The Chesapeake Bay Guide
Our History
Many people have asked me why I do all this work on The Bay Guide.  It's hard to explain.  When they learn I do it all for free it's even harder to explain.  But it's true.  The Bay Guide is kind of like a personal homepage gone crazy.  I don't do it for fame and fortune but for my love of boating and being around the water.  I grew up a stones throw from a lake in Massachusetts and water runs through my veins.


May 1990 - October 1992:  Joined a Maryland freshwater fishing club and compiled a reservoir directory for freshwater fishing sites.  Information included ramp locations, fees, members phone and fax numbers and worked on setting up small fishing tournaments.  Club started with 10 members and 4 boats, by October of 1990 there were just over 100 members which increased to 250 by October, 1992.  Areas covered:  All freshwater reservoirs in Maryland, certain Chesapeake Bay tributaries, Deep Creek Lake, MD and Lake Anna, VA.  Also provided information on hot fishing spots, best baits, season limits etc.

April 1993 – June 1993:  Reservoir directory members increased to 300 people on mailing, telephone, and fax list.  Gave up secondary duties with directory after purchasing first powerboat.

July 1993 – October 1993:  Started The Chesapeake Bay Trailing Club.  Started with 2 members.  Compiled detailed reports of ramps.  Early exchanges of information by fax and telephone.  Ended season with over 25 ramps in directory and approximately 25 members.  Planned and coordinated at least 5 trips during season.  Trips included Solomons Island, Kent Narrows, Bush River, Deep Creek Lake and Lake Anna.

April 1994 – October 1994:  Approximately 40 people in trailing club, approximately  25 asked to be included in the off season.  Exchanged ramp and marina information via telephone and fax.  Directory grew to over 50 ramps and 30 marinas.

April 1995 - December 1995:  Approximately 80 people in trailing club.  Exchanged ramp, marina info, bait shops, fuel prices via telephone, fax and the beginning of email newsletter.  The trailing club was took over by a friend in September. 

September 1995 - January 1996:  The Chesapeake Bay Boating Guide was born and was first based in AOL’s members section.  It started with ramps, marinas, destinations, weather and fishing reports and information.  Hit counter started at zero and hit approximately 1500 hits in 9 months.  No marketing whatsoever on the Internet, sites URL was passed by word of mouth and trailing newsletter.  Old URL: http://members.aol.com/skiboater (still redirects to thebayguide.com)

January 1996 – December 1996:  Began redesign of The Chesapeake Bay Boating Guide.  Designed the site with frames and added charter information and more weather links.  By end of year had a link providing a map and directions to most ramps in Maryland.  Began registering site with search engines and boating sites.  Hit counter reset in January and had approximately 6500 hits by the end of December.

January 1997 – December 1997:  Added wind reports, marine businesses, boat dealers, links to boat manufacturers etc.  Moved site to servers hosted by @Home which provided more web space and faster access, its own counter and the start of the guestbook which was still on @Home’s servers until the company went under.  New URL’s with @Home as of August 1997:  http://members.home.net/thebayguide, http://members.home.net/skiboater & http://members.home.net/mdboating.  Since @Homes demise the URL's no longer work, but there are still a number of sites that link to the bad URL's.

January 1998 – December 1999:  Worked at marketing the guide on the Internet.  Redesigned many pages, added links and made first marketing agreement in April with a now defunct Chesapeake Bay Trailering Club which was now in print form and had a mailing list of over 500 trailer boaters from the Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania area.  Acquired mailing list of the trailing club as well as more information on ramps and fishing information.  Purchased *thebayguide* domain in June.

January 2000 – January 2002:  Complete redesign of web site and all content.  Added many features such as: web cams, satellite imagery, restaurants, hotels, bay maps and charts, boating and sailing clubs etc.  The Photo Section was added during this time and now has over 33 photo sections and over 350 photos.  One of our most popular sections.

January 2002 - Present:  With the addition of the free Discount Club, the Monthly Newsletter and our popular Monthly Contest, TheBayGuide is more popular than ever.  Links are still being added, updates happen almost everyday, and we are constantly snapping new photos.

April 2002 - Present:  Purchased the domain name *bayphotos* to help promote the photo section.  Bay Photos is independently marketed, although most content is stored on The Bay Guides server.

April 2002 - Present:  Purchased the domain name *bayboatsales* to further improve upon the For Sale section.  A Free service to help the bay area boater sell marine related items.  This domain and website are for sale.

The Future:  Our main focus is on the Discount Club.  We know how expensive boating is and that's why we want to help all boaters save money and bring in new businesses to local marine businesses.  The photo section is our favorite.  We love taking pictures, we also love sharing our visitors photos.  We also look forward to all entries in our contests.  We try to put together great prize packs and we hope everyone finds our contests fun and rewarding.


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