Did You Get This Email Last Night?

Email Classic boatLast night there was a bit of an email explosion going on in the back room of Woody Boater regarding many receiving an email from a Classic Boat shop. We have blacked out the info as to not spread the name, or wrongly accuse them of anything. The real issue here is the mailing list used. Was the ACBS Mailing list used? If so its a massive violation of the ACBS rules. To quote one of the board members of the ACBS when asked about the list being sold.

“No way in hell – they are so Anal and protective of it that it is hard to believe. I just got an email firm those clowns as well. No idea where they got my name or info.  If they appropriated the list the ACBS would be all over them, and very annoyed.”

And this quote from Peter Stephens Executive Director of the ACBS.

Peter Email

Some did not get the email and are beyond active in the culture, BUT here is the tell, are not members of any group or organization. And no, for the record, Woody Boater did not, and will not EVER share, sell, or use your email address. Period.  So today as a public service, WITHOUT sharing the name of the company, we ask. Did you get this email, and what club are you a member of?

For the record, we have no issues with permission based emails, it’s all part of marketing, and if you are OK getting emails, then its a good thing. And to also be fair, email lists are available for sale from email companies that harvest such things. But if this is from the ACBS list, or another club list. That specifically say NO to using there list. Then it needs to be called out and stopped. Woody Boater can act as a source to connect the dots, and find the source of the list! Or not, and at least it filled another day of content here.

136 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    I really hope like Hell that this is not what the classic boat hobby is coming to – using legal or illegal club membership contact lists just to sell boats, flog whatever else they have to sell or to contact (harass) people within the hobby in the future.

    We recently had our land line phone disconnected (after 20 years) in our home because the telemarketers & survey companies were calling non-stop, and it was getting progressively worse every week.

    Enough is Enough – Texx

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Yes I did get this e-mail. Fortunately G-Mail does a nice job of dividing my mail for me and delivered it to my Promotions Folder, so I actually had to go look for it.

    My clubs are ACBS (no chapter), CCABC, and WoodyBoater. I am sure my e-mail is out there in about a million other places too.

    Thanks for taking the time to expose this Matt!

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Oh yea, ACBS, Michigan Chapter, CCABC. Do you think the AMA (American Motorcycle Association) could have been the culprit?

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    It is too bad they have chosen this tactic because it look like they have some pretty interesting stuff.

    I did note though that they have a Fountain for sale listed as a Formula. OOPS!

  4. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    Yes, I received it yesterday. As a long time ACBS member and part of the board I find it both annoying and frustrating that some in our hobby will use what is cleary spelled out as protected information for their own commercial means. The ACBS always battles unauthorized intrusions like this, but unfortunately when our club directory is available to our members there are those few who will take advantaage for their own benefit. This is a reflection on the abuser, not the ACBS. Shame on them.

  5. Jim Mersman
    Jim Mersman says:

    I did not receive the email. I am a member of ACBS-Water Wonderland and Toronto chapters, Century Boat Club, Chris Craft Boat Club, Wooden Canoe Heritage Association and Antique Outboard Motor Club.

    It will be interesting to see where this ends up!

  6. Rick
    Rick says:

    Yep, I got it. ACBS and CCABS. But my address is out there with some suppliers also so who knows. Easy enough to block. Pretty boats though.

  7. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    I didn’t get the e-mail, (But again with this Al Gore internet it may take a week or so)! I’m a member of the Higgins Classic Boat Club, ACBS, Bayou Chapter of ACBS, And enjoy the benefits of woodyboatville. Hey any body joined Obama-care that may be where this is coming from! probably part if the mental health benefits. gotta check out all angles.

  8. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    I did get the email.
    Member of Lake Hopatcong Chapter and CCABC
    Lets hear from the firm that sent the email for their story

  9. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    The cloak and dagger aspect of solving this mystery is kind of fun though a little troublesome. If this is a legitimate stand up kind of shop why don’t they they just come forward and tell us where they got the information? Has anybody asked them?

  10. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    I did not receive this email at any of my three email addresses. I am out there all over the place with name and address and phone and email. Member of many, many organisations.

