It is fun to look back and think about how much our sailing and cruising technology has changed in our lifetimes. Sextants gave way to Loran and SatNav and then everything gave way to GPS. With the development of PCs, Macs and laptops, digital chart reading software linked to GPS emerged that made paper charts less and less a feature of the modern chart table. The marine electronics companies soon developed rudimentary chartplotters that could be mounted in a boat’s cockpit and these evolved into what we now call multifunction displays (MFDs) where all of the electronic data gets crunched and displayed. Old cathode ray radar screens faded away as digital flat screens emerged and soon the radar data could be displayed on the MFD so you didn’t need a separate screen at all. With the invention of tablets and smart phones, we now can have all of our high-tech digital navigation information in our pockets. As we move into the age of artificial intelligence, the internet of things and 5G who knows what will emerge now that we have truly crossed the digital divide.
In the information world, similar changes have overtaken us in how we get, read and process information on all topics and in all categories. Local newspapers are closing in droves as more and more of us get our local news online. Laptops, tablets, smart phones and Kindles have changed the way we read and many of us now get our news, leisure reading, recipes, radio stations, music and movies through Apps. 5G, for better or worse, will only accelerate this process.
On this side of the digital divide, Cruising Compass has long been a leader and with the introduction of Cruising Odyssey three years ago, we now have a strong digital presence in both the sailing and power cruising markets. The Blue Water Sailing and Multihulls Today websites now get more traffic than the magazines themselves. So, in the spirit of embracing the future, we have made the decision to publish Blue Water Sailing and Multihulls Today in digital format only and on a quarterly basis. The magazines are based at Zinio.com and are also available through Amazon and issuu.com where they can be downloaded and archived on your own devices. Stay tuned to see the next generation of Blue Water Sailing and Multihulls Today in the next few weeks.