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Douglas GM -- Skater 399v -- Ref thread "Is APBA Arachnophobic?"

Old 06-08-2003, 10:08 PM
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Default Douglas GM -- Skater 399v -- Ref thread "Is APBA Arachnophobic?"

News travels fast in this industry. The penalties imposed upon DMC and the Race Team have only created a sea of incoming calls to DMC as to what LLC Offshore hopes to accomplish.

Douglas Marine Corp does not know Duchess, nor is she the 'Secret Squirrel' of DMC. However, DMC would like to thank Duchess for asking well-thought-out, intelligent, and pertinent questions----which have yet to be appropriately and/or accurately answered. It would have been in the best interest of LLC Offshore had Andrew Corn not responded at all.

DMC considers safety issues paramount in Skater race AND pleasure boats. Nothing is perfect the first time out. Hundreds of man hours have been put into this project. Significant testing of the 399v Skater occurred at Lake X, and again in SRQ, with numerous setup combinations. It was apparent to DMC (and anyone else who saw the boat run in Key West) that the 399v required stabilization in order to correct significant safety concerns. Two additional rear strakes and 50+/- pounds were added to increase stability. The added weight slowed the 399v by 2-3 mph. The object of the game is to fine tune and create the best possible product, is it not?

When DMC determines that changes are required on Skaters, a phone conversation about those changes occurs with the appropriate party of the sanctioning body----and the conversation is followed up with required physical drawings. This is the way it has been handled in the past, and the way this incident was handled. The decision to add two strakes to the 399v was made a few days prior to the start of the 2003 race season.

With our credibility intact and our recollections quite clear on this particular incident----Pete did talk with Andrew Corn about our intentions to add two strakes. There was a clear understanding that the added strakes would be fine (in conjunction with DMC providing a drawing of changes). DMC provided the drawing. Andrew Corn did make the statement that everything was 'okay to go'.

We were stunned to receive LLC Offshore's certified letter, outlining the penalties and requirements imposed upon DMC----and to realize that we had been misled by 'okay to go'.

LLC Offshore has imposed a requirement upon DMC to return the 399v to its original state (as it was in Key West). Doing so, would be nothing less than negligent. And, removing the strakes would again increase the 399v's speed. All Skater 399v's will be fitted with the strakes as a safety improvement, including pleasure boat models.

We have recently spoken with another strong and well-respected competitor in the SuperVee class. His comments about the Skater 399v were: 1) it IS the same boat that it was in Key West 2) it is setup well 3) it is running faster than the rest of the field 4) apparently, the boat had to be slowed down to create parity with competitors.

If the world's fastest, one-mile runner was required to wear a 50 pound weight belt in order to compete----what message would be received? Presumably, other competitors would feel insulted at best, and the public would realize that the penalty was intended to create the parity.

Frankly, DMC and LLC Offshore have long been engaged in an ongoing battle about the payments required for homologation approvals. DMC understands and agrees with the need to approve homologations while charging a nominal fee to offset administrative costs (as is the case in any application process). It is DMC's opinion that the homologation fees set by LLC Offshore are both arbitrary and excessive.

LLC Offshore's requirement that DMC return the Skater 399v to it's Key West configuration would (including but not limited to):

1) compromise the safe operation of the Skater SuperV
2) restrict DMC's ability to freely operate its business due to restriction of trade
3) negatively impact DMC's business by jeopardizing Skater SuperV sales
4) damage the reputation of DMC and Skater by arbitrarily and unreasonably preventing participation in APBA Offshore events
5) damage the reputation of DMC and Skater by arbitrarily and unreasonably notifying current and future APBA members that "no future Skater SuperV's shall be eligible for competition in APBA Offshore events."
6) negatively impact sellers of used Skater SuperV's by restricting the ability to sell to buyers who want to compete in APBA Offshore events
7) negatively impact current owners of Skater SuperV's who want to compete in APBA Offshore events.

In addition to the configuration requirement, the following statements are quoted from LLC Offshore's certified letter written to DMC:

" 1. $7,500 fine

2. Temporary hold on all future homologations of any new SuperV models, pending the payment of above fines and written agreement to comply with all APBA Offshore technical rules, including the payment of all applicable homologation fees.

