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Old 11-26-2022, 05:00 PM   #1
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Boat Cards for the Great Loop

I just posted a couple of questions that have come up on our shakedown cruise, but this one is of less concern but one I want some opinions on.

We have yet to have cards made and are going to decide in the next couple of days what information to put on there. The first stop in our journey is a marina here in Florence Alabama, and it has a bulletin board full of these cards. That is great to get some ideas from. I havenít even mentioned this to my wife yet but wanted to get some thoughts here. For some reason I find myself wondering if I should put Capt. on there in reference to myself. I have a US Coast Guard 50 ton masters license with a Sail endorsement. Iím not sure why but I wonder if I should include this information? I suspect my wife is going to say donít draw attention to yourself in that way. To a degree I feel that way too but I also feel like I have earned it and I should include it.
Hopefully it will be fun for the respondents and just viewers to see the thoughts on this?
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:07 PM   #2
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We didnít put any titles on ours but then again it is your cards, put whatever you are comfortable with. As long as your wife is onboard with it. We did include our dog, Radar, on ours since the boat is named after him.
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:27 PM   #3
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Regarding titles, most people you will likely hand it to aren't interested in doing business with you, more contact information for future friends. I only listed my credentials on a card if it was for business purposes.

When cruising for pleasure, I don't want the increased responsibility / liability a title may imply.

Ted
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Old 11-26-2022, 05:30 PM   #4
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Rod
I'm not a fan of titles for ocasual acquaintances.
In addition to our contact info I decided to include some additional info on the backside such as: ABC instructor, vessel safety examiner and TF Site Tem - as I use the card for acquaintances that might have an interest in those organizations & activities. We met several TFers on an extended 2019 cruise... some pre-arranged and other by-chance meetings.
Noting a USCG 50T Certification on the reverse might be a compromise?
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Old 11-26-2022, 08:46 PM   #5
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Technically, it's a Master's credential, not Captain. I wouldn't include it. It will come across as pretentious.

You may notice my own user ID here. I now wish I hadn't used that. I did that when I'd just gotten my 50 ton. A few of us would jokingly address each other as Captain, knowing full well we weren't really. In real life I'm a recreational boat owner, and a delivery skipper. Not a Captain.
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Old 11-26-2022, 08:58 PM   #6
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To me there are boat cards and business cards.

Have a couple of both with you when out and about on the loop or really anytime.

By the time you are done with meeting/socializing, you will know which one to give.

Many on the loop or cruising seriously have 50T or better and it's not the license but the experience that really counts anyhow.
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:00 PM   #7
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I gave up cards when I retired. Tossed 'em all in the trash. I like to present a low profile -
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Old 11-26-2022, 09:07 PM   #8
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The most important function of a boat card is to provide contact information and allow people to remember you and your boat. If you have well developed skills that you want to offer for a fee, I think it's okay to advertise a bit (welder, electrician, HVAC, mechanic, seamstress, and yes, delivery skipper). But if you're puffing-up credentials, it's a small world and you'll do more damage than benefit. People will figure you our sooner rather than later.

Cruising community is full of some really experienced people who fly under the radar. You really don't want to be on the wrong end of a pissing contest.

Enjoy your journey

Peter
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:20 AM   #9
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Our cards include a line drawing of the boat, the name of the boat and hailing port (same fonts as transom), our first names with each of our cell phone numbers, our VHF callsign, our MMSI, and our "boat" e-mail address. So far, I think I've actually given out about 3 cards (possibly because we're not really all that social). The backsides are good for small reminder notes to myself, though.

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Old 11-27-2022, 07:32 AM   #10
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We had a set of boat cards made up several years ago and have found them very handy during our travels. We included a line drawing of the boat, the name of the boat (same font as on the transom), VHF call sign, MMSI, Full Names, home port, mobile number (1). e-mail address (1). We have no "relevant" titles, but if we did, we would not use them on the cards.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:39 AM   #11
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Get some Avery business card stock from an office supply store and try out a few pages of each. 10 per page. I would not have batch of 500 made.
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Old 11-27-2022, 07:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
Get some Avery business card stock from an office supply store and try out a few pages of each. 10 per page. I would not have batch of 500 made.


