Jeff Peek has always liked cars. Boats? Most people who suffer from motion sickness avoid everything that bobs and weaves with the waves, wind or current – Jeff included. So it’s a bit ironic that he has been writing about classic boats and their owners since joining the Hagerty marketing team in 2008 after a 25-year career as a sports writer.
“When I met my wife, I knew she loved boats, but I avoided the subject as long as I could,” Jeff joked. “By the time she found out I wasn’t a fan, it was too late for her – she had already agreed to marry me.”
Seriously, Jeff has always enjoyed the beach and has an appreciation for the beauty and craftsmanship of classic boats. And thanks to motion sickness pills, he has also taken some enjoyable boat rides over the years. His favorite boating memory was spending Independence Day on Grand Traverse Bay (Mich.) with his family and friends a few years ago.
“It was a gorgeous day,” he said. “I can see why people love getting out on the water as much as possible. The world kind of slows down out there.”
To help familiarize Jeff with the world of classic boating, he was asked to assist the Hagerty Marine team at the Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show in Hessel, Mich., in 2009. It poured.
“It was raining and blowing so hard at one point that we had to hang on to the edges of the tent to keep it from blowing away,” he said.
A couple of years later, Jeff was asked to return to Hessel (located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) and help with a classic boat photo shoot. He was given a choice of assignments: ride in one of the boats being photographed or join the photographer in an airplane overhead. He rolled the dice and jumped into the airplane. Big mistake. Jeff’s stomach eventually recovered, but he couldn’t forget it if he tried. The good news is it makes for a good story, something Jeff is always on the lookout for.
“When I covered sports, I wrote about people who were baseball players or football players or golfers, now I write about people who own classic cars and boats,” Jeff said. “The one constant is people. Everybody has a story, and I love finding out what their story is.”
When he isn’t writing for Hagerty, Jeff enjoys travel, movies and spending time with his wife, Sheila; daughter, Taylor; son, Dawson; and step-daughter, Jessica. He owns a 1967 Triumph Spitfire Mk3 and enjoys taking drives on the shoreline roads of northwest Michigan – within view, but a safe distance away, from the waters of Lake Michigan.