3. The failure of Douglas Skater to comply with the above penalties and conditions shall result in our notifying all current members and potential future members that no future Skater SuperV's shall be eligible for competition in APBA Offshore events."

In this instance, LLC Offshore's requirements accomplish nothing but the illusion of greater parity. This serves to discourage the creativity and ingenuity of competitors----rather than encourage competitors to rise to the challenge of producing products which create actual parity.

Offshore racing was once a fresh and enjoyable sport. Since the sport has changed from non-profit to for-profit, it has the aroma of decaying fish. It is sad and unforunate that our sport has been so negatively affected.

And the sage continues.

Christopher Mornes
General Manager
Douglas Marine Corp
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Old 06-08-2003, 10:27 PM
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Well said Chris, hope the V hull gets a chance, it has evolved in a huge shadow of the traditional "Skater" the general public is familiar with.
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Old 06-09-2003, 01:03 AM
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Pardon me, while I whip this out!
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Old 06-09-2003, 05:41 AM
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Sounds like nothing less than corporate black mail. Pay the money and everything will be alright??
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Old 06-09-2003, 07:37 AM
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Mike, I think that he ment the 50 lbs. and strakes slowed it by 3 mph.Otto
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Old 06-09-2003, 08:35 AM
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Much better thread than the "Duchess" one. Here, we have DMC's official point of view, not an unauthorized third party's.

That being said, it seems to me that DMC has been running fast and loose on their paperwork for some time, and finally got their wrist slapped for it. By all accounts, Peter and the gang at DMC are pretty much racing purists, and it's easy to get caught up in the technical end of things, allowing the administrative issues to slip by. The way I see it, APBA wants DMC to run, but DMC has to play by the rules. For DMC to fall back on a "verbal" authorization is a little weak. Even if DMC did get a verbal authorization, they should have backed it up with a written note to APBA confirming the conversation. It's just good business practice, and it's way APBA insists on having everything in writing - so all this "he said/she said" silliness doesn't go on.

DMC should step up, pay up and play straight. DMC is a world-class company for which I (and many others) have emormous respect. Airing this whole thing on OSO has probably hurt their image more than the fine ever would. Duchess has done no one any favors by bringing this up, and all the acrimony over events in the past is just that - ancient history.

Let's go racing.
Retired! Boating full-time now.
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Old 06-09-2003, 10:02 AM
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am i the only one that sees a trend here?

with all due respect, I think APBA is being a bit heavy handed here. APBA has built it's premier racing class on the back of DMC and DMC deserves a little respect... If it were me and Corn said OK, then I would have done exactly what DMC did...and if Corn required written documentation at the time of the change, he should have said so.

Last edited by Sean; 06-09-2003 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:08 AM
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Mr. Alweiss,

Although I agree with C_Spray for the most part. Yor comments are rather brazen. I agree that at the very least a letter confirming the conversation and its outcome should have been sent. I also agree that you have rules and the reasoning behind having it in writing. So in conclusion, if Mr. Corn approved what DMC requested, some for of written confirmation should have been drafted. With regard to you creating a new businesss opportunity for Skater...PLEASE Mr. Alweiss. We are not uneducated robots drinking Kool-Aid here. Skater has been building boats for a LONG LONG time. Skater has also built Vee bottoms for others as well, and Fountain is not the only one. If Peter wanted to enter the Vee-Bottom arena he could have many times in the past. Just because the LLC has newly formed classes, that in and of itself did NOT create a new opportunity for Skater to all of a suden NOW build vees. If you want others to stay on topic, and I agree, I suggest you not make such ridiculous assertions and stray from the subject at hand. It certainly does not lend you any more creditbility, especially at a time when so many people's credibility in Offshore Racing are questioned.
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Old 06-09-2003, 11:23 AM
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cat, i was smiling becasue we got an official response.

now get some popcorn (no pun intended)
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Old 06-09-2003, 01:59 PM
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Too old did you get permission to change your Avatar from oso??

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