The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
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Oct 31, 2007
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Willard Nomad 30'

Iv'e spent the last 15 min surfing and browsing around counting all the posts I could find. I'm supprised. I counted over 50. Five to 10 I've never heard of so I assume they made 1 or 2 posts and forgot about TF. Of the 40 left about half seldom post. That leaves 20 to 25 guys holding up the mast. Thats actually better than I thought it would turn out. I wonder if there are 350 guys just reading the posts and thinking about things or if there are 20 to 30 of us chatt'in away and all the others are long gone? What do you moderators know? Is it any of my business? I'm glad I found this site as my Willard site has gone quite dead.

Eric Henning
30 Willard
Thorne Bay AK
and the ratio of members to posters on pmm is 6727 to ??

this sight is going well
Hey Eric,
** too...What they said!
I check the site out every day (or two), but if I have nothing to say, answer or query, I just listen!

I'm solidly in Vinny's camp on this topic. I use the site every day and sometimes much more. I'll bet there are a lot of guys that just read the posts and laugh their fannies off as there is a lot BS here. I fear that some newbies that are taking a lot of this info to heart may encounter some trouble down the road.

I 110% agree with Cousin Vinny.

I've read responses that say something like, "I don't know the answer to your question but I bet somebody will." ??? Or, "I've never owned, used, or even seen the item you're talking about but you should....." ???

I often wonder if the people that do this sort of thing are the ones you see walking down the street or sitting in a cafe talking to themselves.
Mr. Willy,
Could be the 25/50 people you counted have just lost interest or are afraid to post fearing a bad mouthing like what has happened on the PMM site. I know of one "member" who posted a couple of questions here a while back and didn't get ANY response-good or bad and has simply lost interest.
Mr. gns has a point as well regarding "I don't know but you should try...". In a lot of cases this is just to be heard but in some cases the goofy or useless response has twigged an idea in MY brain that has actually been of some use (lateral thinking).
If someone wants a purely technical board, I don't think this is it (nor is PMM) but TF is quick, easy, uncluttered and really quite entertaining but I'm curious about what Mr. Vinny said about the Germans????
Me thinks things are going along very smoothly, especially when one considers the length of time this forum has been active.* Personally, I really enjoy reading about all the different facits of boating; from parts, to recommendations, to adventures.* It's all good, and this forum is set up very well, with cubbie holes for each topic.* Heck, if we run out of topics, we start new ones, as the one on humor or this thread.*

I've gotten a lot of information from you readers out there, and appreciate it all.* My boat is slmost two hours from where I live, so having this forum keeps me plugged in to boating; even when I'm landlocked!

I've been corresponding with a friend in New Zealand, who I've encouraged to join this forum, as he just purchased a 34' CHB there and has all the newbie questions, just like we all did at one time.

So keep reading, contributing or just dreaming of boating here; it's all good and this forum is still a great resource.

Mike Wiley
Brookings, Oregon
I agree with everyone here.**Some folk just like to lurk around and absorb the good stuff and chortle over the funny stuff and roll their eyes at the REALLY weird stuff.
*There are lots of members reading who don't sign on every day,*but just wait to pounce.*
Eric sounds at a bit of a loss with the lack of activity on the Willard site but we can all help. Why don't a bunch of us just migrate over for a short time, ask*questions, offer advice and then disagree with each other. Liven the old place up a bit. Hell, maybe we could hire ourselves out as "Forum rejunenators!" - who ya gonna call?!**(insert appropriate music).

AND, I too have some problems with Vinny.

