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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
--Mark Twain

Useful Internet Sites (updated May 30, 2017):

    Cruising Information Sources:

  • Seven Seas Cruising Association
    An international organization created to share cruising experiences through a monthly Commodore's Bulletin.


  • Distant Shores The Sailing Adventure TV Series
    Distant Shores is a sailing television and DVD series about the cruising life, with lots of tips for sailors planning to sail away plus destination information to help you make your cruising plans.


  • Cruiser's Net
    An excellent site for cruisers to obtain cruising information and the latest facts on the Intercostal Waterway (ICW).


  • Free Crusing Books from the Dashews
    Dashew Offshore, Beowulf Publishing, and the FPB team have made these books: Mariner’s Weather Handbook, Surviving the Storm, Practical Seamanship and Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia available free as PDF files. This group of books are excellant guides from a couple who have extensive cruising and yacht design experience. Go to the site and click on the links to download these publications.


  • Sailnet
    SailNet was launched in 1994 as a resource where sailors could find everything they needed to support their own pursuit of the sailing lifestyle. Since then SailNet grew to become one of the best Internet site for sailing. It has been recognized four years in a row as one of "Forbes Best of the Web" for content, resources and community.


  • YOTREPS
    Let shoreside relatives and friends feel a part of your next voyage by plotting your daily positions on the web. The service is free and there are other benefits.
    Intercoastal Water Way (ICW) Information Sources:

  • Skipper Bob
    Skipper Bob and his wife Elaine cruised more than 44,000 miles on the East Coast of the United States. Their travels have taken them up and down the Intracoastal Waterway numerous times. They completed the Great Circle Route and sailed to both the Bahamas and the Dry Tortugas. They took their trawler through the Erie, Rideau, Richelieu, and Trent Severn Canals. Living aboard for more than 9 years on both a sail boat and a trawler, they have experienced just about everything the waters of the East Coast have to offer.

    Skipper Bob passed in December, 2006, but his website is maintained and has a series of useful and inexpensive publications and updates, particularly on the ICW.


  • Atlantic Intracostal Waterway
    A general description of the 1200 mile waterway for vessels passing from Norfolk, Virginia to Florida. This site has a number of useful links for Charts and Chartbooks, connecting waterways and towns and parks along the way.


    Destinations and Rallies:

  • Caribbean 1500:
    Annual rally from Norfolk, Virginia to Tortolla, BVI. 90+ boats plan to participate in this educational, well planned, excellent way to get to the islands in November.


  • Noonsite
    Jimmy Cornell's one-stop website provides all essential information to sailors planning an offshore voyage anywhere in the world.


  • Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park - Warderick Wells
    A wonderful, pristine paradise in the Bahamas! We went for 3 days and stayed for 3 weeks.


  • Recommended Sailing Areas
    Bill Biega's Recommended and Favorite Sailing Areas - Antilles, Atlantic, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Grenadines, the Mediterranean, Dry Tortugas, Whitsunday Islands - for great adventures from someone who's been there.


  • Best Caribbean Sailing and Motor Yacht Charter Destinations
    This site lists a number of charter destinations in both Eastern and Western Caribbean to give you a feel of what's available.


  • Panama Canal
    All you wanted to know about the Canal, including a live web cam updated frequently.


  • Green Turtle Cay - Abacos, Bahamas
    A romantic luxury Bahamas hotel and resort on exotic Green Turtle Cay in the Out Islands of Abaco (and a great place to anchor).


    Yacht Networks, Equipment and Measurement:

  • Open Networks and Instrumentation:
    Maretron designs, manufactures and markets leading-edge marine electronic instrumentation for recreational and commercial boating. Significantly these products are designed to the open industry NMEA 2000® standard, which allows electronic equipment from diverse manufacturers to be networked together to share information throughout the vessel.

    This standard and it's implementation is the wave of the future and will help eradicate the problems caused by 'proprietary only' systems like Raymarine.


  • Simple Tank Measurement:
    The original precision tank measuring system - they last a long, long time.)


  • Furuno Electronic Equipment:
    From recreational boating to deep sea commercial marine, Furuno offers the single largest line of marine electronics - and their field support is excellant.


  • Garmin Electronics:
    Chartplotters, Depth Sounders and Sonar, Fishfinders, Handhelds, and Radars - I still have my handheld and discontinued GPS 48 unit and it works great.


