Things we should look at changing.

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Ron
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Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:59 pm

I was thinking about how to grow our organization. I know that people inherently resist change, especially when some are "set in their ways". I thought I would just throw a few things out there, as I have logged about 15 vintage dives this month, and I have noticed a few issues based upon questions that people have asked me, and my responses to them.


1.) Sometimes the whole concept of "vintage correct" that we all throw around makes me laugh a little bit. I have never seen a Navy diver who gave a flying rat's behind what his gear looked like, as long as it worked. Besides, everyone has to know that divers modfied their gear. It's not like someone bought a RAM back in the day and only ever used it like how it appeared in the catalog. That's why I don't care about things like band clamps, tinnermans vs. hose clamps, etc. If I would have bought one in 1965 I would have put a band clamp on it, as C clips are the worst idea ever. Tinnermans, although valuable, are so annoying that I never take my broxton apart. I wonder if sometimes we scare off people who are interested with all this talk about what looks "correct" and what does not. Maybe we should abandon this idea with the exception of those who are actually looking to duplicate a specific catalog model or year. I think we should stop using "period correct" or "vintage correct". This scares people off. People have actually asked me if we are "allowed" to dive certain stuff. That is ludicrous. We should have the option to do anything we choose.


-There's only 200 of us and we talk about vintage and eclectic diving, and what does or does not look right. We aren't re-enacting, we are diving. Maybe we should abandon this and just look to include everyone, it may make it easier to add more members to our ranks. I think we should abandon some terms. Eclectic diving is confusing and pointless. Vintage "equipment" diver and vintage diver should be used interchangeably. If you want to split hairs, in 25 years no vintage diver will be diving, and then all the vintage "equipment" divers will be vintage divers. Does this sound pointless to anyone else?

-Dive computers. Many of us use them, and a few of us do not. I know that I personally have come under fire from some of you for not using them during various meets. Using one, then bashing others for using tables, makes you look like a giant vintage diving hypocrit. We should advocate a tables or computers policy, and not care who does or does not use one, the other, or both. We should make this a policy. Everyone I have talked to thinks that we dive tables anyway, as it does not make a whole lot os sense to many people to use something from the 50's and then pair it with a dive computer. I am not opposed to dive computers, but we should espouse a stance favoring both.
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Ron
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:10 pm

-We need to start actually doing something with the NAVED. Every time Jim (Capn Tucker) and I go diving, we tell people that we are dedicated to preserving diving history. Then we hand them some brochures, which do not look professionally done (sorry), and they walk off. We are never going to grow that way. I am not saying that I have the answer on this one, but we should do something. Maybe we can start looking into offering classes, seminars, or something.

-We need to leverage our power. We do this once a year with Sand Dog and have great results. If we began to do this more often, we would stop being "those crazy vintage divers". If I told a charter boat that all 6 of us, plus a divemaster were going to show up with steel tanks and all vintage gear, and that we wanted fills and no BS about modern crap, people would take us more seriously then if there were two of us. There are two ways to do this. First, we can schedule more meets in between Sand Dog that are cheaper and shorter in duration. Second, we can find a way to get more divers.

-I think we need to include SCUBA gear up to 1980. I know that freaks some of you out, but there's not reason why the last year a doublehose regulator was availible in the U.S. Divers catalog should be the end of vintage diving. By 1980, many people were using BCs and octos according to every book that I have. We lose the conshelf XIV and voit MR-12II by cutting the date off at 1975. Do you know how many people still use these regulators? I sell more conshelf XIV kits that anything else for single hose regs.
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Ron
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:11 pm

That's about it for now. I am sure that this is going to piss people off, but I figured before I give up and accept that we are going to be "the weird guys" forever, that I would at least voice my opinion as a member of the organization. If I catch a bunch of crap for this, then I will say no more.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:16 pm

One of the great things about NAVED is that there are no RULES or POLICIES so to speak. Do you have a picture of you diving your vintage gear 1975 or earlier? Do you have $15.00 to get the card made? Do you belong to VDH or VSS even if it is simply to read all the nonsense that goes on? If you answer yes to all three you are in NAVED and that's that. I for one could care less what you dive. Ron you need to take a break. Flush out your head gear and stop caring what others think or say. Trust me you will live longer and be happier. Other than when we are asked specifically to dive 100% vintage gear for photo/or reenactments NO ONE REALLY CARES WHAT YOU DIVE WITH.......If you can find 3 people that want to make up a bunch of rules/bylaws/regulations/tests/entry fees/membership rules etc....I would say you need to start up a new dive club because NAVED was never put together to become a group like that.....XOXOXO Bryan
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:21 pm

