The 2011 Year Book…

A short while ago I took on the BIFFA Role for Publicity. To my surprise, for the first few months it has been mainly about listening – not publicising!! There are some common themes around, and one of them is the mourning for the passing of the BIFFA year book. I now realise that the fees that used to be absorbed by the year book, have gone to giving members a much better Association website. There aren’t sufficient fees coming in to pay for both – so I suspect we made the right choice. However, members clearly still have a hankering for a row of ‘trophy’ publications for their bookcase (or pile under the bed, in my case). “It’s all I get to show for my fees”, is the common call…. So we are going to have to put our thinking caps on and see what we can do with a couple of pence…

In the meantime, the FFI Year Book plopped through the letter box this morning. I always look forward to it, I confess…. It came this year with an excellent mini P&B brochure.  Much of the FFI Year Book content is the same year to year of course – but this edition has some great photos, and a really very thoughtful article by Greg – have you read it?  It starts on page 4 and is two and a half pages of extremely well reasoned analysis of our “brand image” problem. If you haven’t already, then you should read it.  It’s basically about a recurring theme that comes up in all that listening of mine…. as many of you tell me, ‘Why can’t we do something about the old-man’s-boat image of the Flying Fifteen?’….

It obviously hampers attracting new members at a grass roots level. In our little club, we’ve worked hard on it and when I polled everyone last year the average age in the fleet was down to just 45. Which is super actually…. It’s a major success metric for Fleet Captain’s, I suggest….

So we need to get our collective heads together and get some ideas to look at….

  • Get a young (looking) fleet captain!
  • Get some young sailors into your fleet, give them trophies, let them win occasionally   🙂
  • Promote the boat exclusively with exciting and professional photos and videos
  • Get young sailors interviewed in Y&Y. Support them in loan boats?
  • What else?

What is our niche? If it is for 14stone people outgrowing their Merlins and RS’s, isn’t that actually a brilliant positioning for the FF product? What competition is there in that segment? Just apathy, maybe?? Maybe our market starts at 35 or 40  and upwards – what’s wrong with that? So what appeals to the 35-55 year olds out there?  What else can they sail with 28 stone aboard ! – ha ha ha ha !! Do you know the optimum weight in a Merlin is 22 stone! Blimey – what kind of guys can sail those things!!!  Is this as simple as a “Man’s Boat” versus the “Boy’s Boats”???

Take a little read of Greg’s article and the SWOT analysis – let us know what you think, what works at your Club… email us on

2 thoughts on “The 2011 Year Book…

  1. Why does the yearbook or newsletter have to be hard copy? Why not have a limited amount of hard copies for those who want them but why not make them downloadable or available online? Less cost and more potential content.
    We want stories, tips, photographs some juicy content to read. It’s all out there.

  2. Have you seen the recent news item on the y&y website from the Etchells class. They’re attracting 22 year olds; if they cab do it so can we!!!!!!!

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