View Poll Results: Are you in favor of adding a "Reference Material Only" thread?
Yes 31 93.94%
No 1 3.03%
No Opinion 1 3.03%
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:11 PM   #1
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Poll re: Starting a "Reference Material Only" Thread

I have made a suggestion to the TF site team and have agreement to test a suggestion. I have proposed starting a thread reserved exclusively for posting useful reference material. My thought is that if we place reference material in one place it will be easier to find and access vs when it is buried within large discussions. If response to the poll is favorable I will start a "Reference Material" thread in this sub-forum as a trial. If it goes well and there is a desire to expand we can expand the concept to other sub-forums at a later time.

A few guidelines are suggested...
  • The thread posts are to be used exclusively for Reference Material - e.g. PDF files or links - relevant to this sub-forum
  • Avoid adding replies with comments or discussion only - if there is discussion regarding reference material do it within another thread or start a new topic discussion thread
  • If you would like to be notified when new material is added simply subscribe to the thread
Please respond to the poll by Tue Jan 20th (my first poll attempt so hope I get this right!)
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #2
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Greetings. I am in. This type of reference is needed. My only thought is that it should be indexed within a table of contents. That way you would find flooring, windows or what ever more easily. Bill
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:36 PM   #3
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I am in

and I am actually scanning some old stuff to PDF I can share
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclone View Post
Greetings. I am in. This type of reference is needed. My only thought is that it should be indexed within a table of contents. That way you would find flooring, widows or what ever more easily. Bill
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:57 PM   #5
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reference

I also support this idea. Currently I have difficulty finding information on a specific topic without a lot of unrelated discussion.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:02 PM   #6
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I think it is a good idea. However.... I have noticed that for the entire history of this forum starting in 2007, very few people seem to want to take the time to search the archives for information on a particular subject. The reason I have come to this conclusion is the fact that the same questions tend to be asked over and over and over. Anchors, number of engines, the visdom of getting a wood boat, you name it. And the answers that have been given in the past are more often than not very, very good.

Most people, myself included, would rather ask a question fresh and get some immediate answers rather than spend time hunting through an archives and trying to come up with a search word or phrase to get the information they're after.

So in a sense, the reference material only thread already exists, albeit it buried somewhat in the archives.

I'm not saying the OP's idea is a bad one or won't work. For an example of how such a refernece "library" can be set up, check the one that's attached to the Grand Banks Owners forum Grand Banks Owner's Resources There are boat manuals, engine manuals, and so forth.

If the forum administration feels it's a workable idea and will create something that will prove useful and not create something that will impose additional monitoring time on them, them then I think it's worth considering.
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Old 01-15-2015, 05:55 PM   #7
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I like Marin's reference to the GB forum and a "Manuals" section. It would be great to build such a library here for boats, engines and equipment. How many threads are there where the first post "Does anyone have a manual for ....?". Could end up being a big project, but a great resource.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:44 PM   #8
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Feedback re: "Reference Only Thread"

Thanks for the posts & interest expressed
From the feedback it looks like I have touched on a topic worth exploring to see if we can make it work & be worthwhile

I absolutely agree with Cyclone & Conrad the intended reference material would be more useful & accessible if Indexed within a Table of Contents - however - I originally proposed this approach as a "sticky" but the site team initially said NO as they perceived it could create a Large Administrative workload.

The GB Owners Resource cited by Marin & THD is desirable - however - I am not aware of a method to accomplish this without adding a significant admin task to moderators.

I also appreciate Marin's comment re: member behavior favors starting a new thread instead of researching & perusing existing threads. I don't begin to think I (or we) can change behaviors to any extent. Maybe over time if members refer new questions to the reference thread folks will get the message and start with a scan or search there?

My feeling remains that having reference material within one thread would make it easier to find vs having the same material spread out over 100's of threads - some very lengthy & wordy.
By using a few features available we may minimize the effort to find relevant info -
1) by using "search this thread" (ref mat'l only) vs searching all threads and having to dig through many threads & many-many posts and
2) by using the "Hybrid Display Mode" users can see the thread outline and if posters include a few key words at the start of their replies it may be possible to scan the outline to find relevant posts.
3) by using tags for posts? I'm not familiar with tags so I could use some help here if others know haw they work and provide some guidance.