Look into producing a full color brochure and see what the cost is. Pay it out of your own pocket, pay the shipping from your own pocket to see that everyone gets them so they can pass them out at events and to their dive stores.......A few of us did this for the brochures we currently have. I think they look great. But then again I'm sure you can do better than the rest of us so feel free to go right ahead and charge into it half cocked and lets see what you come up with.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Ron
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:22 pm

I am not saying that we should adopt a certain stance, because I know that overall, we don't. But maybe if we more clearly defined what we are trying to do, we could interest more people. We have shown an awful lot of people our stuff lately, and all they really do is walk away with a pamphlet. Shouldn't we be doing more maybe? If we all decide that we shouldn't then I guess that is fine too. I guess I am just wondering what is going to happen as more of us get too old to dive. Right now it is just Ovalis, Dave, Infidel, and me for younger guys. I think I am focusing more on how to keep enough people doing this. This all started the other day when someone asked me "What is going to happen to all your gear when there aren't enough people using it to warrant someone continuing to make parts?"

Also, for the record, I have never not pulled something off that I have ran into half-cocked. You do the same thing. I am also not saying that I won't do things myself if that is what we decide. If we decide that we want to grow our group by teaching classes, then I'll do that. If we decide that we are going to do seminars, presentations, discover dives, or new brochures, I'll help there too. I'll even help financially. I guess I just wonder what makes us a "National association" as opposed to a group of guys who dive old gear. If that's what it is, then I know that now and I am fine.

My key example was yesterday. People asked us "why are you doing this", and we told them because we like to dive historical gear. Then Jim told them that we were in the NAVED, and they were kind of like "What is that, and what does it do?" That's a pretty legitimate question.
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simonbeans
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:42 pm

You do bring up some interesting points about NAVED. Without a doubt, I am sure that there may be ways to make it better, but just making it bigger may not be such a great thing. I suppose that if you had been here since day one, you would have been involved with the many discussions, ideas, etc that got NAVED off the ground. You also would have seen the upteen number of hours and dollars expended for the annual Sand Dog event. But yet, NAVED or even the vintage world is small in relation to the possible number of people who own a double hose or two.
As to dive gear. I believe the majority of us are double hose regulator fans. VDH came to be partically because of the need of double hose hobbists who wanted to continue to dive this regulator. Many of us still dive modern as part of employment or interest. But when it come to the special events, i.e., Sea Hunt 50 or Legends of Diving, etc., certain restrictions were established. As to Sand Dogs, no one has an issue towards gear. Many participants have brought spouses, partners, etc that dove with modern gear. Do your thing. No body really cares. I personally dive with makes me happy and safe. If anyone has an issue, I haven't heard about it. Personally, NAVED was born through the efforts of many and was established with double hose diving as the core. I would hate to see it go the way of single hose regulators, even if they are 1950s or 1960s. Just my opinion. Maybe Ron can organized a vintage single hose event, cut if off at 1980. Might have lots of interest. Might not.
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Ron
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:51 pm

"I would hate to see it go the way of single hose regulators, even if they are 1950s or 1960s."

It doesn't have to be binary. Why can't we include all of it into one umbrella? I understand that I am not in the pecking order of the NAVED. Whatever you guys who are decide is fine. But I thought I would put these things out there. There are people who use that inbetween kind of gear out there, maybe we should include them. If we stay the same size we are right now, ceteris paribus, then our numbers will drop by 50% if everyone over the age of 50's doctor says "no more diving". I guess my main concern is losing two things:

1.) The knowledge base represented by those divers. Many of you have shown me, Dave, Infidel, and Ovalis stuff. That means that 4 of us will be subject matter experts without you guys.

2.) The demand for parts and supplies. There will be a critical point at which it will no longer be effective for VDH/VSS to make parts. Even if I stockpile enough parts to last me forever, that does not leave me with a lot of potential dive buddies.

I think I am just trying to stay four or five moves ahead on the chess board here.

"Maybe Ron can organized a vintage single hose event, cut if off at 1980. Might have lots of interest. Might not."

