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Spring 2011 Brass Bell

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Pete DeVito
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Spring 2011 Brass Bell

Post by Pete DeVito » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:14 pm

Bill,
Any news on when we will see the Spring edition of the Brass Bell?
Pete
Past Project 1948 17' Deluxe
Past Project 1957 19' Capri
Future Project 1955 17' Special Sportsman

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Post by gbraker » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:45 pm

You didn't get yours? :(
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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:44 am

I guess I must be the only one that did not receive the Spring edition. Hopefully my mail person finishes reading it soon and passes it on to me. Last copy I have is Winter 2011 and winter is coming again soon.
Past Project 1948 17' Deluxe
Past Project 1957 19' Capri
Future Project 1955 17' Special Sportsman

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Post by gbraker » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:02 am

Honestly I don't know if it came or not, Its hard to keep track of because its irregular.
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:02 am

Gary, I guess Pete and the rest of us are presuming that you gut your Spring 2011 Brass Bell. If so, it's good news and we all should be seeing them in our mailboxes very soon. If not, well teasing us isn't nice. LOL.

Al

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Post by gbraker » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:26 am

Well I think the last one I got had Jim's Old Paint on the cover. I'll look in the Brass Bell section & see.
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Post by gbraker » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:32 am

Well the night stand is where they go and the one highest up is Winter, so I guess I didn't get one either.

Where's your sense of humor! :shock:
Gary R Braker

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Post by Al Benton » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:50 am

That's OK, Gary, first I had a good cry when reality set in but do see the humor through the tears :?

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Post by kwmpa » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:41 pm

I've been looking for mine too and still haven't seen it been a little curious about it

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Post by drrot » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:35 pm

It's "global warming" Actually threw the seasons off :lol:
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Post by kwmpa » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:45 pm

Haha true...Jim you going to be at the buffalo show I may need a few parts

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:05 pm

I know it's not my function to do this but if you review the Newsletter that Bill sent on August 2nd he included the following note:

Please help us out in our efforts to get these issues back on track. Responding to your renewal notices in a timely fashion will give us the cash flow we need to push ahead. Remember, renewing online is quick, and easy. We want the Brass Bell back on track as much as you do.

We are very fortunate to have someone like Bill Basler who is in a position to manage the club in conjunction with his business. It's the very reason that we can have this wonderful website with all the bells and whistles, and especially Boat Buzz. It's the platform that produces our world-class quarterly publication, the Brass Bell. Without him and his graphic design business it simply couldn't be done.

The effects of recent economic situations has taken its toll on many of us and I'm sure it has affected the graphic design market as well. Recovery from this is a slow process. Cash flow in these times is critical as expenses continue to rise as the receivables column continues to dwindle, both in business and club.

Bill and the other team members volunteer their time to keep the club alive and well. Time keeps getting more precious as we must spread that time over more avenues to keep the wolf off the door.

My guess is that our club is caught in a Catch-22 situation at present. Many don't see a season appropriate Brass Bell in their mail box, therefore, feel that the club can just wait for their renewal. Thus, printing and mailing expenses for the next issue can't be met, still being in the receivables column.

I love the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club. I know that all of you do too, or you wouldn't be reading this. So here's my plea. If your membership is overdue, pay it now so Bill can get caught up with Brass Bell issues. Consider going one step further by paying a year in advance and/or buying a membership for your son or daughter or your spouse or a good friend. Lets help the club through this cash flow dilemma and back on track if we can.

Al

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Post by drrot » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:47 pm

kwmpa wrote:Haha true...Jim you going to be at the buffalo show I may need a few parts
If I go it will be as a spectator. GREAT show but not worth me setting up at.
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Post by gbraker » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:23 pm

Hey Al; Quick question. Is the club a 501C or whatever it has to be to qualify as a not for profit.

If it is we can donate to it and declare it on our income tax statement.

I would rather donate to the club than any of the other non profits out there, including the church.

We can start a movement and declare it a religious organization, we will be rolling in the dough.
Gary R Braker

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:22 pm

Gary, to my knowledge the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club in a 501(c)3 not for profit organization and can accept donations that would be exempt from federal taxes. I think we need to ask Bill Basler the specifics of this and whether they need to be designated to a particular fund or just to the club.

Bill are you watching this?

Al

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Post by kwmpa » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:27 pm

I agree the day I get my renewal notice in the mail I write the check and send it in...I get where you're coming from with it I know our money publishes the magazine.

