Big News From The Chris -Craft Antique Boat Club.

The following letter was just posted on the boat buzz forum.
Fellow Members of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club, Inc.:

An ad hoc committee comprised of familiar names came together in late December to consider and evaluate ways to strengthen our club’s ability to serve its membership. At that time Bill Basler was the sole remaining director of the club. Bill Basler, Terry Fiest, and Bill Baldwin started the process and other leaders in the classic boat world were brought in to the (virtual) table. The resulting committee consisted of Bill Basler, Bill Baldwin, Terry Fiest, Wilson Wright, Don Ayers, Don Vogt, and Al Benton.

This effort resulted in the creation of a new board of directors on February 11, consisting of Don Ayers, Al Benton, and Don Vogt, and the resignation of Bill Basler as a director. As soon as the necessary changes are made in our Articles of Incorporation, and in By-Laws, we will be adding additional directors to the board. Bill Baldwin has assumed the role of Editor of the Brass Bell, and the club will be setting up new procedures and will call on members to assist in the management of the club.

First and foremost, Thank You to all of our fellow members for your loyal support and patience while we have been working our way through this process. We sincerely apologize for taking so long to report this progress. Please understand that it was indeed a long, tedious and stressful process for all involved.

We feel that the results of these many weeks of difficult decisions and actions will result in a clear path that will allow the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club to move forward, clarify roles and responsibilities, involve our members more directly, increase transparency and accountability, increase our visibility in the hobby at large, and achieve timely delivery of member benefits.

As our plans have evolved, Bill Basler has decided not to continue in his other role as manager of the club. Club management will continue on as a team effort which will spread the work load into manageable segments in order to avoid an excessive burden on any one individual. Bill has agreed to assist in familiarizing other team members in using, managing, and maintaining club services, including the Club’s web site.

We sincerely thank Bill for his years of dedication and service to the club, for creating our vast on-line presence, for helping to develop our world-class quarterly publication, The Brass Bell, and for our amazing growth over the years. We all owe Bill a great deal of gratitude for these accomplishments on behalf of the members of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club.

As all of you are keenly aware, delivery of The Brass Bell will be our most challenging task and is at the top of our list of priorities. Methods of “fixing” this are being considered by the board and team as we work through reorganizing the Club in keeping with the best interest of our members.

The Club has experienced a period of severe financial distress and your Board of Directors are working diligently to address this issue and to resolve it. We will resume publication of The Brass Bell once this recovery process allows us to print the next issue. This will be the Fall 2011 Brass Bell, followed as soon as possible with subsequent issues. With your continued support we feel that it may be possible to be completely caught up during 2012. That is our goal. One way members can directly help is by promptly renewing their membership when billed, and by inviting others to join the club.

In order to meet budget constraints for The Brass Bell, page count will be reduced modestly in the short run in order to help in this difficult recovery process. However, Bill Baldwin promises that they will contain amazing, interesting, and enjoyable content and will be printed using the best quality format and artwork available for the price. You will not be disappointed. To provide more timely information, the Calendar and the Trading Dock will appear only on our web site.

Our goals are focused on providing the very best Club benefits available anywhere in a timely fashion and forming good governance with necessary oversight and complete transparency that serves the membership to the fullest extent possible. We are currently forming an IT Committee to assist with electronic member benefits, and a publications committee to help Bill Baldwin with The Brass Bell. Do let us know if you would be interested in joining either of these committees. More specific information as to needed skills will be sent out shortly. We will be adding additional committees to tackle other tasks as we move forward. The enthusiastic participation of club members will be very beneficial and welcome.

Please feel free to contact any of us if you have any questions. Again, thanks for your continued support as we move through this challenging transition. We will update members as additional information is developed.

Your Club Board of Directors: Don Ayers, Al Benton, Don Vogt

10 replies
  1. Ben
    Ben says:


    Thanks Bill Basler for your service.  I regret the pillorying you took in the last year, “deserved” or not.  Too many people forget that our hobby is a rare luxury for a very select few in a world dominated by suffering and despair.  We should be thankful and stop being a bunch of rich, spoiled babies.  

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    I appreciate all the people that stepped up to the plate and wish Bill all the best for all his hard work over the years.  Will have to try and log on to the CCABC site to volunteer if they have anything for an inept, uninformed, unsophisticated, un-antique-boat-educated, un-rich spoiled, fat bald guy to do.  Especially since I don’t know the difference between the 3 different Vermillion Stains.  Maybe I can bring them coffee?

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      Still Bill’s e-mail address for contact info. Don or Al how are you contacted?  The coffee is getting cold.

  3. Don vogt
    Don vogt says:

    Thanks, Rick,we are happy for whatever, coffee, vermilion stain, etc. bill is stillrunning the shop and all contact info is the same. We will advise as things change.  Just check the web site. You can contact me at We really appreciate all the support.

  4. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Thanks Bill Basler for all of your hard work and talented eye. I know it wasn’t always easy. There is no match for the BB. It’s the saaviest & slickest magazine around.

    Don, Al & Don I know you will all use your unique interests & abilities to keep the standards high.

    Welcome back Billy Baldwin, we missed you! 

  5. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    Thanks for the support from all these past 6 years.  I’ve had the same email since 1998
    We will be posting our initial plans and call for help from the membership over the weekend.

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I am confident al lthis will work out, we have a good crew…speaking of which:  “I am going Boating”…today.
    And hope to see all at Tavares.

    John in Va.     

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