    Communications (Internet access on my boat?):

  • Internet Access Underway:
    The Track IT TV website has a great, up-to-date discussion on the various aspects of obtaining Internet access while on your vessel. Most everyone knows that you can get Wi-Fi access while in marinas, but what about while underway.

    This set of FAQs covers the Verizon offering, and also the new BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) systems by Stratos are an example of this emerging technology.


  • Internet Access Underway:
    Most cruisers are aware of the capability of using their Single Side Band (SSB) for limited email communications, but what if you don't have a SSB? Skymate offers a new, relatively inexpensive system with world-wide coverage for email, weather, position reporting, and vessel monitoring that looks quite nice.


  • Marlinspike Seamanship:

  • Knots
    This site is the best one I've seen for teaching in an animated manner all knots needed by Yachtsmen; Climbers; Fishermen; Scouts; Arborists; and Search & Rescue Workers.


    Smartphone Navigation Apps:

  • Mobile Phone Apps
    An great article describing how many of the mariner's needs for navigation information, weather, vessel maintenance and spares procurement, email, texting, phone useage, tides and currents, route planning, etc can be performed with a smartphone aboard your vessel. If you are not aware, the costs to do so are far less than chartplotters and conventional marine electronics.


  • Active Captain
    Active Captain provides the local knowledge you need for marinas, anchorages, local knowledge and hazards on the navigation software that you use (over 24 navigation programs for Android, Windows, Apple OS, Linux, Android, Apple IPhone and IPad are available). You typically load the navigation software and then load Active Captain information on top of it. All users are enabled to provide comments on marinas, anchorages, local knowledge, etc. which provides a wonderful amount of information to the cruiser.

    I navigate with this information exclusively, and, would not be without it. My particular choice is MX Mariner with Active Captain data loaded with it.


  • About.com Sailing
    An excellant review about 5 different Android smartphone marine navigation apps. Many navigation and charting apps are now available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and Android devices.


    Tides and Currents:

  • WXTide32
    A free (and excellent) Windows tide and current prediction program.


    Weather:

  • Weather Underground
    Weather for any US city and state and local marine weather.


  • NOAA National Data Buoy Center
    Hourly updated weather data from moored buoy and C-MAN stations.


  • Graphical Selection of NOAA Marine Forecasts and Satellite Images
    Coastal Waters Forecasts are subdivided by zone, each identified by text description.


  • NOAA Marine Forecasts & Satellite Images
    National Weather Service Marine Information.


  • South Bound II, Herb Hilgenberg
    Ship-Routing and Weather Forecasting for Vessels on the High Seas. Herb Hilgenberg's private navigation advice is so trusted, American and Canadian search and rescue agents have called him to find boats that are missing.

    While the NET, which operated daily for over 25 years until June 2013, remains closed, Herb may be available to assist vessels in difficulties while en-route. When possible he will monitor 12.359.0 Mhz USB during periods of heavy weather or when advisable, south of 45N between 75 to 40W, during 2100Z to 2200Z, or if contacted via email/phone.


  • Delft Institute for Earth-Oriented Space Research Gulf Stream
    The Netherlands University provides Gulf Stream visual currents that are updated weekly.


  • Jenifer Clark's Gulfstream
    Professional Satellite Oceanographer produces realtime ocean charts (Gulf Stream/major world currents) for sailboat racing, boat deliveries, ocean cruising, and offshore fishing.


  • Bermuda Weather
    Bermuda current conditions and weather forecast included detailed marine forecasts.


  • Free Mariner's Weather Handbook by Steve and Linda Dashew. Provides a complete and exhaustive guide to the basics of every aspect of weather you are likely to meet when cruising.


  • Caribbean Weather Provides weather, satellite images, hurricane analysis and more....


    Power/Sail Boat Buying Tips, Tests and Tools:

  • Power Boat Reports
    Provides impartial and uncompromising evaluations of today's boating equipment and gear.


  • Practical Sailor
    They take the guesswork out of boat and gear buying.


  • Boat Buying Tips, Tools and Sites
    A wide variety of Boat Tests to enable prospective owners to get good insights into a vessel prior to purchase.


    Charts and Catalogs:

  • NOAA Nautical Charts:
    The source for nautical charts (paper print on demand and electronic) and related publications.


  • Landfall Navigation:
    A catalog on-line source for all things boating (charts, safety equipment, books and guides, GPS equipment, software, etc.)