Monty Python fans will recognise the killer joke that defeated the Nazis in WW2

There were zwei* peanuts walking down der strasse. Und one was assaulted... peanut!
So I guess it's ok to be a little germain at times.
Hey guys,

I'm really glad I asked this Question. Reading between the lines of this thread answers almost everything for me. Something I don't recall discussed is the degree of opnion that is or isn't real in our conversions relative to the degree of fact. I noticed in my posts and in many others that we just state things with no appearent reguard for thier authenticity. I have felt slightly guilty even but the alternative is to say "in my opnion" or "as a mater of fact" or "to me this implies that" or "I really don't know but" ect ect. This would be a burden on me as I type so poorly but it would be a burden on everyone since we may need to make many of these expressions or proclamitions in even one post. I think, however, that it is assumed by all to, more than less that everything said on this site is opnion. If we don't take it too seriously and consider what is said as food for thinking or advice to consider we may get more out of this forum.

Eric Henning
30 Willard
Thorne Bay AK
On the PMM site there are about two dozen that consistently post on a regular/daily bases even though there are 6,500+ members.* 5 years ago the PMM site did not have that much activity.* So its the number actually on the site and the number of hits, not the number of members that is important.* **

Many times the same topic is on both the PMM site and this site, so I do not respond and/or read on the other site.* Who wants to read the same dribble again?* Many of the posts are to get the discussion going and/or keep it going. Many times there will be an article in PMM on a long chat discussion, so they use the chat for magazine articles ideals, and many times an article will start a discussion, so they feed on another. *

It takes years to establish a large membership and following.* PMM chat is 10+ years old.* ****

Hey Eric and others,

Great topic and in direct response to Eric I would like to add; "I feel" that the proclamations referred to would help. Being a newbie amongst such perceived salty old sages I was always a little leery of commenting or asking questions for fear of recrimination. After a couple years of lurking I finally got up the nerve to post a comment but either preceded or followed every statement with, "I feel, or I believe". But, then to my amazement the folks here and at PMM and T&T turned out to be very kind. I was tolerated and welcomed and so occasionally you'll here from me about something.

The other thing is that like someone else mentioned, I'm a long way from my boat right now (boats in Virginia, I'm in Jacksonville) and this forum sure helps keep me connected to my beloved boating (that's a little silly).smile

And finally, I disagree that lurkers/newbies have little or nothing to offer. "I believe" that a newbies questions can serve to fuel discussion about many topics that real learning can grow from.

"just my opinion, your mileage may vary" (quoted from another lister trying to deflect criticism) Ha Ha


Capn Wil
Sadly grounded
Gents -

Just my (even so humble) opinion:

At nine hundred and some miles away from my boat (for now), the daily back and forth about boat stuff is just wonderful. Eric, FF, RTF, Marin, Phil/Fill, Nomadwilly, and everybody else - I've never met any of you, but I consider you friends. I hope the day will come when I can meet you all in person.

The best thing about this site: "I disagree with you, and here's why" instead of "You don't think the way I do, so you must be s stupid idiot".

Respect is a precious (and all too rare) thing.

Thanks, guys.

We could have a meeting. East coast and west coast. Willard Boat Owners ( Yahoo Groups ) had a rendezvous last year and those that went had a wonderful time and those that didn't were obviously jealous. Just a thought.

Eric Henning
30 Willard
Thorne Bay AK
All we have to say is thanks to all of you. You have mentioned many of the reasons we started this site. The* main reasons*are to talk freely about boating and have the resources to get to know one another(thru easy picture posting,unobtrusive moderating,etc.) while exchanging good information. I have really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters on here. Our expectations have surely been met and then some.

Truly, a sincere "Thank You" to each an every one of you for participating in this site.

PS...Eric, don't forget about us redneck/cajun boaters down here on the 3rd coast(Gulf Coast)...

-- Edited by Baker at 12:26, 2008-02-04

What you have noticed seems to be pretty much the norm in all the forums or newsgroups I have participated in or read for the last decade or so. One of the moderators of the T&T list told me awhile back that at the time they had something like 3,000 members, but only about 150 active participants. Some people are pretty comfortable communicating "in the blind" on an internet forum, but I think more are not.

One thing I don't like to see is a post that starts, "I'm just a newbie so don't have anything to offer...." A lot of people who have been doing something for a long time forget there was once a day when they didn't know squat about boating, flying, skiing, you name it. Just because a person is new to boating doesn't mean they don't know anything about it, because in my opinion, boating is 90 percent logic and common sense and 10 percent specific knowledge. So I believe someone new to boating can have just as valuable a piece of information to share as someone who has--- or claims to have had--- decades of boating experience.
I have several times tried to arrange a meet/rendezvous with the PMM site and the RoughWater site, even sort of hinted on this site about the Seattle Boat Show.* We did have a PMM meet several years at Poulsbo that several people showed up. * However, in a way its some times better not to actually meet as people have a mental picture of the person as people can be so much cooler on line.* Like I am 6 1, in 3 heels, weight 170 lbs, in my dreams, drive a pink *Cadilac, actually a rusty pick up trucks,*like soft music with a good class of wine, actual*red neck country with a beer, own and live on a ugly old trawler, now that is true, but the closer you get the uglier it gets.
Hey Captn Will,

I agree newbies and lurkers have a lot to offer but frequently offer much less. But the reason is linked to one of the most important aspects of web forums. In a face to face interchange like the ones we have but in a cafe or bar maybe 75% of us would bail because it would not be a comfortable thing to do. Here on Trawler Forum the introverts, quiet people and private people can be participants without participating. On the Willard Boat Owners site I can surf the old messages for hours, learning what I want and skimming over the rest. People like this on TF get a great deal out of TF but don't appear to give anything back. But they do. They give the forum VALUE. I'ts just that we the participants don't know it. But now that I know you are there, learning, enjoying and interacting with us passively as a group I personally find my time and energy much more rewarding. Thank you.

Eric Henning
30 Willard
Thorne Bay AK

Oh No!!! Say it isn't so, please! INTROVERTS, on THIS forum?!?! My Admiral (wife) is one of them thar things (just kidding, tongue firmly in cheek). Certified, bonafied, tested and approved. She is always telling me to slow down (extrovert). She says it takes introverts a little longer to process information but they come up with good answers. And....she's right. She does come up with good answers. Seems like she and other introverts would be good on this forum. So for all you introverts out there, thanks for the slow but good answers. And, I agree with you Eric about the value of the lurkers and in fact all of the members. Thanks to all of the participants and lurkers that make this forum possible.

I would like to offer what little knowledge that I have gained over the past few years to anyone considering a "First Step" into trawlering. I got in at an entry level ( and had the most marvelous adventure, even though I felt like I was a little short in the experience department. You are welcome to email me direct and we can set-up a phone conversation about my particular approach (not particularly unique).

In short, I bought a small used affordable trawler in San Francisco (I live in Virginia), had it trucked to Galveston, spent a month or two prepping the boat and then took it on it's own bottom by myself from Galveston to Apalachicola, Florida (about 800 miles). I farted around a lot and took about two months to make the trip.

Best regards,

Phil Fill,
Your'e right. Numerous times I've been half way through a book and the author tells me he is totally different than I grew to know him over hundreds of poges. But the Willard gathering went very well. Everyone seemed quite thrilled to meet for the first time the webbers they'ed been talking to for years. For us lodgistics would'nt do us any good. By the time we broke up into 4 or 5 areas we'd have too few people involved.
I had an introverted girlfriend in the car and I was talking on and on for several minutes ..I paused and she said " Eric some people think before they speak ". I felt screwed up untill I read the book " Please Understand Me " Then I found out thats what introverts do .. think before they speak. We extroverts are OK. We are more efficent ... thinking and speaking at the same time. But sometimes the stuff that comes out gets us into trouble. All you guys on TF know that about me. By the way ..
I miss my Albin.
Eric Henning
30 Willard
Thorne Bay AK
"I agree newbies and lurkers have a lot to offer "

What they mostly have to offer is new blood , new faces , and thick wallets to purchase our old boats when we move up , or on.
I like reading this forum. I'm a semi reg on PMM, but have somehow migrated over here. This is (I think) my 3rd post here. I log in every few days.

