Saturday, April 16, 2011
We now have over 1700 marinas and 300 charter services listed on PortsByBoat.com. Our goal is to provide boaters with accurate information about marine destinations and services. By contributing your knowledge, you can help others enjoy their time on the water as much as you do.
By adding new marinas and services, you can rack up points to exchange later for PortsByBoat gifts. Even correcting existing descriptions, physical locations, website contacts and misplaced balloon markers will increase your reward points. It is Easy and Fast to make these changes.
Other things you can add include anchorages, moorings, marinas, restaurants, points-of-interest, yacht brokers, yacht delivery firm, boat insurance companies, boat repair shops, boat surveyors, fishing charters, sailing charters, licensed captains, and scuba dive shops.
Get started by (1) signing on or creating a free account, (2) locate the port where you want to add your item, (3) click on "Add a Service" on the right-hand sidebar, (4) enter helpful information, and (5) click "Save".
To see your reward points, select My Rewards from the submenu under your user account. You can see your accumulated points and reward gifts.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Access to Special Water: Boat owners are mixed on what comprises the perfect water. Are they looking for access to big water, small water, calm water, and/or deep water? What types of boating activities do they enjoy? Bodies of water differ in what is offered and boaters need to make sure their priorities do not conflict with the status quo.
Guests and Visitors: Boat owners may be seeking a constant flow of nameless visitors for casual conversation. Others may want a fenced or gated community that only permits entry for authorized guests. This could make the difference when choosing between a public marina in a tourist area or a private marina or yacht club with purchased slips.
Marina Amenities: Some boat owners are seeking a vibrant party atmosphere while others desire a quiet setting. Some may have visiting grandchildren and need nearby family-friendly activities available such as jet ski rental or fishing charters. Other amenities to consider are showers, pool, on-site bar lounge and recreation room with pool table and video games. How about laundry and dockside pump-out?
After being around Michigan boaters my whole life, I have seen an estimated 50% of slip owners living greater than 60 miles away from their slip and frequently two to three hours away. Marinas should not limit their advertising and customer outreach programs only to local areas, and customers should not feel restricted to choosing marinas within a short commute.
An invaluable resource to get boater reviews and opinions is www.PortsByBoat.com (PBB). PBB users can rate ports (waterfront cities) and marinas with a 5-star rating and provide comments thereby helping viewers decide on a marina location and port community. If you have stayed at a marina before, we encourage you to contribute to the site by rating the marinas and ports where you have visited as a benefit to all boaters.
Transient slips are docking locations for your boat that are rented out by the day. The common rates for Michigan in 2010 were averaging $1 per foot. Most marinas retain a few transient slips; however, due to a festival or race taking place in the area, all available slips may have been pre-booked. www.PortsByBoat.com kept this in mind when designing the site, as they allow for a listing of local events, festivals, and regattas. Boaters can plan their visit accordingly so they can partake in the festivities or avoid those dates. Travelling by boat to enjoy local events is truly a fun way to experience the events. If your local port is sponsoring a celebration, sign-up and add the event to your port community.
Good Luck and Smooth Sailing!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
As the summer season draws near, boating enthusiasts are gearing up and readying themselves with travel plans to destinations on the water. Options for planning your next trip have never been easier thanks to www.PortsByBoat.com (PBB). The port-focused website is the first to truly mix user-generated content with local business and marine service information making those arduous nights of planning a snap. While paper charts and GPS are required for any boating excursion, the site provides you with things to do, marinas, waterfront events, points of interest, food and much more to make your travel plans complete. Over 1200 ports, 1800 marinas, 500 marine services and hundreds of venetian festivals and waterfront events are literally at your fingerstips.
Audiences include boaters traveling from port to port, charter captains providing an exciting itinerary to their clients, city residents enjoying a weekend of local entertainment and business owners sharing their offerings in a free venue.
Jacqueline, manager of PortsbyBoat, notes, “The truly unique feature about the site is that local contributors have a say in how they want to present their community.” Most of the content can be added for free including general port information, local businesses, waterfront events and Venetian festivals to free mooring, swimming holes, snorkel sites, shopping docks and points of interest. A public forum connects visitors to local residents, and PBB users can rate and review all community offerings.
