The Quack Pack Meets Houseboating

Published in the July 2013 Issue July 2013 Katie Burke

My home has been cable-free since 2011. Our primary TV stopped working approximately two months ago and has sat unfixed with no protest. However, my kids do stream movies through Netflix on an iPad so we aren’t totally out of the loop. We’re just removed from current television trends.

My husband recently brought home the first season of Duck Dynasty on DVD and told me I would love it, “because they are my kind of people.” My first thought was that the stress from his job had finally done irreparable damage. What else would you think if your spouse of almost a decade finds you relatable to male duck hunters?

Our Kind Of People

Well folks, they can give his bed at the loony bin to somebody else because as it turns out, they are my kind of people and I love the show. Why? Because they appreciate the same type of lifestyle that as houseboaters, we enjoy too. The cast is often outdoors, traveling via boat and enjoying a laid back approach to their day-to-day affairs. Would I prefer to boat in a place where snakes aren’t dropping into the boat? Absolutely. But, far and away the most important thing these people value is their families and spending time in nature and that’s something we can all agree with.

In case you haven’t heard of Duck Dynasty, it’s a popular show on A&E which follows the lives of the Robertson family. They have become wealthy from their family-owned business, Duck Commander. It is operated in West Monroe, La., which makes products for duck hunters, primarily the duck call named Duck Commander.

Houseboating Meets NASCAR

At this point, you’re probably wondering how Duck Dynasty plays into houseboating. Well, we are going to have to throw NASCAR into the equation to get the full picture.

The cast had been asked to serve as the honorary officials of the Daytona 500 race in Daytona Beach, Fla. The idea was to have the gang ride on a houseboat that floated on Lake Lloyd, which makes up the track’s infield.

“A&E knew that we were one of the biggest houseboat manufacturers out there,” says Thoroughbred President Shawn Heinen. “We were in the process of building a boat for Kentucky State University and we were able to work it out to have the boat spend a week there first.”

Once the 16- by 52-foot Thoroughbred boat arrived at Daytona Beach, it was custom wrapped in camouflage with the Duck Dynasty logo on the side. The show’s narrator and Duck Commander CEO Willie Jess Robertson, his wife Korie and his mother Kay were all in attendance, riding and fishing from the houseboat. Fans had the opportunity to win a ride in the houseboat and to fish with the crew.

The Houseboat

The boat had been commissioned by Kentucky State University as a classroom boat.

“It’s basically a really open floor plan with two bathrooms,” says Heinen. “The school uses it as part curriculum in environmental studies. It gets the students on the water to learn first hand.”

Side note, is anyone else feeling a tad ripped off by their college experience? My university certainly didn’t have a houseboat, which sounds like a great way to spend time learning.

This open layout made it the perfect boat for the Quack Pack at the Daytona 500. It allowed for the camera crew to setup, while leaving enough room for everyone else who was onboard.

“The boat was there for an entire week and A&E used it for sponsor tours for a lot of different people and production crews,” says Heinen. “It gave us an opportunity to show people that aren’t already houseboaters what Thoroughbred is about.”

In fact, the company sold a boat to a man from South Carolina that fell in love with the Thoroughbred style while he was onboard.

Meeting The Quack Pack

Once the stars were onboard, they wanted to start fishing.

“Willie caught a couple of big ones, but Korie caught the first one,” says Heinen. “Overall we enjoyed the Florida sun, doing some fishing and watching the race.”

It wouldn’t be true to the Duck Dynasty spirit if a little trouble didn’t ensue. Luckily, it wasn’t on the houseboat.

While hanging out in Florida, Willie tried to get in a round of golf but was humorously asked to leave the course for what was deemed inappropriate attire.

At a press conference before the race, Willie told the crowd, “Yeah, I was probably not prepared to play golf. My attire wasn’t quite up to their standards.”

It Rubs Off

Back to news on the home front, the Quack Pack has inspired my husband to grow a thick beard. Any Kentucky houseboaters want to help a lady out? He’s currently staying at the Holiday Inn in Prestonsburg, Ky., and my mother-in-law and I will go in on $100 for the person who shaves it off. The Quack Pack is awesome, but I don’t think people who live in my house have to pay homage to them in that way.

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