The State of

As foreshadowed earlier this year, we’ve closed for further position reporting and existing accounts have been frozen.

Due to some unforeseen moves at Skipr’s hosting company, the forecast December change to has been somewhat abrupt. However, we’re working on providing an archive of all users’ position reports, to be published online next month, January 2020. [update 29/2: we’re making progress, but it’s quite a lot of work and the archive won’t be up until some time in March ’20 – sorry!]

Of course you can obtain a position report listing and along the way provide some funding for the ongoing archive of the site as described here.

Obtaining a full listing of position reports

Some people have asked me to provide a full download of position reports from their account.

While, of course, all position reports are accessible online, I’ve been asked for a dump of all position reports.

If anyone would like a full dump of all their position reports in the system, I’d be happy to supply that in return for a small contribution toward keeping the system online.

So if you’d like a “dump” of all your position reports, send me an email with your details and deposit $15 into our account to help with hosting costs for the site into the future. Bank account details are as follows:

Westpac Branch: 732-837
Account: 603181
Name: Joy Watson & Marius Coomans

So, the more people pay for position report “dumps”, the longer I can afford to keep the system online for everyone…

The Future of

I started building this site in late 2005 in anticipation of crewing on a friend’s boat to Hobart’. My software development skills were (and are) limited, so I got much appreciated help from Steve Couch and my brother Herman to build the first and subsequent versions of While initially it was built for my own benefit, I opened it up to other sailors and, over time, thousand of boats joined the system.

While the site gets some ad revenue to help defray running costs, all of its development and maintenance was done pro-bono, just for the love of it.

Since its launch, technology has moved on. Boat crew have easy access to online services. Facebook and Twitter dominate the Social Media ‘space’. In 2011, Joy and I sold our boat and has only received minimal maintenance. Its usage is dwindling without new features. Software has evolved over the past 10 years or so and consequently some aspects of the site no longer work as desired and the only remedy would involve a full re-write of the system. So. I’ve made the difficult decision to start planning its “demise”.

Because a number of loyal users still rely on the system, I want to give sufficient notice of its closure, so here is a time table:

1 September 2019 – No further new user registrations
1 December 2019 – No further user interaction ( no more position reports or edits )
1 January 2020 – New front page with access to archived information.

To be clear, may be used “as is” throughout the 2019 winter cruising season. At this stage, the exact format of the archive after 1 January remains to be determined, as well how long it will be available for.

Marius Coomans

Position Reporting – Tips & Tricks

It’s been a few years since we updated our position reporting “screen”. And perhaps time to highlight a few tips & tricks on how to report your position using a PC, Tablet or Phone.
Most of this is self-explanatory, but to get the most out of its features, below are a some of its highlights:

updateThe Update button appears when an automatic position is available, tap it to transfer that position to the Lat-Lon form.

markerThe Green Marker represents the position in the Lat-Lon form. The marker may be moved manually to refine the Lat-Lon form values. Just drag the marker with your finger or mouse.

arrowThe Geo (Arrow) button appears when an automatic position is available. Tap it to zoom and centre on that position (marked by a blue dot)./skp/

marker zoomThe Marker button appears when there is a Lat-Lon value in the form. Tap it to zoom and centre the marker.

Manual Entry
And of course you can simply enter numeric values into the Lat-Lon form (minutes may include a decimal fraction). A marker will appear on the map to indicate the entered position. Alternatively,  just double click on the map and drag the marker to where your position is, lat-lon will automatically be updated!

Classic Reports
The old position report form is still available, simply click on the “Use ‘Classic’ Position Report” link. It will remember your preference and next time you’ll get the classic report again.

Use with a phone
Modern phone have beautifully crisp screens, but their size make is harder to use than a tablet or computer. Here is a trick:
In stead of the standard Position Reporting menua item, bookmark this link  or add it to your home screen ( It uses the full screen of your device for the reporting function:

Note, you will need to be “logged-in”to Skipr on the phone before you can use this, go to first ( that will only be necessary once).

More information. stores all position report times as GMT and now uses your computer’s time zone setting when reporting.

Editing historical positions with the new page will display them in GMT time only, as does the list of entries under the “Edit Position” menu. However the Classic Position Reporting is still in your local time.

Your comments, likes and/or dislikes are welcome, here is our feedback form or if something appears ‘broken’, email

Updating Skipr website

We’re updating the skipr website to be compliant with the latest version of the Chrome browser. Things may look a bit unstable today while we do the work. We’ll let you know when we’re done!


Live Firing Activities – Shoal Bay Area

Military exercises in the Shoal Bay (Qld) area are a bit of a challenge for those heading South after their Whitsundays cruise this year. The area is closed from 2 October to 26 November 2015 with no anchoring anywhere in the area.
UPDATE 14/10: It look like the authorities have relented and access to popular anchorages is now allowed – refer to this Notice to Mariners (304) for further information.

It’s on again! Hobart 2015

A combination of the Wooden Boat Festival and “van Diemensland Circumnavigation” [note 1] draws many of us down to Tasmania. I’ve set up pages for club cruises (RPAYC and CYCA) to Hobart. Additionally, this time we’ve also added an open cruise page.

So if you’re planning to come down to Tasmania, participating in the vDL-C 2015 or your boat is in Tasmania anyway, email if you’d like to be on the Cruise Tasmania 2015 page.

Like in 2013, we’re planning a Skipr get together on the 8th February, probably over breakfast. It will no doubt be famously dis-organised and casual, but it will again be good to put faces to many of the regular boats on Further detail here closer to the date.

Note 1: I might officially be Australian, but as an expired Dutchman I refuse to capitalise "van".

2014 updates to Cruising Guides

“The loneliness of the long distance runner”. Writing a Cruising Guide is hard work and it takes persistence, commitment and an eye for detail  to keep one up-to-date.  We have here three examples of guides, in themselves very different, which show the commitment of their authors. Each are recommended purchases.

Alan Lucas needs no introduction, his Cruising Guides are classics. After updating “Cruising the NSW Coast” a few years back, he has just come out with the 9th (!) edition of  “Cruising the Coral Coast”. Lots of revised maps and additional photos with descriptions to go with them.  Alan’s updates reflect the changes wrought by cyclones in the past few years (no more Bundaberg City Marina…) and the management of our marine parks.

Rob’s Passage Planner is a great example of how an exercise by an individual in a cruising club expanded in scope and found grateful acceptance by a much wider audience. Rob Starkey‘s eye for detail is legendary. His Cruising Planner reflects that, but also expresses creativity in its presentation. The passage planning Chartlets are a thing of beauty. Now in its 4th  updated printing, this almanac on cruising the East Australian coast is a must-have for all cruising sailors.

Marilyn Graham‘s “Coastal Cruising Companion” is yet another take on a cruising guide. It stems of the author’s sheer enthusiasm and sense of wonder of the experience of cruising. Self published on a small scale, it adds real value to other available guides, with useful information and a sense of sharing the love of cruising. And by keeping her guide up to date and expanding its range, Marilyn shows the commitment common with her more established brethren.

All available here (and by buying them here, you’ll support in the process!)