Sorry I did not see the post you made a few days ago. Thank you to both you and JK for the kind words. Thank you also for your continued input, which I believe is very valuable to all of us, even if sometimes most people don't admit it - I know this for a fact, ehehehe.
You had many question, hopefully I can answer to your satisfaction.
Where does the future lie? That is a very good question. As far as I am concern the future is bright for me personally in my career, and in relation for the site, since I draw my drive and creative juices from my career. I am very pleased that the site is popular regardless of it not being the most high tech or web 2.0 friendly site out there. The site success is thanks to the content, which as far I am concern is king. Nothing matters about flashy things if there is nothing to learn or appreciate from it.
I am pretty taxed for time at this stage of my life. I have three young sons, and house and the whole kit n caboodle, along with a full time career at sea, so the site does not get the attention that it wish for it, but ultimately it is a hobby for me, but a serious one and one that I can do pretty much from anywhere without much more but a simple computer and an internet connection. I introduced the forum and the blog to make the site easier to manage, especially from web access challenged positions, and also to keep fresh content for all the regular visitors; which thanks to JK in particular, and you and the many other contributors, this has been making my life easier in maintaining this project.
Will the site just wither away? I don't intend it to wither away anytime soon. I wish I could put more time in updating the site and adding more content, but I am just a bit overwhelmed with other commitments at this stage of my life, but the site will grow, at least remain the same, for quite some time. The cost of remaining online has been borne by me pretty much since the beginning, but it is not an obscene amount of money, and I write it off as advertising for me and my skills, which will pay dividend in the future.
Have you nominated a successor? a successor now your making me feel old, and / or regal - stodgy, ehehehe I love collecting information, sharing that information was one of the basis for starting the site, a sort of pay it forward thing. I believe that what little help I can offer to better other people lives is well worth doing, and if it builds solidarity for all those practicing our craft to the best of our abilities, then its mission accomplished.
In that spirit, those that continue that work, would not need to be nominated, just appreciated and gladly assisted in whatever way I could. I am a big fan of the wikipedia concept and ultimately I would like to see this takeover this site. Because as you know the marine industry, is worldwide and ever so shifty, so one person cannot possible keep information accurate, especially in the format the site is currently presented in. So to briefly answer your question, no, no one is nominated because I would like to see all the data currently on this site, migrate to wiki type site, where it could updated by pretty much anyone willing to do it when a need arise it to correct that information, from anywhere in the world.
Maybe a Marine Engineering School or Marine Engineering Institution would take responsibility for running it? (Although this would obviously change the character of the site) Like I said above, it is pretty rare to find passionate people and trust me there is no real money to be online unless your running a porn site so there is really not many incentive for people to maintain this site by other then me, especially since it has my name on it, eheheh (i tried to get a more generic names, and still have a few in my back pocket just in case). I am pretty sure a school would not be interested in running it, it would have to private business, and a great deal of passion or money would be required.
Maybe you could set up a charitable foundation to run it? Wikipedia is a great resource for all humanity, yet they have problems raising money from donations to maintain the site. Sailors and engineers especially, are cheap, its our nature, that's what we do, try to get as much done with spending as little money as possible. Not to say that engineer, ans sailors in general, are not generous, its just that cold hard cash is pretty hard to extricate from a sailor, I'm the same way myself. I've had various facilities over the years for donations, the last one being that visitors can directly contribute to the website hosting, without giving me a dime, but no one has ever taken advantage of it (the link is on the front page, lower left side of the main site - by the way). Its ok with me, I don't expect it nor do I need it. A foundation may contribute, but I don't know of any, and of course I would have to change the character of the site, such as discussed in your previous question.
I think the site is too important a training resource to the International Marine Engineering World to be allowed to die. Yes, but all things die. There is a wealth of information already out there, this site, just represents it here in a more accessible way, but there is even better ways of keeping this community alive and I am sure this site will pass, all things do. But perhaps the next thing, maybe born here, will be better.
Certified Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin's Marine Engineering Page