  11. Scott Dunsmoor
    Scott Dunsmoor says:

    Scott Dunsmoor – ACBS-Toronto Membership Director and key holder of our database. I received the email – member of ACBS-HQ and Toronto only. Toronto has the exact same strict policy with respect to the use of our Directory and I can assure all that we would never release our database to any outside source.

  12. Rob Lyons
    Rob Lyons says:

    I did not get the email. Member of Water Wonderland, Michigan, Greater Cincinnati, Sunnyland, CCABC and Partner at the Antique Boat Center. At ABC we clearly understand and adhere to the guidelines set forth by ALL organizations with regard to the privacy and security of member information. In addition we make sure that our distribution lists are protected and encrypted.

  13. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    I got the email as well. I can assure you that the CCABC guards our membership information as well. Didn’t come from us.

    I think this will backfire on the vendor because a lot of people are pissed off.

    I’ve never heard of them before.

  14. Tom Gruenauer
    Tom Gruenauer says:

    I have two email addresses Gmail and Microsoft Outlook.
    I got the email through Outlook this is used for ACBS, CC boat club, Wine Country chapter, NFC chapter
    I did not get it in Gmail, I use this email for Woodyboater.

  15. David D.
    David D. says:

    I am a member of ACBS, primary through the Water Wonderland Chapter in Michigan, and my secondary membership is Blackhawk in Chicago. I am also a member of the CCABC.

    And of course a loyal, daily reader of WB.


    • Don Ayers
      Don Ayers says:

      Wait a second. I was at Couer D Alene.

      Perhaps all that were at that show got this email and somehow they got the attendee listing.

      I think this makes the most sense.

      So of the people who got the email, were all of us at that show???

  16. JFKarlson
    JFKarlson says:

    I too received this email.

    I’d speculate this is more a symptom of an inexperienced, amateur marketer vs. outright malicious behavior. The email service provider, Constant Contact makes it very clear that you must have permission from everyone on your list prior to mailing. The temptation to bend the rules just once can be too tempting for someone not aware of the potential consequences. I’d encourage the mailer to fess-up if that’s the case and beg forgiveness.

    There’s a simple way to limit this company’s ability to do this again. Simply click “SafeUnsubscribe” at the bottom of the email. After re-entering your email address and confirming your desire to be removed, make a note about the email being SPAM and that you had not opted in to receive emails from this company when they ask why you’re unsubscribing. You can also click the “This is Spam” or “This is Junk” button in your email client (Outlook or Mail). If enough people take these steps, Constant Contact will likely revoke the sender’s mailing privileges. ISPs may also shut down all outbound email from the sender’s address.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      I did the unsafe subscriber thing. Funny thing is I never would have even noticed it if not for this story.

  17. Miles kapper
    Miles kapper says:

    Yes, I got it as well and a member of the ACBS. Has anyone asked them where they got a list that happens to coincide so well with the ACBS?

  18. Rivaguru
    Rivaguru says:

    I did not get this email. Member ACBS Sunnyland, Riva Club USA, RHS, among others….

    This is why I do not divulge Client/Owner info to ANYBODY – EVER.

  19. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    Wait a second. I was at Couer D Alene.

    Perhaps all that were at that show got this email and somehow they got the attendee listing.

    I think this makes the most sense.

    So of the people who got the email, were all of us at that show???

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      But Don…remember we were both at Coeur d’ Alene but I thought you came in the next day after that party. Anyhow I didn’t get the e-mail. …unless it is in my spam folder which holds my mail for 24 hours. I’ll know in the morning.

  20. CDA Duck
    CDA Duck says:

    Did not receive it. Member of Inland Empire ACBS, CCABC, Seattle Yacht Club, NRA, and Wino’s Anonymous. Where are these guy’s located? Did not attend CDA show.

  21. Ron -Seattle
    Ron -Seattle says:

    Reporting in from Left Coast- No email from whichever offending company, Member of ACBS-PNW, CCABC, Chris Craft Rendezvous, Queen City Yacht Club, Classic Yacht Association, and I think others but can’t remember right now, trying to find coffee… Been to Cda with ACBS events, but otherwise boycott Cda.

