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.
That would be great ROn. Thanks. How about getting one, at least one, of the 350+ hull owners, to send one, only one, at least ONE, article to me within the last two years?? Remember this conversation??
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.