Recreational Boat Building Industry
Also the Boating Links area includes the most complete list of Boat Builder Links available anywhere. This gives you an opportunity to see the latest boats available and their designs. The Boating Links area also includes links to the Drive Manufacturer sites. Here you can learn the latest specs available from the engine and drive suppliers to the industry.
If your interested in finding new suppliers or finding technical information from existing suppliers be sure to check out the Engineering Component Links segment of the Other Useful Links area. The links to Thomas Register and Industry Net will prove invaluable. Industry Net is a collection of over 4000 suppliers with a huge wealth of technical information about their components online.
If you happen to work in the plastics the Plastics Links segment of the Other Useful Links section can put technical specs on your desktop from most of the industries leading suppliers. It also provides a lot of technical plastic design information.
Many of you work with corrosion and try to minimize its effects on your products. There are three exceptional web sites that gather professionals and vendors together in this field. FinishingCom, Metal Finishing, and Paint/Coatings Net are all exceptional resources in this field. There are links to them in the Corrosion Links segment of our Other Useful Links page.
We have taken a few of the conversations in the boating newsgroups and reprinted them in our rec.boats FOLDER. Here is a chance to hear the "voice of the customer" as he or she discusses their needs and problems.
Near the bottom of the Boating Links Page, several newsgroups dealing with boating are listed. We encourage you to visit the rec.boats newsgroup. You can see how your products are being discussed by the end users. Before you jump in and make some comments; first, no advertising is allowed in the newsgroups. Don't try to toot your products horn here or you will get an earful. Second, before trying to help with some technical problems, you might try to get your firm to agree on how to handle field problems throughout this media. It probably makes most sense to have them referred to your Service Dept. Usually they don't want to call somebody, they want on-line help. You might refer them to your own web site if you have basic service information posted there or you might have a bulletin board for posting service questions there? Some of the majors think there could be some potential legal liabilities involved in letting every "half-cocked engineer" reply to service questions on the net. You can also run into difficulties with your service department. They know the history of the machine and the people involved. You may make promises or suggestions that are our of line with their policies. Sometimes end users try to approach a company from several angles to try to get the best response (free replacement), they just keep asking different people until they get the answer they want. We are just suggesting that your company decide how it will respond to newsgroup posted field problem questions and respond to them. Also occasionally somebody's products are being slammed or called into question. Your firm might want to have a plan for responding when this kind of thing gets out of hand. Usually it involves straightening out some facts or explaining why some decisions were made. To date, most firms just "lay low" till it blows over, but I think they are missing some great marketing opportunities to back up their products.
Invention of the Stern Drive
The Patent Folder has a great story in it about the Invention of the Stern Drive. The background includes an internal conspiracy, several managers rejecting the new technology, and is an example of how long it can take for an idea to flourish. Many feel the stern drive itself is now in the mature position and some "new technology" may be knocking on its door. Its a great time to be alive!
The October 18th 1996 issue of Machine Design has a great landmark article titled, "The Web Ships Up Waves Of Change", that does a great job of illustrating some of the new uses of web technology by management and engineers.
If your interested in Diesel Engines be sure and subscribe to Diesel Progress Engines & Drives. Their June issue is an Annual Engine Yearbook with specs and comparisons of offerings from the various manufacturers. Also they often have a marine section in the normal issues.
Diesel & Gas Turbine Publications 13555 Bishops Court Brookfield WI 53005-6286
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