HULL OF A TOUR: Riding through the Deep South


The rain gods opened a brief window on Friday night to allow a send-off ceremony and photo opp at Legendary Marine in Destin, Fla. Although all of the riders attended, only five of the nine bikes scheduled for the first leg scooted in for the launch ceremony, with the others rolling up at Pensacola Harley Davidson the next morning.

Despite the wet weather, the mood was electric as team Legendary Marine toasted the Hull of a Tour crew with a festive captain’s party at the yacht club, including a terrific poem crafted and recited by senior broker John Burns that had everyone howling. Dinner was at the famous Harry T’s at HarborWalk in Destin Harbor.

Kickstands were up at daybreak under blessed sunshine and a brisk 48-degree temperature. Clad in leathers, we happily revved up the engines and were off. Our ride took us through the tip of northwest Florida, Alabama and into Mississippi. By midafternoon we rolled into Natchez, a quaint town with plenty of history on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.

Our tour is relaxed in that once we hit a location, riders are on their own to plunder and discover on their own or with a group. My motto is, “It’s Your Ride,” so although I’ve organized the event, I want everyone to call it their own.


A group of us toured Longwood, an amazing historic landmark with unusual byzantine influence that remains unfinished in its pre-Civil War state, with five of the six stories of the imposing 30,000-square-foot mansion looking as they did in their day. Others toured downtown Natchez. We met up for dinner at the highly recommended Fat Mama's Tamales, where a Kentucky Derby party was in full swing and the place was loaded with Natchezites in Derby regalia. We cheered with the crowd and watched the big screen as Orb came galloping through the finish line.


Although I never hit the rack before midnight, it felt good to crawl between the sheets by 10 p.m. in anticipation of our next leg to Dallas. I slept with visions of chrome dancing in my head.

* * *

Thanks to the “Boaterz n Bikerz Across America: A Hull of a Tour” sponsors joining presenting sponsor Kenton Smith Marketing, including Legendary Marine, Marinas International, South Coast Yachts, My-Villages, Southeast Marine Sales & Service and media sponsor Soundings Trade Today.

Wanda Kenton Smith is an award-winning, 31-year marine industry marketing veteran based in Destin, Fla. She is president of Kenton Smith Marketing ( and president of Marine Marketers of America. She will file occasional reports on her tour across America.


Argos 3D Forward Looking Sonar

For 20 Years, FarSounder has been developing and manufacturing 3D forward-looking sonar for vessels of all sizes.

Dometic Marine Appoints Executives

The company promotes a 20-plus-year employee and adds a vice president of aftermarket sales and e-commerce.

IMEA Launches Scholarship Program

The International Marine Electronics Alliance aims to recruit students into the field of marine technology.

RBFF Campaign Reels in Awards

The fishing-and-boating advocacy group’s Get on Board campaign was recognized by two national public relations organizations.

Suzuki’s Clean Ocean Project

Testing of the engine manufacturer’s microplastics filtering device continues as it moves closer to production. The company also released its full-year financials.

Uflex Adds to Sales and Marketing Team

The company said significant growth during the last few years created the need to add three employees.

NMTA Beats Proposal To Double Excise Tax

It’s just one example of the value of belonging to a state or local marine trade association. Are you a member of an MTA?