The Value Of Belonging.

The best publication in the passion – Cover Bob Kays

If you are a member of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club, you have just received your latest copy of the Brass Bell. This months issue is wonderful and has a fantastic story on fellow Woody Boater Allen Mackin . One of the Younger People the Hobby needs. Alan has also stepped up to help run the club, and that is a great sign. Youth, energy and passion are wonderful things.

Allen and Wayne – This photo is all about Passion and History.

But Allen has a job ahead, and we all need to step up and help. Here is a statistic that is interesting, and a sign of the times. The Chris Craft Clubs facebook page has 6 times the members as does the club. Yup.  So there is interest. But everyone wants to use facebook instead of focused and reliable information from the one place that has it. The CCABC.  If you saw some of the nutty comments on Facebook you would just laugh. It’s NUTS. Not WoodyBoater nuts, we are crazy, there is a difference.

We support the CCABC 100% Your sponsorship is a huge way to help.

If you are on the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club Facebook Page, and not a member of the club. Look in the mirror. And then your wallet and JOIN. Your support, your belonging, is how the club can help. And for gods sake, use the Boat Buzz. The Archive, and `belong, comment and be active. 50% of the joy your boat brings is being part of our little universe. Is about the people that make it fun. Otherwise its just a collection of parts and wood. So today, right now before you forget, CLICK here and Join. We all need you to help support … well…YOU!


21 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    The club has no one to blame but themselves. They were warned about Facebook but fell for the allure of easy clicks and eyeball counts. The end result has been the same that happened to many others. Destruction of brand value and loss of control of your audience.

    Stop giving the milk away for free, add a cheaper non-print subscription option, and modernize the look, feel, and human interfaces of your electronic presence if you want the young(er) people on Facebook to actually join. Oh yeah, and make sure you have an easy auto-renew subscription model.

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Just renewed my membership to CCABC. Never even looked at their FB page and proboably never will. I am not a threat!
      m-fine, it was great to finally meet you in Port Huron. Also appreciated your docking help when I needed it. I hope you can come back for another Michigan chapter event in the future.

      • Dennis Mykols
        Dennis Mykols says:

        And I am glad M Fine and I got to sit together at the Awards Dinner, to talk about so many topics, Yes, even your name, Matt, came up, wondering how you were holding up in the storms.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        I will be back to Michigan. It was a great show in a great location. The timing for Algonac is tough but it is a bucket list show for sure. Hessel is on the list as well as I wouldn’t need to bring a boat there either. I could just “borrow” one from Alex at 2:00 am (shhhh! Don’t tell him).

    • NR
      NR says:

      I agree. Look at what the CC Commander Club does. Links, files, forum and a nice electronic newsletter several times a year. You can download a low and hi res version for read or print. Save it electronically. I personally don’t want another coffee table book to end up on a shelf.

  2. Doug F
    Doug F says:

    Allen is a total professional. Knows his stuff, does great work and kills it on the customer service side. Has saved me from my own mistakes several times. I’ll get off my @&$ and finally get around to joining the CCABC today.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      By joining, the club can have the correct funds to make the changes. The Facebook dilemma is a massive issue, BUT, if they did not do it, others would. The deal here, IS, if you are one of the Facbook Freeloaders. Do what Doug just said he was doing. Facebook should be a fun social thing. The Boat Buzz is great support. Love the idea of a digital membership BTW. But the Brass Bell is an amazing publication.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        The Brass Bell is an amazing high quality magazine, but it is still a magazine and like the Rudder, if not more so, producing and printing it is a massive financial burden on the club. I haven’t been involved in a while, but in the past the cost of the Bell well exceeded 100% of member dues with sponsorship revenue needed to make up the shortfall and keep the lights on.

        From a business perspective, and yes, these clubs are businesses, any expense of that magnitude needs to be justified by revenue generation. I personally don’t think these magazines are effective at attracting or retaining members under 60. If we want to grow the clubs, we need to find a more effective sales pitch with a mix of digital and as Bjorn mentions below social aspects that the thousands of Facebookers find compelling enough to cough up $30-$50 for.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Thanks for joining Doug F!
      A two year membership at that.

      Every membership is important!

      Troy Hersom
      President CCABC

  3. Bjorn B.
    Bjorn B. says:

    The Brass Bell is a great publication for sure. And the Buzz is the your best resource as an amateur or first-timer who wants to take a Chris Craft from “gray” to show condition. The club offer two of the three things from the word “social media”, Media (Brass Bell, the Buzz), Social Media (Facebook, Instagram). The missing part is “social”. Missed an opportunity at the ACBS show in Port Huron last week. A club social event could have been created Thursday night. A simple Facebook posing “CCABC meets at Pub/bar/restaurant X for drinks/dinner Thursday at 8 pm”. All it would take to make it “social”.

