Over the past couple of years, Skipr.net 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.
Skipr.net 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 Skipr.net.
After much deliberation, we have decided to:
[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]
This month, we’ll take a look at skipr.net , 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: [...]
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.
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. [...]
This weekend we launched a re-design of the skipr.net website. We’ve overhauled its user interface and laid the foundations for a range of new features to help cruising sailors and everyone else interested in the tracking the movement of recreational vessels. This post describes a few of the new features. [...]
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