On the other hand, when I have a boat problem, which is frequent, I post and check it evry few hours.

I don;t see much difference from here to PMM, honestly.

Why did you stop in Apalach? Are you still there?

We are in Carrabelle. I've noticied that there seem to be more people from our small little backwater part of the world on TF than are on PMM.

Then again, that is JusT My Opinion. Your mileage may vary. LOL.

I think you have introduced an interesting topic.* I'll offer my thoughts, as one who does not post often on this forum, on why some may not participate frequently on forums such as this.*

My interest in boating is in being on the boat and going places.* I have boated on the West Coast, (British Columbia and Southeast Alaska) since retiring in 1995.* I started with a little Bayliner 2452 which got me as far as Port Hardy, but was forced to move up to a Commander 30 in 2001, when the Admiral announced she was NOT going around Cape Caution in a 24 foot boat.* What a shame!* The forced move to the 30 got us to Southeast over 148 days and 3500 miles in 2002; toured every mile of the Southern Mainland Coast of B.C. from the Peace Arch to Cape Caution over 3200 miles and 103 days in 2003; and completed our tour of the Mainland Coast of Central and North B.C. waters from Cape Caution to Stewart, B.C. and Hyder, AK with a solo 75 day, 3000 mile trip in 2007.**

I checked this forum out following a reference from the PM forum, and was made welcome by Doug Dupuis statement, and found some disappointing similarities in the forums.* The forums are dedicated to Passagemakers and Trawlers, boats which I meet out on the water, occupied by some great folks, who I now number among my boating friends.* None of these boaters share their experiences with the universe of boaters who frequent these forums.* No "Local Knowledge" is passed on by these experienced boaters through these forums.* The PM forum only covers boating and going places in their "General Discussion" section.* Hmmm.* I must have misunderstood the meaning of passagemaking.* On this forum, there seem to be only 2 spots where boaters relate "boating" experiences for the geographic boating area I participate in - *"Voyagers ... "*and "Cruising ... West Coast".* "Voyagers ..."*has 10 threads, 2 of which I have responded to.* "Cruising ... West Coast" has 5 threads, none of them concerned with B.C. or Alaskan waters.***

I have made the acquaintance of Richard Cook, through his "Chichagof" post, and responded to your "Massett" post.* Sea Horse II responded enthusiastically to both of those posts, but I know we will never meet in our own boats in Petersburg, AK.**
* Coyote454 and Chris Foster are close enough that I might meet up with them North of Puget Sound one day.* Oldfishboat and Wingspar are good pals from another forum.* There are currently 500 members here and my list contains 7 boaters who might be interested in exchanging information about where we go boating.*

The boaters go boating, and it seems that not many of them are interested in sharing their experiences through internet boating forums, or if they are, there are not many here to share with.*


-- Edited by Old_Salt at 13:19, 2008-02-29
"None of these boaters share their experiences with the universe of boaters who frequent these forums. No "Local Knowledge" is passed on by these experienced boaters through these forums. The PM forum only covers boating and going places in their "General Discussion" section. Hmmm. I must have misunderstood the meaning of passagemaking. On this forum, there seem to be only 2 spots where boaters relate "boating" experiences for the geographic boating area I participate in - "Voyagers ... " and "Cruising ... West Coast". "Voyagers ..." has 10 threads, 2 of which I have responded to. "Cruising ... West Coast" has 5 threads, none of them concerned with B.C. or Alaskan waters."

That's certainly an interesting thought process on how valuable this site is to you. I stand amazed that you haven't started the thread yourself with a comment or a question since you obviously have experiences also. Perhaps if you started the thread others might join in like we have in sharing our backgrounds.

I don't just start writing about all the trips and experiences I've had for fear it might bore the stuffing out of the others. However, if someone asked about provisioning spots in southern BC you would find several of us recommending Ganges, Nanaimo, Campbell River, etc. We could tell you the store names, where to park your boat to have the best access, where the liquor stores are, etc.