  22. KB
    KB says:

    Didn’t get it.
    Semi-Regular here
    Member of LBOA (Lyman Boat Owners)
    Expired member of ACBS (2013) I should renew… or wait.. maybe I shouldn’t until we investigate North Korea?

  23. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I belong to all and got no email.

    BUT: I did get hacked by some boat broker or some such and it went to many on my private email list????

    digging out and can’t wait for Tavares!

    John in Va.

  24. Jimmuh
    Jimmuh says:

    I emailed them.
    They’re now properly terrified of “the wrath of the WB”. Marketing guy last seen slinking out of the building, internet cables dangling…..

  25. Mike W
    Mike W says:

    I did not get one. Then again I am behind on memberships. Or maybe I was filtered because I am just a lowly FRP CC Commader guy with no coin.

  26. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I received and deleted it – ACBSPNW member, participate at the Idaho shows fairly regularly, on this site pretty much daily, etc., – my guess is cookies are being harvested off our web use, categorized and sold. (Or they hired some Jr. High kid to compile email addresses out of the published ACBS directory, which would account for the result not being particularly universal.) There is so much being stored and tracked – the result of computers/servers essentially making perpetual records of our keystrokes – that I expect this to be the major marketing/intrusion tool we are faced with in life going forward.

    Yes, they make spectacular boats, but this is not the way to get the word out…

  27. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    I got it, read it, and trashed it. Like the 50 other Emails daily that actually make it through the Junk filter. I did not ‘Junk’ it because it is of some interest, and it did not bother me to receive it.

    It came to the address used for ACBS, Bluegrass and Blue Ridge Chapters, not the one I use with WoodyBoater. I have stayed at the CDA resort, though not for any ACBS events. I may have used the offended address for my reservation.

    All this said, I have actually ridden in one of their boats. They built the two woodies used by the CDA Resort to shuttle people from the resort to their golf course. Eagle and Double Eagle. Very solidly constructed, and still the only boats I have seen that feature copper-framed glass domes to protect passengers from the weather. Nice touch. The boat company is owned by the resort owner.

    I am now thinking that maybe Matt needed a high-response day to support a price hike on WoodyBoater advertising. This did the trick nicely!

  28. tommyholm
    tommyholm says:

    I like spam especially on rye. I just hope I don’t have to give back my FREE t-shirt I got at that ACBS event hosted (paid for) by that boat shop that is trying to make a living and employ Americans that pay taxes and fix boats to float. Gotta go burn my Directory before Homeland Security shows up.

  29. matt
    matt says:

    Ha Tommy, the issue is the list. Email lists btw are extremly valuable, and the reason the ACBS and the CCABC have such good lists is because they protect them from people harvesting them to market with. Thats called Spam. The other thing is the click or open rate is much greater with a clean focused list, Which also the ACBS and CCABC have. But ONLY because it is protected. It is within reason that there be a legal action taken against people mis using the list. One it damages the list. De values it, and to it creates a feeling of mis trust about the list holder.

    • tommyholm
      tommyholm says:

      well I don’t agree with your statements – which come from a marketing viewpoint. email spam is like air pollution; don’t like it but it happens for various reasons, some good some not, its a value judgment. anyone holding/publishing a list takes a risk- they can step up to their liability or call Perry Mason. maybe tomorrow the wind will blow in a different direction.

  30. Allen
    Allen says:

    Well if you google your name any affiliations you have out there show up and if you had used an email address its there too. A computer kid can build a list with a search engine. Crazy world

  31. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    I got the email. I am a acbs member of several chapters. Not only did they break the rules they sent out a file so big it was impossible to view. So they failed on the message and the way they got the email addresses.

