C400 Association and List
My name is Ron Marcuse, former owner of #74 "Good Vibrations". I started the C400 Association about 13 years ago and was the commodore for 9 or 10 of them. I put a lot of work into it and I'd like to see it return to it's former status (glory?). It's been somewhat stagnant for the last 2 to 3 years. I've spoken to the new Commodore, Frank Falcone (he recently took it over) and the current treasurer - they both agree. I'd like to make the following suggestions to all of the owners -
1) Get everyone together on one forum. I think Yahoo has the most users, so that's probably the best bet for a start. This one hasn't had a post in 7 months. Eventually have the association sponsor a dedicated C400 forum and web site with member sections, documentation, compilations of tech artcles, etc.
2) Someone has to write some material for Mainsheet. Most of the issues do not even have a C400 section anymore. Are Thom and Doug still the editors?
3) Get the association to start doing things for it's members again. Besides Mainsheet: - The Boat/US affiliation seems to have vanished with it's savings on memberships. There have been no group purchases of anything - hats, t-shirts, canvas bags, boat equipment and hardware, scale models and half-hulls of the boats, etc. The association had also been in a position to watch out for problems which would effect the boats and owners - and to stand up for them. Anyone remember the Westerbeke installation fiasco which damaged maybe half of the motors? Absolutely nothing was wrong with the engines themselves - anything would have failed under those circumstances (over 10 psi of exhaust back-pressure, etc.). Guess who determined what the problem was and then got the word out? (hint - it wasn't Westerbeke or Catalina).
I don't have the boat any longer, but I'd be happy to help out the officers to get this back to the way it was.
When people get frustrated about the lack of articles in Tech, I will ask them how many they have submitted. No one wants to take the time. That is fine. I just got tired of writing EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE myself and about my boat. And let's not pretend I did not try. I changed the format. I tried to focus on cruising, non-cruising, anything and everything, etc. At the end, I was asking someone to just send me an article on how they decorate their boat for God's sakes. Nothing. SO I focused my time on Sailnet where at least I am not talking to myself and can reach out and help a multitude of people. And in doing so, I have spoken (and sold) may C400's here and made much more of an impact that I would have with Mainsheet.
You put in your time. I appreciate that. I did too and am happy to put in more. And anytime anyone ever sends me a PM or calls or emails (and I have had quite a few), I reply promptly. But at some point I get tired of begging people to send me something and get tired of being the ONLY person that participates. What was it you said as your last words to me... "I hope you get more support than I did." THose were your exact words. I wrote them down.
If anyone feels that they would like to take over the Tech Editor - that is fine by me. I just hope they have a lot of stuff on their boat to talk about and a great imgaination. Better yet, how about sending me an article or two and I will promptly put it in Mainsheet (assuming it is technically correct). Outside of that, I simply do not know what else to do to get tech articles and poor Doug et all probably ran out of imagination too. It is not the officers that are the issue. It is the TOTAL lack of participation of the 345 other owners. Sound familiar??
Now, as far as getting it back on track (and responding to your points above)-
1) I am the admin and moderator of Sailnet. I can make this site an outstanding resource for 400 owners (and in fact, non-400 owners too). There is more information here than you could ever cover in a Yahoo and will get participation on issues from members that are not 400 owners. So my strong suggestion is to use this forum because the resources are vast and I can play an intricle part in making anything better or different. I hav emore flexibility here than anything on a Yahoo. I can add everything including all the old tech articles here, and add other forums as necessary, pictures, etc. The question is how to reach the other 400 members to get them involved?
2) Regarding writing the material: I think I coverd the issues with that earlier. We need some participation from the other 345 members. If I can take hours away from my company, employees, family, and life, other members can take 5 minutes to send me something I would hope. If not, then don't complain.
3) I can also do some Sailnet related things here and might be able to work out some deals with the store. In fact, I am about certain that I can. We can certainly do things that make marine items WAY cheaper then going into West Marine. Other ideas are setting up local fleets and commodores over those fleets that can play more of a leadership role. We can then work with the commodores and the owners would feel more of a direct relationship with people they know. We have, on Texoma alone, at least 6 C400's - with 3 just in my Marina.
