Using the site

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Here are some instructions on using the site. We hope it's intuitive but, if you do find yourself in need of some guidance please have a look here.

Quick Links

  1. Registration
  2. Hello - first post required to complete registration
  3. Forum Feed
  4. Searches
  5. Easy Reading
  6. Gallery
  7. Posting a photograph
  8. Posting a video
  9. Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

  1. Registration

    The first thing you have to do to have full access to the Shipmates Ahoy! website is to register. To do this click on the “Register” side of the Login/Register link button at the bottom of the “Home” page. This will take you directly to the “Register” form. To register complete the necessary questions. Ideally use your forename and surname as this will identify you when you write any "posts" ie. messages but you can use a nom de plume/nickname if you prefer. You can use joint names if you wish, eg. “John & Mary Smith”. There is space to write a little about yourself so, if someone is looking for you, it will help them to identify that they have the right person. If you have a website of your own you can enter that so you can invite anyone to view it if you wish to. Once registered you will become a "member" of Shipmates Ahoy! and enter the website via "Login" thereafter. If you still have any difficulties ask questions via the "Contact us" email link.

    Apologies if some of the registration questions are a little strange and somewhat complicated. The reason is to help to keep spammers at bay as they excel at breaking codes. Just keep your calculator handy for some of the answers!

    Welcome you are now a member of the Shipmates Ahoy community!

  2. "Hello" - your First Post - important to avoid being deleted

    Your first post should be "Hello!" to complete your registration. This is important to enable us to confirm your identity. You can be directed straight to the "Hello!" section of your chosen forum by clicking on the link in the opening page. The heading of your message will appear under the heading of “topics” within your chosen forum, so if you want to be sure people see you, use something such as “Hello from John Smith” or something more imaginative! Once posted a link to your message will appear in “Forum Feed” under “New forum posts” for all to see.

    NB. You can post a "Hello!" in as many forums as interest you.

    Now you are fully registered you can write your first “post”. You will probably want to contact old shipmates or fellow passengers, in the section where you want to be seen, eg. "Cruisers" for a cruise company or ship, "Merchant Navy" for a shipping company, etcetera. In the “Cruisers” section you will see that the cruise companies’ headings contain subforums showing the names of their ships. If you click on a ship's name you will go straight to that ship’s forum. Next click on “new topic”. A page will open where you can write something about yourself, name people you would like to contact and name the ships on which they sailed. Click the “Review” button at the bottom of the page to check that everything is to your liking. Once you are satisfied click “save”. If you want to change or add anything, now or at a later date, simply click “edit”, make the changes and “save” again.

  3. Forum Feed

    This is Shipmates Ahoy’s forum news desk and shows the most recent ten activities in the forums. Your latest message title will show here so your friends can click on it to go straight to your message.

  4. Searches

    The forum has an excellent search facility. At the top right hand side of any of the “Forums” pages click on “Search”. The “Search query” page opens. In the top box, “Search for keywords”, enter the name of the person or item, eg. ship's name, place etcetera, you want to find within someone's post. Click “Search” and all entries under that name will be displayed unless the word is too "common". Next, in the second box “Search for author” you can enter the name of anyone who has “posted” within the website, click on “search” and all of their messages will be shown. Finally, in the third box “Search in forums” you can choose which area of the site you wish to search. Cruisers, for instance, can choose to use the “Cruisers” heading which will search the entire Cruisers forum, or you can limit the search to one company or ship chosen from the drop down box.

  5. Easy Reading

    To make reading a post more pleasurable, particularly if it is a long one, click on the "Print view" option at the top left hand side of the post and it will convert into a larger, easier to read format. When you have finished reading, return to the Forum page by clicking the link under the heading or the "back arrows".

  6. Gallery

    The easiest way to manage your photos is to create your own album in Shipmates own ‘Gallery’ by going to Secondary Links and clicking on Click here to add pictures to the gallery and logging in. A list of applications then appears on the left hand side of the screen. Choose which category you want to work in, eg. ‘Cruise liners’ if you are posting a picture of a cruise ship, or ‘MN personal pictures’ if you are posting pictures of yourself or shipmates, then click on ‘Add Album’. The ‘Add Sub-Album’ page then opens for you to complete by giving it a name and description of the type of pictures your album will contain. Don’t worry if , when you ‘create’ your album the headings and description are not quite as you wanted, you can re-open the page at any time and edit it.

    If you have entered the 'Gallery' purely to view pictures, once in the Gallery click on ‘Click here to add pictures to the gallery’ and you will see a drop-down box with viewing options. If, once you are in an album, you want to see the pictures as a slideshow, click on ‘View slideshow’ and that is what you will get! If it is too slow, hover over ‘See this in 3D’ at the top right hand side of the page and a panel slides in from the right. At the bottom there is a slider which enables you to adjust the speed of the slideshow. Please note: The instructions in this paragraph only work when you are registered and logged in.

    All Gallery pages should contain heading links to return to the Shipmates Ahoy home page but, should you find yourself on a page which does not have the return links, you can return to the home page by clicking on the Shipmates Ahoy! red sail logo or by using the “back arrows”.

  7. Posting a photograph within a forum message

    If you are posting a picture from ‘Gallery’, open the picture, copy the URL shown at the top of the page and paste it into your message.
    For example this picture of a lifeboat in Poole harbour
    Highlight the URL.
    From the boxes immediately above your message click the [URL] box and your link will become
    You can import pictures from outside sources also but be careful as if you choose a picture from Pixum, for example, you cannot get straight back into Shipmates by using the back arrows. I am sure the determined users will overcome such problems!
    You can always post any useful tips you have to share in the ‘General Discussion’ section of your forum.

  8. Posting a video - within a forum message only

    Note: If you open any of the internet links in this instruction you will need to use the "back arrows" to return to Shipmates Ahoy!
    First of all you need to have a YouTube account to download your own videos to Shipmates Ahoy! This is quite easy to do and is free. Go to and register. Once your account is set up you can upload videos from video cameras and digital cameras.
    To download a clip to Shipmates Ahoy, locate the video you want to download from YouTube and open it.
    The file will have a URL for example this one, from an Inland Waterways search, is:
    The only part you need is that after the = sign. If there is more than one = then just that part of the file after the final = sign.
    You are now left with M7T8qwzFEHE
    Paste this into your message and highlight it.
    From the boxes immediately above your message click the [youtube] box and your link will become
    You can now review and/or save your message and the video screen will appear…as if by magic!

    Sometimes the coding following the final = sign is too short to activate the YouTube link.
    In that case paste the full URL on to the page, highlight it and click the [URL] box and you will get
    When you use this method the URL is displayed in the message instead of the mini video screen but once it is clicked the result is the same.
    You can use this method to download videos from any internet source.

    You can see the result of both of these examples in the Welcome to the Inland Waterways forum.

  9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    At the top right hand side of the Forum opening page you will see a link marked "FAQ". Click on this and it will display a comprehensive list of questions. Click on any of these and the answer will be displayed.
  10. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions