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#124117 - 11/19/07 06:16 PM NAMSA?  
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erickennedy Offline
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erickennedy  Offline
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Davison, Michigan
So Rick...Tell us about NAMSA again.

-- Have You Seen This? --
#124118 - 11/20/07 09:58 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: erickennedy]  
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MarkMT Offline
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MarkMT  Offline
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Lake Zurich, IL
bump...

I've been poking at the question of NAMSA's role in several recent posts, so far with no sign that anyone knows or cares. Maybe this time...


The following are aimed mainly at Rick and Jake, but would love to hear opinions from anyone -

Do you believe that the objectives that led to the formation of NAMSA are still relevant today?

How would you assess the current effectiveness of NAMSA?

Are there any changes to NAMSA that would make it more effective?

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges facing the sport at present and does NAMSA have a role to play in addressing them?

Are you actively seeking new members and if so what do you see as the rationale for people to join?


Not trying to rattle anyone's cage - just trying to find ways to help out. Cheers,

Mark.

#124119 - 11/20/07 11:09 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
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pitchpoledave Offline
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pitchpoledave  Offline
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Toronto, Ontario
Good question. I think that it is a good idea to have an organzation looking out for cat sailing and helping the sport. Can someone post the NAMSA objectives again?

In light of the olympic debacle, perhaps we should use this as a vehicle to promote the sport as well?

#124120 - 11/21/07 08:26 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: pitchpoledave]  
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MarkMT Offline
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MarkMT  Offline
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Quote
Can someone post the NAMSA objectives again?


From - http://www.catsailor.com/namsa/namsa.html

NAMSA's goals:
  • to create an alliance that will unite all of the multihull sailors and boat classes
  • provide a strong communication link among all our little "islands"
  • develop an integrated racing program
  • give multihulls credibility in the sailing world.
  • It also will be a completely democratic organization, and every sailor who is a member will have a vote on issues that are important to the whole multihull community. The power of the VOTE is something that we have not had through the most multihull classes, nor through US Sailing.


And NAMSA actions -
  • Unify and Chapter all multihull organizations, and classes under one, strong umbrella organization with dynamic and effective lobbying capabilities (This means that such independent groups as CRAM, CRAW, OCRA, TBSCA, CABB, CRAC, SHBCC, MSA, et al.., and classes such as A-Class, Tornado, Nacra, Prindle, Hobie, Wave, Mystere, Taipan, Dart, G-Cat, Isotope, Inter, Supercat, Formula Classes, et al will form a powerful and productive alliance).
  • Establish an infrastructure for sailing events throughout North America, and Sanction multihull events of all kinds (both racing and fun) around North America. Additionally, NAMSA will sanction and sponsor major championship races, develop a NA Schedule of events for multihulls, and publicize them to all media and to all the sailors.
  • Offer consultation to questions on sails, sail materials, boat designs, rigging components, construction materials, how-to, etc.
  • Lobby for beach, lake, open water and launching access, and to address such event organizers that heretofore have barred or banned multihulls.
  • Offer a Forum for all multihull sailors – a medium of exchange amongst all multihull sailors (large, small, big, old, new, or whatever)
  • Offer a Forum to bring together multihull manufacturers, dealers, and suppliers in order to have a dialogue with the sailors
  • Establish a strong Internet presence and website that will be comprehensive and have available all of the services and perks offered to multihull sailors
  • Establish and make available uniform documents, such as NOR’s, registration and scoring forms, course stickers, etc.
  • Have a uniform, Windows-based scoring software that can be used by all North American Chapter Members, plus offer tech support and instruction on its use. This software will be able to submit results in a media-friendly format.
  • Establish affordable insurance programs for NAMSA sanctioned events, as well as group health, auto, boat, life insurance, etc.
  • Each Chapter (Organization) will have a seat and voice on the Council – each organization will have a say in the issues before NAMSA.
  • Each Individual Member will have FULL voting rights and privileges – each sailor will have a say in issues before NAMSA. Every sailor will be able to contribute. This is an organization for the sailors and run by the sailors.
  • Offer a regular news reporting service.
  • Make suggestions to rating organizations to make a more level playing field for handicap racing.
  • Have an all-out war on getting multihull Youth Sailing on an even ground with monohull sailing and a good training program for higher level sailing and Olympics.
  • Train and Sanction Race Officers and Judges with a slant on multihull sailing.
  • Have marks and signal flags available at reasonable prices.

