives and overnight stops at multiple locations, this year we chose to headquarters at the famous Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort and Lodge at Stecoah Creek, North Carolina where we enjoyed biker-perfect
accommodations designed for cycling enthusiasts.
While our days were spent touring and exploring some of the best motorcycle roads in America within daily driving ranges, our nights were spent hanging out with old friends and new biker pals we met at the resort, either at the game room
playing cards, pool or watching movies; lounging around lodge; or toasting our trip and telling big tales as we gathered around a colorful glowing bonfire.
Of course, no trip to the Smokies is complete without slaying the famous Tail of the Dragon. We all enjoyed the challenge, with a handful in our group being served up as Dragon Virgins and experiencing it for the first time. The 318 curves
over 11 miles are a must on the biker bucket list!
We cruised the Cherahola, tackled the mighty Georgia Dragon, went boating with our friends from Malibu Boats who sponsored our awesome wakesurfing adventure and lunch, and also took a trip to the Wheels of Time motorcycle
museum in Cherokee. Our ride to Clingman’s Dome put us all to the test, not for biker trails but for the steep incline hike to the top which provided a spectacular birds eye view to the entire region.
Big thanks to all our riders and our event sponsors for this terrific tour including Sea Tow, Evinrude, Malibu, Jim Krueger Photography and Kenton Smith Marketing! It was another great ride for the history books!