A refit for the virtual Soundings
It’s commissioning time … again. For the past several months, a small team of in-house designers, editors and IT folk has been getting the new Soundings Web site ready for launching. The site went live in mid-June, and I’m happy to report that her early sea trials went well.
I encourage all of you to visit www.soundingsonline.com, where you can peruse our story archives for free, search for a boat for free, check marine weather and tides, or order a Soundings hat, T-shirt and more.
It’s been our goal to make the site as useful as possible, whether your objective is finding a story from a year ago, or trying to locate a particular boat. We put functionality over bells and whistles.
Our story archive contains more than a thousand stories, and the number is growing steadily as we continue to add back issues. The boat-search database contains more than 120,000 vessels. There’s probably a boat there for you.
Our new site isn’t simply a mirror image of our print magazine. There are several elements that you won’t find in our monthly offering, one of the most notable being a daily boating story. Posting a new story five days a week allows us to showcase one of the things we do best: respond quickly to breaking news.
Our daily story gives us the opportunity to keep you informed about important or unusual stories taking place in real time. If the story warrants more coverage, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive report in the upcoming issue of Soundings. I’ll give you an example.
The day after a solo circumnavigator was rescued off California just two weeks shy of completing the voyage, we posted a short story about his dismasting on the Web. A full interview with the sailor, who had been cruising for about nine years, will appear in our September issue, the next one you receive.
A couple of other changes related to the Web. Beginning with this issue, we no longer will run tide tables in the mid-Atlantic, Long Island Sound and New England Home Waters sections of Soundings. Instead, we’re offering a link to tides on our site. We believe we can put those magazine pages to better use for more of our readers.
The future for both the magazine and Web site is exciting. Look for more features specific to the Web, as well as video and other enhancements.
So take her for a cruise. Push the nav buttons. Pull the strings. Let us know what you think.
With this issue, Soundings subscribers also receive a complimentary copy of our latest publication, “101 Answers to Your Toughest Boating Questions.” We’re happy with the results and even more pleased about being able to offer it to you as a way of saying “thanks” for your patronage and loyalty. More than a dozen of our “experts” worked on this digest-size booklet, and we’re confident you’ll find it valuable
and worth holding on to. This is the first in our new Master’s Series of publications. More will follow. You can also order a copy from our Web site — www.soundingsonline.com — or by calling us in Essex, Conn., at (800) 444-7686, Ext. 266.