Sam & Cheryl ??????
"...it seems obvious that somewhere along the line the Boyles got some public financing for this venture..."
I find this a curious statement and think the facts suggest just the opposite. They clearly moved quickly into a similar web business, which suggests they signed no ''non-compete clause'' related to the sale of their share of the business, a very common practice. Couple that with their prior statements that they brought in private funding to expand Sailnet, and the logical conclusion in my mind would be that a majority of the ownership felt a change in management was required. Whether the Boyles left with a buy-out of their ownership share or not is not really relevant to how the change could occur in the first place.
OTOH if public funding was involved, I would suspect things would happen much slower and be far more public.
Just my hunch...