• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

New web site FAQ - PLEASE READ

Status
Not open for further replies.

Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
4,819
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
Q. Why did you do this? The old site was fine. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

A. Truth is, the old site was very broken.

It was written in 1990's vintage software which is no longer supported. In February '08 it started crashing anywhere from 5 to 25 timer per day. Many crashes lasted just a few seconds but others caused downtime of 10 minutes to an hour or more.

Often, posts were submitted but never saved to disk. Same with classified ads. In short, it was a mess. There was no choice but to move to a new software platform as quickly as we could.

The old site was 100% custom software, written from scratch for our purposes. It was the product of 9 years of development. In 2000 it was state of the art. In 2008 it was barely running.

With the site in such an unstable condition, we didn't have nine years to do it all over again, nor the resources to get it done faster. So we decided to modify two of the world's most popular open source software packages: Joomla, a content management system, and vBulletin, the most widely used (and arguably the best) forum software.


Q. Help! I can't login!

A. Approximately 1 in 4 user names had to be changed in the conversion. If you recall, the old site used your email address to identify you. The new site uses your user name so it must be unique. Many users had the same names or, more commonly, duplicate registrations that made the system think it wasn't unique.

To find your new user name you can (a) look for one of your old posts. It will have your new user name on it; (b) go through the Lost Password routine and it will be emailed to you, or (c) write us at cs@mail.sailboatowners.com. Please include your name and email address we're likely to have for you.

Passwords were not changed.


Q. Can I get my old username back?

A. Probably. But you certainly aren't stuck with what you have now. Click here and enter the name you want.


Q. There was so much great data on the other site. I can't believe you left so much of it behind.

A. The old and new systems couldn't have a more diverse approach to data organization. Moving old data to the new system was tortured, to say the least.

It is not yet complete, but I estimate that approximately 80% of the old site's data is here. The other 20% we're still working on. Our goal is 100% transfer. Well, maybe 98%. Some of it is bound to fall behind the sofa cushions.

If you don't see it, either (a) it hasn't been moved yet, or (b) you haven't found it yet.


Q. I've submitted hundreds of posts here since 2001, but my profile says I joined 6/9/08 and have 2 posts.

A. Many users had multiple profiles in the old system or changed screen names over the years. Remember, we didn't have a login system until a couple years ago and even then it was optional. So there is no institutional memory of when you started posting to the site. However, we are happy to modify your join date as well as find your old posts and attach them to your new username. Just email us at cs@mail.sailboatowners.com. Please include your current username plus any names you used to post under.


Q. The new site doesn't work. I'm seeing {red x's for photos} {no home page} {squished type} {ghosts}.

A. The new site uses modern web technology that the old site didn't. Although it's the same technology used on ebay, Facebook, and many popular ecommerce sites, it does require a fairly new web browser. We have also heard of problems on some installations of IE 7 and Vista. Spectre sightings are beyond the scope of this article. If you're experiencing any other weird behavior please write us at cs@mail.sailboatowners.com. Please copy/paste the complete address of the screen that is causing the problem.

Q. What happened to the archives? I can't find them.

A. The archive and the active forum are now one and the same. Click the Search tab in navigation bar at the top of the screen. One search covers every post ever made here.

We will add to this article as other frequent questions arise.
 
Mar 3, 2008
188
Hunter 356 Lake Stockton
Lacks intuitiveness...

I have two primary complaints regarding our new site:
1) It lacks intuitiveness. It does not appear that the site designers are site users. I would imagine that the vast majority of site visitors could be categorized into a handful of personas against which you could lay out easy-to-follow site paths.

2) The archive value seems to have been drastically diminished. Since the new site design has come online, I have tried several archive searches that have yielded zero results. This could be my lack of understanding (see point 1) or the fact that the archival information simply was not brought forward.

It was evident to anyone who regularly used the previous site that it was built on old technology and needed upgrading. However, that is no excuse for the ineptitude displayed in the new site design. When more than half of your users cannot say they embrace the new site, you have a problem.
 

elle

.
Sep 13, 1996
112
Rhodes 22 Northern Neck of Virginia
Not so fast

Let's give it a chance, shall we?

Haven't you ever bought a new car, or moved to a new town? Had a bit of getting used to to deal with......no?

The old site wasn't working, and while we all are having some false starts, the more you use the site the more comfortable you'll be....Phil & his crew are responding as fast as they can to folks' requests & suggestions for changes & additions, so if you have a specific item you'd like addressed, tell 'em. I've known Phil for a long time, and even if you haven't (I see you are recently registered) I can tell you that he & crew are putting long long hours to mold this site into what the members want.

Using terms like 'ineptitude' though not aimed at Phil, is not productive nor is it descriptive of the problems you may be having.
 
May 10, 2004
112
Hunter 340 Bremerton, WA up from Woodland
Re: Lacks intuitiveness...

Doug/Karen, et al...
Although I am far from an expert on these things, I have found, after years of frustration with vBulletin powered forums, that the one weak spot in that structure is the search function. Since vBulletins search function is working against a simple word index, no boolean or phrase syntax is allowed. I found an suggestion awhile back that has completely solved the problem for me. You can use google home page to initiate a search for a complex term, or exact phrase, and simply add the the following at the end of the search terms....

site:archives.sailboatowners.com

This will restrict the google web search to that particular site. This is especially useful for finding archive entries but you can experiment with the site URL's and search active posts as well.
With this workaround to vBulletins greatest (IMHO) weakness, the SBO sites are much more functional than in the old format.

Phil, great job! This is one of the slickest implementations of vBulletin I have seen and the transition has been outstandingly smooth.
 
Aug 28, 2006
484
Bavaria 35E seattle
Re: Lacks intuitiveness...

I commend you on a great job done in improving the site. It has many great changes for the better. Keep up the good work!!!
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,436
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Please....

When more than half of your users cannot say they embrace the new site, you have a problem.
Don't know where that stat came from :confused:... I guess just pulled out of a hat..?:D Overall there have been very few format complaints and most have had very good things to say.:) Give it time and I think you'll see there is a reason why vBulletin is the most widely used platform on the net for forums..

All the icons in a post message box are industry standard and the same tools you'd see in a Word doc. This site also offers so many MORE features that it's is like comparing Lance Armstrong to Janet Reno in a bike race when compared to the old SBO.

Let's please avoid calling our gracious host, WHO OFFERS US THIS SITE FOR FREE, inept!!! That is just plain rude. I count a total of less than a hand full of users who have outright complained about the new format. That leaves THOUSANDS of registered members who have not! This is a FAR CRY from "half your users" or 50%. Let's try and refrain from inventing stats to make a point..:redface:

Having been on numerous sailing forums since the late 90's I have seen many "platform changes" and by a LOOOOOOONG shot this one has been the smoothest change over I've witnessed.

There are many here who will be glad to walk you through an issue if you just ask! Slamming our host, who is working almost 24/7 to work out the minor bugs/glitches for us, achieves nothing!!
 
Sep 20, 2006
2,809
Hunter 33 Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
Re: Lacks intuitiveness...

Having tabs all across the top of the screen that you only have to "click here" to get where you're going seems very intuitive to me. I don't think the guy working so hard to provide a free site is the one that is inept.
 
Jan 24, 2008
293
Alerion Express 28 Oneida Lake, NY
Maine Sail...

Don't know where that stat came from :confused:... I guess just pulled out of a hat..?:D Overall there have been very few format complaints and most have had very good things to say.:) Give it time and I think you'll see there is a reason why vBulletin is the most widely used platform on the net for forums..

All the icons in a post message box are industry standard and the same tools you'd see in a Word doc. This site also offers so many MORE features that it's is like comparing Lance Armstrong to Janet Reno in a bike race when compared to the old SBO.

Let's please avoid calling our gracious host, WHO OFFERS US THIS SITE FOR FREE, inept!!! That is just plain rude. I count a total of less than a hand full of users who have outright complained about the new format. That leaves THOUSANDS of registered members who have not! This is a FAR CRY from "half your users" or 50%. Let's try and refrain from inventing stats to make a point..:redface:

Having been on numerous sailing forums since the late 90's I have seen many "platform changes" and by a LOOOOOOONG shot this one has been the smoothest change over I've witnessed.

There are many here who will be glad to walk you through an issue if you just ask! Slamming our host, who is working almost 24/7 to work out the minor bugs/glitches for us, achieves nothing!!
Your restraint is admirable, to say the very least!!!
Thanks to you and your colleagues for bringing us this site.
Paul
 
Aug 23, 2006
0
-Hunter -31 Pirates Cove, AL
Boat info?

I really miss the boat reviews and specifications. Is that info coming soon?
 
May 10, 2004
176
Catalina 30 Puget Sound
I'm not going to complain about the new site. All I can say is that after many years of logging on every day, I no longer give this site a thought. Just my opinion. Way too hard to navigate. Sean
 

Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
4,819
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
Jim and Seanshine

Jim - All boat specs, reviews, photos, and KB articles are online under the Boat Info tab. If there's something specific you're not finding let me know. BTW, would you like to get those numbers off the end of your username?

Sean - Not that you'll see this, but I wish you or someone who finds the site hard to navigate would describe for me what is hard to find, or navigate. Mods can be made but I need input. We don't all use the site the same way.

The basic nav structure is the same, Boat Info and Classifieds are almost identical. Forums are different, but they're still forums and probably more like what you use on any other site. So what did I miss that's confusing??
 
Jun 8, 2004
910
C&C Frigate 36 St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
Thanks, but...

Thanks to to Phil et al. for hosting a great, FREE web site, unencumbered by annoying pop-ups and advertising, that lets us share our experiences, knowledge, etc. I must admit that it has been a bit of a learning curve navigating the new site, but I am willing to give it time. One thing I miss was the "home page" for a specific model (in my case, the Cherubini Hunter 37 Cutter). Yes, there is a page dedicated to the model under "Boat Info", but I miss having the 37C model-specific specs, photo-forums, latest posts and boats for sale all grouped on one convenient page, as was the case with the old site. If there was some way to re-create this grouping, I would feel like the new site is an old friend...
 
May 6, 2005
35
Hunter fractional Port Sanilac, MI
Mr. Herring,

I cannot find the boat spec's that were previously provided for the relative models (capsize ration, dimensions, displacement, hull speed, etc.

I looked under boat information but must not be trying the right link. Once I select a model (such as Hunter 356) shouldn't this information be displayed, or is this information still being migrated?

Thank you,
 
Jun 2, 2004
3,152
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Re: Jim and Seanshine

I keep clicking on "Owner Directory" when I move the mouse up to click on the new post button. Took a few iderations to figure out why.

I have a hard time following posts as they branch out on mutiple trees. Maybe that will get easier as we get used to the new way things work.
 

Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
4,819
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
Specs

Ha! I moved them to make 'em easier to find. :)

On the other hand, maybe we're talking about different things?

Boat Info -> 356 -> Specifications
 

Attachments

Feb 17, 2006
5,081
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
I keep clicking on "Owner Directory" when I move the mouse up to click on the new post button. Took a few iderations to figure out why.

I have a hard time following posts as they branch out on mutiple trees. Maybe that will get easier as we get used to the new way things work.
Rick... just above the first post you will see a pull down menu. One of them is called Display Mode. If you pull down that menu, you will have control over how the posts are displayed. Check it out and see if there is something easier for you to look at.
 
Nov 3, 2008
0
Oday 23 Yard
I'm seeing red x's for thr photos.I read other vista user's have had the same problem. Has there been any fixes.
 
Jun 4, 2004
108
Kokomo Beach
I very successfully sold a sailboat on the old site. For some reason, when I click on Classified Ads on the New Site, "Boats" aren't there, only "Gear Ads." This is poor marketing. It's now more difficult for a potential buyer to find a boat for sale. Why was this done?
 
Dec 19, 2006
5,727
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
When I post a topic I don't remember how we did go to it
without going through the whole list,what is the new way of doing this.
Nick
 
Status
Not open for further replies.