Simplifying Boat Ownership for Owner-Operators
VesselWise Helps Owner-Operators Manage Their Boats More Effectively
August 20, 2015
Today’s boats are equipped with an increasing array of electronic gadgets designed to automate and simplify operations. With this new equipment in place, including joysticks, radio controls and modern emergency, navigation and communication systems, more and more owners are beginning to feel comfortable single-handling their boats. There was a time when couples preferred hiring a captain and crew when occasionally going out on the water with their family or friends. Now, a growing number of boat owners are prepared to go short-handed on sizeable yachts. And builders are responding to this trend by delivering more sophisticated yachts fitted with modern navigation technology that allows the experienced owner to drive the yacht themselves instead of hiring a captain and crew.
Many owner-operators are first-time buyers of a larger yacht—that is, 60 feet or larger—and though they have owned smaller vessels before, they may not be entirely familiar with the complex systems aboard a bigger yacht. There are also many couples who have years of boating experience and feel confident enough to sail thousands of miles with no captain or crew on board. Whatever the case may be, when an owner happens to also be the yacht’s operator, the yacht requires more diligent maintenance and should be consistently and closely monitored for any systems failures. If anything goes unnoticed, it can later lead to costly repairs, or sometimes, fatal mishaps.
The challenge that many owner-operators with large yachts face while being short-handed is that they are responsible for much more than their boat’s operation. Being a skipper is not only about being able to navigate through rough seas on one of those dark and stormy nights or, more commonly, backing into a tight slip and safely docking a 60-ton boat. Efficiently maintaining all of the many complex systems on board is also a critical responsibility. In the absence of a captain and crew, owner-operators have to make sure they effectively manage all vessel-related issues.
To give you an example, consider this custom yacht over 70 feet. It is a complex set of machinery, as any large yacht is. While owner-operators have to focus on navigating the boat and ensuring the safety of their family and friends, their job doesn’t simply end there. They must also closely check the vessel for any issues that may have cropped up during the voyage. On yachts with such complex systems on board, it is very important to immediately log any faults or issues that arise, so they can be quickly addressed and resolved. That is often one of the toughest parts of being an owner-operator.
Keep in mind that there are numerous electrical, mechanical and structural components on a yacht and owner-operators cannot realistically be familiar with all of them. And even if an owner-operator has years of experience, he won’t be perfectly familiar with every component (everything from engines to electrical systems to software) or fully competent at identifying or troubleshooting every type of technical issue. Yet, any issue that is not efficiently logged and presented to the dealer representative or warranty agent can adversely affect the boat’s safety and value.
Beyond these technical hurdles, the challenge that boat owners face is twofold. First, there are few tools available to owner-operators to help them effectively record issues on board. And second, having succeeded in recording any issues that arise, the proceeding warranty management process is also rife with difficulties. Reporting issues and liaising with warranty managers, surveyors and contractors can be quite a painful drill.
VesselWise addresses these challenges. The VesselWise mobile app allows owner-operators to quickly and easily capture issues using a smartphone or tablet. These issues can then be managed through a systematized workflow management tool. Every issue gets recorded and is traceable, so users can track its status through closing. Knowing that every issue has been recorded and exactly how and when it was resolved provides owners peace of mind, as well as allowing them to maintain a detailed dialogue history of the yacht’s service, increasing its resale value.
Interested in learning more about VesselWise and how it can make your boat ownership experience better and more convenient? Contact us