Suppose you rented a local convention center, announced a big conference on cruising worldwide, and many hundreds of cruising sailors came to participate. The hall is packed, the audience is patient and willing to be there for as long as you want them to stay...and to even return, whenever you would find it convenient, to discuss topics of interest to you.
There's one mike: You take it, select a topic (e.g. "If cruising in the Med, can one visit Albania? What's it like?") and ask for a show of hands from whomever can speak, first hand, to that topic. A few hands go up, you pass the mike, and they relate what their experience was. Their information is automatically captured so you can refer back to it later. You then shift to a totally different topic ("What's your experience been with Maxsea
?") and the process repeats itself.
What would you think that opportunity is worth? Probably more than $25, which is the cost of purchasing
the SSCA CD of the last 8 years of their Bulletin. Using Adobe Acrobat, you can search in as detailed a manner as you wish. The contributors (perhaps 20 or so per month, or roughly 2000 sailors authoring comments on places, gear
and where to get the laundry
done) are sharing first-hand info, and you can further winnow out only the most recent data, if you wish.
This isn't normally mentioned in a 'book' or 'reference' section like this one, so I thought I'd mention it. Given how accessible, relevant and yet cheap
the info is to acquire, I can't imagine why someone would buy even a single
guidebook to aid in cruising aboard the boat without first purchasing