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      I had no idea I was sitting at the same table at the Awards Banquet in Port Huron as m-fine! I was so busy talking to Dennis Mykols (on his left), who I had not seen in three years, that I neglected much of the rest of the table. My bad!

      Matt is absolutely right. Marque Clubs are so critical to this hobby and the CCABC is one of the the largest of them all. Many larger groups, whether an engineering technical society or a boating-related hobby organization like the Antique Outboard Motor Club, Inc., have smaller Special Interest Groups. They are the lifeblood for the particular interests of a sub-group of the larger group.

      If you like a particular area of this wonderful hobby, join the group that represents that area. If no group exists, consider getting your friends together to start a group. One of my goals in my my new role at ACBS is to figure out a template to make the formation of new groups easier than it currently is, where now everything has to be started from scratch.

      Bjorn B’s idea for a Marque Club social gathering for the different groups is a fantastic idea! Going to see if we can start to pull that off for Thursday night in Alexandria Bay next year. We need to build on the just-completed terrific show in Port Huron and this is one way to do it.

      I’m also wondering if skipping a newsletter/other print media completely might be a good idea for new marque clubs. Just make everything digitally accessible and be done with it. After all, how many new newspapers are started these days? Heck, I’m banging out this response on my iPhone.

      So, if a special interest group (marque club) already exists for your area of the hobby, join it. Just do it!

      • Bjorn B.
        Bjorn B. says:

        Let’s try it out at Sunnyland in March. Example text for Facebook event invite: “CCABC get together at O’Keefe’s Friday night at 8PM. Wear something Chris Craft. Cash bar”. Create event in good time before, and it will be shared by members and non members. Getting together will create a reason to become a member, beyond the Buzz and Brass Bell.

        • Troy in ANE
          Troy in ANE says:

          Bjorn: This past Sunnyland Festival was the first time in years that the CCABC did not have a “Members Meeting” under the big white tent. (Due to the band playing under the tent) In past years we have given out free beer, soda, water, and snacks. In the years that I have been involved there have been about 20 members attending. Usually the same members each year.

          It sounds like you have some good ideas on how to expand these social events. Please send an e-mail to and offer your time and serve on the Board of Directors.


          Troy Hersom
          President CCABC

          • Ronald
            Ronald says:

            I for one missed our 20 person Mt Dora meeting, for me It was the only time to see and talk to other like minded people in a smaller setting and although sometime it was hard to hear I enjoy the short talks that have been at the meetings in the past.

  4. Rob
    Rob says:

    I am of two minds with regard to the role the Facebook page can play. Like some, I would like to see many of the projects ‘flashed’ on the Facebook page covered in more detail on Boat Buzz. It would help everyone and contribute to the understanding of the construction of our boats. Studying these pictures leads to many ‘ah-ha’ moments for me. The more the better. On the other hand, I notice on Facebook that there are quite a few folks who just bought a boat or are being lured in by seeing these neat CC’s on the page. Maybe the first step in increasing our membership is recognizing that the Facebook page may be the turning point in the decision process for some. Once these folks are in the game, so to speak, the benefits of membership and access to Boat Buzz will become apparent. I do try to ‘connect’ Facebook to BB when I do post information about our restoration on the former, by referring to the details available in the latter.

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      The use of two-tier digital responses is a great idea. I think Facebook to the larger forum links would work real well. Maybe a new twist on what is meant by click bait!

    • Lorraine
      Lorraine says:

      You’re right that FB could and should be used to drive traffic to Boat Buzz. The Club needs volunteers willing to do it. Heck, any members could do that when they see a good topic on Boat Buzz by then posting a note on FB about checking it out. Contact if you’ll volunteer.

  5. Matt
    Matt says:

    Great point Lorraine, Woody Boater uses FB for only and only driving traffic to the site, otherwise you are literately using FB as a platform. A volunteer to monitor it and the Boat Buzz BTW is also huge. I have been for the past two weeks jumping on the Buzz to answer conversations. Or help find answers so folks are not sitting there forever without an answer. The thing that is tempting about the facebook question is how fast people jump in. But 50% of the time its dumb answers that do nothing to help. Or someone trying to use it to sell crap.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Exactly. Facebook can be used to spread awareness and drive traffic, but you have to be very careful not to allow the conversation to take place there or you will lose control. Organizations are better off not being on FB at all than being on there without a proper plan and letting the crowd steer the ship.

      On a different topic, has anyone heard about a possible show in the 1000 Islands next September?

      How about the one at Alex’s house in 2020, or Burlington VT in 2021?

      Is there a marketing plan for Coeur d’Alene 2022 yet? If you are going to teach Matt to spell it correctly, a team better start working on it now!

  6. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Some would say our old wooden boats are obsolete. Guess you could say the same about the Brass Bell and probably Boat Buzz as well. Change isn’t always an improvement of quality of life. Keep it simple and classic. Like our old boats.

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