The Icepick of Doom

Boatpokers - Email Forum

Exclusively for members of
The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors® and
The National Association of Marine Surveyors

Boatpokers Email Forum For SAMS members



1.  Sign every email with your name and designation (AMS, CMS etc).  We all want to know who you are without looking your email address up on the list.   It is a good idea to set up a "Signature" in your Email software that automatically puts your name (and anything else you want) at the end of every Email message.

2.  Do the survey first and then ask questions.  If possible, try to avoid the generalized "head's up" type question such as "I am going to survey a 40' whatever, is there anything I should be on the lookout for?".
  • First: This question is hard to answer without offering to do the survey for you.
  • Second: Even if the question can be answered intelligently, you should approach your survey with an open mind, not with preconceived notions.
  • Third: It is a far more productive use of everyone's time to do the survey first, and then ask any specific questions that you can't answer yourself.
  • Fourth: If you are about to survey a type of boat you have never seen before and know nothing about, search the Archives for pertinent information, there are years of sortable postings there for your perusal.
3.  Provide enough information in the subject line to allow others to decide if they are interested in your posting or not.
  • Think about someone trying to find your message in the Archives a week or month down the road... make sure the subject line describes what the message is about.
  • Change the Subject line if you reply to a posting and the subject matter changes.
4.   Keep your postings relevant and reverent.
  • The biggest complaint about the forum and the main reason people leave the group is having to plow through large numbers of postings that are of no interest.
  • Obviously every posting is not going to interest every member of the group, but it is a good idea to try to avoid sending frivolous postings.  We all like a bit of humour now and then, but remember you are sending your message to hundreds of marine surveyors, not just the two or three who have been participating in a particular thread.
  • My personal pet peeve is the "Me Too!" posting. While very occasionally it is legitimate and worthy, most of the time is just a waste of everyone's time. If you feel the urge to send a "Me Too!", think first about whether to send it to the group or just one or two people.
  • Think about whether or not the majority will want to read what you are about to send.  Perhaps it would be better to send it to just three or four of them.
5.   Do use the forum, ask questions.  There are others on this forum willing to help you find the answers you need.  The only truly stupid question is the one not asked.

6.  Respect individuals, and the group as a whole.

7.  Humour is sometimes hard to detect in the written form.  If it is tongue-in-cheek, say so in no uncertain terms. :-) sideways smiley faces indicate humor.  There are also other ways.


1.  DO NOT send spam, chain letters, jokes, etc.   If you want to be on a joke list, contact Peggy Feakes at  She has a joke list (a good one!).

2.  File attachments are not allowed and are automatically deleted if sent.  This completely eliminates any possibility of a virus being spread through the forum.  If you have a photograph, or file that you want to share, you can ask that those interested request that you send it to them directly (outside of the list), or post it somewhere and send the URL to everyone. If you do not have anywhere to post it, contact the Listmaster and he will post the file or photo temporarily at

3.  DO NOT engage in flame wars, disrespectful slaps at others, derogatory statements about another member, etc.   Keep your words soft and sweet, you never know from day to day which ones you will have to eat!

4.  Commercial advertising on this forum is not allowed.  If you perform a service that someone is looking for, and has requested help, respond directly to them only.

5.  Engaging in Flame Wars on the list, or continued postings with disrespect for the list or individual members will be adequate reason to bar you from the list.   If you really must voice angry or disrespectful opinions, do it only to the individual.  The rest of us do not want to hear it!

6.  Any subject matter that pertains to marine surveying is acceptable.   I know that some have voiced opposition to SAMS® or NAMS political discussions, but, it does pertain to membership in a marine surveying organization.   We consider this to be acceptable discussion, and a proper venue, as long as it is done in a professional atmosphere, and with respect to others.   Please, no mud slinging!  Keep political discussion on a positive note.

7.  Posting notice of upcoming meetings, seminars, or opportunities for educational advancement as a marine surveyor, etc. are acceptable subject matter.   Information of this type is not considered commercial advertising.

8.  If you are the type of person who gets home after a hard days work and likes to have a few after dinner, and you get the urge to write an enthusiastic posting in response to what you read in the forum, by all means do it.  But don't send it until the next morning when you have a chance to review what you have written in the cold sober light of dawn.

That's it folks, enjoy the interaction.

If you have a concern about additional rules that you feel would be of benefit to all members, please send me a direct email.   My wish is to keep it as simple as possible.

Click here for a short story about "Stupid Questions".

Geoff Grainger, Boatpokers Listmaster.

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