Those who write well about their experiences, have interesting stories to tell and think that others want to hear about it, write books and sell them. Those folks don't just start writing about them on a web site.

That's just my thought and I might be wrong.

Ken Buck
Mr Salt,

This could be the most interesting, honest and meaningful post I've seen on this forum. I responded to a message from Doug D also ( on the Willard boat owners site ) I spend 90 % of my time here now ( more fun ) but I don't learn much about Willards here. Why don't your friends play on the forums ... do you think? Many know there are many that have extensive experience in these PNW waters. It seems strange to me that knowing I live in SE Alaska ( I put it on my posts for many months ) nobody has asked me anything about " local knowlege ". One person asked me what would be the ideal SE Alaska boat but thats it. I belive nobody knows how many of the 500 members participate, as lurkers or otherwise. I did some serious counting one day and it seems from my efforts that about 70 have posted. If there are 50 to 150 lurkers there could be 300 or more that surfed a bit or made a post or two and now don't remember Trawler Forum at all. Please don't go back under the rock Mr Salt as I think your input on this Forum will/would be very meaningful. I'll make a list of some places I've not been but are high on my list of places of extreem interest. Thank you for your response.

Eric Henning
30 Willard
Thorne Bay AK
OK you guys. You complain that no one shares their experiences of cruising and since Old Salt, Marin, OldFishboat and a few more of us are all located on the North-West Coast why would we bother posting our experiences?
I mean, come on now all we do is wander around in the fog and pouring rain out here and most people would not be to interested if we were to document a lengthy trip in such weather when all we saw were a couple of other vessels on somewhat of a collision course to us and a few rocks sticking out of the fog a couple of times a day.
Look at Old Salt's words - he says it took him 148 days of such wanderings to get to SE Alaska and back when we all know that most boaters would want to make such a trip in 25 or 30 days at the most but that would need visibility.
We who live out here on the wet coast should be grateful that fellow boaters don't post great writings about their great trips on our coast, it keeps the number of boats well down to where we can still get a nice little snug cove all to our selfs for a day or two, mind you we have thought that was the case until the fog lifted a bit and by golly there were 3 others boats in our cove!
We have, like OldSalt spent many days exploring the coast line from Vancouver / Victoria to Cape Caution and at times spent weeks going nowhere, but not because of the bad weather (sorry, I had to include this) but rather that it was so darn peaceful and beautiful that we did not want to move. Spent one trip of 9 weeks in this area and never ran the engine more than 3 hours a day except for the trip north to Campbell River and return and gee it didn't rain once!
I suppose that if a list member wants info on our coast the polite thing would be to give him what he wants but gosh darn it, he just might try it and like "Mikey" like it and be a repeat customer - oh what are we to do Old Salt??
Now if this posting doesn't create a bit of a discussion between poster I don't know what will.
Above was all written with tongue in cheek for sure VVBG

John "Penta
Sidney, BC

I think you have summed up the situation pretty well. To be totally honest, I have no interest in reading about someone's experience cruising the Inside Passage or anywhere else. If, as you allude to, it's a book about such a voyage written creatively and professionally--- like Johnathan Raban's "Passage to Juneau"--- that's another deal. I read that sort of thing because it's FAR more than just a "what I did" story. But I won't read the kind of voyage posts that appear on forums like this one, T&T, etc.

That's not to say I'm above asking for advice when planning our own cruises. For example we're planning a multi-week cruise to Desolation Sound this fall, and I've asked for advice and opinions from a couple of people I know with a lot of experience cruising the same area as to good anchorages enroute, things to be careful of, and so on.

But we bought our boat to have our own adventures, not duplicate anyone else's. For example even though thousands upon thousands of people have flown floatplanes up and down the Inside Passage, when my wife and I started to do it in the mid-1980s we wanted that "breaking new ground" feeling. We wanted to see if we had the skill and knowledge to plan and execute sucn a flight totally on our own, as though nobody had ever done what we were going to do.

