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Old 28-10-2005, 16:37   #1
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SAILjazz going to Subscription Fees

“SAILjazz” is switching to a yearly subscription fee of $36.50 for access to their site, as of Monday October 31st at 12:01am. Every registered member gets until November 8th (10 days) to think about this and make their own choice.

Thank Neptune for our benefactor, Gisle , for providing this free forum, with as much solid content of any site I know of. Thanks, also, to the many knowledgable contributers who provide much of that content.

From their current “free” content, here’s a humorous look at the various “national” styles of taking up a ‘Med Mooring’:

“Casual Observations on Med Moorings” - by Tom Beard
"This daily shuffle of "Med Mooring" requires some nautical skill and some international diplomacy. What actually takes place is something else."
http://www.sailjazz.com/editorial/read/121
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Old 28-10-2005, 17:33   #2
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Who in their right mind would pay that for a site which has no traffic , no value and nothing interesting. The business in Charleston turned me off them long ago, whether they were the principals at bankruptcy or not.
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Old 28-10-2005, 19:04   #3
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Yeah, I agree and sent this message to what's her face:
------------------------------------------------------------
Hmm, not sure I would pay for a subscriptuon:

You guys may file again and leave yer customers hanging.

Sorry.

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Nuff said.
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Old 29-10-2005, 02:26   #4
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There has been a lot of chatter from the owners of Sailjazz about their 'new business model' and how Sailjazz is there for 'our' benefit...but in my brief visits, I could never determine what their business model was. Now the nickle drops...

This from folks who bought a boat to go cruising and didn't, planned to refurbish it and didn't, bought a company but had to sell it (JSI in St. Pete) at a loss, were running a biz into the ground and got booted by the investors (Sailnet), and then picked up the remnants of the sailmaking business out of bankruptcy. Quite a track record from which to 'offer' $36/year subscriptions in a free web commerce environment.

(Gord, I didn't find the Med Mooring link worked - just FYI...)

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Old 29-10-2005, 02:37   #5
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This is the url for the Med Mooring article
http://www.sailjazz.com/editorial/read/121
Works for me - are you registered? Perhaps they don't allow access except through their welcome portal. It's under "last 25 articles", then about 5th down list.
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Old 29-10-2005, 04:25   #6
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Thanks for confirming it, Gord. I think registration must be the issue, altho' I thought I did...but apparently now don't need to bother.

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Old 29-10-2005, 06:28   #7
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I am registered with sailjazz and can't get in. No great loss.
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Old 29-10-2005, 06:54   #8
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i have no trouble getting on. might be a size of server issue - time of day ? the tom beard article is a good read - the guy can write - worth trying again to access.
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Old 29-10-2005, 07:41   #9
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not a registered user

I am NOT a registered user of sailjazz, but Gord's link works for me.
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Old 30-10-2005, 16:29   #10
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If I had to pay for every sailing source online and the various BB's, I'd be 'nickle and dimed' so much that I couldn't afford toys for my boat!
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Old 30-10-2005, 20:22   #11
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Quote:
If I had to pay for every sailing source online and the various BB's, I'd be 'nickle and dimed' so much that I couldn't afford toys for my boat!
Amen Bro,

I hang out on way too many BB.s and if I was required to pay for every one of them and for every day I surf, I would be broke and in the poor-house by now.

Let sailJAZZ swim or sink on their own, no big loss in my book and the money is going to new shrouds on the old boat anyway.
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Old 31-10-2005, 05:43   #12
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Gavel falls on Sailnet

Thought some of you would find this interesting reading. It is an abstract of a larger article at the Post & Courier - http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/charlest...OCK&desc=Gavel Note who has purchased the rest of the inventory and set up his own on-line biz; cavaet emptor.

[Abstract Begins}

Online retailer's remaining assets sold in bankruptcy court

The Post and Courier - Charleston, S.C.
Author: KYLE STOCK
Date: Oct 28, 2005
Start Page: B.9
Section: BUSINESS
Text Word Count: 645

The sail-making unit of the business, AirForce Sails, was bought for $26,000 by Cheryl Boyle, who ran MarineNet with her husband, [Sam Boyle], until late 2004, and Samuel Levin, an area real estate agent who is listed as both a creditor and a shareholder in the MarineNet bankruptcy.

Randy Draftz, a former MarineNet employee, bought the rest of the company's retail inventory for $29,350. Draftz, who handled MarineNet's online catalog for about six years, incorporated his own company in December. He plans to sell the inventory with other sailing gear on his new Web site, www.charlestonyachting.com.

[Kevin Campbell] said his office will dig deeper into the company's history in coming months, looking for signs of possible embezzlement or large chunks of cash going to nonoperational items. The venture capitalists who bankrolled MarineNet have hired a company to do similar research. Campbell said his office would likely question the Boyles in coming months.

