Forum guidelines

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Feb 6, 1998
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Please take the time to read the following before posting.

Also see: the official SBO Terms of Use. For a better handle on how to use the forums please read the following:


Anything not covered under these rules falls under the discretion of the SBO moderation and admin team. This is a private forum, you are a guest, and the rules are not yours to make.

The number 1 rule on SBO is BE NICE!!

We take be nice very, very seriously.

Bad Attitudes/Flames/Trolls/Politics/Rude or Condescending Posts

Please check your attitudes at the door. This is sailing, easy to learn, nearly impossible to master. Many members here have 35, 40, even 50+ years on the water experience yet not one of them knows everything there is to know. These experienced sailors would also be the first to admit that they'll never master this sport.

Please refrain from using your "resume" to bolster your ego. No one cares, it's the internet and anyone can be anyone they wish to be. Remember it is what you say and how you say it that matters.

Please try to limit your use of absolute statements! There are very few absolutes in sailing. Absolute statements start pissing wars. There is a good way and a bad way to say something.

Poor Form:
"You must use Trojan batteries or you will have short battery life"

Better Form:
"You may want to consider a good quality deep-cycle battery such as Trojan. They tend to have a good track record of happy customers."

While there are situations where absolutes are warranted we suggest using them sparingly and thinking twice about what you say and how it may be received.

Keep in mind that for 90% of the topics here there is no one single definitive right answer. There are going to be disagreements about lots of things, from the best anchor to how to wire your house bank of batteries. The best answers are ones with data, sources, photos, and links to further reading on the subject. If you say something that goes against the grain, or that lacks research or accuracy on your part, be prepared to be taken to task by others with deeper knowledge on the subject.

Please do your best to give accurate and safe advice that you can back up with references if needed. If you disagree with a particular posters response or suggestions do your home work and present your point of view with the evidence, photos or links you've collected.

Personal attacks, name calling, and rude posts, like "I'm better than you you're just a newbie" and other bad attitudes are not within the scope of SBO forum use.

Talking down to others, as if they should already know what you know, is also considered bad form on SBO. If you don't want to answer a question, for the millionth time, then don't answer it AT ALL. Telling a poster to "Check the archives." or "This has been discussed a million times." is considered BAD FORM. If you have nothing constructive to offer then remain silent.

If a "check the archives" post is a response you want to give, then do the work and provide the links, or say nothing at all. We expect constructive postings not negative & destructive postings from our members.

We do our best to keep SBO civil and welcoming to all especially new sailors. New sailors keep our sport alive! At the end of each thread hopefully we've been able to take a little bit of knowledge from each and every poster, with everyone making their points without resorting to personal insults or attacks.

If you have a problem with a specific poster's attitude, flaming, name calling, or you suspect a "troll," please report it to one of the mods or click the "Report" link at the bottom of each post. Please do your part to keep SBO civil.

Trolling, and what we consider professional forum trolls, will be banned. Trolling behavior is intentionally trying to incite disagreement or intentionally trying to get under another persons skin. A good pro-troll knows exactly what they are doing and will often try to stay just within the guidelines to stay safe. That will not happen here, we recognize pro trolls and if you come here from another forum we already likely know who you are. That behavior will not last long here. If we see you are a regular troller, inciting debate, name calling, saying things to intentionally get under the skin of another, you will be banned. If you want to be a troll there are other forums where this is more accepted.

Political comments are 100% off limits in the sailing forums and are considered trolling. If you want to discuss politics please use the War Room.

So what's the bottom line?


Asking Questions

When posting a question try to proofread it from the perspective of someone who may be trying to answer it. It is very important to include as much information as you can so other forum members have what they need to properly answer your question. Some ideas of what to include: boat brand, length or model, deep or fin keel, what model engine/transmission, sailing grounds, etc.

If you are asking a question about something broken please also let us know what, if any, troubleshooting steps you've already taken. For example, if your engine is overheating let us know that you replaced the injection elbow last fall and that you've already replaced the thermostat. Again, the more info the better.


This is a poor way to ask a question:

Can I tow my boat with my car?
Here's how you might want to ask that same question:

I have a 1976 O'day 22 with shoal keel and twin axle trailer. The boat weighs about 4200 pounds with gear and as near as I can tell the trailer about 650-700 pounds. The tow rating on my 2004 Ford Explorer is about 5200 pounds. I don't have a transmission cooler or the factory trailer tow package but do have a class three hitch and electric trailer brakes. Do you guys think I'll be ok towing my boat 500 miles to Lake Lanier without a transmission cooler in July heat?

Please Read the Original Post

Often folks come into a thread at the end and never read the original post. It's quite common for threads to wander after 5, 10, 15 or 20 responses. It's not necessary to read the entire thread, though it is a very good practice, but please make every attempt to read the original post and stay on topic.

Thread Hijacking

It happens, and it's not the end of the world when it does, but please do try and refrain from hijacking a thread. If the OP asked "Which weight diesel oil should I use on my 1987 Universal M-25 engine, with 2000 hours, straight 30 weight or a 15W 40?" please try to keep on topic. If you see a response from a guy who keeps his boat in your marina try not to respond in the thread with; "Hey Joe will you be down at the marina tomorrow and can you help me bend on my new genny?". Sure, it happens, but if we all try to avoid hijacking SBO will be a better resource. Clean threads mean clean archives, so keeping threads on topic makes for easier searching in the future.

