Thursday, September 14, 2006

Apology Accepted

My last post was rather pointed and targeted at an advertising campaign that was targeting comments on sailing blogs. I really disapprove of this tactic and decided to root out the culprit. I received this email in my email today apologizing for the intrusion. The writer sounds sincere and I accept his apology on my readers behalf.

I did not want to have to use monitored comments on by blog. To me that would be an insult to my readers. Here is the message I received.

It was brought to my attention this afternoon that my name is currently mud in the online sail boating community, and as much as I hate to say it, it is probably with good cause.

After learning of the upset from you and one other gentleman, I discovered that my assistant had taken the term “sailing” and – er – ran with it, resulting in the ‘ouch’ that has occurred. Please let me say that there was no intention to offend anyone, and absolutely no intention whatsoever to have my article on this subject labeled as ‘spam’, though I can certainly see how it could have been perceived this way.

This was an error on my part and I am currently rechecking the distribution that this article was to go to. This is my first writing venture into the boating arena and my first in posting to blogs. Again, I apologize for the error.

I am taking this very seriously and be assured it will not happen again.

Best regards,
Kris Nickerson

Thank you for your apology Kris. You might want to educate your assistant on using new media channels in a more proactive way. Consider creating a blog instead of invading them. It would open the product up to consumer feedback, both positive and negative, but could have an overall positive effect for brand loyalty and customer satisfaction and resolution. Some of the large producers have done this quite successfully.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Something Smells Fishy

OK so a little off topic but have to blast this company for poor advertising targeting and overall bad judgment when it comes to their marketing practices. Some people may say that any publicity is good publicity. But any company that leaves a bad taste in your mouth with their advertising would make most people re-consider brand loyalty when purchasing.

The company that manufactures Bayliner Discovery boats...Hold on let me emphasize it again "Bayliner Discovery" so that the search engines pick up this negative comment and propagate it throughout the web, has undertaken the "unique approach" of trying to disguise their advertising campaign as a web video log of adventure. Really. They also used this key phrase in the Comment/Advertisement that was left on my blog. "Bayliner Discovery doesn't shove boats and specs at you...".

Seems to me that their advertising agency or marketing department took a wrong turn somewhere. Being in the industry, I try to dissuade my customers from disguising their real intent. Clever advertising creates a sense of intrigue not of mistrust. What comes to mind immediately when I read this copy was, they do not have enough faith in their product to sell it on it's own merits, they need to rely on cheesy tricks and deception to create interest in their product. Makes me really think about who made the decisions to run this campaign and how competent they really are. And really makes me wonder whether I would trust anything this company has to say about it's product.

Oh and by the way...Their marketers missed the boat literally, on this one. They assumed that all sailors are powerboaters. If they did a little more targeted research before blasting away aimlessly they may have realized that this blog is about sailing! Thanks for listening to my rant!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Feeling Groovy

The Basin Regatta, although we did not do great form a point standing, was a good overall weekend of racing. On Saturday I experimented a little with trim, traveller, vang and outhaul looking for that groove. The winds were forecasted up to 10 knots so I tuned the rig to the base 10 knot numbers as specified in the tuning guide. On the upwind legs I centred the traveller, as suggested in another tuning guide and put no backstay and vang on and no cunningham and minimal outhaul. We did good in the downwind legs but I still did not feel the love on the upwind legs, and our results in the fleet suggested we had done better in other races. The boat was just not in the groove. I did not have a good balanced helm. It felt too much like I was fighting the boat.

On the Sunday I went back to another approach tried previously. I slightly undertuned the rig and went a tighter outhaul, and a bit more cunnignham and just a bit of vang. I also took the advice of yet another different tuning guide and moved the traveller all the way to windward until the crew was on the rail then dropped it 2" once the crew was on the rail. I used the backstay a little in the puffs (steady 10-12 knot winds with gusts of maybe 15 knots). The boat seemed to find the groove more easily. The boat felt fast and light. We had been having trouble with the jib shape and tried barberhauling the jib on the upwind as we had done in previous races with those wind conditions. It had an effect as well. I think the overall compounded effects were excellent on boatspeed. This might be a base starting point for boatspeed now. This Sunday is the first Frostbite race. The winds are usually 10 knots or above and steady which should give me a good constant for benchmarking the next few races.

Think I need to start keeping a log of tuning, trim, vang cunningham and outhaul tension and wind speed and gusts for the next few races to see what effects they have. '

Still need experimentation to find the right combinations under all the conditions but I definitely felt the groove much more this weekend then the last little while.

This weekend regatta was the first time I had been on the water consistently since Kingston and the collisions. Feel like I have my confidence back. Looking forward to the series. I have all the data to crunch and diagrams to plot of the weekend races and will have them up shortly.