The right and wrong way to tackle perceived issues in the class
"What a shame! This removes the openness of this forum and is definitely a retrograde step. I for one doubt that I will post at all under these conditions.\r\n\r\nWhat's the problem? Are you opposed to free speech? Frightened of being told something that you don't like or merely want to stop people expressing their opinions?\r\n\r\nOn the rule breaking issue, you only had 3 totally anonymous posts - the rest were all identifiable\r\n\r\nShame on you!!!"
"I think that would be very much an over reaction. There were some 53 responses on this thread and only two were truly anonymous (used punctuation) marks. The vast majority of the rest are immediately identifiable from previous postings, even Megan!!\r\n\r\nContrary to other opinions expressed, I think that the debate on advertising shows that the class is alive and kicking."
"RichardT, maybe you could just register as ""RichardT"" and continue to post as normal? \r\n\r\nHas this solved the problem of 'all these conditions'?"
"Dougal,\r\n\r\n+1 \r\nOld wooden boat now sold."
"Guys,\r\n\r\nThis is my opinion, not necessarily that of the class committee (But i'm fairly sure that they will back me up).\r\n\r\nThis forum is often a place of lively debate, and is an in many ways an asset to the class. Everyone is allowed an opinion, and i'd like to thank the overwhelming majority of people for using their own names.\r\n\r\nBut there are things you simply cannot say on here and in public.\r\n\r\nThe most obvious one is accuse someone of cheating. A few people have sailed very, very close to this in the sponsorship thread. It's also not a good idea to question people's integrity and if you must do so it most certainly is not a good idea to name names - you could find yourself in quite a lot of trouble!\r\n\r\nIf you have a problem with someone's adherence to or interpretation of the rules that you can't resolve in person there is a process to deal with it. Use it. If you were not at the event in question you can report the issue to the committee and it will be dealt with.\r\n\r\nYou can find committee contact details on the website or the link below.\r\n\r\nIf you're not happy with the committee's response you can contact the RYA.\r\n\r\nPotentially controversial issues crop up fairly frequently, and are almost always dealt with by people at the event in question, in a manner that satisfies everyone - and don't end up being discussed on here in public.\r\n\r\nWhat is happening with increasing frequency is that people who were not at an event either see a photo or hear on the grapevine that something happened and then post on here either leaping to a conclusion or just demanding an explanation. At this point people start jumping on the bandwagon and we have a ""trial by internet"". \r\n\r\nIts a matter of time before a ""trial by internet"" on a class association or yachting media forum becomes the subject of a rule 69 enquiry for bringing the sport into disprepute. Lets not make it this one.\r\n\r\nQuite apart from the above, if you were not at the event in question you have not had access to all for the facts and have in all likelihood either seen only a photo or heard one person's interpretation of what happened - which could be light years from the truth! You could end up making yourself look rather silly.\r\n\r\nIt's easy to say things behind the shelter of a computer monitor - be careful out there!\r\n\r\nChris"
"That seems to be a very good arrangement Tim, I think the point is Richard ,to prevent offensive or inappropriate comments being posted on our forum anonymously, not to restrict anyone's freedom to express their ideas or opinions."
"Couldn't agree more Chris.\r\n\r\nJust to add, could everyone please use their names, or at least a boat number or nickname!"
"Most internet for a seems to degenerate into slanging matches from time to time, and you're right; it isn't clever and it isn't pretty. May I suggest that the webmaster disables the ability to post anonymously? If someone wants to post something but hasn't got the courage to put their name to it then almost by definition it is something that is best left unsaid."
"Good lead Chris.\r\n\r\nIn my opinion, if someone wants to get something off their chest or place a constructive contribution to a thread, the very least they should have to do is to put their handle or name to it. I follow a number of professional and sailing forums, and all bar the Merlins require positive identity when placing a thread. \r\n\r\nIn doing this, it would enrich the site and stop the occasional protractor from creating mischief.\r\n\r\nKeith is right. So name up and be liked or damned by your posting. Some of us do and we stand by our postings."
"I agree with Chris. \r\n\r\nSadly, this is the way of all online discussion forums."
can I sit in too??....ill stand a round...how much has to survive to be able to keep the old number??
now that's interesting keith...morris cockerill gave us the last remaining piece of beatnik last week....could this be the basis for a rebuild...hes quite keen.. its the tiller extension!!!
"mr mqck....ref our chat today, ill ask morris if he would like to do what you suggested..."
I agree too. It's also a real shame when what starts out as a resonable and inocent topic/discussion gets hijacked in this way.
On most bolgs you have to register before you can start a thread or add a comment. Perhaps this it the route to follow?
nice work chris !\r\n\r\nim sure everyone would agree we are all friends and hanging each other on the net is just not cricket haha.\r\n\r\nname and shame alex is a great idea
"I'm a great believer in the internet as a force for democracy. Every week we hear of 'those in authority' wanting to ban Twitter or Google or whatever in their country; I trust that the MROA hierarchy would not wish to be accused of that kind of thing. Let's all speak up, enjoy the empowerment and have our say, and if someone puts rubbish on this forum then let us give our opinion as to why that is so. It is called open debate. Of course, there is a limit, and we know that this forum is moderated - generally fairly.\r\nOne thing I would suggest - can we please make it OBLIGATORY that every contributor puts his own name and email address on their posts (or if not the latter, at least fully identifies themselves to the moderator). That may give some people a little pause to reconsider before they blurt out their first thoughts on an issue."
Well Keith you have the digitised lines of Beat Nik and I have the bits cut out of the transom in late 1965 when we adopted transom flaps!
"Good man, well said."
"How about a simple name and shame?\r\n\r\nAm I correct in saying the vast majority of 'anonymous' posts are still identifiable via IP addresses, I used to be provided with very entertaining lists of perpetrators?"
"The new website, which will be launched soon, will require everyone to register first before being able to post to the forum.\r\n\r\nYou will be able to use a nickname if you so wish but that will be permanent and not something that can be changed at the time of posting.\r\n\r\nThis will clearly remove the anonimity which has been used negatively"
"I will only post anonymously, this is the last you'll be hearing from me. Ta ra."
"When Chris M started this thread, his good intentions were crystal clear, but as is so often the case, good intentions can quickly get lost in the face of a determined effort to circumvent the rules. Shorty after his post, came the invite to the River Championships/BEW - an event that ought to be high on the list of events to do, all the more so for those of us who sail older boats. But what is the point? Why attend an event when you know with almost full certainty that you'd get dragged into a high profile and very messy protest?\r\n\r\nIn yet another thread, Martin Hunter was brave enough to make clear his readiness to protest should he find himself on a start line with a boat carrying advertising. Taking a leaf from his book, I'd do the same if I found that I was competing with a boat that is 'not what it says on the wrapping' - or in the Year Book.\r\n\r\nDespite having a very good rig for inland sailing, were I to sail the Smokers at BEW, my main interest would be on the 30 year old + (boats not helms!)prize, but how can I compete for that when it is won by a boat that is a mere 2 years old. So what has happened? At the meeting held to discuss Classic sailing at Cookham 15 months ago, it was made clear that a new boat that is using the deck beam of an old boat is a new boat. Moreover, the primacy of Rule 21(b) was restated: (For alterations to the hull shell the boat shall be measured to ensure compliance with the class rules). Yet none of this has happened, instead the new boat, masquerading as an old boat, has not only been competing but winning, taking not just the River Championships BUT the Old boat prize too.\r\n\r\nI have no problems with a new breed of narrow river boats being developed, for after all, optimising the design for a given set of conditions is surely at the very heart of what the Merlin Rocket is about. But those rules should apply equally to all, 'without fear or favour'. So, if someone builds a new narrow boat, great. Get it measured, get a certificate and sail under a sail number that would be 37XX. Allowing that what was agreed (at the 'Cookham Accord') to be a new boat to carry off the old boat prize runs totally against the whole ethos of what the classic scene should be about.\r\n\r\nChris M warns of questioning the integrity of people, wise counsel indeed. Yet in this case all the facts are out there in the public domain:\r\nThe Minutes of the Cookham Accord\r\nThe Certificate held at the RYA Office\r\nThe results, as listed in the latest Year book.\r\nThe Class Committee are aware of the situation\r\nThe RYA are also aware of the situation.\r\n\r\nIn 'that' other thread regarding rule observance (Sponsorship) there was much talk of a slippery slope that starts when the rules envelope gets pushed. There are sailors out there, long term Merlin Rocket sailors, who are now walking away from the classic scene because of this 'laissez faire' attitude towards the rules and old boats, which suggests that without something happening and happening soon, the descent downwards will get worse and cause more long term harm to the class.\r\n\r\nDougal/3025"
"Well Dougal, in my opinion you have stated the current status of the new/old boat scandal pretty succinctly. And it's significant that you have chosen to air it on this thread. \r\n\r\nLaissez faire is not in it! ""Why can't we just go and enjoy our sailing?"" appears to be the general view of those we have chosen to represent us. Anyway, the RYA are onto the case now, so maybe, just maybe, there will be a conclusion to the affair."
"If anyone wants to read about some of the earlier controversy surrounding the new/old boat scandal, they should look at the 'Vintage Merlin' link below. Yes, this has been bubbling along for 18 months now."
Hi Keith. With the greatest of respect; I suggest you do 3 things.\r\n1. Immediately enter for BEW\r\n2. Immediately "Protest" any entrant that you feel does not satisfy the Entry Criteria or is not complying with Rule 2 or Rule 69.\r\n3. Stand for election as a member of the MROA Committee.\r\nHope we can discuss this at great length and amicably in the bar at Salcombe.\r\nRegards\r\nIan
"So that's at least 3 in the round? And I can see there being several rounds? Much better way to tackle perceived issues.\r\nKeith, I'm afraid I won't be at BEW either - Grandson Duty. Will drop you an email to follow up on your questions."
"Ian,\r\n1. Unfortunately my dear old 'Hydra' (MR2209) is not yet in a sailable state, so cannot enter for BEW. Maybe in 2016?\r\n2. Do I have to enter for BEW to be able to protest? If you are there, perhaps you could ask to see the certificate: check out the design, designer and date built, then tell me what you think.\r\n3. Will you propose me?"
"And Ian,\r\nHappy to discuss ANYTHING with you in the bar at Salcombe - as long as you are buying."
Or maybe the AGM itself would be the best place to discuss it?
"Thanks d.h.. Mine's a single malt. (Double, of course).\r\n\r\nThe current discussion is based around one foredeck beam."
Cut it into 6 pieces and we could make half a dozen!
"David, in that case we could make a dozen. Beat Nik would make a fine modern river boat."