Copying Info from The Boat Galley


Every couple of weeks, I get a note from a reader who is frustrated by the inability to copy something off of The Boat Galley.  For those who haven’t tried to copy a recipe or other bit of info, I’ve got things set so that you can’t highlight or copy the text.  It’s not a glitch, it’s deliberate.

But let me explain and also tell you how you can make a copy for your own purposes.

The Background.  Unfortunately, while most people are good, the internet has a certain number of unscrupulous people, who have no respect for copyrights and the hard work that goes into writing posts.  These no-good scoundrels employ little programs (called “bots” or “robots”) to go out and copy absolutely everything they run across, then paste that information into their own sites as their own work.  The incentive for them?  Advertising revenue on their sites goes up when someone goes to their site to read the piece.

A few months after I began writing The Boat Galley, I discovered that literally all the articles I’d written up to that point were posted on over 100 other sites.  And they were ranking higher in Google searches than the originals! Yeah, I was pretty upset about it.  Researching further, I found that the bots would simply come in and copy 100% of a site’s content.  YIKES!

And that’s when I discovered that I could make it so that stuff couldn’t be copied.  I thought about whether I really wanted to take that step, since I knew it would upset some readers who legitimately wanted to make a copy for their own use.  That type of usage is fine with me; it’s the copying everything, putting it on another site and making money off my work that bothers me.

Three Ways to Make a Copy.  More research led me to a solution that prevents the bots from copying everything yet lets readers make a copy for themselves.  No, you can’t do a simple copy and paste.  But you can make a copy any one of three other ways (and the bots aren’t programmed to use any of these):

  • First Option:  Print a copy.  Simple if you have a printer and want a paper copy.
  • The other two methods use the PDF button under the article.


 Second Option:  Make a PDF.  When you click on the PDF button, it will open a new window similar to that below.  Then click on the PDF button there.


You’ll next see a message that the PDF is being generated, then it will turn into a download button.


Click that and it will either go into your default Downloads folder or you’ll be prompted for a location to put it (it depends on your browser which way it works). Now, whenever you want to refer to it, you can call it up as a PDF from that location.

Third Option: Copy from the PDF Screen.  Here, you don’t click on the PDF button at the top of the new screen.  Instead, scroll down to what you want to copy and highlight it.  Ignore the “click to delete” prompt (but don’t click!).  Instead, either press Cntl+C or right-click and select copy, then paste wherever you want it.


I realize that this adds an extra step for anyone wanting a copy.  I’d rather not have to do it this way.  But I hope you understand my need not to have the whole site “stolen” from me.  Thanks!

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  • Nancy Orloski
    Posted at 12 March 2014 Reply

    Thanks so much for this article to explain the reasons for the way your readers need to copy bits and pieces of your information so that we are able to keep what we want accessible to us. You have a very valuable website (I am always referring it to new boaters) and protecting your hard work is understandable. Thank you for the permission to use and copy the information that you have so painstakingly made available.
    Nancy Orloski

  • Liz
    Posted at 12 March 2014 Reply

    I totally understand and I appreciate that you’ve given us a widget to create a PDF copy.

    Hopefully Google will eventually get smart enough to determine the original author from the copyright-infringing sites. When that happens, it will remove the bulk of the incentive for the bad guys to steal stuff from legitimate websites because readers won’t be shown those sites in search results. Until then, you’re locking your copyrighted material like we lock our dinghies. I don’t blame you one bit.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 12 March 2014 Reply

      I love the analogy to locking (and lifting) the dinghy! How perfect! And thanks for understanding.

  • Mike Robinson
    Posted at 13 March 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the pdf button! I used to have a pdf printer but this is much easier AND cheaper. I do copy some of your great ideas and recipes.

  • Simonne
    Posted at 18 March 2014 Reply

    Dear Carolyn,
    I totally understand why you want to protect your work.
    But I really thank you for providing us a way to copy some of your tips and recipes.
    We travel in a motorhome through Europe and Morroco (we are from the Netherlands) and a lot of your ideas for living on a boat do totally apply to living in a motorhome.
    With love,

  • Lavinia Maggs
    Posted at 18 April 2014 Reply

    I just love “TBG” and refer to it all the time! I can’t help but think you will have it made on your new catamaran – as you know all the “tips”! (congratulation, BTW!!). My one thought is that it would be great if you published all the info from this website. (TBH ) into a book – a compendium/ encyclopedia (I know there’s a ton of info here) – aside from your cookbook. Often I don’t get Internet and would love an ebook or paper one as an always available reference. Have you ever considered this?
    Thanks so much Carolyn- for all you do for us! Enjoy cruising! Lavinia

  • Cathleen Phelan
    Posted at 16 February 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much for your amazingly thorough and so helpful articles of all kinds. We just purchased a small 26ft Hunter and I attempted to give myself a sensible crash course on what was needed. Our Galley isn’t meant for long or complicated hauls, but I hope we can have a lot of fun learning in some coastal jaunts.
    Your website has certainly helped. Thanks! cathleen

  • Lisa Kelly
    Posted at 09 July 2016 Reply

    Love TBG. It is my first go to site for ANY and ALL topics. However It is rather addictive. Lol planning in 2 years for our lab life style and I am constantly reading your wonderful information.Ever time i read a new post I add to my todo list overwhelmed right now. But read that post too and it had helped greatly.

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