YachtChat went live on Feb. 9. The app provides a day work networking opportunity for crew and live chat and instant messaging for members. (PHOTO/SUZETTE COOK)
If there is an orange outline around the crew member’s avatar, they’re for hire.
That’s how the app YachtChat works. The crew job finder and connector went live this morning (Feb. 9) at about 4 a.m. EST.
Tony Stout, a former First Mate and founder of YachtNeeds, an app that connects crew to services and entertainment at ports around the globe, decided to take his idea of helping crew around the world to the next level.
The app is “Made by crew for crew,” said Stout, who is based in Monaco.
After seven years of working on yachts, Stout decided to combine his knowledge of the yachting industry with his technology background.
“I did a degree in graphic design and animation in high school and went to university for graphic design and animation,” Stout said. Stout worked for Google and for Yahoo.co.uk doing sales and marketing, he said. “Then I got sick of sitting in front of a computer. So I went home (to New Zealand) and did my STCW and came out to yachting.”
“I was on a 28m, moved to a DB9 52m and my last boat was M/Y Zoom Zoom Zoom where I was First Mate,” Stout said.
Stout said that the days of dockwalking to search for jobs are over. It’s becoming more difficult for crew to go out searching for work ,and taking advantage of technology as a networking tool, is a logical step.
Stout said his new app, which is free and available at the Apple Store and Android is, “The only app that connects yachties with yachties.”
YachtChat works by showing you a network of people in your location or further afield,” Stout said. And it can be used for socializing by organizing events.
Those looking to hire crew and crew looking for work can log in and connect. Captains looking for crew can also log in to peruse potential job candidates.
The app is geolocalized so it will find the closest crew to you, Stout explained.
Look for any crew that have an “orange box feature” around their image. This means they are actively looking for work.
Stout designed the app so that the feature expires every night at midnight, “so you know the users are available in real time.”
Dayworkers looking for work can click the “Looking for work” feature and wait for people to contact them.
Suzette Cook is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.