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Getting started

About us

NOFOREIGNLAND is a web site set up by liveaboard sailors with the aim of benefiting the liveaboard community.

It is developed as a personal hobby, in the hope that others find it useful for keeping track of friends, and for sharing places of interest with the greater community.

The name of the site is derived from a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson:

"There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign."

If you like what we're doing, then please encourage your friends to sign up and join us.

To get announcements of changes and updates join our Facebook group.

Registering and signing in

There is no process for registering with NOFOREIGNLAND, you just need to sign in to see all the data we have. Once signed in, you can register and track the position of your boat.

You can sign in using your Facebook ID, your Google account, or using your email address and a password.

Please remember which ID you used to sign in and stick to it. If you sign in using a different account (for example you signed in once using Google, and then again using Facebook) then you might see different information between these accounts.

Registering your boat

You will need to enter your boat details in order to pin your position on the map.

Tap the button on the menu bar, and follow the instructions. It's a good idea to have your MMSI number to hand before you start as this will allow us to autocomplete much of the information required.

Earning points

Everyone loves a giver, and at NOFOREIGNLAND we'll give you points whenever you contribute something of interest to the community.

You earn points for all sorts of things:

Register your boat 100 points
Add a place to the map 100 points
Review a place 50 points
Upload an image for a place 50 points
Upload an image of your boat 50 points
People following your boat 50 points
Follow a boat 25 points
A user found your review for a place helpful 5 points
A user liked an image you uploaded 5 points
Someone visited a link you shared on social media 1 points

And the more you contribute, the higher your rank:
Points earned Rank
30,000 Admiral
20,000 Commodore
10,000 Captain
7,500 First Mate
5,000 Bosun
1,000 Able Seafarer
500 Deck Hand
250 Cadet
0 Recruit

You will earn points when you use the share buttons to share a link to your boat or a place you want to tell people about on Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter). These points accumulate over time when the links are clicked on, and are calculated based upon the number of visitors directed to our site.

Basically, the more visitors your links introduce to NOFOREIGNLAND, the more points you earn.

Go spread the word!

Sign in to see how many points you have and a breakdown of how you earned them.

Tips on using the map

Searching the map

The search field at the very top of the page provides a fast way of searching the map. Just start typing the name of the place or the boat that you are looking for and it will auto-complete all matching names.

NOTE: This search field only searches for data on our map. You should use Google (or similar) to search the internet.

Map view options

You can toggle between the map/satellite view, and turn the Open Sea Maps (OSM) layer on/off using the buttons at the top of the map.

We decided to add the OSM layer as it is good quality data of relevance to mariners; it should, however, not be relied on for navigation.

The view option buttons reset whenever the map page is reloaded.

Quickly finding your boat

You can quickly locate your boat by clicking on the the My boat button at the top of the map.

Filtering map content

Change the filter settings to select what you would like shown on the map.

Show the filters panel by clicking on the Filters (off) button.

The All and None settings are self-explanatory; they show either all or none of the markers.

If you just want to see places you've identified as a favourite, then the select this setting for places.

If you choose the Type option for places, you can then select the type of place you are looking for: Fuel stations for example.

Similarly for boats, you can opt to only see those that you are following, or those in the same groups as your boat.

The filters button lets you know when filters are on by displaying Filters (on). If you can't see something you expected to on the map, try setting the filters to show all.

Embedding the map

It is possible to embed our map in your own web pages. Please note that this is and advanced feature and it requires that you have some web programming skills. If you'd like to give it a try, then click here to generate the code.

Some blogging software does not allow embedding of third party content (for example managed Wordpress sites). If your blog doesn't allow embedding, and you would still like to show your boat's journey in your blog then you could try linking to our map instead.

Working with places

Types of places

A place marker is used to indicate the location and details of a place of interest to cruising sailors.

A place marker should be used to describe a single place only. For example: when describing the Port Authority office at a Marina, there should be two place markers: one for the Marina, and one for the Port Authority; thus making it clear to anyone viewing the map exactly where the Port Authority office is.

The different types of places on the map are as follows:

Places to stop:
Things to see:
Things ashore:

Adding a place to the map

You should add places to the map that you think will be of interest to others.

Click on the Add place button at the top of the map, and complete the form.

Please follow the guidelines presented when adding a place and make the details you enter as objective and factual as possible.

Editing a place

The details page for a place should provide an objective description of that place. If the details are inaccurate, or can be improved, then please take a moment to update it.

From the place's details page, click on the Edit this place  button and make your changes.

Reviewing a place

Adding a review is quick and simple, and it let's other know your opinion of a place.

To add a review, click on the rating stars and (optionally) enter some text for others to seen.

You can edit your review at any time by returning to the place details page, and clicking on the "Edit my review" link.

Working with boats

Viewing a boat's details

Every boat has a details page. The information shown in these pages is visible only to signed in users.

From the map, click on a boat marker, then select the 'show details' link in the popup window to see the details page for that boat.

Or, if you want to quickly see the details for your own boat, then tap the button on the menu bar.

Editing your boat's details

Go to the details of your boat by tapping the button on the menu bar.

From the details page, click on the Edit details  button to edit the boat's details.

Adding and deleting pictures of your boat

From the boat details page (for your own boat), you can click on the "Add a picture" link to add up to four images of your boat.

You can delete pictures of your own boat by clicking the trash can icon that appears on the image.

Viewing a boat's journey

From the map, click on the 'show journey' link in the popup window for a boat to see it's journey drawn on the map.

