Story by Erick Bryner. Photos by Erick Bryner and Daren VanRyte

If you’re local to Havasu or Parker, you’ve probably heard of Scott Steele. Known for his collection of beautiful K-boats, his reputation as a party animal is eclipsed only by his love for the river. And if you’ve paid any attention to social media, there’s no doubt you’ve seen pictures or videos of him making hot passes on the emerald waters of the Colorado.

That was to be the case this past weekend. With Arizona emerging from the COVID quarantine orders, Scott decided it was time to celebrate the occasion by inviting some of his fast-boat friends out for a hotboat get together at his place in Echo lodge. The day would consist of some early morning hot laps while the water was still flat at 5:30 am. Then at 10am, all boats would make a run up to the Parker Dam and float back, where they would all meet at the Sand Bar for a swim.


Traveling from Orange County with fellow photographer, Daren VanRyte (OC Photographics), we set out on Friday night for only our second time out since the lockdowns began. Luckily for us, our first time out was two weeks before when Chris Schock invited us out to Wade Addingtons Weekend Paradise RV park in Lake Elsinore, where he was running his Blown Alcohol Biesemeyer with a few friends. This is when we got the invitation to Scott’s deal in Parker.

At 5am Saturday morning, we got up and headed to Sundance where we planned to shoot the event. I use the term “event” loosely, because this was less of an organized event, and more like a friendly get together. Anyone and everyone was invited to come along and there were even some heavy hitters like Shane Westerfield of Westerfield Racing in attendance.

We arrived on the scene and set up our gear expecting to nab some shots of badass boats in perfect morning light. And for a while we did. One by one, some of the guys made their way down to Sundance for a shot. Unfortunately, some ran the other direction, up river.



However, it didn’t last long. By 7am the water was developing a heavy chop and the traffic was increasing by the minute. It seems that with Arizona open for business, and California still technically shut down, more than just the hot boaters escaped to the river for the only outdoor recreation to be found. While I’m aware that two of those Californian’s were Daren and myself, I’ll remind you that we brought camera gear, not a boat.


With the hot passes cut short, we boarded the pontoon boat that Scott had set up for us through Sundance Saloon and headed up river to wait for the fleet at the dam. Eventually, a small fleet of hot rods made it up river to our location, led by Scott running his recently finished “Nautiwood” V-drive. At least half of the group opted to leave the boats on the trailer and avoid the chaos. That proved to be the smartest idea after learning later that Jimmy Shy got swamped by a wake boat in his Pro Stock flat bottom which sank them up river. They were rescued and towed back to the ramp safely, but that is obviously not how he planned to spend his weekend.


After a short float and quick round of photos we all headed back to the Sandbar where we tied up for the rest of the day to relax and watch the shit show on the water – a show that included no less than 3 boat crashes on the Arizona side of the river, all at the same set of docks. Not sure what to say about that, other than that is for a different article altogether. I’m sure you’ve all seen the pictures by now. Lets just leave it at that.


With all of that aside, it was a great time on the water with good people and awesome floats. It was nice to feel a sense of normalcy again with open bars and hope for the future restored. And while not everyone will agree who deserves to be on the river, or with what kind of boat, we know one thing for certain… Scott Steele will be found running one of his bright red beauties on any given weekend at the Parker Strip.