I vividly remember our first visit to Fowey, joining in with the Saturday racing, run by their Yacht Club, listening to somebody out on the rescue boat trying to explain to the OOD in the committee box what a British Moth was so that they could work out which start to put them with and what course to set.
In the end, in a rather exasperated (albeit amused) tone, the bloke on the rescue boat resorted to "Look, they're just like big wooden Toppers with oversized sails, alright?"
Lovely lot the Fowey mob, I'd really encourage everybody to make the trek down with us for the weekend next year. Our sort of folk. Over friendly, hugely enthusiastic about their sailing, slightly derailed . . . . The sheep are vicious though
I will take up your kind offer regarding a blast in a Moth at Frampton in the near future. ;D
Regarding publicity, it appears that in most sailing forums when newbies ask about the type of boat that people would recommend the usual answers are invariably the Lasers, toppers, solos. Maybe next time I come across a one of these questions in one of the other forums I could recommend the BM.
I remember when I was young the British Moth. In the 1970s and 80s numerous single-handed classes came and were left on the sideline. Most dinghies at the time lay high in the water except for few (BM for example). Those with big marketing headlines were the ones that survived eg Laser and Topper. These classes were created to use new materials that at the time were becoming common. Their designs however seem to be dated in that they have a loose resemblance to established classes of the time but making them lower to the water. I myself had an early Laser and thought it was the bees knees, however I was longing to get back into a wooden boat! But look at the classes that have survived that terrible era.
I went away from sailing for 10 years only to return and buy another class (Now defunct) I remember from my teenage years. When my daughter decided sailing was not for her I started to sail her Topper through the winter series, only to find in most winds it is under-canvassed.
When I bought Bertie this year I was looking at all different classes, and felt that the likes of those mass-produced things like Topaz and Pico and their derivatives were all very bland. Yes they are boats but are marketed as Concepts ie one hull, different sail set-ups. They are very expensive, and over hyped. They are marketed towards the novice family; look at some of the photos of the Pico with Dad and kids. Try getting the price form the manufacturers website is almost impossible for any class; the retailers are the best place to find these. No class seems to have a standard price and the BM seems to be the very competitively priced.
Now how to get noticed? The British Moth on the second hand market is very competitive. There are lots of people who would like to get out sailing thanks to the RYA. There are people prepared to buy boats and spend some time lovingly restore them. If there are few builders, how about encouraging home build eg kits. A backwards idea maybe but a chance to buy a new boat, personalise it all at a competitive price. But don’t aim at the family market. Leave that to Topper and Laser.
I may be the only BM at my club but the boat is stirring up a host of interest. It has been nicknamed by a few members as a Skateboard with a huge mast, but in light airs I can give the Solos a run for their money. Now I have it back on the water I know there are a few members looking to have a go in it, which will be encouraged!
Maybe the Open circuit should look at clubs that don’t have big fleets, in that way outsiders get a chance to see what we have to offer as a class. Every open meeting should be taken as a marketing exercise ie a publicity board, photographer, a moving display for the non participants and an enquiry centre may be with a list of boats for sale and details of the class. This can then be used at The Dinghy Show and the like; making sure of coarse there is local and national press coverage as well. Most important the Open Meetings must be well attended.
On the subject of the Dinghy Show it has to be remembered that funds are very limited and new display material is extremely expensive so what we have been able to achieve in the past has been determined by a need to keep costs to a minimum.
I know I have only been around for three years but in that time I have volunteered every year to help on the stand as have a lot of other people!!!! I would never take away from the people in the past that have given up their time or boats to make the stand possible.
I believe with out spending great deals of money that the stand could be improved on. I have already agreed to use ASBO on the stand for next year which is for now the newest boat around. I will also either get a new sail of my own or borrow one and she will be equipped with her Carbon mast and boom making her look like the modern racing boat she is.
I think that offers of help to man the stand always come in as we have such a keen bunch of followers and we simply need to wear matching T shirts, name badges and organize the volunteers into time slots to stop the overcrowding which only goes to show how keen people are!!! If we add a stainless steel table and two chairs some large exciting prints, a Map, a list of Opens,A for sale board/hand outs with this web Addy on and some write ups I think we have a good starting point for a great looking stand.
I can see I was right about at least one thing in my previous post we have a class full of passionate people who love sailing their Moths!! Keep the reply's coming as all very interesting.
The main point of my recent posting was to ascertain the volume of new builds and the cost thereof, and to confirm that only a very small number have been built. It does not matter how many builders you have , if nobody is prepared to part with approx £4000 for a new boat. People wishing to get their hands on a BM will perhaps be prepared to part with say £500 to join in and this is where the efforts of the BMBA should be targeted. There are numbers of boats at some clubs that are never used (at Medley for one) and the BMBA should cajole these people into parting with them for the good of the Class and raise the numbers of active sailors.
With regards the Dinghy Show I will agree that plenty of people are happy to help on the stand on Saturday and Sunday, my statement was referring to the fact that on Friday , the set up day, and Sunday evening there was a noticeable lack of helpers. My only other comment is about tee- shirts. You may wish to check with the treasurer what loss was made on the last excursion into this area.
Publicity is vital to any Class and the website is very often the first port of call for prospective members.Whilst I appreciate that the Webmaster does not have loads of time to spend on the site it does need to be kept up to date. Currently the 2008 fixture list is still dispayed, there are no results tables for the 2009 Somerville series and I still do not know who the winner was!!! OGF PS Postings should not be addressed to individuals.
there are no results tables for the 2009 Somerville series and I still do not know who the winner was!!! OGF
Somerville Trophy was a bit of a non starter this year due to a limited selection of Opens which was further compromised by a couple of cancelled Opens due to weed problems..... in short I don't know who won either! Or if in fact anyone qualified?? Trophy went to Medley to be presented.... Hearing about New Boys efforts there should be something for everyone next year
Publicity is not just the printed word or displays.The openhandedness and the friendly welcome I recieved when I first floated my idea of remothing from The Forum is the major reason I did get Zigzag and now I pass on to other people my good experience.The offer of a trail sail is a great one,Roadford do the same with their Finn Class,in fact they keep one for sale at 600 or so .I do think the supply of these cheaper boats is vital,I compliment the Framptonites on doing so.Happy faces is what moves people!
Somerville Trophy was a bit of a non starter this year due to a limited selection of Opens which was further compromised by a couple of cancelled Opens due to weed problems..... in short I don't know who won either!
Six meetings were held, Gary was the only person that qualified. Abby is still waiting for full results from two clubs.
Publicity is not just the printed word or displays.The openhandedness and the friendly welcome I recieved when I first floated my idea of remothing from The Forum is the major reason I did get Zigzag and now I pass on to other people my good experience. I do think the supply of these cheaper boats is vital,I compliment the Framptonites on doing so.Happy faces is what moves people!
Absolutely right Enigma.... get a Moth and a daft grin is sure to follow ;D
Publicity is vital to any Class and the website is very often the first port of call for prospective members.
Quite agree, though personally, after the website, my next stop when scoping out a new site is always the forums, as the general tone and activity levels there tend to be much more informative than the actual site itself.
Whilst I appreciate that the Webmaster does not have loads of time to spend on the site it does need to be kept up to date.
Agree. Though in my defense, the BMBA website has been kept more up to date than my band's website this year, and we've done better this year than we did last.
I still have to update the contacts page to reflect the 2009 / 2010 committee [remiss of me; this should have been done already], and there are a few other bits and bobs to bring up to scratch [not remiss of me; this is as good as it gets unless you pay somebody to take care of business]
Currently the 2008 fixture list is still dispayed
Actually, there you've lost me Barry. The Fixtures list on the site shows the last season of 2009, and has done since the beginning of the season. As does the fixtures list posted on the Open Meetings forum.
there are no results tables for the 2009 Somerville series and I still do not know who the winner was!!!
Hah, you and I both. This is definately something we have to address and do a better job of next year!
PS Postings should not be addressed to individuals.
I disagree. If the post is intended for a specific individual but still has general interest to the rest of the community, then it should be addressed to the specific individual.
Just thought I'd stick my bit in about promoting the British Moth.
I bought mine because there was a fleet of them at the club I was going to sail. I'd never been concerned with competitiveness with other boats as I was happy sailing against moths. From posts on this board, it seems that wherever there is a fleet, the boats are popular.
Now I'm on my own I notice that whilst the moth generates a lot of interest, there isn't anything specific that would make someone buy one, rather than another class. It's not a big class, boats are not readily available and it isn't really competitive in a handicap class.
