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sailingdog 12-21-2007 10:27 AM

NEWCOMERS-To Get More Out of Sailnet
Here are some hints for getting more out of Sailnet, especially for newbies.

Creating a New Thread:

From the main forum menu, click on the subject forum that your question is related to. Then click on the "Forum Tools" menu in blue bar and select "Create a New Thread". Write your question, and then click on post.

Ask Good Questions:

If you have a problem, post as much information about the problem as you can. Say what kind of boat you have, what kind of diesel engine it is, what kind of winch it is...etc. The more specific you can be, and the more information you giveógenerally the better the answer you will get. Certain boats, winches, etc have known issues...

For example:

A bad question:

What is a good ocean going boat to buy?
A much better question:

I have been sailing for about five years, and my wife and I want to go cruising full time since I just sold my company. I have about $100,000 to spend on a boat, and it would just be the two of us. We're in our mid-40s, and would like to start along the east coast of the United States, then head down to the Caribbean, and eventually go through the Panama canal to the South Pacific and Australia. We'd like a boat that's 35-40' long and can be single handed by either of us if necessary.
In the second question, we have an idea of how big a boat you're looking for, how many people will normally be aboard it, roughly how much you can spend on it, and really what kind of sailing you want to do in it. That makes it a lot easier to give useful feedback... For instance, I wouldn't be recommending they get a Gunboat 62 catamaran... which can sail and sleep 10 people... and costs a lot more than six figures.

Read the Opening Post

When replying to a thread, if you don't want to read the whole thread, at least read the original post that started the thread. In some threads, there are rules for the thread, like the Song Chain thread or the Where is This Place thread...

Keep it Current and On-Topic

Don't revive old threads... If the thread is more than a year old... let it lie.. In many cases, you'll be replying to people who are no longer even on sailnet. Yes, some threads are longer lived than others... the "Fight Club" thread will probably never die... but it also doesn't have any real topic. :)

Also, try to stay at on-thread, if not on topic. If the thread is about oil filters, don't post a question about winterising diesel engines. If you just bought a boat...and are really excited about it... post a new thread about it, instead of digging up a thread about the boat that's been dead for six-years. If you want, post a link to the dead thread...

Do your homework

Please try to at least do a little homework before posting in a thread or starting a thread. A lot of topics have been covered over and over... and if you do a search, you'll often find the question you have has been answered previously.

Check the dates on the threads you dig up... if they're more than a few years old, it might be worth starting a new post on the same subject, since the technology may have changed. For instance, a few years ago, LED navigation lights weren't very common or easily available.... now they are.

If you're asking about a problem you're having... please include what troubleshooting you've that the people replying can see what you've tried and what hasn't worked. Also, before asking a question on a piece of equipment, you should at least RTFM... :)

Also, please say what fixed the problem... it is always good to hear back...and posting what fixed the issue might help others with the same or similar problem in the future.

How to Search Sailnetís Forums

Since Sailnet's internal search function isn't usable for most people, I thought I'd post a tip on how to search for past posts and threads on Sailnet using Google.

It is pretty easy to do.

First, open a web browser window to Google. If you have a search toolbar that uses Google, you can use that instead.

Then, in the search box, type your keywords and then type Quote:
<table border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="alt2" style="border: 1px inset ;"> </td> </tr> </tbody></table>
and click on search or hit return.

This will cause Google's search engine to search just Sailnet's forum pages for your keywords.

While, you can't search for posts by specific usernameóit will generally give you better results than Sailnet's search function will.

For example, a search for "Froli Springs" on sailnet brings up this.

A search using Google for "Froli Springs" brings up this.

Posting Photos

Most of the time, the photo posting functions on Sailnet are quite picky and don't work all that well. You're generally much better off getting a or account and then using the icon in the toolbar to link to the photo. More detailed instructions can be found in Cruisingdad's photo post.

Posting Links

You won't be able to post links or PM until you have 10 posts. If you're having a problem with the links getting screwed up by the Sailnet keyword autolinking engine, you can use - shorten that long URL into a Tiny URL to convert the url to something the autolinking engine won't screw-up

Full Disclosure For Special Interests

If you have a commercial website, don't post links to it, unless you fully disclose your relationship to the website. If you have a relationship to a product... then you have to disclose it. There's a set of rules on Special Interest Disclosure you should read.

Multiple Similar Posts

If you've posted a message once... don't post it again, especially not as its own thread in a different forum. This is particularly annoying if you start three or more threads that are basically the exact same question or message. Please just don't do this.

Personal Information

If you're looking to crew or want someone to contact you... don't post your phone number or e-mail address, ask them to PM you. If you do have to post an e-mail address... post it in a form that the spam bots won't pick up.

For example:

Bad e-mail address:


If you need crew, contact me at
Good e-mail address:


If you need crew, contact me at johndoe at doe dot com.
Also, if you're looking to crew... you should probably say what your level of sailing experience is, as well as what area of the world you're looking to crew in. Many of the Sailnetters would be happy to have crew join them, but can't help you if they don't know anything about you.

Specific Forum Guidelines

Some of the forums have slightly different it would pay to read the sticky posts at the top. For instance, the Off-Topic forum is a bit wilder than the others...and the HerSailNet forum is a bit kinder... :)

Flaming and Trolls

Don't do it... if you have a problem with a post or a person...flag it using the icon in the title bar of the post. Please flag it if it appears to be spam as well... the mods can always use the help staying on top of the spammers.

Anything else

If you have questions or problems, the two mods that are on most of the time are Camaraderie and CruisingDad. They're good guys, if a bit touched in the head... ;)

I hope this helps. Good luck, welcome to sailnet and may you have fair winds and following seas. :)

BTW: If you have fewer than 10 posts, you can't post links and you can't PM people... it's an antispam feature they installed a while back... If you want to post a few links and need to get 10 posts... start participating in the forums... :) The Song Chain thread is a good one to get posts that isn't difficult to be on topic with. :)

Here's an addition from Halekai regarding your signature, user control panel and user profile.


Originally Posted by halekai36 (Post 243643)
Hi All,

OK guilty as charged (sort of)! I've been reading numerous threads on this forum for many years. One thing I find to be a little frustrating is registered users, who ask a question that directly pertains to the the boat/model/engine etc. that they own, but then don't disclose what boat they actually own. This obviously makes it quite tough to answer the question posed. Here's an example of something I see here quite often:

Hi Guys,
I'm wondering if my boat will fit on a trailer and if my truck can tow it?


Hi Guys,
What size anchor should I get for my boat?

Without knowing your boat, size or cruising waters it makes it very tough to answer the questions posed...

I challenge all registered users to please do the following:

Option #1

Click on:

"User CP" (upper left of the message board pane)
Then below the words:
"Control Panel"
Click on:

"User Profile"
Then scroll down to where you enter your info and fill in:
"Your Cruising Area"
"Boat Manufacturer"
"Boat Year"
"Boat Length"

It's not necessary to know your name, job, birth date or any of the other info that does not pertain to the regular slew of questions posted on these forums so your privacy is not at risk! Heck the name of your boat is not even important!


An easier way to achieve the same net result is to create a signature. A signature is nice because then nobody would need to click on your name to figure out what you sail to help answer a question. Signatures can also contain a link to a personal home page or an outside web site!

To add a signature simply do the following:

Click on:
"User CP" (upper left of the message board pane)
Then below the words:
"Control Panel"
Click on:
"Edit Signature"
When the window pops up type your signature including your:
"Screen Name"
"Your Cruising Area"
"Boat Manufacturer"
"Boat Year"
"Boat Length"

Then click:
"Save Signature"

Next click on:
"Edit Options"
Then scroll down to the box that says:
"Thread Display Options"

Now make sure the box for "Show Signature" is checked and you're done!!

As an example this is what my signature looks like:

-Maine Sail

Casco Bay, Maine

Maine Sail's Photo Galleries
Maine Sailing's Photo Galleries at

By adding this info it will be much easier for members to answer questions that pertain to particular cruising areas, specific boat models etc. etc.. I'm hoping we can get at least 25-30% of all SailNet users to do this.....

P.S. I'm not ranting on any one specifically as, I myself, just now updated my profile information. While I always had my boat model & length in my signature I did not have it on my profile so I too am guilty of this!

teshannon 12-21-2007 10:32 AM

Great post! Let's hope people read it.

cardiacpaul 12-21-2007 10:35 AM

you're a real pain in the patootie, you know that?
here I was going to ask how to get sailnet to get me a free boat, or a chick with a boat, or what solar stik I should get, or how to keep the voices outta my tinfoil hat.
But, noooooo, none of that information is forthcoming.
thanks for nuthin'. :)

sailingdog 12-21-2007 10:44 AM


The tinfoil hat doesn't work if the voices are real. :)

Sapperwhite 12-21-2007 10:47 AM


Originally Posted by cardiacpaul (Post 240062)
you're a real pain in the patootie, you know that?
here I was going to ask how to get sailnet to get me a free boat, or a chick with a boat, or what solar stik I should get, or how to keep the voices outta my tinfoil hat.
But, noooooo, none of that information is forthcoming.
thanks for nuthin'. :)

Just a thought, you think maybe the tinfoil hat might be trapping the voices in your head from escaping to the atmosphere? I bet they get pretty loud after a few reflections back and forth.

EDIT: Sorry, I just broke a "keep it on topic" guideline.

AjariBonten 12-21-2007 10:49 AM

Well Done, SD!

I think it should:
a) be a sticky, and
b) a welcome aboard reply should be made to all new members with a link to it.

sailingdog 12-21-2007 10:52 AM

Hey Guys... Can you at least keep this thread on topic... :)

Idiens 12-21-2007 10:53 AM

Is that in your list of rules? Yep, there it is.... What's the topic here?

TrueBlue 12-21-2007 11:04 AM

Pay no attention to that dog behind the curtain.

kwaltersmi 12-21-2007 11:16 AM

I just flagged this thread as total spam. Do not enter.

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