Newsletter April 2012

It’s been a while since we’ve had a newsletter for users of A bunch of things have happened since we “spoke” last. For most of you, this will be the first newsletter, as we’ve more than doubled the number of boats on since the last one!

In this Newsletter:

Skipr Plus
New Features
Boat Photo competition
Notable Tracks
Island Cruising

Continue reading “Newsletter April 2012”

Building on Skipr’s success

Over the past couple of years, has developed into a service which is valued by an ever increasing number of boat owners, their friends and family. Since this time last year, we’ve doubled the number of registered users, introduced the first version of our Smartphone/iPhone App, built more social features into the boat pages and implemented many “under the hood” enhancements. has been a ‘labour of love’ since 2005 and the plan is to continue to expand its reach and functionality. While we feature some advertising and sponsorships (thank you, Boat Books), we now need profesional assistance with the website, which is beyond what we can afford with only modest advertising income. So we’ve been considering various options for getting funds to invest in the further development of

After much deliberation, we have decided to:

  • Continue to offer use of for free, we want to be open to all comers.
  • Implement a Skipr Plus programme with additional benefits for those who are willing to contribute to the continued operation of
  • Offer special for-a-fee functionality for clubs who run special cruise events.
So , for a modest sum of $49.95 you’ll help with Skipr’s further development and gain some special benefits – join us now!

Where is that CCCA yacht?

[This is the online version of an article in the May 2011 issue of the Mainsheet, the monthly magazine of the Coastal cruising Club of Australia. This month it is a bit self-referential, but I thought I’d put it up here anyway – MC]

TeMoana Yacht PageThis month, we’ll take a look at [1], a Website which some friends and I especially built for cruising sailors, their friends and family.

Skipr was originally conceived on a cruise to Hobart (on Belage, the yacht of CCCA member Peter Style) in 2006. A friend had helped me build a Google map which showed the boat’s position. Having Internet access on board made it practical to build a Web based service which let others know where you were and what was happening along the way.

Today, it has matured into a popular service for cruising sailors who like to keep in touch with family and friends. I’m keen to “fold” that experience back into the Coastal Cruising Club. For those who haven’t used it, here is a quick overview of how you can have your boat displayed on the site: Continue reading “Where is that CCCA yacht?”

Skipr log-in and new boatpages

We’re rolling out some new features today.
Rather than needing a username (and to remember it), we’re now doing log-ins with your email address. One thing less to remember.

Default Boat Page

And we’ve re-designed the boat pages, to provide a more compact layout, and importantly to allow for a picture and description of your boat.

The last 10 position reports now appear to the left of the map and the date display control is now above the map. Continue reading “Skipr log-in and new boatpages”

Tracking your boat just got even easier

skiprlogo.pngWe’ve been tracking yachts on this site for almost 4 years. Over the coming year, we’re expecting to introduce more ways to conveniently track your boat. Most of those features assume internet access while at sea. But we’re not forgetting internet deprived boats. From today, we’re starting a trial allowing users to submit position reports by mobile phone. You’ll still have to register your boat as per usual (here’s how), but to submit a position report, you can send us a SMS text message in the following format:

date time latitude longitude comment

Continue reading “Tracking your boat just got even easier”

Planet Skipr mailing list

Just in case you were wondering where it was… The Planet Skipr mailing list had gone AWOL and it took a while to get it up and running again. It looks like it was associated with the recent addition of the site. I’ve taken off and subscribers saw a long email this morning with the news from the past week.

You don’t know what I’m talking about? Planet Skipr is a once a day email with short news items of interest to the cruising community, gathered from a variety of sources.  You can subscribe to the Planet Skipr mailing list or read more about it.
[Update – There is a continued issue with the Planet Software – sorry – we’re working on it]
[Later Update – it’s been fixed]
[Even later Update – we have changed the list of subscribed sites to include only those from active cruising sailors, more information, see Links and Lists]

Keeping up to date

I’ve been adding some items to the Skipr website and finding new ways for folks to be kept up to date.TurnLeft.jpg

Resource Pages
We recently added a page with cruising guides and one with useful links. They are primarily for those cruising North this winter, but should be useful for others as well. You’ll find them in the right hand margin of this page, under “Ports & Anchorages”.
New Mailing List for heading North
Apart from the TurnLeft mailing list which we just started, don’t forget about the Planet Skipr mailing list. It collects stories from this site and adds them to headlines from You receive everything that’s happening in one email per day. Now that Cruising Helmsman is publishing some of their articles online (via My Sailing), I’ve added them to the system, so you’ll see their headlines as well in the “Daily Planet”. If you’re not already getting them, subscribe here.
You’ll see increasing mention in the press about Twitter. While to the uninitiated, it might sound like yet another techie obsession, check it out. The idea is to write short entries about “what you ‘re doing now”. Others can easily your activities and you can follow others, so it encourages social interaction. For example, I have a @skiprdotnet account on twitter where I write whenever I add something to this site. I also have an account for @TeMoana, where I write about what we’re doing on the boat.
I’m working on an extension to the Skipr boat tracking service to (optionally) send a message to a twitter account whenever a position report is entered. It would allow anyone with their Twitter account.

Keeping up with cruising sites

email.jpgThe observant among visitors to this site will have seen the email subscription option in the right hand column.

Every day the system sends an email which lists newly posted items on a number of relevant Australian cruising sites. It makes for a very convenient way of keeping up with local cruising news.

If you know of other sites which should be included, leave a comment with the site details.

Here are the sites currently “monitored”:

as well as the following weblogs of Cruising boats and their owners

For those “in the know”, this is a “mashup” of Feedburner‘s email subscription service, the Planet aggregator and the sites listed above which all provide”feeds”.