Boaterz N’ Bikers of America-Hull of a Tour 4
The fourth in a series of organized, annual motorcycling and boat tours staged throughout America, Hull of a Tour is primarily geared for members of the boating industry and their friends.
No matter the location, spectacular scenic roads, and destinations, hooking up with colleagues, and enjoying great grub are always on the agenda, as are the fun sponsored boating activities, which is what makes this tour especially unique.
Past summer events included the first Hull of a Tour, a cross-country, 3,000-mile journey from Destin, Florida to San Diego, California; the Freedom Ride, from Sarasota, Florida to Washington, DC which concluded in the mega Memorial Day Rolling Thunder ride at the nation’s capital; and the 2016 Pacific Coast Rush, a 2,000-mile run from Seattle, WA to San Francisco, CA with a loop to Big Sur and plenty of towering redwoods and coastal beach scenes in between.
We’ve included stories in Born To Ride about the previous two rides, and I’m glad to be back to share an update on this year’s namesake, The Lobster Roll.
We concluded a 1,500-mile coastal and mountain ride through four states including Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Over the weeklong trek, we cruised in style on both land and water.
Our favorite ride by far was the legendary Kancamagus Highway (awesome!) that loops and twists through the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We snapped pictures at the lower waterfalls, dodged moose and other wildlife while enjoying breathtaking vistas at many turns.
One of our most memorable sights of the entire ride was the stunning Height of Land monument in Rangely, ME atop Spruce Mountain at its 2,530-foot summit. For as far as the eye can see, the Maine wilderness is on grand display, with massive blue lakes in the valley, flanked to the sides by gentle hills, trees, and wildflowers. The sky is wide open and seems to go forever.
In terms of riding conditions, it was all over the board. We rode many hours through the mist as thick and as milky as the area’s famous clam chowder. We experienced sunny days and bright blue skies. We saw a heaven full of sparkling stars that glittered like diamonds against a pitch-black sky. And, the temperatures danced from the fifties to the low Nineties. The only common denominator from state to state was the miles of road crews that were spread out to repair potholes and poor road conditions, likely the result of harsh winter weather conditions. We really appreciated it when we were able to ride on a smooth road without crew delays.
One of many highlights was rolling into Lubec, ME, the easternmost city in the USA, after eight hours in the saddle. We checked in to the Inn on the Wharf – a former sardine factory turned into a wonderful oceanfront hotel – and then jumped aboard a sturdy 38’ whale watching downeaster captained by a salty and seasoned New England skipper. He steered us out of the harbor and within 30 minutes, we spotted our first 30’ minke moby! It was awesome! We viewed bald eagles and playful porpoises carousing in pristine areas only visible by boat. Following this exciting activity, we loaded into the small restaurant for a catered lobster bake … and we inhaled every delicious bite, followed by a sweet Maine tradition: homemade blueberry pie!
Another favorite pastime of our adventure included taking spins aboard sleek new Regal sportboats in both Maine and New Hampshire. Our launch event was at Moose Landing Marina in Naples, ME where we enjoyed a quick breakfast, followed by a 1.5-hour boat cruise. In New Hampshire, we visited the Freedom Boat Club and took a 2-hour afternoon offshore ride and trip around the bustling downtown Portsmouth waterfront.
To mix things up, we hired a popular local outfitter who conducts whitewater rafting excursions to coordinate an event for our party. We didn’t have the luxury of time for the half-day rafting experience, so we opted for a shorter, 3-hour tubing trip on the Kennebec River. Despite some weather challenges coupled with low water conditions, we all survived and lived to laugh and tell about it! We returned to our launch site where a delicious barbeque dinner was waiting, complete with a live reggae band. We kicked back, enjoyed some good music, had a great meal, relaxed by the fire pit and just chilled.
