Over the past year there have been a number of changes made to the website and to the way Shavings is delivered to members.

The website and the newsletter are tightly integrated, with content from the newsletter regularly being used on the website, which makes my work as editor of both much easier.

Many members now make use of our online membership payment system. This automatically gives members immediate access to the members’ area of the website, where we have a forum, and a large number of back copies of our newsletters.

The forum in the members’ area has been used by some members to introduce themselves, and as a way of sharing stories and ideas, and it is hoped that this will be expanded upon over the next twelve months.

Most of our members now receive Shavings via email, which has a number of benefits; 

  • The emailed PDFs include colour photos, which look much better than the black and white reproduction of the printed version, and
  • There has been a considerable cost saving, roughly working out to around $180 per issue, which helps keep our membership fees low, and
  • Because of the reduction in costs it has been possible to increase the number of pages in an issue if there has been sufficient content available.

We now post out less than 30 paper copies of the newsletter each month. I encourage those members who are receiving Shavings via Australia Post to consider changing to receipt by email; if we can send Shavings to you via email we are also able to send you electronic copies of the newsletters we receive as part of the reciprocal arrangements we have with several interstate WBAs. We can’t send these to you if we don’t have your email address, but there are usually paper versions of the most recent newsletters in the WBA library.  The Boatyard section of Shavings and the website continues to be a popular way of selling boats and boatbuilding paraphernalia. Ads are free to members, and available at a small cost to non-members.  The popularity of the website continues to grow, and attracts over 4,000 unique visitors each month. By comparison, in 2012 we were only attracting around 2,000 unique visitors per month.

Amongst the most popular articles on the website (with total views since June 2010) are:

  • Boat Plans and Building Tips (over 85,000 views),
  • About the Wooden Boat Association (over 74,000 views),
  • The Boatyard (over 51,000 visits to this page), and
  • The online library catalogue (0ver 26,000 views).

I would like to thank the contributors to Shavings for their assistance and generosity.  There are many contributors each month, and without them Shavings would be much less interesting. I would particularly like to acknowledge Rob Ripley, David Stott, Chris Kelly, Geoff Caroll, Leigh and Kerrin McNolty, Andrew Cohen, Penny Braybrook, James Frecheville, Andrew Campbell, Tony and Linda Remington, Roderick Smith, Andrew Yenn, Paul Reberra and Karen Gunn, and Tom McAdam. I apologise to anyone I have missed.

I look forward to working on the website and the newsletter over the coming year, and urge all members to send in their stories and photos for Shavings and the website.

Peter Batchelor