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Marina Exchange = Better Boating

by John Curnow on 1 Nov 2017
Marina Exchange Marina Exchange
Technology is always brilliant when it solves a problem, or creates a new opportunity. If you have something that attends to the pair of them simultaneously, then it really is a bit of a boon. is part of the greater network, and it looks after both supremely well, as it turns out. Just like, is also a portal, but this one is to a market exchange for berths, or slips as they are referred to in the USA. So as the strapline simply says, Buy, Sell, Rent, Lease 24/7 on the fly!

For the consumer, it means there are more reasons to go boating, more areas to explore, and the ease of being able to find out, in real time, if there is a berth for you in the area. For the marina operator, being on means you can have your current vacancies made available to boaties of all descriptions, whether they want to stay a night or more than a month. And it is not just for spur of the moment responses. You can make a booking into the future as well, all whilst you’re sitting on the aft deck enjoying your boat, which is exactly why you bought it in the first place.

So yes, does solve the problem of unused berths, it creates the opportunity to get that information out to the market in real time, and it also provides for even more reasons to step on board, and cast off the lines, knowing you either have a booking, or can find one along the way.

Alister Copley is an Industrial and Computer Engineer by trade, and is presently doing his Masters in Structural Engineering, just to round it all out. He was a Marina Manager for five years, which is where he first came a cross this problem, and it all led to him taking on since October last year. Copley details the scenario some more, “I certainly did want to make it all about easier boating for all concerned, whether you are a boat owner, or a facility manager.”

Copley teamed up with Carl and Bettina Crafoord from to provide a technology based solution to this problem, and Marina Exchange was born.

“Based on Marina Industry Association data, it is estimated that there are 3500 berths spare in Australia, right now. This is somewhere between 5-10% of the total. Think of them just like you would for vacant rooms. What we’re aiming to do is allow the facility manager to trial one berth, or open up all of their ‘spare rooms’ for rent, in 10, 20 and 30 metre allotments. The renters, boat owners in our case, can choose where they want to stay, and then get sent a map to show them exactly where the berth is inside the marina. That’s pretty handy when they might number in the several hundreds, and you have not been there before!”

“Marina Exchange has been set up to allow pen owners to buy or sell their berth, and then also rent it out (less than 30 days), or lease it, which is greater than 30 days. To make it easy to digest, we had to have an App that just made sense. All you need to do is supply basic information about your boat so you can get the right pen, your current and valid insurance details, and also totally secure credit card information (through Stripe) to facilitate online payment.”

“Via the App, you can then choose a berth right now, or make a booking for the future. You’ll get confirmation, and a map, and the facility’s Dock Master gets the details of you and your boat, and when to expect you. The boater will also get news of any offers the marina has from service to restaurants. The facility manager can organise their pens, turn on and off the no vacancy sign as they wish, for instance if a regatta is on, and everyone gets what they need. I have five kids and our App is certainly all approved by them. To make it easier and also enjoyable, so that you get out and use your boat, was one of my main aims”, said Copley to highlight the ease of use.

Indeed Copley has a real desire to make it easy and useful, as he has stated. Not only does he want to use his own boat more with his large family, he has recently been elected as Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s new Rear Commodore of Youth Sailing. No doubt it really was part of the reasoning behind the very construction of, as well as the utterly easily to navigate graphic interfaces that the App has.

“Definitely all part of the plan”, says Copley. “The marina takes your insurance details, you see all the Ts&Cs, so everyone’s covered off, and there are even pictures of the very pen you will be occupying. Whether it is a booking on the fly or one done for the future, both parties get SMS and email confirmations, which makes it so much easier and simpler for all, and way better than previously.”

“We are just like an Air BnB for boating, where both parties are in full control of their respective elements, and the fee is just that. The final total. There are no additional credit card charges or add-ons for a seat. It is nothing like the airlines, and just so easy to use. Please download the App from the App Store and Google Play for Android users”, said Copley in closing. If you would like to see more reasons to get on board, then please go to where there are several screen dumps to show you exactly how simple it all is.

Marina Exchange FOOTER 1

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