Speaking of meals, New England is a biker’s and foodies’ delight. We ate lobster in all of its many mouth-watering variations, feasting on fresh lobster every chance we got. We enjoyed a totally awesome lobster bake, steamed lobster, broiled lobster, lobster salad, lobster ka-bobs, lobster stew, lobster salad, lobster burgers … and my favorite, the ultimate … Lobster Roll! Our route captain Jim Krueger had researched and pre-selected many fabulous stops for meals along the way and we weren’t disappointed! Four of our favorites: DeMillos in Old Port, ME; the Pickled Winkle in Birch Harbor, ME; the Lobster Dock in Boothbay Harbor; and Geddy’s in downtown Bar Harbour.
One of the most fun things we did was take a combo land and water Duckmobile tour in Hyannis, MA, legendary home to the Kennedy clan and the John F. Kennedy Museum, which we visited and totally enjoyed. After ambling around the quaint town, we loaded up our “private charter” and took a land tour first, learning all about the area and its famous and historical landmarks. We then splashed down for a narrated cruise of the local waterway and harbor which was brimming with everything from lobster work boats to sleek European yachts. We quacked away like the tourists we were on our blue and yellow duckmobile, squawking at unsuspecting walkers and just having a blast. Yes, the duckmobile was cheesy as heck, but all of us boating industry folk thought it was hilarious and we loved it! We wrapped the day with dinner on the wharf at Baxter’s, rubbing shoulders with local folk while toasting a beautiful Hyannis sunset.
Our last day was a four-hour interstate hike in the hot sun to Newport, Rhode Island, one of the boating and sailing capitals of the world. We rode like banshees, made a quick stop at a Harley store to pick up some trinkets, and then dropped our bikes off at the hotel before uber-ing our way into Newport. If you’ve never been, it’s a magical place with plenty to see and do. We split up with some folks shopping, some hitting the local water coolers for some games and recreation, and others visiting local attractions like the famous Newport Mansions. At 6:30 p.m., however, everyone gathered once again for our big finale and tour celebration.
We boarded “Amazing Grace,” a two-decker private party yacht for a 90-minute cruise of Newport Harbor. We saw boats and yachts of every type including runabouts and cruisers, to sportfishers and sailboats, to bona fide world-class America’s Cup contenders. We sat back, feasted on a delectable catered menu, laughed, reminisced and toasted our success.
It was another ride for the history books and more memories to last us a lifetime.
Special thanks to our sponsors for making this year’s event possible.
Our three-time returning title sponsor Freedom Boat Club was back again to support the effort with boat rides and the grand finale dinner cruise, as was four-time marine industry B2B media sponsor Soundings Trade Only who published and promoted my blogs daily throughout the trip.
Two-time boat sponsor Regal Boats returned, joining newcomers BRP Evinrude, our power partner who sponsored the tubing party and BBQ dinner, along with Sea Tow who sponsored the whale watching party and the official chase vehicle that was driven like a Nascar champ by former Yachting and Passagemaker Editor John Wooldridge.
Our special event sponsors included Moose Landing Marina in Naples, ME who hosted the launch breakfast and Regal cruise; Freedom Boat Club of Portsmouth, NH who took us for a great afternoon boat spin aboard Regals; and Freedom Boat Club of Rhode Island who helped facilitate the Newport sunset cruise festivities. The Massachusetts Marine Trade Association provided the great tour of Hyannis aboard the jolly Duckmobile. My company, Kenton Smith Marketing, serves as the official event producer and publicist.
I can’t wrap this ride without giving special thanks to our band of merry riders who joined us for this year’s event … and a big shout out especially to Jim Krueger, regional sales manager of Regal Boats, who is our Hull of a Tour route planner and road captain, and who has been my partner in this tour since Day One. Jim is the ultimate rock star when it comes to orchestrating the most awesome roads to ride … and some mighty fine places to eat. Rev up the volume and check out the fun and the action from this year’s “rock and video roll!”
LOBSTER ROLL YOUTUBE VIDEO:
BIO Wanda Kenton Smith is a 38-year boating industry marketing veteran, chief marketing officer of Freedom Boat Club, and national marketing columnist for Soundings Trade Only. She is a passionate biker who rides a Screaming Eagle Fat Boy CVO. Her company produces Boaterz ‘n Bikerz of America HULL OF A TOUR. For more info, www.kentonsmithmarketing.com/hull-of-a-tour.html or email firstname.lastname@example.org