This on-line edition of The Florida Cruising Directory is the latest version of an idea that first bloomed back in 1982. Founder Pete Smyth, who at the time was publishing a regional monthly boating magazine, FLORIDA WATERWAYS, realized there was an overwhelming need for a comprehensive source book, a book of “local knowledge” that, unlike most cruising guides, which are produced by visitors who come in, take a quick look and then write an “authoritative” book based on limited observation, would be created by Florida boating people to provide accurate, up to date and practical information for everyone boating in Florida, “locals” and “snowbirds” alike. His dictum to the Editor and Staff of the first edition was simple: “Make sure it contains everything anyone boating in Florida needs to know; don’t leave anything out. Our goal is to make boating more fun and less hassle for Florida boaters and our cruising visitors.”
Though the book changed considerably over the years, and its scope has increased from the original Stuart to Key West coverage to include ALL of Florida and the Bahamas as well, we have always tried to live up to the statement we boldly made on the first cover (Right): “IF IT ISN’T IN HERE, YOU DON’T NEED IT!” One of the many changes to what was initially merely a printed annual publication, was the addition of a companion Web site in the mid 1990s. This allowed us to publish monthly updates and corrections, an improvement and opportunity highly welcomed by those of us who have always been frustrated by the reality that anything in print, no matter how carefully it was produced, can become at least partly inaccurate almost as soon as it comes off the press, simply because of inevitable yet unanticipated changes beyond anyone’s control. The ability to make monthly amendments to an annual publication was a Godsend we had never even dreamed about back in 1982! And for several years we were content with this arrangement. But eventually it became evident that the Florida Cruising Directory Web site should be MORE than simply a reproduction of the printed book. The very nature of surfing the Internet and accessing information on line was undergoing a radical change as visitor participation has become more and more important. And so, while we still publish the annually updated (every February) book version, which is now available either in print or as an e-book, this new interactive site has been designed to be more “user friendly” by providing even more currently up to date information in an easier to access format. We hope you find our Web site helpful but, as always, welcome your input, too. If you discover that we’ve missed something or have stated anything inaccurately, PLEASE let us know about it immediately. The “Contact Us” page has a quick and easy e-mail link to help you do this.
Finally, let us wish you fair winds and following seas as you enjoy cruising our vast and varied Florida waterways. We hope that this interactive Directory will add to your pleasure.