[End of Abstract]

For those wondering why there's an interest in researching possible embezzlement, this is from an earlier article written by the same reporter, who's been following this story:

"[John Rublaitus] told Campbell's office Thursday that MarineNet was in a shambles when he showed up. According to Rublaitus, MarineNet had not filed corporate tax returns in years, and vendors had not been paid in months and had stopped shipping products. Rublaitus also said the bank had pulled MarineNet's line of credit, and there was no record of financial statements or corporate meeting minutes. There was also no evidence that MarineNet had ever employed a trained accountant, he said.

Rublaitus said the company sold between $4 million and $6 million worth of goods a year since 2000. Investors poured another $20 million into the business in that time. But the company only has $211,000 in assets, according to bankruptcy filings, which Campbell is trying to stretch over $1.4 million in debt."

So...doing some basic math, I come up with a cash infusion (investment) plus sales-based cash income over five years (2000-2004) that averaged $9M/year, against which they had to supply goods purchased at wholesale - I'm guessing here - costing $2.5M (50% of retail value) plus cover the overhead of the business (salaries, leased space, etc.). That means that this small $5M/year business "lost" $32M+ in cash ($6.5M/year X 5 years) minus whatever their overhead costs were. Is it any wonder why some are curious where all the money went...?

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Old 31-10-2005, 11:30   #13
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Stede, I'm not sure which 'speculation' you're referring to.

I believe Kevin Campbell is in the role of Bankruptcy Court administrator and he is the one to whom the question of embezzlement is attributed. As such, he would also be the one that was closest to the books while the bankruptcy was being adjudicated; I'd say he is entitled to his view and that it isn't sideline speculation.

John Rublatis is one of the investors in the Sailnet business and was called in at the 11th hour to manage the implosion, so his views are also non-academic but rather based on a close association with the business. To him is attributed the claim that there was no trained accountant nor recent tax filings. Seems to me as an owner he's entitled to describe the state of the business, under oath before a judge, without it being characterized as 'speculation'. And surely the IRS didn't lose
Sailnet's filings, so let's not call this speculation. (Also remember, it's the reporter who's surfacing this information; I haven't seen the owners running around pointing at one another).

The arithmetic is mine and it is speculative, or at least some of it is. However, it's not without foundation; business mechanics for small businesses like this one aren't intensely complicated. Are we as thoughtful consumers not supposed to connect the dots or think bad thoughts?

Your faith in the diligence and attention to detail of private investors in small start-ups, especially those hanging their hat on dot.com commerce business models, is far greater than mine. But that aside, which assumption is the least distasteful one? The investors had proper financial oversight & reporting, in contrast to what was described under oath by Rublatis, and couldn't see there were big problems? Or the books were cooked repeatedly, which suggests there was accounting talent (of the wrong kind) plus fraud and most likely embezzlement (the motive for the crime). Or there was a lack of dutiful financial oversight and the investors ignored that reality while plowing in their money. No matter how you cut it, this shouts unwise investment practices at best.

Perhaps what lies at the heart of your comment - and what others including me would agree with - is that it is distasteful to find this level of irresponsible financial management in a company that was so full of promises, and especially full of itself. What's really distasteful is how Sailnet intentionally filled orders - incorrectly, with what was on hand, or incompletely - and then charged the bank card accounts of their customers in full. The minute they did that, it placed those unsecured losses at the bottom of the bankruptcy's food chain. There were many Sailnet customers who were poorly (I suspect, unethically) treated as the business closed down but the order computer was still running, and this is probably where some legal attention should - but won't - be paid.

Yes, certainly distasteful...

Jack
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:46   #14
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Stede, I think I (or you...) missed something. Have I ever mentioned the Boyles or suggested the obvious mismanagement and/or the possible fraud & embezzlement lies at their feet? Private equity ownership is what made Marinenet (and its subsidiary, Sailnet) feasible in the first place so there are potentially many owners who might have a reason to be looking over their shoulder right now.

Jack
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:01   #15
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"If, and until that happens, I give them the benefit of doubt, just as I do with everyone."



I remember making a comment on another board in response to a heated discussion that was going on...a reader immediately took from my comment that he knew my position on the issue and proceeded to verbally( in an e-mail) blast me with why I was not only wrong about that but just about everything else that he assumed about me. I learned quite quickly that it is easy for some people to pretend in words on these BB's that they are fair and nonjudging...but in practice it is harder.

I feel that it is not our position to judge the past but use it to make good decisions for the future...based on what I know (which is little) and what I have experienced with Sailjazz...it is not a site that I would feel comfortable subscribing to just yet....maybe never.
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