Following a boat

Keep track of friends by following their boat. Go to their boat details page, and simply click on the Follow button, the heart will turn red when you are following their boat.

You can then filter the map to only show the boats you are following.

Tracking your boat

Your boat's journey is comprised of a number of position fixes along with the times they were taken. The fixes are combined to draw your journey on the map.

There are four ways to add a fix to your journey, and they are described in the following sections. Some of them allow you to specify the date of the fix, which means that you can enter build your past track to display on the map.

Update your boat's position manually

Go to your boat details page by tapping the button on the menu bar. From there, press the Add fix  button and use the interactive map to enter the location and date of your boat position.

Update your boat's position by checking in to a place

From a place's details page, click on the Check in button on that place's details page. A fix for that location will be added to your journey.

Update your boat's position automatically using AIS autotrack

If you transmit your position on AIS, and you have the Auto track (with AIS) option selected in your boat details, then a fix will be added every 24hrs if your boat has moved.

Update your boat's position automatically using your Iridium GO!

By configuring your Iridium GO! to periodically send GPS position reports to NOFOREIGNLAND you can accurately and reliably update your position on our map from anywhere in the world.

Here's what you need to do to get it working:

1) On the NOFOREIGNLAND site:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. enter your Iridium phone number (usually starts with 88) where indicated and save your changes.

2) Then log in to the Iridium GO! app and:

  1. Select Settings -> Track
  2. In the section labelled TRACKING RECIPIENT enter the following address:

  3. Set the Tracking Frequency to whatever value you prefer. We suggest an hourly update.
Android bug! October 2018: there is a bug in the current Android version of the Iridium GO! app which makes it impossible to set the TRACKING RECIPIENT field. The workaround is to connect to your GO! using its web configuration interface instead and set it there.

Your Iridium GO! will now periodically send position update messages to NOFOREIGNLAND. The incoming message's phone number will be used to identify your boat and a fix will be added to your journey if your boat's position has changed.

Note that Iridium charge for sending tracking data, the costs will depend on your price plan.

Update your boat's position automatically using your Iridium satellite phone

If your Iridium satellite phone has the ability to send your location, then you can use this to update your position on the NOFOREIGNLAND map.

You will need to refer to your phone's user manual for your model's details. In the Iridium Extreme manual, for example, there is a section describing how to send an SMS message to an email address, and an illustration showing the Insert Location option:

If your phone has a similar menu to the one shown, then here's what you need to do to get it working with NOFOREIGNLAND:

1) On the NOFOREIGNLAND site:

Simply repeat the actions described in step 1 for the Iridium GO! (see above) to associate your Iridium phone number with your boat.

2) On your phone use Insert Location option to generate an SMS message and send it to the following email address:

You will need to repeat step 2 to send an SMS message every time you want your position updated on the map. For an extended offshore passage, this could be part of your daily routine along with downloading weather reports. We recommend that you create a NOFOREIGNLAND contact in your address book to store this email address.

Note that Iridium charge for sending SMS messages, the costs will depend on your price plan.

Update your boat's position by email

It is possible to update your boat's position by sending an email to NOFOREIGNLAND.

Here's what you need to do to get it working:

1) On the NOFOREIGNLAND site:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. enter the email address that you will be sending the email FROM in the "Tracking email" field.
When an email is received on our servers, the from address on it will be used to look up your boat, so it is important that you enter the correct value here. If you are not sure then send an email to yourself and check the from address before completing this step.

2) Send an email to NOFOREIGNLAND:

  1. Address the email to:

  2. The body of the email should contain two lines, the first specifying the latitude of the fix , and the second the longitude.

    For example, the position of the Needles light house in the UK can be expressed as:


    The above will translate to a fix at 50°39.732' N and 1°35.514' W.

  3. Note that the four tokens on each line must be separated by the bar | symbol and:

    1. the first token can be either LAT or LON
    2. the second token is the degrees expressed as a whole number between 0 and 180
    3. the third token is the minutes expressed as a decimal value in the range 0.0 to 59.999
    4. and lastly the fourth token must be either N, S, E or W

Deleting position fixes from your boat's journey

You can see a summary of recent position fixes for a boat on the boat's details page. There is a link below this summary that will show you "all places visited by this boat". When viewing the full list of fixes for your boat, you may click on the icon at the end of a row to delete a fix.

The changes you make here will be visible the next time you view your journey. Note that deleted fixes cannot be recovered, and you will need to manually re-enter any that you accidentally remove.

Limiting the length of the journey shown on the map

By default, your journey will show all fixes ever recorded for your boat. In some cases this can get messy, especially if you plan to visit the same cruising area for a second year running.

To fix this, you should limit the fixes shown in the map by date as follows:

  1. tap the button on the menu bar to show the details page for your boat;
  2. press the Edit details  button to edit your boat details;
  3. change the "Show journey from" date" to a suitable date (perhaps the start of this sailing season?)

only fixes recorded after this date will be shown on the map.

Sharing NOFOREIGNLAND with friends and family

You can share any page where you see the share icon () enabled, on either the main toolbar or on a button within a page.

Pages you can share include:

  • The NOFOREIGNLAND homepage map
  • Details of any boat registered with NOFOREIGNLAND
  • Details for any place on the map

When you click on the share button a link is copied to your clipboard, you can then paste this wherever you want to share it, for example: Facebook, Twitter or in an email to family and friends.

When you share a link on Facebook, a preview will be generated (using NOFOREIGNLAND's images for the boat or the place).

For a place it will look something like this:

By sharing on Social Media sites, you earn points towards your user ranking.

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