Archive Threads and Old Threads

There is a huge wealth of information in the archives here and it's always wise to search the archives before posting a question. If your question is an easy one, chances are it's been answered many, many times and your answer will be quickly found searching for key words. Rather than reviving an old thread to answer a question, consider guiding others to the thread via a link to where you found the answer.

Multiple Personalities or Screen Names

Please refrain from using multiple screen names or registering more than once on this site. Generally speaking you fool nobody by creating two or more personalities.

Personal Use / Gain From Forums

The Sailboat Owners family of forums must not be used to settle grudges, personal issues, or disputes between members or with a manufacturer, insurer, chandler, charter company, boat builder, broker, surveyor etc. etc..

Using these forums for your own personal gain is grounds for a ban. Using this forum to intentionally leverage or muscle a company or vendor into submission is a violation of forum policy. Using the forum to apply pressure publicly is specifically not allowed. There is a proper way to get to the bottom of a possible issue.

The right way:

"Hey guys I had a XXXX shackle break on me in light winds, anyone else had a similar issue?"

The wrong way:

"I bought an XXXX shackle, paid big money for it, what a POS! This company is selling dangerous product and I am warning you here and now not to buy from these clowns."

Vendor, Manufacturer, or Brand Bashing

Blatant and egregious vendor, manufacturer, or brand bashing is specifically prohibited here on SBO. It is acceptable to describe an issue here and see if others have had a similar issue but not to bash.

Please do not cross the line of trying to use this forum as a tool to leverage a vendor or manufacturer etc. into submission. This is not the place nor the venue for intentionally taking out a personal grudge against any company, manufacturer, or competitive vendor to influence a manufacturer to bend.

Ghost Threads

A ghost thread is when a member posts a question then never checks back in. If you posted a question please pay the other members the courtesy of checking back in and do give us an update. You may consider subscribing to the thread so you are notified of new replies. Please also let us know what fixed the problem or resolved your question. Hearing an answer to a problem gives a nice finish to a thread and adds to the archive database.

Commercial Interests

Please avoid linking to your commercial web site or peddling your wares here. SBO is a business with a full service chandlery. Trying to compete with your gracious host for business is just plain tacky.
If you are in the marine trades full disclosure is the right thing to do. Posting your title or what you do in your signature is sufficient enough. If for instance you are a marine surveyor please state that in your signature or in your post. Whether you work for Lewmar, an anchor manufacturer, a sail maker, or a yacht broker, full disclosure helps avoid misunderstandings or worse.

For Sale / Wanted

Please do not post items for sale or link to them in the general forums, whether you are an interested party or not. SBO has provided a very generous advertisement venue. Posting your gear or vessel for sale in the forums is not allowed and is to be reserved for the classified section of this web site only. This means no posts about your gear you just posted over in the classifieds or on ebay, too. If you post about seeking a boat for sale, please include your email address so other users can contact you offline.

Multiple Postings / Cross Posting

Please do not post the same message to multiple forums within SBO. This is fairly self-explanatory. The administrators will move posts to their correct forum.


All information on the Sailboat Owners family of sites is protected by copyright. It is not to be used for anything other than your own reading. Pilfering posts, articles, images of information and re-posting it elsewhere, as your own work, for your own personal gain or for profit is a violation of copyright law. If you use a short quote or sentence or two from this site we ask that you direct link back to the section of this site where you found the information.

Links to Other Forums

Linking to other forums is considered quasi-acceptable provided it's intended to directly answer a specific question, and the link given specifically deals with the question at hand. Please do your best to first locate the answer on one of the SBO forums before linking to an external site.

If you make a cross post from a forum that uses auto-generated key word links please remove those links from your post before posting it on SBO.

Avoid un-linked "hot linking"

Hot linking a photo is where you post an image that does not belong to you by using the tag. Hot linking to a photo that is not yours should be accompanied by an actual link to that site or and credit given to the photos owner. Saving a picture into your own personal Picasa Web, Photobucket , Smugmug, pBase etc. and posting it is perfectly fine as they are your photos and it's your bandwidth.

If you do "hot link" to a picture from another site, say for a product, you might try looking for that product and picture first in the SBO chandlery. If SBO does not have the item it then becomes more appropriate to "hot link" the image from another supplier provided you post a link to the item. As in the example bellow:

Hi guys what winch handles do you like?
I've been using the Titan Floating handles and they are available right here from SBO.
Titan floating winch handle from SBO $36.00 (LINK)

Please make use of the signature option. It would be very nice if all registered users would please do the following:

Put your cursor over your username in the upper right corner of the forum home page. Select Signature.

Then scroll down to where you enter your info and create a signature. Please include the following:
- Your Cruising Area (general area where you sail)
- Any special background information we should know about you
Then click save.

It's not necessary to know your name, job, birth date or any of the other info that does not pertain to the regular slew of questions posted on these forums, so your privacy is not at risk. The name of your boat is not even important. Having this info in your signature makes it easy for others to answer your questions.
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