If we (members) can make this useful as a thread without the recommended indexing, organizing, and moderator intervention - I'm happy and anxious to give it a try. If the feeling is unless it is organized & indexed it's not worth starting - I'm also OK w/ dropping the idea.
My feeling is that a "best case scenario" would be that we build a useful thread that in the future moderators recognize as a valuable one and decide to make it a "sticky" so at least it shows up at the top of the sub-forum threads.

Is there still interest given the above limitations?
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:48 PM   #9
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The GB owners forum has two "reference" sections. One is called "Manuals" and consists of the following categories: Battery Information; Boat [magazine] Ads; Boat Brochures; Boat Manuals; Drawings; Electronics Manuals; Engine Manuals; Generator Manuals; and Misc. Manuals.

The other section is called "Reading Room" and contains scans or PDFs of magazine articles about Grand Banks boats.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:53 PM   #10
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Greetings,
Good idea. Allow me to make the first contribution...
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:15 AM   #11
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Plan for "Resource Material Only" Thread

The poll and comments expressed certainly indicate an interest in starting a "Reference Material Only" thread. After serious consideration of the suggestions and comments and several conversations w/ moderators I am still unable to come up with a system to organize the material as suggested.
I will put together a post that initiates the "Reference Material Only" thread w/in the Electrical, Electronic & Nav sub-forum as a trial.
I will include some guidelines and suggestions and ask that interested members participate and contribute. If this proves to be a worthwhile resource I believe we will get support for continuing and expanding the effort into other sub-forums.
Once this is up & running, if others would like to start similar threads in other sub-forums they have an interest in just PM me and I am happy to assist when & where possible. If other want to get started I'd suggest copying appropriate guidelines and following a similar format so this resource will look similar across the larger TF.
Thanks for your interest, comments and suggestions.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:46 AM   #12
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I'm with Marin, lots of stuff on site already that seldom gets used. Further I have noted on TF that all too many references are opinions, advertising or testimonials rather than fact or "book" based. As example, references pertaining to:
  • Synthetic oil
  • Fuel filtration
  • Props and engine loading
  • Navigation devices and programs
  • Hull design
  • Anchors and anchoring
  • Batteries, inverters, electrical
  • Additives
  • Etc
Which of course begs the question as to where does one go to get the real story? Often magazine articles and books are advertising or reputation enhancers in disguise. All of which makes the overall boating experience fun, separating the wheat from the chaff.

Now, when will the gale outside abate? Fact - good diesel heater makes the on-the-water PNW winters tolerable. Second fact, a good TV hookup to watch the Seahawks vs Packers is a necessity - but not true for all as some don't watch or care about football. So some guys' facts are another's non fact.
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:13 PM   #13
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Good idea. PDF files are currently limited to 2mb for upload. You will probably need to increase that.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Which of course begs the question as to where does one go to get the real story?
I, for one, do not use general forums for the "real story." They're great for getting some general ideas or for hearing people's opinions about various subjects. But for actual, hard information I never accept at face value anything I read on a general forum.

I go to people in person (or on the phone or via e-mail) I consider credible pros on subjects I need real answers on. Shipwrights we have gotten to know over the years, our marine electric shop, our diesel shop, our marine electronics shop, and so forth.

For example, we want to install new sight tubes on our four saddle tanks. The existing tubes have absorbed enough fuel dye in the 17 years since the tanks were installed to make them difficult to read without the use of a flashlight. So I e-mailed a good friend who for decades until his recent retirement was the head of the engineering department at Alaska Diesel Electric, now Northern Lights Lugger. He's performed or supervised the fitting of thousands of generators, prime movers, fuel systems, etc. on vessels, large and small, all over the world. Asked him what I should use for the new tubing and he came right back with the proper material, the cost, and where to order it.

When I need specific information about a correct procedure, the right material for a job, the right process or technique to use, I'm not really intersted in a whole bunch of conflicing opinions. I want the right answer right away. And be it vehicles, airplanes, boats, you name it, a whole lot of years has taught me that to get the right answer, go to the people who's livelihood is dependent upon their knowing the right answer. Yes, you have to have be able to judge their character and quality because all "professional" means is that you get paid for what you do. But my wife and I seem pretty good at being able to do that.

When I've needed information about my Land Rover and Range Rover I couldn't get from the shop manuals, I've called Land Rover in Sollihull, England and talked to them directly. When we had a question about the water heater in our boat, we called the manufacturer.

When we've had questions about the best way to repair or maintain our 40-plus year old teak deck, we talked to shipwrights in our harbor as well as shipwrights we got to know through the Grand Banks owners forum. When we wanted to improve the battery system in our boat, we talked to the second generation proprietor of the marine electric shop in our harbor, a man who engineered on crab boats in the Bering Sea and has been in the marine electric business now for at least a couple of decades.

So I agree with Sunchaser. While a "data" section on a forum like this could be of value, a lot of what will be there will be opinions, advertising, or tesimonials. Testimonials, if valid, can be useful if there are a lot of them in agreement supporting a particular product or process. But they are still individual experiences. Useful, perhaps, for deciding what kind of anchor to buy. Not so much for determining the right way to make a fiberglass repair or determiningh what coolant or lubricant to use in a particular engine.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
I go to people in person (or on the phone or via e-mail) I consider credible pros on subjects I need real answers on. Shipwrights we have gotten to know over the years, our marine electric shop, our diesel shop, our marine electronics shop, and so forth.
CMF
I applaud your approach and prefer that approach when/where possible.
You obviously have developed a great network of knowledgeable and reliable resources... not everyone has the same network available and can benefit from available info.

Even where/when I do as you do I feel I need to educate myself enough to ask the right questions of the experts.

I don't think (?) you are saying a resource thread is useless or not worth starting... but rather should be treated as a starting point to become informed vs the end-all be-all absolute answer.
I hope you will post & share relevant files & info, especially where you have gotten the info & recommendations from knowledgeable sources.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:36 PM   #16
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I don't think (?) you are saying a resource thread is useless or not worth starting... but rather should be treated as a starting point to become informed vs the end-all be-all absolute answer.
Well, sort of. Even biased opinions can have their value if the reader knows how to judge them and apply them to his or her own question. But I think the posts we have now provide sufficient information to be a "starting point" toward a particular answer. What i think would be more valuable is to have something on the forum that gives as much as is possible the answer.

All of us probably have things they heard someone they respected say that has stuck with them their whole lives. Somebody--- I believe it was one of my college professors but I couldn't swear to it--- told me or the class that the only lasting value of an education is that it teaches you how to learn. This and the career path I have followed have taught me how to find out the specific things I need to know, or to figure out and track down the right person who knows the thing I need to know.

Whether it's searching out the right supervisor to talk to about video taping the inboard spoiler installation during the assembly of a 747-8, or which is the best helicopter company to hire in Rio de Janiero, or who's the best lead guitar player in the Puget Sound area, I've gotten pretty good at figuring out how to acquire the information I need. The internet has made the process a lot faster, particularly on a global level, but the process remains the same.

Note: Don't think that I'm saying or implying that I posses some unique ability that few other people have. I daresay that anyone who is truly successful in their chosen field of endeavor knows consciously or subconsciously how to do exactly the same thing.

A resource thread on this forum would have value, particularly if the material on it is the "real deal."

CPES is a good example. There are lots of opinions and theories about how best to use it. Some of them are valid, some not so much. But the manufacturer of CPES does not simply mix the stuff up, put it in cans, ship it, and let the buyers figure out for themselves how to use it. They printed up fairly detailed instructions on how to mix it, how to apply it, the best things to apply it to, complimentary products that can be used with it, and so forth.

If this is the kind of information which, if it ends up in the proposed resource thread, will go a long way to correctly answering the questions that arise about how and when to use CPES.

Lubricants are another good example. Everyone and their grandmother has opinions on what kind of oil to use in what. Some people point to the fact that they used x-type of oil in their pickup truck and after 100,000 miles the engine hadn't exploded yet as proof that using the same x-type of oil in the Designed-in-the 1950s-Diesel in a boat will be just fine for that engine. Maybe even better than the oil the manufacturer said to use in it.

Well, maybe it will, maybe it won't. But there is no way in hell that I am going to take pickup-man's internet-forum word for it and use x-type of oil in the Designed-in-the-1950s Diesels in our boat. Instead, I'm going to use what the manufacturer of that Designed-in-the-1950s Diesel said to use in it. Particularly when these engines went longer running on that oil than I'm probably going to live.

So.... if the resource thread contains the manuals or excerpts from the manuals for the kinds of engines we use in our boats--- as the GB owners forum does---- that would be great. Someone can still use the same oil they used with great success in their pickup if they want to, but boaters who are more interested in sticking with what the folks who built their engine recommended will have the information right from the horse's mouth.

Same thing with transmissions. People are forever speculating about running a twin engine boat with one engine shut down and the prop freewheeling. Is it okay? they ask. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't. The transmission manufacturers make it clear in their operations manuals if freewheeling is okay or not. And what the limitations are if it is. If the relevant manuals or manual excerpts are in the resource thread, people can get the correct information instead of wading through a lot of opinions, maybes, and guesses.

On the same subject, sometimes it can be okay to freewheel the transmission, but NOT the prop shaft in its shaft log because the log needs cooling and lubrication from an engine-driven raw water feed. So THAT information needs to be in the resource thread, too, so that someone doesn't go off willy-nilly freewheeling their transmission because the manual says it's okay only to burn up their shaft log and ruin the shaft.

A resource thread can be very helpful if it contains truly accurate information. I use the Manuals section of the GB owners forum from time to time because we don't have every detail of our engine, transmission, generator, fresh water pump, inverter/charger, toilet, etc. manuals memorized and we live 100 miles from our boat. So we can't just zip down and read the relevant manual when we need a piece of information or a spec in a hurry.

So do it right, and it will be a valuable asset to a lot of participants on this forum. Do it not so right and it will become yet another thread full of opinions and speculation and guesses and "this is what I do so you should too" posts.

Worth trying, though, in my opinion.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:57 AM   #17
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Reference Material Thread ???

I'm wondering where this went wrong? (separate thread started for Reference Material Only)
Poll and comments seemed to indicate an interest in a reference material thread but I find there has been only one other contribution (other than the ones I've posted)

I couldn't find a way to index it as many suggested - is that the reason it has been abandoned??

Or just not as valuable as I thought from the comments?
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:01 PM   #18
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I tried to upload a few things. The file size limit is too small.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:16 PM   #19
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Can PDF files be posted and uploaded on TF? I didn't think they could. It would be a cool thing to have manuals and related material. I think it would have to be set up in such a way where you have boat specific documents, such as a GB, Marine Trader etc file. Then have a file on stuff that is common, such as trim tabs, re-packing shafts, HWH install.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:43 PM   #20
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My thinking was to try this as a trial run in the Electrical, Electronics & Nav sub-forum and if it works start additional ones in other sub-forums as interest & material availability warrants.
This way there could be separate threads for Mainship, GB, etc as well as any of the sub-forum topics - power, etc
PDF's can be uploaded however the size is currently limited - I believe to 2Mb.
Easiest to "Go Advanced" or just scroll down to "attach files" "manage attachments"
I will check to see if there is a way to raise the limit but not holding my breath.
What I did where file size was too large was to at least post a note re: file subject / title availability and for anyone interested to PM me w/ email address and I would email it.

If this works and many contribute and use it I believe we could ultimately get moderators to make them stickys so they would remain near the top of each sub-forum... This will depend largely on contribution levels and perceived benefits and/or members requesting it of moderators.
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