That's what I did. With a printer onboard, as life changed and great photos of the boat cruising were taken, so were the cards.

Was also easy to make up both straight boat cards and modified business ones for the occasion or services rendered.
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Old 11-27-2022, 09:47 AM   #13
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On my cards I list my spouse first as "Admiral", then myself as "Captain", although I am not an official captain. But then my spouse is not an official "Admiral". It's tongue in cheek.

I also provide our boat name, home address and both cell phone numbers.

pete
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Old 11-27-2022, 10:19 AM   #14
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I used a business card with the boat picture on one side and information on the other. Using an online company, I think mine cost <$30. So if you're not happy with them, make another batch.

Mine included:

Boat make, model, and name.
My name, address, phone number, and email.

As I use a mailbox store (that doesn't require the box numbers) for mail, not really worried about junk mail or somebody showing up at, or robbing my house. As mailing addresses have become less and less relevant since I made my card 7 years ago, I might not include mine other than city and state.

Ted
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Old 11-27-2022, 10:43 AM   #15
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We did two sets. One with the string of initials after our names and societies/clubs we have joined. Only made a few of those.
The big number were designed for cruising. Found people refer to you as a boat. So one side has a picture of the boat. A overlay lists boat name, home port, brand, model, hull number(not HIN), MMSI, call#. Other side picture of the two of us, names, public cell numbers, and public email accounts. No dirt dwelling address.
When international had a third set with just boat information and the back blank to be used to write on. We would commonly have a local phone and not use our personal phones. Same with email and had a email account tied to that local phone. Used these for marinas, boat workers/vendors and others with whom we only wanted to give out the bare minimum of necessary information.
I wouldn’t worry about liability as if you get sued that information is discoverable. But would worry about how you’re perceived. When cruising the most modest, low key, non flashy presentation seems to always be best. You can share your background when appropriate in a self effacing manner. Want first impression to be a average cruiser, without deep pockets just trying to get by and needing and willing to give help.
For people who became long term friends pretty much would share full contact information on our phones and cards were irrelevant.
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Old 11-27-2022, 02:03 PM   #16
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Might seem simple, but not being a salesman, very few got cards.

Most people I figured I would never see again or they were in the category that I wouldn't care to see again or be contacted.

Many of the people I did see again and again were because crossing paths was common and the usually went right in my phone as I would see them later that day or soon enough.

So 100 cards would have lasted me probably 2-3 years plus of cruising 5-7 months of the year. As posted before, if and when I ran out.... I just printed up some more.

That pretty much matches the pile of other's cards I would go through after every trip, probably 80% got tossed withing a couple years.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:22 PM   #17
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Another thing to consider is boat stickers. It's all the rage (and I think, sometimes illegal) to stick them on lock walls and bollards and such. It's kinda fun to have something to look at while you're riding the lock up or down, and even a little exciting to see one you recognize. I know one guy who gives them out to customers and I've seen them stuck on things far from any place he's ever been. So far I'm just an observer, not sure I'm ready to order a batch of stickers with my own boat's name.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:31 PM   #18
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I wouldnít put sticker on something that wasnít mine. Too much visual pollution now with tagging, donít need more.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:47 PM   #19
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Boat cards were a great tool for us. You’re at a social event or meeting an other boater, getting or giving a card was an easy way to get/give contact info plus I’m terrible at remembering names. When we were back on the boat I’d usually add the date, location, etc for future reference. It was great if you saw them later in an anchorage or at a dock with no pregnant pauses trying to remember their name(s).

Seasonally I would keep them in a 8.5x11” clear plastic business card organizer in a note book.

How much information do you put on a card? We had both our names, boat name, ham radio call sign and email address. The only address we included was a P.O. Box.

Occasionally I still look at our card collection and I can only smile.
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Old 11-27-2022, 03:55 PM   #20
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I use my boat cards in my normal non boating life too. I have the 3 names, emails and phone numbers and the photo of Black Dog that is in my aviator. I get them at Vista Print for about $25 for 500. So if I want to change something it isnít very much money.
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