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TOPIC: A Brief History of the BOC

A Brief History of the BOC 06 Jun 2014 16:26 #1

  • whiskywizard
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A Brief History of the BOC

The Club is Founded.
Mike Erbguth of Jupiter, FL founded the Bayliner Owners' Club in March 1998. Mike had recently purchased an older Bayliner Capri with a Force outboard, and was seeking advice on miscellaneous maintenance and repair issues. Being new to boating but not to computers, Mike posted his questions on several of the boating forums that were available on the Internet at the time. Unfortunately, it seemed that for every question he asked there was always somebody there to make derogatory comments on his purchase and on Bayliner in general. Eventually Mike decided that enough was enough, and he proclaimed that he would start a "Bayliner Club" where people could exchange information about their boats without the intervention and sour comments of all the non-Bayliner owners. The club started out with a small web site on the Internet where Bayliner owners could sign up and become members at no charge.

The BOC Name.
Mike initially called this new community the "Bayliner Club" and the name had a dominant presence on the club's home page. It did not last very long before he received notice from a Bayliner attorney to cease and desist the use of the Bayliner name as it was an unauthorized use of a copyrighted name. He did not make much headway in negotiations with Bayliner corporate, and eventually Mike agreed to stop using the name. After a short vote among the few members at the time, the name was changed to "BOC', which stands for "Bayliner Owners' Club". For the casual visitor it quickly becomes apparent that this club is made up of many devoted Bayliner boat owners.

The Club Grows.
Soon Bayliner owners from across the country and also overseas had signed up and the club had several hundred members. To facilitate information exchange, both a message board and a chat feature was added. Mike then established local chapters and chapter presidents for the U.S. and he also appointed a European President. The intention was to create more activity at the local level. This did not work out very well, as the web site was the focal point and the club was too small to spur any momentum on the local level. The club's home page needed a major facelift and Bill Asher came onboard as the new web administrator. Bill designed the home page as it now shows on our url. Bill is now the senior web administrator of the club. Several pages were also added and we now have information that helps decipher HIN-numbers, boat specs for several Bayliner models, a propeller calculation program and members' pictures, just to mention a few of the additions. After two years, in July 2000, the club had grown to 700 members and a new vastly improved forum software was now up and running.
Volunteers. It should be pointed out that the club was and is still operated by volunteers and no membership fees are collected. There are therefore no funds available to stimulate the growth of the club. The current home page of the club ( www.boc-web.org ) is hosted for free by a server located in the UK. EZBoard, a forum community hosting company hosts the forum for free.

Moving ahead. Late in 2000 it became apparent that Mike Erbguth's participation was dwindling and the club started suffering from lack of leadership and direction. This continued until March 2001 when Kåre Lundberg took over as interim president and an additional web designer, Mike Kelley, volunteered to assist in maintaining and upgrading the "look and feel" of the club forum software.

Since then, numerous "presidents" have taken the reins for a period of time, software has changed, and thousands of new members have joined, always adding something to the site, and making it one of the friendliest and most active boating forums you can find!
The following user(s) said Thank You: decklly, 78SaratogaOS, M1rodrig1, 2nr, bill314, kricket88, mrh773, Bullcruser
Regards
Whiskywizard
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Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.
- Ferris Bueller
Last Edit: by whiskywizard.
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