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  • #86188
    Oscar L Kramer

    I would like to generate a table of specs for multiple boats with dimensions, ratios, etc. but it is extremely difficult to do this manually, populating a spreadsheet.

    Is there a way to gain access to the database via an API? I would write the script and could even publish any working code.

    Thanks for a great site.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #86211
    Mark Ayers

    What you are needing is access to their database and a report creator such as Crystal Reports. but you will need then to allow you access to their database or a copy of it. Microsoft Access would also be able to handle your needs, as well a probably a dozen other database or reporting softwares. They would all hinge on if you can get a copy of their database. If you are doing less than say 50 boats you can do this in excel, but yes it will be a manual input, unless they can run a query file for you and you can import it into excel.

    Donald Rolfe

    I think this is a great idea, and on the subject of specs, I previously mentioned to the site owner(s) that I would like to have a field added that indicates how the keel is attached, and the ballast material, for example; cast iron, lead, cement, steel etc.


    API would be nice for this site. I built a membership application for a sailing club and would love it to fill in all the blanks when I put in a boat. A Spring Boot app which could dish out JSON could be built in a few hours. That said, this is a small database of 8000 or so boats. If you only need 20 or so boats you could web scrape it.

    Oscar L Kramer

    The use case I’m envisioning is, for example: give me all boats with SA/D between 18 and 21. The request would return all records that match, and the client code would populate a spreadsheet with all parameters for all boats in the list. I’m a programmer, but not really into database programming. It sounds like others here have a clearer idea how to achieve this. Perhaps Bruce @SailboatData can comment on providing DB read access. If so, let’s get this rolling!


    Best use case is a rest server. The rest sever would run on the same server as the database but would be separate from the website, but run on a different port. Then you would make a subdomain such as api.sailboatdata.com and point it at the server. Then you use virtual host in apache or whatever web server you are using and point all requests to that port. The rest server would take the http request, retrieve the data and return it in a JSON format, provided you sent it a correct request.

    That is asking a lot from the owner of this site even if you agree to build the rest server for him. What you can do is build a web scraper. You send an http request to his website, it spits back the html and then you parse through the html and get your data. For instance the http request sailboatdata.com/sailboat/ sends you to a page where you can specify what you are searching for. For example your search for SA/D between 18 and 21 would result in a long link which I will not put here because apparently I can not post more than 2 links as a new member.
    You could of course change the number in paginate to cut down on the number of links it returns. Then you would iterate through all those links, http request them and parse each web page for the information you need.

    Sounds like a fun project. Good luck!


    Hello all,

    To begin, please know we have input everyone of our ~8,800 boats into our database by hand. One boat at a time. We’ve been at it for almost 20 years now. We have not taken any other person’s work by scraping servers or accessing any other database. Trust us, we know how difficult and time consuming building a database like this can be.

    That said… We have not set up API access to our database yet. It could happen later this year though. Full disclosure… our intension will be to charge for that access. If you have a specific project like a membership application for a club, you are of course, welcome to use the information on our site to manually build your database. If you want to save time and electronically auto-populate your application by accessing our servers, we do not think it unreasonable to ask for a small fee for easy access to, and retrieval of, our 20 years of work.

    Something like creating a database of all boats with a SA/D between 18-21 (1,732 records including boats between 12’ to over 80’, built beginning in the late 1800’s through today), sounds more like a commercial use project to us. We are all for people starting businesses. But again, we feel it is reasonable to charge for access to information we have literally spent decades compiling. Especially if in doing so, that access makes your business better.

    And don’t forget, there’s always the option of using Sailboatdata.com as a reference tool. You might like to know we are on the verge of launching a new updated site. Included will be the option to register and create a “Favorites” page, allowing users to save a specific group of boats for easy, personal access.

    One last note, responding to a comment above, it is unlikely we will be adding information on how a keel is attached. Sorry. We do however, include ballast material on a record when we find it. If ballast material is not stated on a boat record, it’s because we did not find that information reported when we created the record.

    Hope all this helps.

    Oscar L Kramer

    Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for chiming in. I’m always looking forward to new features on SailboatData. The “favorites” feature would be very welcomed.

    I’m sure many, myself included, feel it would absolutely be fair for you to get some return on your hard work. Your site has become the Wikipedia of sailboats after all. In my case, I’m not a commercial user, but would be willing to pay a reasonable amount for refined searches with customizable results (say, in a CSV format?). Perhaps a monthly access fee?

    Speaking of Wikipedia, maybe you can follow their model and ask for donations. (On the other hand, us sailors are notoriously cheap, so good luck with that…)

    Fair winds

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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