Thosse are some of my ideas. Frank is more than welcome to join and discuss. So are you. I will also reach out to Frank and see if I can connect with him.
I suggested Yahoo because there seems to be more activity there, and more members. I think the Yahoo C400 forum had 34 posts in the last week, which I think is 34 more than this one. Any forum would work, and better still would be one sponsored and run by the association.
I know exactly what you are saying. I went through it for about 10 years. I sail with Frank and Dave a lot and I think they would like to get this thing back on track.
former owner #74 "Good Vibrations"
I posted a note on the Yahoo C400 board concerning consolidating everything here at Sailnet. Reaction so far has been negative to coming back - they want emails, daily summaries, not having to log in somewhere, and no advertising. If you are not a member there, try joining and see what's happening. I believe that about 40 owners are there, doing about 30 to 40 messages a week. The goal should be to get everyone on a forum sponsored and run by the association, but that could take some time to do.
The 16 month old old Telstar Association is doing just that and it's been a big hit. We're using phpBB as our bulletin board, and it's free. We have to pay for a server somewhere, that's all. We run it and we control it. Take a look if you have the time - The International Telstar Owners Association • Index page.
Guess who is the Commodore? But I gave myself a 2 or 3 year term limit this time.
former #74 "Good Vibrations"
Brian, et. al. -
I had posted similar notes 4 or 5 days ago about using a single forum on both sites - on both Yahoo and Sailnet. I got about 10 returns from the Yahoo one, absolutely nothing here. Note that ALL of the Yahoo messages were opposed to moving to Sailnet - primarily because you have to login here to see what's happening. If anyone is still here they should try out yahoo because that's where most of the owners are - about 40 as I recall, with maybe 35 to 40 messages a week being passed back and forth.
The goal should be to develop something under the control of the Association, tailered to the boat - with both public and member areas, etc., and linked to the website if that still exists.
My only goal is to bring back what seems to be a dying C400 Association. I spent thousands of hours doing this and it would be a shame to see it fall totally apart.
former Commodore - 1996 to 2005
I second the use of the Yahoo group.
The yahoo group seem to be relatively active with quick response times.
In fact I posted a question this morning and got a reply within minutes.
Regarding posting here versus Yahoo - the reason that you get the responses there versus here is that there are so many more people already there. That does not make it the best place for it to be though. I will venture to say that MANY of the questions (if not most) that are posted for a Catalina 400 are relevant for almost any and every boat. We all use the same systems. I agree, the 400 has many boat specific questions, but many are not. As such, by being on an open forum with thousands of Non-C400 owners, you can get collective responses from people that know a lot more about boats and cruising than you and me put together. That is the benefit of an open forum versus a closed, c400 only forum. Also, if you google questions you will see that Sailnet pops up almost immediately in most google searches. For example, I just chose a random search on Catalina 400 Power useage and Sailnet pops up first. Same thing with Batteries. And if it is automated replies you want to alert you of a thread, you can turn that on at Sailnet. It is under your CP settings. It is generally left off at signup as many people do not want it and want to come at their leisure.
So our goal is not to support the 40 members at Yahoo, it is to support all members in the best possible way. I have not tried to bring anyone over to Sailnet - but we need more than 40 people to make the association viable. But 40 is better than zero here, and I understand that. I am simply providing another viewpoint.
On a more persona note for me, I may have difficulty keeping up with a lot of different sites. I have already basically dropped Cruiser Forum (where I was pretty active), SSCA, and some others. I simply did not have the time. I will try to make time for Yahoo if that is what all the other members want. I do not consider my vote to be weighed any more than anyone elses. I am simply giving reasons why I am saying what I am saying.
No matter the forum, I am dealing with kidney stones and will not be real available for anything or anyone for the next couple of weeks. I will try and jump over to the yahoo group though and see what is happening.
PS I also think a lot of people left the Sailnet forum stuff because they got pissed about how Sailnet closed it down.
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