We take the same approach to boating. Sure, a million people will have taken a boat to every destination we could possibly come up with, but that's not the point. To us it will be a first, and a big part of that is figuring out how to deal on our own with what we're going to encounter.

We tend to project our values onto other people, so since I have no interest in reading somebody else's "what I did on my cruise last year" post, I figure nobody's going to want to read the same thing from me so I won't write them. I've had a few books published and I'm working on another one, but I try to write those in a such a way that people will want to buy them. But that's a WAY different kind of writing than the typical "my cruise" post to a website.

So speaking STRICTLY for myself, the value in a forum like this one is to get boating questions answered, or to try to answer them if I think I have an answer. Talking about boat design is enjoyable (thank you, Eric) and boat history if it's relevant, and other similar topics.

So to answer the implied question of why don't more people on this forum talk about their own boating experiences, for my part it's because I want to learn things by doing them, not by reading or writing about them. This past weekend I met a fellow who has a Harley Davidson and loves to take long trips on it with his wife. I started asking him some questions about various Harley models and he stopped me and said, "I'm not really interested in Harley-Davidsons, I'm just interested in MY Harley-Davidson." I can relate to that. It's why my wife and I don't attend Grand Banks rendezvous or TrawlerFests, etc. We got the boat to do our own thing totally on our own, although we do have a couple of like-minded friends we really enjoy cruising with when we get the chance.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not badmouthing people who like to read about other people's cruises, or like to write about their own. I'm just saying I'm not one of them.

-- Edited by Marin at 21:31, 2008-02-29
Gee, Eric!* Please do not call me Mr.* I keep looking over my shoulder for my Father when someone does that.*You will get Honest from me, young man.* Interesting and Meaningful will depend on you.*

Perhaps you have run across an Alaskan out of Girdwood, name of Rob Hays, who has a Willard 40, name of Lady Anne.* Hes a helpful guy and I know he would share all he knew with you.* I can give you a reference by PM if you like.* He has summered in Petersburg for the last couple of years, and you may have met him there, or on the Willard forum.*

I have never thought of myself as being under a rock, Eric.* Actually, I volunteer a fair bit of boating info on other forums where there are a few more active participants, who seem to be keen on expanding their horizons a little bit, and I appreciate that they feel I have something of boating value to share.* I also appreciate their stories and humor, such as your Massett to Rupert story, singing all the way.* I can give you references by PM if you like.* I cant tell you the reasons why some of the boaters I have met have no interest at all in participating in internet boating forms, but I know when we meet up in some remote anchorage*I can spill a lot of beer with them, while lying to each other about what great skippies we are.*

Will you be resident in Thorne Bay this summer?* It is possible I will get the time to do a turn around POWI this summer.* I really enjoyed my brief stay on the West side last trip, and Cape Chacon was quite a thrill for an old guy.*

Thanks for your response.* Meeting up with you and Rcook has made my trip to TF very worthwhile.*


Do you keep your boat in that very nice Port of Sidney marina?* If I kept my boat in that very nice Port of Sidney marina, I would never leave to go cruising!*

Man, you have to be kidding - the last time I put in there to let someone off the dock crew turned up their noses at my boat and asked how long I intended to be there - I left very soon after. That place is for the rich and famous for sure!
Actually my boat is currently in my back yard undergoing a multi-year refit and re-work. I have re-fastened the hull, re-decked, replaced the cabin tops, extended the aft cabin by 2 feet (from my original conversion) stripped the entire interior and all the electricals. I guess you could say that at one time she was a "bare" hull! Re-doing the interior now, got most of the cabinets done in the main cabin and am now installing pine "bead board" on the walls.
Provided our family situation allows it we hope to relaunch next spring.
She used to live at Westport Marina out by the ferry terminal and we live on the south side of the airport so that was nice and close.
One day I will figure out how to post some pictures for all to see.
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