With an 80-plus-boat mix of high-performance V-bottoms, catamarans and center consoles registered for last weekend’s Muskegon Powerboat Weekend organized by the West Michigan Offshore club, the 2018 WMO season appeared to be off to a great start. And despite a storm front that stuck around most of Saturday and thinned the herd to 50-plus boats, that’s exactly what happened during the outfit’s season-opener based out of Muskegon Harbor.
WMO club members waited out the weather to enjoy the 2018 season-opener last weekend. Photos courtesy/copyright Roger Zuidema and Paul Rose.
“Two years ago, we were blessed with perfect weather—90 degrees with no wind—for this event,” said Chris Dekker, the president of WMO. “I woke up early Saturday morning and a front had moved in. I figured it would move out by noon, but it just sat there. So we delayed the start of run till noon, then till 2 p.m. Then we pushed it back to 4 p.m. and we couldn’t wait any longer, so we went. We had to cancel the poker run stops—we couldn’t keep the volunteers there any longer—but we still got in a good run. About midway through, the skies cleared and it was beautiful for the rest of the day.”
From Muskegon, the fleet headed 10 miles north to Whitehall, then 23 miles south to Grand Haven before returning to Muskegon. In all, the course traveled was roughly 50 miles. The organizers distributed the poker run hands during the celebration/awards dinner that evening.
But while the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend’s day on the water turned out to be less than what was originally planned, its street party on Friday was a whole lot more. An estimated 16,000-plus people showed up for the event in the square-block park with half its perimeter lined by powerboats from Cigarette, Outerlimits and Skater.
For more images from the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend, check out the slideshow above.
“We partnered with the Taste of Muskegon for the street party and it turned out to be really, really cool,” said Dekker. “The park had a beer tent and tons of food vendors. It was by the biggest street party we have ever had.”
The next major WMO event is Rock The Coast based out of Grand Haven Municipal Marina and set for July 20-21. More than 80 boats already have been registered and Dekker said he’s expecting 100-plus entries by the time registration closes.
Like the Muskegon Powerboat Weekend, the WMO Rock the Coast event will feature a Friday night party and boat display, except that the happening will be water-based.
“Instead of a street party, we’ve reserved all 55 slips at the Grand Haven Municipal Marina and the party will be there,” said Dekker. “We’ll have 60 or 70 boats, some doubled- and even quadrupled-up in those slips.”
Fifth Annual Muskegon Powerboat Weekend Expecting 80-Plus Boats