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New source for up-to-date ICW info

Cruising Guide author is moderating a Web bulletin board where boaters can share cruising information

Cruising Guide author is moderating a Web bulletin board where boaters can share cruising information

Want to know where you can find good Japanese cuisine near Melbourne, Fla.’s marina district? Or how the rebuilding of yards and marinas along the northern GulfCoast is going post-Katrina?

Cruising guide author Claiborne Young’s Salty Southeast Cruisers Net at invites cruisers and local boaters to share what they know about changes in the waters, facilities and amenities along the Intracoastal Waterway from North Carolina to New Orleans.

“We’re getting a lot of e-mails from cruisers with a lot of good information,” says Young, author of cruising guides to Florida, the northern GulfCoast, the Carolinas and Georgia. Young says the cruisers net, inaugurated in November, is an efficient way to collect local knowledge and get it to boaters while it’s still fresh.

It is boater-to-boater information.

He says he had been gathering reports from boaters and disseminating them through his Salty Southeast e-mail newsletter, but the news is perishable and the newsletter goes out just two or three times a year. His solution: A cruisers’ bulletin board at his Web site.

Postings are sorted by region: North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, east Florida, west Florida, Okeechobee Waterway, northern Gulf, Florida Keys and the Bahamas. Young also has sections for a featured marina, anchorage and restaurant that he writes about.

E-mail postings range from changes in water depths, aids to navigation and channels, descriptions of new marinas and boatyards, facility closures, knowledge of anchorages, and information on restaurants and attractions that cruisers might want to visit while they’re in town.

“There is nothing to buy, nothing to join and even nothing to subscribe to,” says Young. “It’s a free exchange of information.”

Young moderates the bulletin board to make sure postings remain germane to local cruising knowledge. He anticipates e-mails from two main groups: local cruisers who are out on their waters a lot, and snowbirds who cruise the ICW seasonally. Young says he will continue to publish his e-mail newsletter and use it to get out information that he finds in his travels between updating his cruising guides.

“It will be a newer, leaner newsletter,” he says, and he believes the combination of newsletter and bulletin board will serve boaters better.