#124121 - 11/21/07 09:14 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
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RickWhite Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

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Key Largo, FL and Put-in-Bay, ...
Let me put it this way. Everytime there is a crises of some sort the need for a unifying organization comes up.
There were a handfull of us that consequently have layed out the groundwork for just such an organization. It is incorporated, has officers, has a constitution.
In other words, it is in place. In terms of a distance race like the upcoming Steeplechase, Tybee 500, Hogsbreath-Keys 100:
the boat is on the beach, sails are up, board in prep position, the gps has all the settings in it, the compass is on. All it needs is crew -- operators!

The few officers that we have held on.., after the firestorms died down and are still there, but fresh blood is very needed -- a transfusion. We pioneered the idea patterned after the original NAMSA of the 60's, but again, the boat needs a crew.

After ISAF declared itself a monohull organization and US Sailing helped them in their cause, and when folks on this Forum started talking of rebelling against US Sailing, I held my tongue. For I caught a lot of flack from a bunch of naysayers telling us the US Sailing is our answer.
Seems they are not, doesn't it.
Despite the hard work of John Williams and many others that are working with him, it seems they would do better if they had an army behind them.
We could build that army.
Rick


Rick White
Catsailor Magazine & OnLineMarineStore.com
www.onlinemarinestore.com
#124122 - 11/21/07 11:28 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: RickWhite]  
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Rhino1302 Offline
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Reno NV
Could you elaborate on the NAMSA insurance situation? Insurance is by far our largest expense, and the brutal thing is that the fee is fixed regardless of the number of regattas we put on or the number of entrants. It would be nice to be able to split that expense with others.

#124123 - 11/21/07 12:54 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: Rhino1302]  
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Mark Schneider Offline
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Mark Schneider  Offline
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Annapolis, MD
Is your fleet incorporated?

Or do you run the finances through your checking account with the fleet name tacked on? (You report the fleet finance interest as income to the IRS).

IF the Sht hit the fan.... the corporation would go down. OR... if it's the latter... You go down.

Now you can go purchase insurance. If you are incorporated, you need your own policy for the corportaton to insure your corporation The rules are that you can't use one of the umbrella's polices of Namsa or Hobie. Your options are purchase through Meyers Brigss, (old guys) or the US Sailing sanctoned guys Gowery Barden Bret. Your corporation and all of the volunteers that you get to run the event are now insured and you and your volunterers were never personally liable. The cost is 350 to 400.

If you are an unincorporated fleet, you as an individual can run the regatta and you can use the Hobie Umbrella policy for hobie events... or now the NAMSA umbrella policy for NAMSA events. They (Hobie class or Namsa class) are incorporated and they buy one of the same two policies. So as long as you and the other volunteees are a members of the class (Hobie or Namsa) ... you can run your event with insurance coverage. Everybody has to be a class member though.

So... when the Sht hits the fan... You still get sued personally ... but you now have insurance.... Once the insurance is payed out... You get to cover any difference personally (homeowners... umbrella policy).

So, its a matter of what comfort level you have with the risk.

Sailors are cheap... but the cost of running the event could be explained to them as 20 bucks for insurance... 20 bucks for the power boats per day. 5 bucks for the trophy... and so on.

One other point, Your PRO was probably trained by US Sailing through one of their programs. These individuals are individually protected with a US Sailing policy BECAUSE they have had the training. (this allows PRO's to volunteer for a club and not have to ask... what is my insurance coverage).

This is one of those things that your US Sailing dues pays for..... Important stuff don't you think!!!

You might say... OK... that's all the coverage that my fleet needs. However, Your PRO and volunteers are only covered for the actions on the water.

If Sailor X, draws a drink from the fleet keg, drops a stick on the head of Kid A and permantly injures Kid A. The parents are suing Sailor X and you and all of your fleet members and the property owner because you failed to manage a dangerous area leading to the kids's injury.

So, often the property owner doesn't want to take on this risk for a sailboat race. SO... your corporation can purchase more insurance for the beach property and if necessary actually list the property owner as insured. (I don't think the Hobie or NAMSA policy covers the beach)

Obviously it costs you more.

Good luck.

Mark


crac.sailregattas.com
#124124 - 11/21/07 01:15 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: Mark Schneider]  
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_flatlander_ Offline
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Quote
(I don't think the Hobie or NAMSA policy covers the beach)
Our unincorporated fleet had Hobie's insurance company fax the Certificate of Insurance directly to the owner of the beach, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. What else would you do?


John H16, H14
#124125 - 11/21/07 01:58 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: Mark Schneider]  
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Rhino1302 Offline
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Reno NV
Our club (MHRA - www.catamaranracing.org) is incorporated, and is fully insured (not through US Sailing, we found it cheaper to buy insurance on our own).

My point is that our insurance policy is essentially a flat fee. If we add a regatta or subtract a regatta our yearly premium does not change. Same as if 10 people or 100 people show up at each regatta. Obviously, this is a problem as our turnout is in decline - the same fee gets spread over fewer people.

Interestingly, if MHRA merged with another organization of a similar size, the same insurance policy would cover both. Thereby, the insurance cost per event is essentially halved.

Perhaps if we joined NAMSA and got our insurance through them, the same economy of scale would apply, hence my question.

#124126 - 11/21/07 05:56 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: RickWhite]  
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MarkMT Offline
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MarkMT  Offline
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Lake Zurich, IL
Thanks for your response Rick. When you say fresh blood is needed, do you have some particular roles or tasks in mind? Your analogy suggests that everything from President on down could be open for renewal - I'm not certain if that's what you meant.

Are the office holders and committee members indicated on the NAMSA website actually current? Were officers for '08 elected at the '07 annual meeting (I believe that's what the constitution indicates) and who are they? Are there other roles that you think need filling apart from the officers and committee members?

My feeling is that NAMSA has yet to prove its value, though I take your point about the structure being there - that's certainly a positive. I think for it to be successful it needs broad membership, initially just a few clear objectives and some observable activity/progress towards achieving them over some modest period of time, in order to build some credibility and confidence in the value of the organization within our community.

Given that the organization has been dormant for quite a while, I would suggest setting a completely nominal membership fee for one year - I mean like a dollar. The point of membership for just that one year would be simply to allow people to say "yes I'm a multihull sailor and I think there may be value in having a national or NA organization that is working to build and represent our sport. I'm willing to offer my moral support for a year to see whether they can do anything useful." This is really aimed more at polling the community than anything to do with gaining operating funds, but it gives the organization some kind of legitimacy as a representative of the sport, which I think is an important step. For essential expenses I think you could hit the builders for a little sponsorship, especially if you can show that you really do have the support of the community.

Then get some energetic and passionate leadership in there and give them a mandate to be creative and do something to advance the state of the sport. At the end of a year, or maybe two, if they've done something useful to earn the trust of the multihull community, they have justification for going to the membership and asking for a larger fee to provide resources that would allow you to grow the effectiveness of the organization further. Otherwise you conclude there is no reason to go on and just fold.

#124127 - 11/21/07 06:22 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
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barbshort Offline
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Key Largo
MarkMT,

You seem to have the passion and the fresh blood and interest to energize the organization. Go for it!

#124128 - 11/21/07 06:27 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
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windswept Offline
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New Hampshire, USA
Quote
Thanks for your response Rick ...
Are the office holders and committee members indicated on the NAMSA website actually current? Were officers for '08 elected at the '07 annual meeting (I believe that's what the constitution indicates) and who are they? Are there other roles that you think need filling apart from the officers and committee members?

My feeling is that NAMSA has yet to prove its value, though I take your point about the structure being there - that's certainly a positive. I think for it to be successful it needs broad membership, initially just a few clear objectives and some observable activity/progress towards achieving them over some modest period of time, in order to build some credibility and confidence in the value of the organization within our community.