  32. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    I did not get one. But anything on the net is subject to scraping…. I was told by a boating friend of mine about it a while back that a program could be written to pull the emails… I guess someone found how to do it. I highly doubt that anyone sold it it was just downloaded from the ACBS site… Or another way is the old fashion way … the complete list is in your directory … Everyone has it… From that you could key in each into a list or, With OCR Scanners the complete directory could be digitized… Then emails cold be pulled from that… But my guess is someone discovered how to pull it from the ACBS site on their own…

  33. matt
    matt says:

    Thanks Frank, this list appears to be very specific and is reaching the target. There are 50 other ways that they could have done this. That is the sign of an inexperienced marketer. First rule of marketing, don’t piss off your customers.. Intrusive un invited content is not good. I am seeing a trend here though, and the only one is the ACBS list. But thats just our readers. It could be Wooden Boat magazine? Or other publications that may or may not sell lists as part of there marketing. In one case we have reported behind the scenes are the emails it came to are ONLY used on ACBS sign up things. Mmmm That’s one huge clue. Also just because you are in the ACBS doesn’t mean your email is right, or on their list. Another clue is that email lists are vetted, and not cheap. And this was a Constent Contact email, which is usualy a lower cost platform. Whatever the outcome, its clear that the two large clubs are not selling or loaning anyone thier lists. And this story might help slow down anyone else out there using someones list!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      I have not been a member of ACBS National / Chapters, or CCABC since 2012 – but for years was on the offending boat shops e-mail list after attending a number of events there reporting for Woody Boater.

      Didn’t really bother me that I was on the contact list, as it kept me informed and was never approached by a salesman via e-mail. Always considered them to be a professional organization in the industry.

      I did not receive the e-mail from them yesterday, so I guess they didn’t bother to merge their own existing contact list with the new list. – Texx

  34. Denis D
    Denis D says:

    I did get it. Member of Lake Hopatcong ACBS and CCABC.

    I think it more likely came from a commercial source like one of the material supply companies or a magazine publisher.

    I vote for asking them and letting them know they violated a cardinal rule of Woodyboaterville.

    Denis D

  35. William Loomis
    William Loomis says:

    We did not receive the e-mail, member of ACBS & Water Wonderland Michigan. We sell classic craft On-line and Live and play by the rules. We hope the culprit is caught and pursued. This makes it more difficult for legitimate business. We have been impressed with ACBS and its efforts to protect us all from spam. Privacy is certainly in-pearl today.

  36. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    What would happen if we all emailed the marketing company everyday that sold this boat shop this list? Or the the boat shop? What would happen if we all took their information and filled out those “free cruse” entries and home improvement slips of paper that you see at boat shows, home improvement shows, the mall and put down their information? They would never see it coming. ACBS. NCO, LYBOA, WATER WONDER LAND, NIAGARA, FINGER LAKES, NEW ENGLAND. No I did not get it.

  37. greg
    greg says:

    No got it. Woody Boater subscription only. Sorry, not a member of any boating organizations at this time, or in the past.

  38. matt
    matt says:

    We have had several folks email them and they get an automated “if you would like to unsubcribe ” Message. So this is clearly not being managed well. Its one more clear indication that its Spam. Useless crap. They should by now know there is a problem.

  39. Lee Wangstad
    Lee Wangstad says:

    I didn’t get that email, but there are a lot of loops that I’m not in. In the ACBS I’m a member of BSLOL with a secondary in the Blackhawk Chapter. But hey, I’m also a member of Hair Club for Men, so you can also take them off of your list of malicious email listers. Just how much business do these companies expect to get from this type of marketing? It actually sounds like a student project at the junior high level.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Was there an issue a while back with a University in Wisconsin that had access to the ACBS mailing list for a project or survey they were working on and accidentally sent e-mails to members? Seem to recall that…

  40. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    So as one who did not get the email it took awhile to piece together who the offender was. Thanks for sharing that guys! Has anyone contacted them and asked the question of where they got the list? Or is the direct approach outlawed here? Is it just me or is the math getting harder? Almost needed my calculator..Ha!

  41. matt
    matt says:

    I just spoke with Carla from Hagerty Insurance, They will not and have not sold there list as well. It’s wonderful to see how many of the good companies out there respect your privacy!

  42. Mark Christensen
    Mark Christensen says:

    Got the email. Member of:

    Boneyard Boats (I think I’m the first to mention this one?)
    Blackhawk ACBS
    Chris Craft Boat Club
    Wooden Boat Magazine

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Oh Mark that is a good point!

