One of the first sites is still going strong. It's not a web forum like this one but is e-mail based. It's called "Trawlers and Trawlering," or "T&T" for short. You subscribe to it on the web at http://lists.samurai.com/mailman/lis...and-trawlering
but you get the daily posts via e-mail. You can either elect to get every post as it's posted as a separate e-mail (be aware you may get over a hundred e-mails on any given day) or you can elect to receive the daily digest, which is all that day's posts in one e-mail that usually comes in sometime in the evening.
You can also access the T&T list via the archives that are linked on the website. Posts sent to T&T appear in the current month's archives almost immediately, so you can use the archives almost as you do a forum like this one. However if you want to reply to a post, you need to copy the relevant text and then paste it into an e-mail form that will open when you click on the sender's link in the post.
Every communications forum has its pros and cons.* An advantage to T&T is that it draws people from all over, with all sorts of experience levels.* I believe there are several thousand active participants.* So a question will generally get you a lot of answers.
A disadvantage (in some people's eyes) is that the adminstrators of the site make a strong effort to keep the whole site on topic.* This is because as an e-mail site, everyone is forced to receive every post.* Were discussions to morph into political or "gun ownership" topics, the number of posts would skyrocket and a lot of people would get pretty upset, particularly the active cruisers who get their e-mail via phone links.* So the list is pretty strictly moderated and if discussions start wandering too far off-topic or get personal, a moderator can apply a filter to stop any further posts on that subject.
But as a source of boating information, T&T is quite good.
Most of the specific makes of trawlers have owner sites, sometimes more than one. While some of the information and discussions will be specific to that make, there will also be lots of information you can apply to almost any make of boat. On the Grand Banks owners forum, for example, there is a ton of information on taking care of teak decks, overhauling windows, maintaining engines, painting products and techniques, what kind of refrigerator is best, and on and on, all of which are as applicable to other makes of boat as to Grand Banks.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 29th of December 2010 07:10:49 PM