Given that the organization has been dormant for quite a while, I would suggest setting a completely nominal membership fee for one year - I mean like a dollar. The point of membership for just that one year would be simply to allow people to say "yes I'm a multihull sailor and I think there may be value in having a national or NA organization that is working to build and represent our sport. I'm willing to offer my moral support for a year to see whether they can do anything useful." This is really aimed more at polling the community than anything to do with gaining operating funds, but it gives the organization some kind of legitimacy as a representative of the sport, which I think is an important step. For essential expenses I think you could hit the builders for a little sponsorship, especially if you can show that you really do have the support of the community.

Then get some energetic and passionate leadership in there and give them a mandate to be creative and do something to advance the state of the sport. At the end of a year, or maybe two, if they've done something useful to earn the trust of the multihull community, they have justification for going to the membership and asking for a larger fee to provide resources that would allow you to grow the effectiveness of the organization further. Otherwise you conclude there is no reason to go on and just fold.


I think that this is backwards. People get involved because they want NAMSA to mean something, they want to be involved and they want to help institute change. It is not that NAMSA needs to prove itself as an organization, but it is us catamaran sailors need to prove that we care, that we are willing to participate in and help plan our own futures. NAMSA has grown and faded over the years in direct proportion to the number of people who were willing to share their time, invest their knowledge and share their skills with others. So what is the point of gearing NAMSA back up if no one becomes involved. It is US, the sailors who need to legitimize ourselves, not the organization.


Tom Siders
A-Cat USA-79
Tornado US775
#124129 - 11/21/07 06:32 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
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erickennedy Offline
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We are having this debate within CRAM about paying our Golden Anchor dues and forcing all the members to join US Sailing. This has been a no brainer for us the last 10 years or so. To get the cheap US Sailing insurance we must then post a variable entry fee which charges non US Sailing members more than valid members. I am not sure how we are incorporated. We are a non profit orgainzation.

At this time the club is debating where else to get insurance. If we can solve that riddle will no added cost to the club it may sway our leadership to drop out of US Sailing. If that happens, only after our next officers meeting, then I doubt if any individual members would also feel compelled to join. The only individual benifit would be to sail in the Alter Cup. I haven't heard much smack about boycotting that event.

The club has not decided yet. We are only beginning to debate this. Bottom line....if US Sailing does not support us why should we support them? Its the principle of the thing. Kinda like no taxation without representation.

#124130 - 11/21/07 06:32 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
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arbo06 Offline
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South Florida & the Keys
Mark,
You are very intuitive, I appreciate your words.
The infrastucture is there, it needs to be infused with direction and passion.
Due to recent events, NAMSA again comes to be an option for us. It is there and waiting, the officers and leadership can be changed via vote and we can produce a strong representation for multihull sailors.
I look forward to developing NAMSA as a force in the sailing world, it is about time.

#124131 - 11/21/07 07:05 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: erickennedy]  
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Rhino1302 Offline
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Reno NV
We get our insurance through Chubb. It costs us about $1000 per year for up to about 15 events - we currently put on 5-6 events per year and piggy-back on 2 other events. These other events are put on by Yacht Clubs - Monohull people treat us much better than the HCA people. Your mileage may vary.

Last edited by Rhino1302; 11/21/07 07:06 PM.
#124132 - 11/22/07 09:53 PM Re: NAMSA? [Re: windswept]  
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MarkMT Offline
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MarkMT  Offline
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Lake Zurich, IL
Hey Tom, I think we agree far more than not. Your comment that we need people to get involved is spot on. Nonetheless, I think there are some practical issues that need to be considered in relation to how to encourage people to get involved and how to maximize their effectiveness.

An organization itself isn't the goal, but just a means to an end. My interest is not at all in "gearing NAMSA back up" if "no one becomes involved". Absolutely on the contrary - I'm interested in the possibility that renewal of NAMSA might actually be a manifestation of people getting involved and encourage some to do so who might not otherwise see an opportunity.

It seems to me that there is a need not only for people to be involved, if that just means working to support the sport in their own club, class or region - incredibly important though that is, but also to work together to advance the sport overall. That requires some form of organization, even if it's purely informal. NAMSA exists, and as such it could be a vehicle to draw people together.