I think that one thing that would make other people want a British Moth would be if it was competitive in a handicap fleet. In a light wind it certainly is but, even allowing for my low standard, in any sort of decent wind it isn't. This is particularly true as the PY has dropped since I last sailed regularly (9+ years ago) from 1183 to 1173. No idea how that change compares with other classes.
Other than competitiveness, the only other real way of making the moth attractive is price and availability. Without the competitive element someone outside the moth class is unlikely to commission a new boat. Second hand moths are relatively cheap but are actually quite scarce and sell quickly, normally within the existing class or a close circle. A cheap kit would help no end and could make the class more popular. More moths would make for a really sustainable class.
The club that I am at now has a streaker class and a number were bought as kits. I've had a brief look at their class site and there is a thriving market place of boats of all standards and a "lively" forum. Their membership is also spread out over the country. Yet they seem to only have about 3 boatbuilders and membership of 150, so that isn't so different from the BMBA (which will be 1 more when I pay my subs - are they due?). They seem to be sailed mainly but not exclusively by a more senior sailor which again is not unlike the moth.
The PY of a streaker is 1162 and seems more competitive with other classes than my moth at 1173, though that is probably my poor sailing.
I don't think you can sell the class on quirkyness or friendliness although these are an attraction particularly where a fleet already exists. It's plusses are manouverability and pace in a light wind, it also has a fully tunable rig and relatively open class rules. Everyone that owns one loves them. If it is possible to take these positives and add availability, price and/or make it more competitive then I think the class would grow exponentially.
It seems to me that New Boy spends more time on hols than at work.
Have just skimmed through this and would like to say that:-
If anyone can get their hands on reasonable exhibition panels, let us know.
What was wrong with the prints on the stand last year?
We did have a fixtures lists, a map with coloured stars illustrating lake/river clubs, we have to be careful about the secondhand/builders list because we are not allowed to sell, but there were lists, and posters. Clubs were also invited to put their own leaflets on the stand - not too many took that up. I agree table and chairs would be nice. I would also like to point out that getting all of this stuff (most of it is heavy, particularly the exhibit panels), the queues to get cars to the load out area in and out of Ally Pally are long) requires man power late on Friday afternoon (set-up) and late on Sunday afternoon/evening (take down)(usually raining)(exit usually a long way from car park/loading bay) AND it would be really nice as some of us lucky Mothists already know, if others would volunteer to store the stand/boat stand etc. in the intervening 11 months.
12 months ago, I'd never heard of a BM, now the family has two. Coming at it from that perspective, for what it's worth, I'd say:
How do we market the Moth to outsiders? As a fast, fun racing machine.
After that, there's its suitability for almost all inland clubs, the reasonably-priced entry level boats and the class's friendliness and activity.
When talking to non-Mothist club racers, I find the line that provokes the most reaction from others (and requests to have a go) is the comparison with driving a Mini Cooper.
Finally, on this point, I agree with Bill that most of the nation's sailing youth has been sucked into plastic. At our club, it's all Fevas, Picos and Laser Radials. And yet, it's far cheaper for a youngster to buy and compete at club level with a decent entry level Moth, than any of the above. Certainly my son's Moth has caused interest among his teenage contemporaries, particularly when leaving more vaunted classes behind in the lightest of winds at the club's junior open!
Marketing the Moth (Boat Show, media, club level word-of-mouth etc) is the easier side of the coin.
But, but, but, the bigger problem is how do we cope with increased interest from a successful marketing campaign, particularly if interest outstrips the number of boats for sale?
I think it unlikely that many newcomers will want to commission a brand new Moth to begin with.
So, as Graham7 notes, the class can only grow at the speed with which new dinghies are bought by existing members, releasing decent second hand ones to the market. That makes for a long haul and I don't see how we get round that, unless Santa delivers on an epic scale.
Finally, as I don't want to end on a negative, there was a suggestion that the choice for the class's future lay between racing, or socialising. Surely it's possible to be both? What persuaded me to follow my son into the class was the friendliness of the existing members I'd come into contact with and the opportunity for us to race 'together' against people who wouldn't pull a face when we novices cocked up. We experienced all that at the last Frampton open, yet it struck me there was a good deal of serious competition going on in the distance at the front of the fleet. And, after all that, there was the beer, music and dancing. To my mind that's a combination to be nurtured.