      I also subscribe to BYB and a couple of local Yacht Clubs, but I know you guys don’t belong to them.

      I am also sure Dave would not sell his list, however the latest issue is color for the first time, that takes big money.
      Just kidding Dave, Love your publication.

  43. Joe gartner
    Joe gartner says:

    Received email member of Philadelphia Chapter for many years
    Everyone’s email is in the directory if you want to take the time

  44. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    CCABC, ACBS/inland empire, did not receive. I think someone from acbs should contact them and ask them to send out an apology to the list. Not a good way to start a commercial relationship.

  45. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    I did not get the email…but I did get a selfie from Alex. I can post it if anyone is interested.

    Member of several ACBS chapters, Hagerty, BYB’s etc….

  46. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    Did not get the email, but they would not have a competitor as a customer , I presume . Picture of deer feeding at the shop, darn cold here, 30 below tonight , steve

  47. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    I get tons of “spam” in my mailbox. No, not this one; the one out by the front door. The “spam” in this mailbox is easy to get rid of; just click and its gone. The other one requires physically taking it all to the recycle bin in the garage, and hope that it actually gets recycled and not used for landfill (or mountain building).

  48. Nautilus
    Nautilus says:

    Nope, I didn’t get the email but I am an ACBS member. Maybe it’s a list obtained from an insurance company or maybe even the DNR or wherever boats are registered state by state…pre-1965 boats? Maybe someone should ask them: “How did you get my name?”…see what they say. They just might be unguarded enough to tell you.

  49. FLASH
    FLASH says:

    I did not get the email in any of my accounts. I do know that the CCABC has protective measures in place. I was once automatically warned while browsing the Membership Directory just browsing for folks nearby. If you go to too many pages, you eventually get caught.

  50. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    The real question now is “Does the responsible party get spanked (like ranger suggests) or do they get a raise because they sure got a load of free press?”

  51. Matt
    Matt says:

    UPDATE! As of today, the next day, The emailer has been contacted by the ACBS several times, by phone and email several times, also reached out to by several Woody Boaters, and NO response. In some cases the email returned was a generic unsubscribe message. To say this has been managed poorly is a grand understatement. This could have been an amazing opportunity to get the message out for them. The boats are actually very cool, and the company is very friendly to the community, but the way this has been handled is unfortunate!

  52. Alex
    Alex says:

    I didn’t get it. Then again, I rarely get it. (Anyway you interpret that is correct.)

    I’m the last to know anything. Oftentimes this is not because people don’t tell me. My ADD-ness permits information to enter my brain, then exit without leaving a trace.

    Re club membership, “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” (Groucho)

  53. Terry Fiest
    Terry Fiest says:

    I received it; I am a member of Sunnyland—Blue Ridge—-and I have attended all the International shows.

  54. Woodenrookie
    Woodenrookie says:

    I’m pretty sure State DMV sells their lists of motor vehicles/water craft. I am fairly sure they do it by vehicle & year. (.i.e. getting spam in the mail from dealers in need of my year & make). I also get spam in the mail for boat insurance and related after registering a new boat. I’m not sure someone would have access to a national database but it seems easy to generate a list of boats older than say 1965.

  55. Walt
    Walt says:

    Yep, I got the email. I figured it came from the ACBS mailing list some how, some way. Not sure why all the hullabaloo. It’s not that hard to click “delete” or place the sender in the SPAM file.

  56. Bill DeGlopper
    Bill DeGlopper says:

    Belong to ACBS Niagara Frontier Chapter and APBA Vintage & Historic. I did get the email from the company in question

  57. Darthtrader
    Darthtrader says:

    Most well managed and protected mailing lists contain a few fictitious names which serve to alert the owner if their list has been penetrated. If ACBS or WoodyBoater has this feature, they should see if any of their dead drops have received the e-mail. if so then we know whose list got hacked.

    I received the e-mail and I am a member of Sunnyland and WoodyBoater.

  58. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    I get so many emails already If nothing that I’m interested in it just goes in the trash.. No big deal… But that being said I know some don’t want unsolicited emails. Me personally I don’t care… I have much more pressing things to worry about..

Comments are closed.