However I also see potential value in having a broad-based membership organization, either directly or through affiliated clubs. Why? For one thing I think a representative organization is more likely to be successful in drawing volunteer activists together. But I'm also thinking that some opportunities to advance the sport may require interaction with a range of parties - manufacturers, class organizations, US Sailing, MHC, UKCRA, ISAF, regatta organizers... Without some form of legitimate connection to the grass roots of the sport, it's difficult to see a group of otherwise isolated enthusiasts being taken seriously.

#124133 - 11/23/07 10:42 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: MarkMT]  
Joined: Mar 2002
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RickWhite Offline
RickWhite  Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,355
Key Largo, FL and Put-in-Bay, ...
I think Tom was right on the money. The sailors need to finally get together and back an organization. And NAMSA is the only one available that makes sense.
First of all it is designed to have two type of memberships: Chapter Members and Individual Members
Chapters for Fleets, Divisions, Classes or whatever
Individuals for those not belonging to the above, or do belong and want an extra vote on their own in the org.
NAMSA does have a Forum on this site, where our Treasurer has posted many times our financial position and our membership numbers. The Forum is at http://www.catsailor.com/forums/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=NAMSA
We offered the same insurance the HCA and US Sailing did, yet few took the offer.
Biggest problem is we had a lot of folks bucking the idea and saying we already had the Multihull Council for US Sailing and this would be redundant.
I notice many of those are silent at the moment.., doesn't mean they won't be back shouting again.
The reason we restarted NAMSA (which at one time WAS the GOVERNING BODY of MULTIHULLS in North America) is we could see the writing on the wall. My guess is we were too early. Maybe now is the time.

New Blood? You bet we need new blood. And we need multihull sailors that are absolutely fed up with monohullitis, folks that would like to be treated with respect in the sailing world, people who feel gutted by this last debacle by our beloved US Sailing and ISAF.

The dues by the way were set at $5.., which I know is a lot of money.., 500% over the $1 limit previously mentioned.

As far as new officers and new blood are concerned, get to the Tradewinds which is a NAMSA sanctioned and insured event, attend the meeting, get off your can and do something.
Thanks,
Rick


Rick White
Catsailor Magazine & OnLineMarineStore.com
www.onlinemarinestore.com
#124134 - 11/23/07 11:03 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: RickWhite]  
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Mark Schneider Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Mark Schneider  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

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Posts: 3,095
Annapolis, MD
Hey Rick

I am one of those nay sayers..

Since the NAMSA discussion is raging following the Olympic's mess up.

I might be swayed by anwsers to these questions.

How many NAMSA dues members feel that dues, fund raising etc should go to supporting individual sailors pursuing an olympic program? Is this a likely NAMSA objective?

Should NAMSA pay for a rep to go to the ISAF meeting to Lobby on behalf of all olympic multihull sailors. How do you think they will be allowed into the meetings at ISAF?


crac.sailregattas.com
#124135 - 11/23/07 11:36 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: RickWhite]  
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MarkMT Offline
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MarkMT  Offline
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Lake Zurich, IL
Hey Rick, can you clarify please - my understanding is that the January meeting will not elect officers. The way I read the bylaws, elections are held preceding even numbered years and become effective at the AGM in an even numbered year. Am I mistaken?

BTW $5 is perfectly reasonable and very much consistent with the point of the suggestion I made earlier. But this isn't actually what I see on the website. I see $20 - in at least two places. I realize this includes the magazine subscription, so maybe you're saying that $5 of that goes to NAMSA - but I don't actually see that written anywhere. What's the story?

#124136 - 11/23/07 11:41 AM Re: NAMSA? [Re: Mark Schneider]  
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BrianK Offline
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Rick,

Im not sure we have enough volunteers to support both NAMSA and US Sailing MC. Im not talking about the people who will join the organization, Im talking about the people that do the actual work.

I will be happy to volunteer for any multihull organization that has enough involvement to make it work long term, but a number of our more motivated catsailors are involved with US Sailing.

Im waiting to see what the Multihull Council decides to do per the meeting JW has scheduled.

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