2023 has been a year of steady progress for the Pilotage Foundation but also with some significant changes.
These changes have been amongst the management of the Foundation.
After some 5 years of guiding the Foundation with a delicate but steady hand, Nigel Wollen has stood down as chair. His place is taken by Paul Bryans whose background includes roles at the RYA and with the Royal Institute of Navigation and who has served as a trustee with the Foundation for some years.
Also, Jane Russell, after 10 years with the management of the Foundation has stepped down as Editor in Chief. Jane’s contribution over the past 10 years ensuring the highest standards in the Foundation’s publications and overseeing a steady increase in the coverage has been enormous. Jane leaves us to take up the role of Rear Commodore at the Royal Cruising Club with a prospect of some extended sailing with an Atlantic crossing planned for 2024.
We thank Jane for her enormous contribution and also welcome Emily Winter who took on the Editor in Chief role earlier in the year and has already demonstrated her expertise in guiding some new publications through into production. Emily comes from a sailing family and a background in publishing and also a role with the Ocean Cruising Club.
The operation of the Pilotage Foundation continues steadily. Overall sales volume continues at a total of around 7,000 copies sold, very much in line with 2022 performance though still markedly below pre-Covid levels. The sales figures were boosted by a number of new editions that were published in the year.
In line with the foundation’s policy to update titles every 5 years, 2023 saw the publication of new editions of the titles - Atlantic France, Channel Islands, Cherbourg Peninsula and N Britanny, South Biscay, North Africa and Balearics.
As well as updating pilotage information, each new edition presents the opportunity to include new and improved photos and generally to further raise the standards of our publications.
Reflecting the continuing turnover of new editions, during the year new editions were commissioned for 5 further titles for publication in coming years and in 2024 we are on track for bringing to publication new editions of Imray titles -Isles of Scilly, Corsica & N Sardinia - and the Adlard Cole Nautical - Pacific Crossing Guide.
There was also some further development of Explore with Imray which represents the principal platform for the digital publication of Pilotage Foundation titles. In particular, two important developments are in the pipeline:
A mobile App version is being developed for launch in 2024 which will allow downloads by chapter or book.
A Content Management System which will allow authors the option to prepare new editions by editing and updating the content that is held digitally in Explore with Imray will be trialled in 2024. This holds benefits in terms of improved security over the draft text, ease of preparation of new editions and more immediate publication of critical pilotage information.
The Pilotage Foundation enters the new year in good order. Our financial results for the year to 30th Sept 2023 showed a very small surplus. We continue to work closely with our publishers Imray and Adlard Coles Nautical to maintain and further develop the high standards of our publications.
Thank you to our authors, publishers, users of our pilotage information and others who have supported the Pilotage Foundation. We wish you all a prosperous and enjoyable 2024.
The Trustees and Management Team
Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation