Sept 2013 Newsletter

I can’t believe that it is only four years since I started the website in Sept of 2009. So much has happened in the last 4 years that 2009 feels like forever ago. Even though it has only been four years a lot has happened for all of us. Some of our familiar faces have sold their boats and are no longer around, while new owners that bought those boats have shown their faces and are now sharing their experiences with us. In my personal life I have put thousands of hours into projects on our DE38 and you can expect to start seeing write ups of many of those over the next year as I get time. I also now have a lovely two and half year old daughter that keeps us hopping.

The website has grown considerably over the last four years. I believe we have about 300 pages of content on the website not including whats in the forums. We have 232 registered members on the forums now and between them there are over 1700 posts on the forums. Website growth with new articles on this or that has been sporadic due to time constraints on my part and on lack of submitted articles from other members. I have a handful of members that have allowed me to copy stuff from their blogs or websites and you will once in a while see, when I get some free time, a spurt of posts go up from one or two members. That is usually me getting a chance to go out to their websites and copy a few of their pertinent posts over to the Downeaster Yachts website. It takes a lot of time and effort to maintain the site. I think I have spent a couple thousand hours on the website over the last four years. I would really like to see our members contribute more projects, stories of voyages, or anything else they think would work for putting on the front page. Just take a look at past articles to get an idea but don’t feel limited to just copying what has gone before if you have something boat related or even peripherally related that you think would be cool.

In the last 5 years we have all seen the changes in the economy. Until recently it hasn’t directly affected the website but as of the end of this year and onward it has finally arrived for us here. Actually it has finally affected me enough that it is going to bleed out to affecting the website. Over the last 4 years I have paid out of pocket for all expenses incurred and have done so happily. Just like you I have gained a lot of value out of the content of the website as a DE owner. When I started the website I promised that all content would forever be free and open and that I would never charge for membership or close off access to the content. That is still the case and will never change. A large portion of the content is actually your content and that is what makes this community special. Everyone has contributed to this resource for the benefit of the Downeaster Community at large. I will pass the website on to someone else if it comes to the point that I would have to take it off line due to finances just to make sure it stays available to the community. I know your wondering how this is going to affect the website and you through the website. Probably not at all unless you want it to. I am doing three things to help with the physical cost of the website and the time I would like to spend working on it, all of them are completely voluntary on your part. I’m the one that ends up having to do the work 🙂

  1. I will in the next few weeks put up pay pal donation links on the website. If you feel you have gained value out of the website and or just want to contribute to hosting and upkeep fees it will be an easy method for you to do so. I still would like even more than money to see people contribute articles and content to the site but money is going to be needed also. Unless you indicate otherwise, for those that donate I will have a page where we will give credit for donations given. If you don’t use pay pal I will include an address if you just feel like mailing a check. Again this is totally voluntary and if you can’t afford a donation or just don’t like giving donations on principle then I’m ok with that.
  2. You might have already noticed that I have been placing links on some of my posts to for products I have used on the boat, books I have liked that are marine related, etc.. If someone clicks on one of those links and buys that product or any other product from amazon during that web session, amazon will on many things pay me a very very small commission through their affiliate program. This doesn’t cost you anything extra but if it works out might mean a couple hundred dollars a year to help with the website and justify some of the extra time I hope to spend on it over the next year. If you are someone that purchases products from amazon a lot I would love it if you would come here and click on a link back to amazon just so I can get that small commission regardless of whether it is boat related or not. It could be a way of contributing to the upkeep of the website just by clicking through to amazon from here when you go to buy something. I am doing this with amazon at first simply because I personally purchase a huge amount of stuff from them annually and like their services. I just wish they would pay me a commission on the stuff I purchase 🙂
  3. This is actually still the first thing. Donations. However I am being a little more specific. I am asking that if the Boat for Sale section of the website contributed to the sale of your downeaster or purchase of your new loved downeaster 🙂 that you kick in an acknowledging donation. I don’t care if it is 5 dollars, 50 dollars or a 100 dollars. Just judge for yourself if you gained any value from the website for the process of buying or selling your boat and if you feel it did contribute value then kick in what you feel comfortable with. If things are tight for you too and you can’t afford to donate then don’t worry about it, it is a free service for the community and there is no official obligation at all for using it. For those of you buying one I know that you will be doing lots of great projects in the near futures so you could write up some articles about those projects for us instead 🙂 Shoot for those of you selling your boats, we would still love to have you hang out and share the wisdom you accumulated while owning your boat with those of us still using ours 🙂 You don’t have to go away just because you no longer own a DE.

There are other things that have changed over the last year. New members will have noticed this the most but it is much harder to register as a member. I have had to increase the anti spam security on the website and forums by a factor of 4 or better in the last year to keep the forums from being spammed to death. I spent a lot of hours earlier in the year deleting out many hundreds of spam posts one at the time on the forums before tightening the sign up requirements to keep the causal spammers out. I still spend a lot of hours vetting every single new membership registration before approving it. I get 20 or more spam registrations for every legitimate new user that wants to join and have to figure out if it is a real person or a spammer for each one. that 20 spammers doesn’t count that 100’s that the automated system catch and block. The 20 are ones that get past all the automated systems and I have to manually look at them. Due to the increased security I probably have to help every 5th legitimate registrant get registered due to confusion with lost confirmation emails or other issues that make the registration process not as friendly as it used to be. I am continually hoping that I have not blocked a legitimate user from registering and if you are someone that has had trouble registering and your reading this then please email me or use the contact form on the website to contact me and let me know so that I can help you.

I am hoping that through the end of this year and on into next year that I can spend more time getting new content up on the website. I encourage all our members to contribute articles as well. It all builds up to a large pool of knowledge that we can all use as we sail, and maintain our Downeaster Yachts!

Thank you all for being the great community members that you have been and I look forward to another 4 years even better than the last.

Scott Carle


843 465 6555

Scot Carle
6855 Hwy 701 Nth
Conway, SC. 29526

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply