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sQuidd.io: Frequently Asked Questions
sQuidd.io Frequently Asked Questions

Destinations: Frequently Asked Questions

Checking in and out of a Destination


Stay Connected: Frequently Asked Questions

Destinations: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does sQuidd.io help me discover new, exciting boating destinations?

Boaters rely on a variety of sources to plan their sailing and cruising experiences: cruising guides, information from other boaters, charts, magazines and blogs. Until today, there wasn't a comprehensive, user-generated and easy to use application to make all this information available to your laptop, tablet of mobile phone through an intuitive map-based interface. If you use OpenCPN as navigation software, you can view all the sQuidd.io destinations for a specific area directly on your charts.

Whether you are sailing in the Australia coral reefs, looking for a marina harbor in Florida, or planning your upcoming cruise in Croatia, sQuidd.io is as indispensable as your navigation software and your marine charts. And it's available for free!

Q. What type of Destinations do you show in a search?

A Destination is a place of interest for boaters. Marinas, boat harbors, anchorages, yacht clubs, public docks, ramps, fuel pumps etc. are the typical examples of boat cruising Destinations you will find on sQuidd.io. Each Destination has its own page. Destination pages are meant to provide boaters with a sense of how attractive and well served a particular Destination is (through pictures, member-assigned ratings and member-provided comments) as well as practical information, such as phone numbers or tips from other boaters.

Q. Do you show Destinations worldwide?

Most of the Destinations currently on sQuidd.io are in North and Central America, the Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean (at least the European side), part of the European Atlantic coast, Australia and new Zealand plus a sprinkling of islands here and there. Because sQuidd.io relies on user-provided information, we expect our coverage to grow rapidly in the near future, as more users start adding new interesting Destinations.

Q. Can I view sQuidd.io destinations directly in my Chart Plotter?

If you use OpenCPN, the most popular open-source chart plotter and navigator software, you can install the sQuidd.io plugin , which allows you to view all the destinations for a specific area directly on your chart.

Q. The address, location or other data of a Destination is outdated or incorrect. Can you fix it?

Yes. Please send us a quick email at info@squidd.io, include a sQuidd.io URL of the Destination and the information that needs to be updated or corrected, or even better, become a sQuidd-master and update the Destination page yourself. Being a sQuidd-master basically gives you write access to all Destinations! This way you will be able not only to correct errors or add missing information, but also reassign the Destination to the correct coordinates by simply pointing and clicking on the map.

Q. You are not showing my favorite marina, anchorage or other sailing place. Can I add it myself?

Yes. To add a Destination, go to the Destinations Map page for the approximate location of your new Destination (for instance, by using the Find Destinations page). Move the map around, zoom in (or zoom out) if necessary, until you find the exact location where you want the new Destination to be placed. Double-click on the map at the desired location. A temporary marker will be added to the map, and you will be asked to click on the marker to proceed. sQuidd.io will attempt to assign an address to the new Destination based on the geo coordinates. Please verify the address and if necessary correct it and add other contact information you may know. Posting a new Destination (if confirmed by sQuidd.io) also makes you the sQuidd-master for that Destination for the duration of the regular term. Note that the Destination will not be immediately available in sQuidd.io, as it needs to be reviewed and confirmed by the sQuidd.io Webmaster.

Q. What are the criteria for submitting a new Destination?

For a submission to be accepted, the Destination needs to meet certain requirements. For instance, if you add a Marina, a Dock or a Ramp, the facility must be easily recognizable on a Google satellite map at the closest level of zoom available at the geo coordinates you have entered for the Destination. When creating a new Destination, be as accurate as you can be in clicking on the correct position on the map. If you are submitting an anchorage, the location should appear to be in a natural setting which is suitable for overnight mooring. The sQuidd.io Webmaster reserves the right to reject submissions that are not deemed to meet these basic criteria. Also remember that users will rate and comment on your submission, and comments that consistently indicate that your Destination is misplaced or invalid may lead to the removal of a user-submitted Destination.

Q. Should I enter a Destination's latitude and longitude into my GPS as a waypoint?

We strongly recommend you do not! None of the information you will find on sQuidd.io is intended for navigation purposes. Please continue to rely on official charts and publications to make navigation decisions.

Checking in or our out of a Destination

Q. What do you mean by checking in or out of a marina, anchorage or other Destination?

Checking into a marina is a way to associate your current position with a sQuidd.io Destination in order to let other sQuidders know exactly where you are. Of course, you can simply post your latitude-longitude coordinates without checking in at a specific Destination, but those coordinates will be rather meaningless for most of your friends, whereas the name of the Destination may be known to them. By checking out of a Destination you inform your followers that you have left that Destination, and when exactly you did that. You can choose to be automatically checked in or out of Destinations by setting the relevant option in the Preferences page.

Q. How do you check in or out of a Destination?

To check into a Destination, you must be located within 1 kilometer (.6 miles) of the Destination itself. When on site, simply go to the Destination's page and click on the check-in button . A confirmation message will appear and the button will switch to the check-out button, which will allow you to check out when you are ready. If you have an AIS transceiver on board you can choose to automatically check-in upon reaching any of the sQuidd.io destinations by simply entering your MMSI in your user profile, and updating your preferences to activate automatic checkins.

Q. What is the Skipper's Dashboard?

Think of the Dashboard as your home page on sQuidd.io. This is where you will find the most commonly used functions:


Q. What is a sQuidd-master?

A sQuiddd.io master, or sQuidd-master, is a user with in-depth knowledge of one or more Destinations, and who feels passionate about representing and promoting these Destinations within the sQuidd.io community. This may include employees, owners, or managers of a commercial or non-commercial venue at the destination, such as a marina office, a restaurant or the local yacht club.

Q. What are the benefits of being a sQuidd-master?

In addition to being featured prominently on the Destination's page, sQuidd-masters can:

  • Update information about the Destination (correct lat-lon coordinates, address, phone number etc.)
  • Edit a paragraph describing the Destination, for prominent display on the Destination page
  • Use the Destination page to promote a local business

Q. Who can become a sQuidd.io Master?

sQuidd.io masterships are awarded to registered users with the highest number of days checked into a Destination over the previous 30 days. Masterships are awarded for a minimum period of 3 months. The mastership can be renewed for an additional period of 3 months by simply maintaining the highest number of check-ins for the duration of the mastership.

Stay Connected: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does sQuidd.io help me stay connected?

sQuidd.io allows you to track your friends' boat's position on a map and track the boat's progress over time, whether they are gunk-holing in the San Juan islands or taking part in an ocean race. For instance, you can keep track of the members of a fleet during an ocean crossing, see where competitors are in a boat regatta, or follow your loved ones as they brave the unknown.
Because you can send SMS messages to update your position on sQuidd.io, you can use a satellite phone to send updates even from the middle of the ocean. You create your network of sQuidders by inviting your friends, either through invites or email messages, or by adding other sQuidders you meet on the service.

Q. Do I need any boat tracking equipment, navigation software or subscription service to send my position to sQuidd.io?

sQuidd.io does not require dedicated vessel tracker equipment, such as an AIS system, or navigation software. If you plan on sailing close to shore, where cellular coverage is available, all you need is a device you probably already have on your boat: a smart phone with a data plan. If you plan to be offshore for a while, you may want to consider renting or purchasing a satellite phone, if you don't already have one. This will enable you to send log entries (which include position updates) from virtually anywhere around the globe by sending a simple SMS message with your coordinates. And because sQuidd.io relies on the SMS system, which is included in most basic sat phone plans, you do not need to sign up for a so-called short burst data service plan.

Q. What is an AIS system?

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base stations. While originally intended for large cargo and passenger ships, low-cost AIS transponders are becoming more affordable and are increasingly popular among pleasure boaters. IMPORTANT: sQuiddio relies on AIS position updates available on the Internet and provided by a network of private and independently operated AIS Base stations around the world. Coverage is therefore limited to certain areas, mostly within a 20-50 mile radius of heavily populated areas. THIS SERVICE IS THEREFORE PROVIDED ON A BEST EFFORT BASIS and should not be relied upon when sharing your position with others at all times is critical. Check our AIS service provider's coverage map to find out what areas are currently served.

Q. I own an AIS transponder. How do I use it to share my position on sQuiddio?

If you own an AIS transponder (note: a simple AIS receiver will not do the job!), you can make your position available to other sQuiddio users, assuming the system is operating properly and provided you are in a coverage area, by entering your MMSI identifier in your boat profile.

Q. What is the follow list?

It is the list of other sQuidd.io members who have agreed to share their positions with you, and whom have allowed to track your position. You can invite friends using email or, if you have sailing Facebook friends, send them invites.

Q. How often do you report a user's position?

As often as the user decides to report his/her position. As a default, each log entry is manual so it is entirely up to the discretion of the user when to send your position updates.

Q. How do you post a position update using your iPhone, Android or other GPS-enabled phone?

Simply point your mobile device's browser to http://squidd.io/positions/new (there is a link at the bottom of the home page as well). You will be asked for your sQuidd.io credentials to log in. Once logged-in, you will be prompted to share your location's latitude and longitude. If your browser is Html-5 capable and your GPS is enabled, your current coordinates will appear on the screen. You can add a brief message, which will also be displayed on your sQuidd.io profile. Simply tap on the send position button to post your position and your status message on sQuidd.io. If you logged into sQuidd.io using your account, you will also be given the option to post your position and status on your wall.

Q. What happens when you have no cell coverage?

If you are out of cell phone coverage but have access to a satellite phone, you can send a GeoSMS message to communicate your present position.

Q. What is a GeoSMS message?

It is an SMS message that includes your latitude and longitude in a machine recognizable format. Simply put, it is a message that contains the special keyword 'geo:' anywhere in the text, immediately followed by your coordinates. Coordinates must be specified in decimal format, separated by a comma (preceded by the - (minus) sign for latitudes west of Greewnwich and longitudes south of the equator). sQuidd.io simply scans the text of your message looking for the GeoSMS-tag and displays your position on your friends' maps at the next refresh. For example, the message:

currently at geo:17.345,-66.234, winds from the NE at 15 kts. All is well.

will inform your sQuidd.io followers that you are somewhere in the Atlantic ocean, or precisely at latitude 17.345 north and longitude 66.234 west of Greenwich.

Q. How do you post a position update using your satellite phone?

Most satellite phones are capable of sending SMS messages. Simply send an SMS message containing your GeoSMS-tagged coordinates, and any other textual information you want your friends to see. If you are a user, you can choose to have your update automatically posted to your wall. Send the message to the number:

+1 650 458 0290

(IMPORTANT: Maximum of 60 log entry a month included in the free membership. This feature only works if the sender's number is a universally recognized sat phone number, i.e. it has a virtual country code equal to +881 or +870). Iridium, Globalstar and Inmarsat plans use either of these virtual country code, so they are supported.

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