We have 200 people in the NAVED. Do we really want to subdivide events further? My intent is not to faction off, but to include more people. Right now, by and large people do not receive a warm welcome unless they want to dive a doublehose. We could probably get more people to dive doublehoses if they started off in a bc-less configuration with a vintage single hose with a single second stage. Again, I am just thinking out loud.
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:31 pm

All I can say is; is that I remember how just a few years ago most of us were not even aware that any others of us even existed out there; nor did we have any of the parts available to us that we now have, and who would have ever thought back then that we would some day be having vintage dive events to gather at.
As the saying goes: "We've come a long way baby"! I also enjoy being one of those "Weird Guy's" & "Crazy Vintage Divers"; ya gotta admit those WTF looks we all get are priceless! As for our policy; yeah, love that to! Ain't it great to have a policy that basically states that our policy is to have no policy. All In Favor - raise your hands! :lol: Now; go tear that vintage reg apart; rebuild and have FUN! Sorry I can't make it to some of the other events; but I'm already very much looking forward to seeing everyone again at Portage 2010! Terry
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Ron
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:41 pm

"All I can say is; is that I remember how just a few years ago most of us were not even aware that any others of us even existed out there; nor did we have any of the parts available to us that we now have, and who would have ever thought back then that we would some day be having vintage dive events to gather at."


What you just said furthers my point. What I am saying is that we should work to keep it that way, or to possibly grow it. How old are you? How many more years do you plan on diving? What happens when 20-25 more people in your age range decide that as well? If we plan now, we can make sure that kids that are not even teenagers now can enjoy this stuff when I am 40 or 50. The other option is to do nothing, which I am fine with too, but I at least wanted to express my opinion first.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:59 pm

All good thoughts Ron. One must bare in mind that scuba, vintage or otherwise is a pricey sport/hobby. A lot of the younger folks who dive are just hanging in there while they raise their kids, build their careers and so forth. I think your going to find that the ranks of the younger guys will swell as they approach the 40 year mark. My father was a HAM radio operator and I saw that happen there too. Not too many young guys, but alot of guys 40 and older. I used to love listening to the WWII vets spin their yarns.
As mentioned, bigger dosn't necesarily mean better. I'd rather have a fairly small number of guys like yourself, Bryan, Roger and Capn' Tucker who are into their craft then a whole bunch of people who show up just to been seen. Am I making any sense? If you want to see how it's done wrong Join a road bicycling club. That would really bring the point home. Besides, I kind of enjoy being refered to as on of those crazy vintage guys! LOL

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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:03 pm

The section for single hose enthusiasts was made as there was some interest. You definitely have helped many people to resurrect those regulators. But then there are many of us who could care less about them. Maybe I am alone on the vintage single hose idea, but double hose regulators are why some of us are on this forum and belong to NAVED.
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Ron
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:13 pm

Many of you will figure out later that keeping an organization that is primarily made up of older divers small is not the best way to keep knowledge going and products produced. Ask Bryan if he could afford to make parts if 30% of his customers stopped buying stuff. I bet if he had a 30% larger customer base he could make more stuff. It is just simple economics. I'm just going to let this go, because (I knew this at the start) this is not going to go anywhere.

BTW, I just wanted to make sure that everyone understands that I am not butt hurt. I was suggesting this as an idea, and if it is not well received then I will continue mission. There's no malice or bad attitude intended in my posts here in the NAVED sub-forum. Overall, I am a very happy vintage diver.
The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed. -JYC

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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:09 pm

And Ron; most important of all as you yourself pointed out to those of us at Portage this past year: "We Have Groupies"! :D Terry
For a great time give vintage diving a try; and then there's the comradery that goes with it which is spectacular!
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simonbeans
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Re: Things we should look at changing.

Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:18 pm

Maybe you could suggest some ideas that could make NAVED more visible or interesting. We did at one time do a diver of the month. Or maybe someone who has access to some nice dive site run events more often. Obviously you wouldn't get good attendance all the time, but if we knew that there would be a Sand Dog, Portage, some west coast activity, some northeast (not in CT however) event throughout the year, then maybe we could be more visible.
We even tried to be more visible with NAVED shirts. We have NAVED stickers for cars, etc. It is time for someone to suggest more activities to assist the NAVED group in growing.

Us old guys are getting older as we write. I think we should ask the youngster to carry tanks and weights for us at Sand Dog. What do you think?
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