Success of TrawlerForum

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
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Oct 11, 2007
Vessel Name
Circuit Breaker
Vessel Make
2021..22' Duffy Cuddy cabin
Since October of 2007 I've noticed a spectacular rise in the number of participants on TF. TF has all but obliterated posters on PassageMaker & the ease of posting, adding photos, etc. is obvious, but I* wonder if others can state why they have abandoned PassageMaker and other sites to participate here. Me? I just think it's the best and easiest to use.
Ease of use is certainly a factor.* Like many other cruisers, I use a Verizon air card because of splitting my time between home, a mountain cabin, work travel, and the boat.* When we are on the boat if we are not doing maintenance, we are cruising.* Our boat is not a dock queen or cocktail cruiser.* The air card is necessary.* Other sites are slow to load and navigate.

I think one of the biggest reasons for the success is that newbies are welcome here.* There are certainly many experienced boaters that are graciously willing to share their knowledge and experience.* This is much appreciated.

As written under another subject, I have had several boats includng a trawler----could have a trawler again.* We use our boat much like a trawler by covering long distances and anchoring alot.* We just cruise much faster than most.* There are many other cruisers here without true trawlers.* We all seem to be welcome.

Another technical issue is that discussions are divided into topics that you can pick and choose from.* Also, your in box is not flooded with e-mails.* The moderators here are parcipitants and thus are available.* They have done a great service in providing this forum.

Thanks to all,
I left PM because of several reasons.....
- They kept changing the board. Once we learned how to effectively use the features of the board, they changed it. This happened to me 4 times since I joined it.
- They forced a new format that we not as pleasureable for the user.
- In one change they forced us to change our user name and password. We lost all of the old posts too.

This forum started up at the opportune time...just when all this crap was going on at PM and the users there were really frustrated.....actually pissed off.

The PM users came here in mass. It was like were were all at a party and the host got obnoxious drunk and offended everyone so we all went down the hall and moved the party!

You guys are doing a good job here. KEEP IT that way ! You've got a really good core of knowledgeable boaters and electrical and mechanical talent here.
Yeah, I'll whatever (10th) those sentiments (/?Clark) . I'd been on PMM since about 2000, infrequently, but they kept dropping all the info, it got slower and they still haven't taken care of some, to me serious posting problems, that caused all of us trouble and made for hard to read postings, just like my run on sentence and in the end were just ignoring any and all suggestions. Oh well.

Good luck and may this forum continue to do well.
I check PM about once a month and there don't seem to be many new posts in that time. So why bother.
This site is faster (by light speed) and doesn't have the clutter of PM.
It also has a large collection of knowledgeable, opinionated, and interesting participants. (all good)
Keep up the good work!
I never posted at PM...checked it out a few times, but didn't seem easy to use. I actually joined this forum a long time ago, way before we actually bought our trawler (I've always been drawn to trawlers!!) but didn't start really participating in it at all until we were buying our Monk. TF is quickly becoming my #1 favorite boating forum, primarily b/c everyone here is extremely nice and helpful, you tolerate my many and often idiotic questions, and the advice given has already saved me tons of money and tons of aggravation. The other forums I am on are more general boating forums. They look at my old trawler and wonder who in their right mind would want some old slow boat with any exterior teak. I still hang out at the other places but TF has, by far, become my #1 source of quality input, info, and insight for "old boat" issues and troubleshooting. Taking on the refit for our Monk has been a new venture for us as all our previous boats til now were never more than 3, maybe 4 model years old so basically nearly new boats that all I had to do was turn the key and go and the biggest decision to be made was whether to tolerate bud light in a can or risk the presence of glass bottles and go for a quality beer.

So a BIG thanks to the moderators and participants- you all have helped me a lot.
This board is by far the friendliest boating board I have ever been to. The advice is excellent and disagreements are treated as if being discussed among friends over a pint.
TF is like going to your local for a pint after work. Why wouldn't you come back?
** All the "improvements" of the PMM site and magazine over the years have ruined what once was the ultimate "average" boating source.* Bill P. sold out and good for him.* I hope he made a bundle but he DID abandon*his original target audience.
** Don't get me started about that a$$ hole Steve D'Antonio.
** And nope, I don't need to read about the latest/greatest electronic gadget that will plot my position, ward off other vessels, pick my nose, make the*morning coffee, walk the dog, polish the transom, kiss the wife and communicate with the Alien vessel hiding behind Mars**all for the*low, low price of $27,000!* Nor do I need a review of the newest offering from Norhaven or whatever which slides in just under*5 million$$.* Ya right!**I don't*think my lifetime salary before expenses or taxes even*will come*CLOSE to that figure.* I don't begrudge the people that*own or can afford those boats but that ain't the way PMM started out.
** Keep it up TF.
Well I have to agree with all the above points.
I joined PM many years ago on the old site and it was pretty good. probably the only site around.
Once Bill sold out and the new updated forum was started with new sign on and loss of history I was with the party group to move over here.
TF is full of good and interesting people, the site is easy and fast to use.
All is good with the world. Keep up the good work nguys.


-- Edited by Tidahapah on Saturday 4th of December 2010 06:46:31 PM
I've been a reader of TF for a while now. *There is a great mass of knowledge here, and an even greater potential for learning if one is willing to trade one's ego for humility from time to time. *The civil difference of opinion that happens in the Forum is an important part of learning a broad spectrum of solution approaches, equally effective. * But it is the camaraderie of people who share the enjoyment and/or sharing the experience of trawlering that is best. It's a great site.
This site has a great and multi-talented population. I've enjoyed reading many of the threads. I'm looking forward to a picture of a semi-displacement hull in my avitar. I'm thinking you guys will help me get there without too many mistakes.
RT Firefly wrote:

Don't get me started about that a$$ hole Steve D'Antonio.
It seemed to me that PM had no interest in fixing obvious problems with the site.* It became WAY too slow and difficult to use. As an advertiser, and participant in Trawler Fest, I have come to know quite a few of the folks at the magazine personally and they are really nice people. When I asked about the demise of the BB, and the continuing problems, I never got a real answer, but reading between the lines it's clear that the priority is with the remainder of the site.* As with everyone, budgets have been cut, and priorities set.* As for Steve D, I wonder what he did to annoy RT?* I have only met him once, but he seemed nice enough.* He certainly is an expert on boat systems, and has an ability to convey information in a way the even novices can usually understand.* I've learned much from him.* For sure, there will be times when the subject matter will be of no interest to certain people, but due to the broad interest range of the readers, it's impossible to cover subjects of interest to everyone every issue.* Perhaps I'm missing something.........Arctic Traveller

** Mr. AT.* I too asked some of the PMM staff about the board and got the same evasive answers and like you I read between the lines and reached the same conclusions you did.
** As to S D'A.* I sat in on one of his lectures on boat electronic/electrical systems.* Yup, he DOES know a lot about boats.* He stressed the safety aspect of wiring systems WRT fire and I agreed with him completley.* I was able to ask about my uncle's boat wiring and mentioned that because of her age, AYBC standards (color coding among other issues) were seemingly not followed.* His response was that Uncle Fred*(UF) was sitting on a time bomb and unless*UF immediatly rewired*the*boat to AYBC "rules" and he did stress RULES that*UF*could be held criminaly responsible for any injuries suffered by guests as a result of a fire due to unsafe wiring.* He hadn't seen my uncle's vessel and*didn't ask what shape the wiring was in.* He was adamant that unless ANY vessel followed these RULES that it was unsafe.* Not even willing to listen and his attitude to me was quite demeaning in front of a room full of people.
***Yup, he*DOES know a lot about boats but he's a bit too opinionated and full of himself*for my liking. JMHO.
RT, I'd sure hate to have him (Steve D'Antonio) pass opinion over my boat and it's wiring etc, probably nothing would meet the magic standard. However, I guess if one has 120 or 240 v AC on board, one does have to be more nit-picky. That's one reason, the other is I like trying to be as green as I can, why I only have 12v on board, with charge coming from engine, solar or wind out on the pick, and an isolating transformer marine type multistage charger only to the batts at the dock. As to colour coding...I know what and where the wires are, but there is no system. She's 35 yrs old after all.
The desperation to make a few cents loaded the board with so much slow loading garbage , that ir was not worth the time.

Sail, Cruising World , and the best Mag in boating Pro Boat Builder are all free.

Soon PM will be free or be gone.

Visiting PM once in a while is good to find wannabees.
PMM was the mag and the site but, as has been mentioned, the "monetization" of the mag changed their focus and the message boards went down the macerator. While I am more of a reader than a contributor, this site is easier to use and, with the rare exception, more civil. I still await the arrival of a new PMM issue and rush thru it like an old Sears catalog; but I think they have missed a major part of the market with the focus on new, and yes fancier and $$$, boats. No surprise as how many of us have placed an ad? But the "seasoned" vessels are a large market for legitimate upgrades, not the $27,000 device that was mentioned in another post (I have seen oner of those and it is neat). It would seem tha PMM could generate ad revenue from that segment but I guess their marketing budgets are no match for the boat manufacturers.As a relative newbie I appreciate the advice from this board.
Bill Noftsinger
Amazing Grace
Yep, Congratulations and thanks to John and Doug for getting this started. The timing was perfect, as PM was already dying a self-inflicted death. It had gotten so slow, that I would click on something then go wash the dishes or something while it loaded. Pleas to the tech guy went unheeded. I pretty much quit going there, but stopped by occasionally to find very little. I can't even remember the last time I was there. But there's no need to, now that TF is so busy.