When creating a trip itinerary, the site’s popular trip planner is helpful in deciding what ports to visit; distance measuring tools identify what destinations are in reach and a trip itinerary can be printed listing all the offerings for each travel destination along with the estimated nautical miles. From a mobile device, the online trip can be accessed and updated along the way generating a trip log. A cruiser can update their current GPS coordinates thereby retreiving current weather conditions and nearby ports, services and other PBB members. Yacht clubs, sailing schools and charters can publish their group trips and flotillas to gain additional members and providing their clients a trip itinerary before the trip begins.
According to Jacqueline, basic business listings are free and have been designed to produce optimal search engine impressions with references to the business name or event on multiple pages and a url link from anchor text. Paid advertising has additional benefits; a clickable logo on relevant pages throughout the site and room for additional advertising content and photos.
PortsbyBoat.com is interactively supported by the users around the globe from boaters and sailors to captains and marine business owners. All information entered is screened daily to ensure its relevance to the marine industry and appropriateness for families. All countries and ports are welcome though the website is currently only in English.
There are many features and mobile applications forth-coming. For more information on membership or upcoming events, visit www.PortsByBoat.com.
Jackie Weller, Sails and charters sailboats in the British Virgin Islands and Lake Michigan. She volunteers with the Bay Shore Organization Wednesday night sailboat racing league on Lake Macatawa, port of Holland, Michigan. She is also ASA certified with coastal cruising.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Welcome Lake Charlevoix Sailing Charters (www.cxsail.com/)- Located on Lake Charlevoix, East Jordon, Michigan. This captain enjoys Northern Michigan and loves to sail.
I just spoke with Captain Rhett Lloyd, and he noted he has new sails and rigging on order for the 2011 season. His Catalina 30 is ideal for Lake Charlevoix for day or weekly bareboat charters. He also provides captained day sail charters. Captain Rhett can provide a trip route with great places to see and to set anchor. You can travel out to Lake Michigan and reach Manitou Island, Petoskey, and Traverse City twin bays.
If you have not sailed blue water, Lake Charlevoix is totally awesome blue water sailing. The green, teal, and blues are majestic.
Sail in-land from East Jordon to Boyne City for lunch and dinner and shopping, and then head 17 miles Northwest to Charlevoix and shop some more and dine at some very nice restaurants.
See you on the water.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Welcome GT Sailing (www.gtsailing.com)- Located on Lake Macatawa, Holland Michigan, they will provide you a great experience. Captain Kim offers two older 36+ foot sailboats that are so well maintained that you will have to see them to believe them. They have modern upgrades making your experience safe and enjoyable.
Captain Kim offers captained day sails, bareboat charters, and ASA sailing certification.
Lake Macatawa is a great location because you sail Lake Michigan seven miles south to Saugatuck and go shopping or you can head North to Port Sheldon and Grand Haven. Port Sheldon cove offers a quiet environment and Grand Haven offers shopping and many eateries and festivals.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Welcome Nancy Anne Sailing Charters (www.nancyannesailingcharters.com)- Located on Lake Macatawa, Holland Michigan, at Yacht Basin Marina. This retired captain loves to sail and spends over 80 days on the water each summer.
I just spoke with Captain Pat, and he is thrilled about this new year. His new 33 Alerion Express 33 is 5 feet bigger than his older model Alerion. He takes his sailboat out for captained sailing charters on Lake Macatawa for three charters per day. He loves to tailor the event just for you so make sure you express your opinions on what kind of sailing adventure you are interested in having. Captain Pat has facilitated more than one wedding on the boat.
This spry fellow also races every Wednesday night with the Bay Shore Yacht Club Racing organization. I have competed against him and I know all of Captain Pat's guests will have a great time and learn a lot. He is also a published book author and many sailing articles.
This new Alerion sailboat is as beautiful as they come. She has a low water line so you feel real close to the water, and her layout is so sleek you will feel the speed.
Captain Pat offers three captained three day sails per day, and longer trips can be scheduled in advance.
Lake Macatawa is a great location because you sail Lake Macatawa when the big lake is too rough or Lake Michigan when the winds are fair.
Welcome Modern Geographic - Caribbean Sailing Expeditions (www.moderngeographic.com) - where they offer customized captained sailing expeditions covering five regions of the Caribbean including open-sea crossings, coastal cruisings, beautiful anchorages, and vibrant diversions.
We personally met Paul from Modern Geographic at the Chicago Strictly Sailboat show and found his sailing expedition program unique and exciting.
Be sure to vote for Paul and crew after participating on his charter.