First let me say that this is no joke and allow me to thank the many good friends and members who have made my job as moderator worthwhile and lent their support in tough times. I am NOT leaving sailnet; just ending my tenure as a moderator. Now let me get into why.
As many are aware, I started a "Prospective Tartan Buyers" thread here in summer of 2007. My initial purpose was to make members aware that there were reports of Tartan/C&C hull and outdrive problems and that a couple of owners had filed suit. I took no side then on that issue but merely alerted potential customers to a possible issue and suggested that buyers get a survey done and/or investigate the reports on their own. A year and a half and 464 posts later, the thread had taken on a life of its own and many unflattering facts had come to light about the management and legal and financial position of the company while the original issue I raised has still not been settled by the courts. It is not my intention to re-hash that thread here. The important thing to me is that the thread alerted fellow sailors to the possibility of some product problems that could possibly be a major issue at sea AND that Tartan/Novis has well over $1million dollars in judgment liens OPEN against them and several more suits pending. Prospective buyers should be aware of this so that they can take steps to protect themselves before taking possession of a boat or making deposits.
Imagine my surprise when Sailnet took this thread off line in late October.
To make a long story short... William Ross, President of Novis/Tartan called Sailnet management to complain about the "biased" nature of the thread and asked them to take it down. He made it clear that there was a possibility of legal action if they did not.
Sailnet management removed the thread without understanding the content or context since they do NOT follow this board closely. They did understand the math...remove the thread at no cost...or face a possible lawsuit costing 10's of thousands of dollars.
Over the last few weeks, CruisingDad and I have been trying to help Sailnet management understand the thread and they have come to realize, I believe, that there is a moral issue here and a free speech issue as well as a business issue. The bottom line is that despite what they might like or choose to do in normal times... they simply cannot afford to get involved in a lawsuit even if there is an overwhelming likelihood that they would eventually win. I was told that they would have to lay someone off to be able to fight a suit. Given that stark choice, I told Sailnet that I would probably make the same decision to delete the thread... but could no longer remain a moderator for a site that deletes a thread so important to sailors.
So folks...that is the unvarnished truth. I am not sure if this post will be allowed to stand or be deleted too and would ask my friends to make copies of it so that if it is deleted, it may go viral!
I want to once again state that I bear NO ill will to anyone at sailnet as they are not the CAUSE of the thread being deleted...only the implementers and VERY reluctant ones at that. For those still interested in reading the content of the thread you can get it all but in bits and pieces at Google using their "cache" function and entering prospective tartan site:www.sailnet.com/forums
in the google search box.
I intend to remain a contributing member here with my friends unless my posts start getting deleted in which case you can find me over at cruisersforum under the same screen name.
Again... thank you all for your support and understanding.