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Old 08-10-2007, 01:51 PM   #1
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You might want to join the Seven Seas Cruising Association (www.ssca.org). There is an SSCA cruising station in Ecuador, though I don't see that it helps any.
This was posted in another thread and in order not to "hijack" that thread I have opened a new topic. Hope that's OK.

My Question: Why should I have to pay to join an organisation in order for me to obtain assistance or information when such information is in the public domain anyway?

My understanding is that the so-called "SSCA Cruising Stations" are just local businesses/contacts around the world whose details the SSCA in their wisdom have chosen to list on a webpage/CD that I must first PAY to become a member before I can have access to it. Well, I say - BULL! What a way to FORCE membership.

Do you think that these "Cruising Stations" will give any preferences to a yachtie that can produce a SSCA membership card? Will not impart information unless he is a member? THINK AGAIN!

I can find my own contacts and information by doing a little research on the Internet or gather information from other cruisers out there. FREE!

If this is such a big deal, why not start a "Cruising Station" list on this forum. Develop it for all the stopping points around the world. It will be FREE I'm sure!

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Old 08-10-2007, 02:09 PM   #2
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If this is such a big deal, why not start a "Cruising Station" list on this forum. Develop it for all the stopping points around the world. It will be FREE I'm sure!
Good idea Manor!

I am sure that Admin and the monitors will look favourably upon the suggestion.

Aye

Stephen
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:14 PM   #3
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I am with you guys on this one.

I am sure that a cruising station list here would just make this great forum even more popular. Go for it!!!

James Collingwood
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Are you guys serious? I'd be more than happy to set it up but I would require a huge amount of input from around the world. And yes, it will be FREE information for all.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:38 PM   #5
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Can someone define a cruising station for me?
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:40 PM   #6
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I am certainly serious.

I am heartily sick of commercialism. There is just too much of it. And yes, it will require an enormous input but we will also be the ones benefitting. As always, there wil be those who just take advantage but that is to be expected. But there will be those who willingly contribute. I will gladly do my bit and look forward to seeing membership in SSCA on the decline - not because the organisation is in any way a poor organisation but because I do believe in mutual assistance.

Go for it! It will be a huge job but, when complete, it will be a tremendous incentive to visit this site.

Aye

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Old 08-10-2007, 04:52 PM   #7
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@Trim50

Perhaps JeanneP can answer that. To my mind, I think it is simply a local "contact" that cruisers can get assistance from for local information, etc. Someone (or business) that is sailing oriented and/or can offer services such as fax, email, phone, etc., facilities that can be used by visiting yachts. These (I think) are "chosen" to be listed with full details as "Cruising Stations".

I may be well off the mark.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:46 PM   #8
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Manor,

I don't understand. I mean, you don't need them.

It's just another club; you're free to join or not.

You're right that the information is available for free. Remember this kind of clubs go back a long time: before www, cheap fotocopiers and in an age with not so many cruisers around.

It was the only way to share information cheap. And someone still does that.....

Jan (who circumnavigated in 2 years, is no member but who met a lot of them).

BTW: SSCA members will give you a free copy of the CD.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:52 PM   #9
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BTW: SSCA members will give you a free copy of the CD
Well, let's SHARE the "information" freely.

Quote:
And someone still does that.....
Crazy! Some incentive to join a "Club" & pay annual membership fees! To get some information that as "Manor" says is free anyway.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:10 PM   #10
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Look. The SSCA is a club--and not a restrictive one. Most members enjoy being a part of it, sharing information as they cruise and helping each other. I don't know anyone who has tried to get people to join so they can have freely available information--except what we share in the bulletins about our voyages. Perhaps you can consider the membership fee similar to a magazine subscription for those bulletins--it may be a bit pricier than Cruising World, but without advertisements and chock full of the sort of cruising information I consider invaluable.

I can't imagine what has got anyone so riled up. You want to join, great. You don't want to join, great. I happen to like being a part of this particular group. But if I have information that anyone needs, I'll be happy to tell that person for free! And I'd say the same is true of any SSCA member I've ever met. It's a great bunch of people.
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Old 08-11-2007, 03:53 AM   #11
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It's a great bunch of people.
All the SSCA members I've met were absolutely wonderful people. We haven't gotten around to joining because we're serious "joiners" and spend close to $2000/year on professional association fees, memberships, clubs, and so on. We've decided to really "cut back" on the memberships and its been rough. Part of that "cutting back" is not to join any more new ones until we've downsized that part of our lives sufficiently.

I've gotten SO MUCH from joining various organizations that I am eligible to join. The same for my husband. From the local chapter of my grad school alumni association, engineering societies, and advocacy groups as well as clubs for my hobbies--they've all cost me money, yes, many times for things that can be gotten for "free"...but, we've SO MUCH enjoyed being part of these organizations and having the membership and extra $ support their mission. Its been a great part of our lives.

So, its with a heavy heart that in our "downsizing" I gave up my 15 year membership with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, my ASME membership (I haven't worked as a mechanical engineer in 7 years nor do I intend to again...), no longer part of the National Technology Transfer Society (sigh), no more Technology Council of Maryland (that one costs a pretty penny), no more local chapters of the alumni association(s), no more "extra" for the National Trust for Historic Preservation...gosh, this has really been hard. I'm not kidding!

Yes, we'll end up joining the SSCA when I'm over mourning these other fine organizations...

Now, about that CD/list, etc. Sounds like a great thing for the SSCA membership to have available. It doesn't sound like the only reason to join the SSCA, though. It seems like a great group of folks!
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Old 08-11-2007, 04:44 AM   #12
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No, the information is not public domain. Cruising stations are usually members of the SSCA who volunteer to provide local assistance to SSCA members in the area where they live. They have no obligation to help anyone. There are also local businesses who serve as cruising stations, and naturally would help anyone. The information is compiled by SSCA members for SSCA members. If you don't want to join the SSCA but would like the convenience of world cruising stations, find your own.

As far as the CD is concerned, the CD is past years' issues of the SSCA Commodore's Bulletin that have been compiled on a CD. It comprises letters written by SSCA members to the SSCA, with plenty of useful information for cruisers. It is copyrighted, as would be any publication, and free copies of the CD provided to non-members is unethical, denying the SSCA of revenue for a commercial product.

A year's membership to the SSCA is less than a year's subscription to a magazine such as CRUISING WORLD, contains no advertising, and is simply information from cruisers to cruisers. It is common information such as names/contacts for marinas, good anchorages, local problems in areas, latest bad/good/better/best gear used by members, stuff that is out there for anyone to gather on their own. So is the information that Jimmy Cornell compiled for his World Cruising Routes. It is also copyrighted. Is that also supposed to be provided free to any/everyone? Each and every cruising guide that you/we/I buy is public information compiled by someone and published in an easily-readable, cruiser-specific format. You don't have to buy it, but if you do, you don't have the right to copy it to provide to others so they don't have to pay for it.

Their discussion forum has lots of information and is free to everyone, member or not.

So. WHY does a private organization such as the SSCA anger you more than, say, the Rotary Club, the Lion's Club, the Cruising Club of America, the Royal Kiel Yacht Club, or any financial newsletter that one pays a whole lot of money to subscribe to?

Just because I choose to give away my Cruiser's Dictionary does not mean that others must do the same with their hard-earned information.

Fair winds (which we DO NOT HAVE these past few days)
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Old 08-11-2007, 05:25 AM   #13
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For the record, I have nothing against the SSCA. I have had nothing to do with them nor do they annoy me. I am however interested in promoting CL and am an advocate of doing things because it is for the common good rather than just making a proffit. I think it would benefit CL to have a system of "harbour hosts" and provide as much cruising information as possible (we do a lot of that already) and free of charge if possible. Above all else, it would benefit the cruising sailor.

Why free of charge? Well, we don't need the huge administration involve in billing people arrond the world, accounting, auditing and taxes.

Aye

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Old 08-11-2007, 07:01 AM   #14
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HI All,

Well said JeanneP!! It is too easy to be negative about something with which we are ignorant. We all do it.

I am a member of SSCA and believe it is a great 'club', I am a firm supporter of their 'Clean Wake Policy'.

The idea of having a list of "Harbour Hosts" here is very good one, but will require a lot of work by admin I expect. I hope it comes to fruition.

Happy Cruising,

Stephen
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