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:35 pm

Al
Thanks for the note. We all appreciate the hard work that Bill and his staff do for our club. After the note earlier in the month from Bill I thought the Brass Bell was almost in the mail. I guess it just shows what a great magazine this is and we can't wait to read the next one. Maybe it would be good for all of us to know the financial position of the club and you may be right maybe it needs a cash infusion of some kind to get things going. Have we lost members in the past 24 month or gained? How have the sponsorships worked out?
Pete
Past Project 1948 17' Deluxe
Past Project 1957 19' Capri
Future Project 1955 17' Special Sportsman

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Post by kwmpa » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:35 pm

i think we should know the state of the club as well if we need cash to get this published and out there are members like me who are willing to donate to the club to get it going...id donate money to get more then 4 issues a year if we could get a monthly mag going that would be awesome...what can we do to raisemoney for the club can we expand the club store and get some more items...how about doing some auctions....another forum i belong to they have members who hold an auction on parts or memorbilia and then they have the payment sent to the owner of the forum and then ship it to the winner...its all done through a thread...maybe we can state that i know we all have stuff we can put up even a little bit well help

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:37 pm

Pete, Bill will have to reply to most of your questions but I thought the same as others, that we would expect to see the Spring issue fairly soon. As a result of not seeing it I reviewed the 8/2 newsletter and I think bill's note that I quoted above is in reference to this Spring issue as much as it is for future issues. In essence, it may be that as soon as there are sufficient funds in the till to pay for it, the Brass Bell will be printed and mailed.

I think the note in each Brass Bell reads that each issue costs about $6.50 to produce and distribute. For 4,000 copies it becomes a $26,000.00 item. Not pocket change in anyone's terms. He prints a few extras for publicity purposes so the bill may be higher than my guess.

There are at least 2 sponsors, Chris-Craft and Hagerty and probably more in the works. I'm sure their monetary value to the club can't be revealed or Bill would have included that in their announcements. I'm thinking they would not offset the cost for a BB issue though.

The question of loosing or gaining members is a moving target, as Bill may describe it. We've been close to 4,000 members for quite a while but can't seem to make it over the hump. All organizations loose members to attrition (age, change interests, move on, etc) and gain new ones. I'm sure our club is no exception to this, but present financial issues may indicate an overall loss at present.

It appears that the past-due accounts may be the crux of the present cash flow situation. In one sense it may indicate a decrease in membership but given time and a second or third reminder these members may renew. It's obviously taking longer than in the past or there wouldn't be a cash flow situation.

Bill would be the first to remind us that we are not overdue until we have received 4 Brass Bell issues. After receiving all 4 of them then you probably won't be receiving the next one unless you bring your account up to date.

Although this is reassuring, it certainly doesn't help the current situation. So, what to do? Again, the plea for help. Bill may be too proud to ask directly (I think he already has, very subtly) but I feel that it may be appropriate to mention here.

Al

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Post by kwmpa » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:40 pm

drrot wrote:
kwmpa wrote:Haha true...Jim you going to be at the buffalo show I may need a few parts
If I go it will be as a spectator. GREAT show but not worth me setting up at.
you were set up there last year werent you? If i have some things i need could you bring them if you go there?

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Post by drrot » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:56 am

kwmpa wrote:
drrot wrote:
kwmpa wrote:Haha true...Jim you going to be at the buffalo show I may need a few parts
If I go it will be as a spectator. GREAT show but not worth me setting up at.
you were set up there last year werent you? If i have some things i need could you bring them if you go there?
Yes, I was set up last year. Didn't bring in what the tolls were. Much less fuel, rooms, ETC. If you need something email me direct.
[email protected]
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Post by gbraker » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:27 am

Some of the other clubs have been going to on line methods to produce newsletters and magazines.

Classic yacht is one that's pretty cool. Its produced by Bill Prince. I can't get my computer to work with it anymore, but you turn the pages like a book, and you can imbed videos and pictures, animations.

You could just download the magazine or maybe it could be streaming. Or just mail out a CD/DVD.

Anything would be cheaper than paper & the snail mail.

Only ones making money is the post office, and they are whining that they don't get enough.
Gary R Braker

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:55 am

The comments on this thread are timely. First, I am sorry to report that on Friday of last week, I pulled the Spring issue from a new printer I was experimenting with. I am currently looking to either A: go back to one of my prior printers, or B: search for a new printer.

The Brass Bell has been giving us a few production challenges in the last year. I have been very happy with the two printers who had printed every prior Brass Bell. They are printers I have worked with for almost 30 years. I know them well, and I know what they are capable of. Better yet, they are less than 10 miles from my studio. This means I can babysit each issue as it goes on press. I would not have considered a switch at all—had it not been for price.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, our operational costs are covered by your dues revenues, advertising revenues and sponsorship revenues. The online Archive was built with grant funds, and member donations, each of which were earmarked directly to the archive project, so those funds do not help us here.

To understand what has been happening with the Brass Bell, one must look at just a few simple things. 1. Postage has increased somewhere around six times in the past few years. 2. Printing costs, ie: paper, ink, plates, labor, poly bags, has continued to climb...steadily.

