Monday, October 26, 2015

Shipfax unveils other changes

When Shipfax began life as a printed newsletter, part of its mandate was to give all the details on ships, namely: flag, gross and deadweight tonnage, year built and builder, and owner where possible. This was not always easy. Even frequent trips to the library to consult the latest Lloyd's Register did not always come up with the answers when ships changed names or were reflagged. It was often necessary to wait for the World Ship Society's Marine News to make its way across the Atlantic by surface mail (allow one month) and even then the "news" was several months old. The Lloyd's Register quarterly supplements took forever to arrive at the library and also arrived by surface mail. I sometimes wrote to a contact at Lloyd's for additional info, and that was at best a week each way by air mail.

Since the advent of the blog version of Shipfax I have more or less kept up this steady stream of information. However it is now much easier to find this level of data and it is available from a multitude of sources by the click of a key on your computer. It is no longer necessary for me to collect and compile this information, since it is stored by others - notably Miramar Ship Index,   Equasis and Marine,, and Boatnerd, among many others.

As part of the transition of Shipfax I will be doing less and less of this detailed data transmission and will be just as likely to leave it up to the readers to find the info if they are interested. Some convenient links are now included in the 'Faves' list on the left of the page. You must sign up or subscribe to some of them, but they are well worth the time, and minimal expense to do so.

 Shipfax from October 1990 was published in the first week of November, meaning much of the "news" was a month old. Now Shipfax can be mere minutes old since I have a smart phone.  Times change.(Including dot matrix printers!)


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