Welcome to the 200th edition of Cruising Odyssey, the weekly digital newsletter that celebrates the idea of living the dream under power. Two hundred weeks. Who’d have thought?
Well, when we (George Day, our publisher; Scott Akerman, our ad director, and me as editor) started this enterprise, we never really had a longevity discussion. We hoped Cruising Odyssey, the newsletter and the associated website, would catch on, but we never really considered a timeline for that.
As things turned out, we hit a nerve – the right idea at the right time. The growing power cruising audience was more than ready for a totally digital publication, filled with original stories and stories aggregated from around the world – all highly targeted at helping our readers enjoy their boats and their cruising lifestyle.
And they’re all designed for the way we get information today: mobile, digital, immediate, worldwide and through social media.
But enough about looking at the past. As part of our anniversary celebration, we’re looking ahead, at the trends that are sweeping over the power cruising community and that will only gather strength in the days ahead. This week we have a package of three stories about those trends: The growth of outboard power in cruising boats (that’s an outboard-powered Hinckley 40x Sport Boat in the picture above); the increasing popularity of power-cruising catamarans, and the development of solar/electric/hybrid boats.
Those three trends, of course, only scratch the surface. Other trends include the development of smart boats, with everything from AI to digital switching to semi-autonomous boats with sensor-guided “assisted docking.”
Then there’s the movement to open up, literally, boat hull design to include more usable space. That started with the beach club inside a Maritimo 51, and grew to include the folding down and ever-expanding transom and swim platform on the Zeelander 72. For pretty much the maximum that’s possible in this area, take a look at our story this week on the new Lazzara 85 with gull wings folding out from the salon.
One change that’s just starting is new 3D printing: Make your own boat in 72 hours, which is exactly what the people at the University of Maine did last year. They ended up with a new 25-footer, but they say that practically speaking their technology will be most useful in making molds for 50-footers. But you can see where this is going.
So stay tuned. We’ll be covering these ideas, and much more, in the next 200 issues. To join us, sign up for our free newsletter at https://cruisingodyssey.com