We’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
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 mysailing.com site. I’ve taken mysailing.com off and subscribers saw a long email this morning with the news from the past week.
I’ve been adding some items to the Skipr website and finding new ways for folks to be kept up to date.
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
It’s been a two years since I built the “Where is” skipr.net map service to allow others to follow along, when I was a crew member on Belage, sailing to Hobart. Since then, Google has made it much easier for mere mortals to mark up a map and sharing it with others. Also, the resolution of satellite imaging on Google has much improved over that time.
So here is a short tutorial showing how simple it is to build your own “Where is My Boat” page. The only thing you’ll need is a Google login (a Gmail account), which is easy to get and free.
Go to maps.google.com.au and click on My Maps
Not sure how this will evolve or how useful it will be to others, time will tell.
Comments or contributions are most welcome. Use the comments here or send me an email at “marius at coomans dot com”.
We made more progress toward a more consistent feel for the entire site, while keeping the critical “entry” pages small in size and compatible with as many browsers, including those on mobile devices.
Also, the system will keep you logged in for an extended period so you’ll only rarely asked for a log in.
Much remains to be done, but the site is quite functional now. I hope to improve site documentation in the coming week.
Does Skipr.net require the installation or purchase of any special equipment?
Yes and No. While Skipr.net does not require any special equipment, it assumes that a boat’s position is known (usually by using a GPS) and that Internet access is available (position reports are entered via a private web page).
Can I submit position reports via email (and Sailmail)
Not yet, we expect that feature to be available by end April. In the meantime, why not send emails to a trusted friend on shore for entry into the website?
How much does it cost?
Will it always be free, how do you make your money?
We expect to always have a basic service which is free but in future supported by advertisements. We may launch a premium service later which will have a subscription fee. But for the moment it’s more important that we build a service which our users value.
Will you expect my privacy?
Of course. We will never share your contact details. We will not send you unsollicited emails except where needed to maintain the integrity of the system.
Is this all there is?
No way! We’re just starting. Check this weblog regularly for updates.
Why are you doing this?
Because it’s there.