We are printing a larger and larger quantity of Brass Bells with each quarter that passes. As Al indicates, this quarter we are printing about 4,000 Brass Bells, giving us a few extra for shows, ie: the upcoming Lake Geneva Show .

But....this increase in quantity is a good thing. When calculating printing, cost per unit generally goes down, as total quantity goes up. There are exceptions to this rule, but it is true with the Brass Bell. As the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club grows, the cost for one individual Brass Bell goes down, as we print larger and larger runs. The printing presses that we print on are large 28" x 40" Heidelbergs that will print 4,000 Brass Bells in the blink of an eye. Much of the costs is in the setup. As the setup gets amortized out across a larger print run, the cost per copy actually comes down.

On the down side, our mailing costs have climbed to an out-of-sight level. US mail has climbed considerably. Cost for mailing one single Brass Bell to a US address is about $0.60. International mail has exploded. It now takes us about $10.00 per issue to send one issue to Europe. Canada is not far behind at (on average) $5.50. Canadian members and overseas members have been paying a higher price ($50.00) for membership than US members. We implemented this a few years ago in an attempt to service these members, and not go into the red.

In addition, for every Brass Bell that is returned to headquarters due to an incorrect address, we try to search out the new, correct address, and remail the issue, this time at First Class postage rate— a couple of bucks, plus an envelope and a trip to the post office.

Bottom line is, each Brass Bell costs less, as our quantity goes up. So, club growth is a good thing. If we can grow this club to 5-6,000 members, one single Brass Bell copy will get more reasonable. But, we have to be prepared to address rising printing costs and rising postage costs. By the time we actually get to 5-6,000 members, it is very likely cost increases will have negated any print savings we may have seen. Is this gloom and doom? Well, no, not really. It's just reality.

Now, I cannot express how on target Al is in his assessment. But, first, let me tell you, I pulled the Brass Bell from the printer I was experimenting with for quality reasons. The savings that we were going to realize were going help. But, I was not happy with the prepress work, the proofs. The first press sheets looked to be much poorer quality. The savings were impacting the quality to a noticeable level.

And so, I am shopping. I will place the Spring Brass Bell yet again with a printer today. This will delay the issue to you even longer that I had reported last time. But, I had to do what I had to do. When Richard Gambino noted that his pages were falling out of the prior issue....well, that statement sends a shiver through any publisher's spine. We were potentially going down that path. I did not want mediocre issues reaching you all. There are enough publications like that in the world already.

It's pretty easy to see the challenges here by doing some simple math.

US MEMBERSHIP: $35.00
  • Cost of four Brass Bells for US members including postage: $6.35 (approx) X four issues per year = $25.40.
    Cost of two renewal notices per year including postage: Outgoing envelope, return envelope, one 8.5 x 11 printed sheet, stuffing, postage, $4.00.
    Total cost for US members, Brass Bells and renewal letters: $29.40.
CANADIAN MEMBERSHIP: $50.00
  • Cost of four Brass Bells for Canadian members including postage: $11.25 (average) X four issues per year = $45.00.
    Cost of two renewal notices per year including postage: Outgoing envelope, return envelope, one 8.5 x 11 printed sheet, stuffing, postage, $6.00.
    Total cost for Canadian members, Brass Bells and renewal letters: $51.00.
OVERSEAS MEMBERSHIP: $50.00
  • Cost of four Brass Bells for Overseas members including postage: $15.75 (average). X four issues per year = $63.00.
    Cost of two renewal notices per year including postage: Outgoing envelope, return envelope, one 8.5 x 11 printed sheet, stuffing, postage, $9.00.
    Total cost for Overseas members, Brass Bells and renewal letters: $72.00.
The above costs are not calculated to the penny. They fluctuate some, as our membership changes.

As I look at things right now, we are a club of 3,358 members. We have 377 members on the "Past Due" list, as we are still mid way through a renewal period. If we pick up each and every one of those members we are a club of 3,735. That is down somewhat from where we were two quarters ago. For the past five years, we have consistently gone into each quarter with about 100 Past Due members not renewing. About a fourth of those would typically rejoin, even after they expire, the next, or following quarters. I have always calculated that we have a net loss of about 75 members per quarter. I do get letters from many who do not renew. Health reasons are most often cited as a reason for not renewing. This is followed closely, with "I sold my old boats(s). I have moved on to other things." About two members per quarter will voice a concern about the club. I, of course, know that the Brass Bell delivery factors into this to a degree. With this said, we have a net gain of new members each quarter—enough to offset those who did not renew, with a few more for growth. We have grown in total numbers each quarter since Spring 2006 with the exception of the last two quarters.

I do believe the late delivery of Brass Bells has some to do with the loss. We need to get this back on track.

Of course, the Brass Bell is not our only expense. Paypal takes a portion of every payment that comes in to us. As well, if a member uses a credit card for renewal, or if a new member comes in to this club via a credit card payment, there are costs there—monthly costs from Cybersource, and a per transaction fee from AmEx, VIsa, MC, or Discover. Above that, there are costs associated with offering these options with a mandatory level of security....SSL certificates and the like.

Sponsorships from Hagerty and Chris-Craft have helped us meet some of our other expenses. I am very thankful for these sponsors steeping in to help this organization out. It is much very appreciated and indicative of their commitment to the Chris-Craft brand, boating, and our lifestyle.

This is more than we need to get into here, but I hope you all understand that we are all working hard for the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club, and have every intention of making it the benchmark for the niche.

I need to head off to an afternoon meeting, but I will try to post a financial follow up in "From the Club" later this evening. It is important to understand the total financial picture of the club. I know that we are a very well-loved club and I want to see us grow and prosper over the next XX years. I wanted to keep this thread focused on the Brass Bell, per Pete DeVito's original question.

And in closing. Al is right, I am a terrible fundraiser. And Gary, the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club is a 501(c)(3) no-for-profit corporation, allowing us to take in monetary donations, and in-kind donations, extending a receipt as a tax deductible contribution. Where this club lies relative to other non-profits who need assistance is up to you, but my intentions are focused on long term viability. Any financial assistance we receive is greatly appreciated.
Bill Basler

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:43 pm

Bill, Thanks much for your detailed reply. You answered many of the questions that came out in this discussion. Hope that I wasn't out of line in attempting to respond to them.

For All: Go to the Club Home page, at the very top there's a link to go to the DONATE site that Bill mentioned. Better yet, donate by sending a check to the address at the very bottom of the Club Home page and save the club the credit card and/or PayPal fees. Either way, Bill will send a receipt so your donation will be tax deductible.

And still think about purchasing CCABC membership for family and friends. They make great gifts.

Al

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Post by gbraker » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:50 pm

Hey Al;

I started a thread named cash flow. Its an effort to get ideas for making the club more viable.

Many of the members have joined other clubs and they may have ideas we could incorporate that will make us better.

You can't just ask for more money like a homeless person sitting along the road asking for a handout. You might get a little, but if you offer some value you will go farther. So check out the ideas that are there now & add to them. We have some smart cookies out there and I'll bet we can come up with some really good ideas.
Gary R Braker

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Post by Stovebolt » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:03 pm

I know it seems people blow smoke on here about the Bell and the club, but the way I see it, how can you NOT blow smoke? We are lucky to have a site like this, with the people that are on it, to facilitate the resources on here? I have learned so much from here, and been helped by some of you, that I would never have gotten any other way. I wouldn't have knows about the ACBS if it wasn't for here, or met the great people that I have met from this site.

The magazine is phenomenal. I know I'm one of the guys that always posts about not getting there Brass Bell when everyone else has enjoyed thiers, but I also know it isn't the fault of Bill or anyone else not wearing a Canadian Post patch on thier shoulder.

And I will only complain a little about not getting my Bell next time.....haha :P
1961 Chris Craft 17' Ski Boat
1973 15.6' Hourston Glasscraft

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:30 pm

Bill,

We all appreciate the time you took to explain some of the challenges our club is having today. This is no different then most clubs and associations out there. I personally think the Brass Bell is far above any publications out on the market for a club and I really enjoy getting my hardcopy in the mail. I read each copy many times between getting my next issue and I sometimes pull some older copies out and read those again. I enjoy online publications but to be honest the Brass Bell is better in its beautiful hardcopy form.

To be prefectly honest our dues are to Cheap!! We are very fortunate to have this first class publication along with the website we have access to. I for one know that sometimes when you have a dues increase you lose members and it is a fine line of how much to increase without a large loss but it is reality and has to be done..

It looks to me that the U.S. copy at $35.00 is really cheap for what we get and most likely has the largest group of members. I have no say in what the dues should be but I sure don't want anything to happen to our great club. When you send the next invoice for my dues please bill me for $50.00. If the club decides that a further increase is needed let me know. I encourage others that use the services of our club to help if they can.

Thanks again Bill and staff.

Pete
Past Project 1948 17' Deluxe
Past Project 1957 19' Capri
Future Project 1955 17' Special Sportsman

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Post by gbraker » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:09 pm

Some clubs recognize that members have contributed more. Maybe we should consider a way this could be done.

Maybe a icon that would show up when ever they made a post. Maybe a different color depending on how much they donated. There are a lot of things we could do.

Remember people like to be recognized and they like to see there name in print.
Gary R Braker

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:26 am

For more info on the Brass Bell please see: http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... hp?p=37350
Bill Basler

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