Even Georges of T&T forum finally made something similar, but the few times I was there it wasn't busy either. This one is now so busy I can't hardly keep up!
My impression is that the folks at PM haven't figured out how to monetize the forum, so put almost no resources into it.* Like a restaurant without customers, people look in the window, see it empty and go elsewhere.* Sadly, that is happening there, and I genuinely wish they understood the value of the forum for their brand, as that is where a lot of newbies first land.

Firefly regarding Steve d'A , he's stopped by my boat a couple of times and always seemed like a knowledgeable guy, but open to ideas as well.* I didn't peg him as someone who would insist you agree with him to bolster a fragile ego, like some.* Perhaps you caught him when his brain had partially shut down after a lecture.* Strange things happen to people in public speaking venues....
RT Firefly wrote:

Yup, he*DOES know a lot about boats but he's a bit too opinionated and full of himself*for my liking. JMHO.

Point well taken. I doubt there are many boats (even new ones) that would meet ALL of the A.B.Y.C. standards, but it's a worthy goal.* Realistically, I think there would be far more liability from sub-standard new instilations, than from one that was done to the standard that was current at the time of manufacture.* Perhaps, spending so much time spreadng the message has gone to his head....................Arctic Traveller
Howdy guys...I am on the road and was only able to read the first couple of posts and have to head out the door again RIGHT NOW so can't read it all. I will catch up on it tomorrow!!!! But from the first few posts I just want to say thank you ofr civility and your participation. Because of people like y'all, this forum is extremely easy to moderate. Anyway, I am in a huge hurry and gotta go. Talk to y'all tomorrow and thank you so much for participating on Trawler Forum!!!
Charles ,
I don't think the original PM site was bad to use at all.
It was when they went to the new format and we all had to re register that it went to poo.
The 1 st couple of years was good and and a lot of good people on board. FF will remember them.

But TF is the ducks nuts .
IMO,there are specific reasons for the forums success. First it is user*friendly and second its users are friendly.

Glad to see I am not the only one who thought the PM site was way too slow and the mag is too focused on million dollar boats. I think TF is a great source of information and a good sounding board for ideas.

Thanks again, folks. I am back from my TransPacific Odyssey and sitting down with a cup of coffee after a little nap. I have said it many times before and I will say it again. We had been thinking about this forum for years. We(me and the mouse in my pocket) are "relatively" young and had other hobbies and I always marveled at the forums offered to enthusiasts of other hobbies/lifestyles. The only options we trawlers folks had was T&T and PM. While I certainly believed T&T to be a valuable source of info and fun as well, an email based list was WAY beyond obsolete and just too tedious to keep up with....not to mention it's strict moderation caused solely by it's obsolescence. *To be honest with you, this was the biggest burr under my saddle. *The mods over there could be downright *******s for no reason!!! And to me, PM was not even an option it was so slow. So the Trawler Forum was born....purely out of necessity and the urge to provide trawler folks a place to "hang out".
That has always been our motivation. Doug and I talk about advertising all the time and I am inundated on a regular basis with questions related to that. My only reply to that is, "Not right now.". Will we in the future???...maybe. But I will absolutely PROMISE that if we do ever go that route that ACCESSIBILITY and USER FRIENDLINESS will ALWAYS be our TOP PRIORITY!!!!! And if we do, we will make sure that it adds value to the forum and not take away from the experience. Like I said, this forum was born out of necessity due to a lack of any other of it's kind. It will continue to serve it's purpose in the future and that purpose is listed above!!!!!!!!

Anyway, Doug has always been the technical guy and is really responsible for getting this thing up and running. It was mostly my idea though and through many discussions, it became our idea. He has always had the "keys" to the site and I have just basically been the people person and moderator. He has NO spare time, I have tons(ya shoulda been a pilot). With that said, we just had a little discussion and I now have the keys so...WATCH OUT!!!! You might see some very minor rearrangement but you will probably barely notice. I would like to provide the Aussies and Kiwis their own "Cruising events" area since we have such a large contingent from down under.

I am just thinking out loud here and blabbering so I will shut up. Thank y'all so very much for your participation in Trawler Forum. Y'all have made it what it is today!!!!


-- Edited by Baker on Monday 6th of December 2010 03:45:07 PM
Charles,Thanks, "Brody" is a daughter's Lab who is obviously starved for affection but is an excellent helmsman. We get to dog sit when she is traveling.
"I would like to provide the Aussies and Kiwis their own "Cruising events" area since we have such a large contingent from down under."

Hey, that'd be good John, d'yuh think you could swing it....?
I think so....It might take me a bit to figure out how to work this thing but I could sure try.
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