Tech To Make Pandemic Boating More Pleasant

Tech To Make Pandemic Boating More Pleasant

A note to my fellow boating enthusiasts: Utilize Technology! 

By Charlotte Kinkade

Having to be parked on my couch for the foreseeable future forced me to take inventory: What in my life, my financial budget, my priorities was going to make the cut through corona? I must be drinking the kool aid because I’ve worked in the marine industry for nearly ten years, but I’m sure I’m not the only soul out there who went through this. 


Maybe you have been out of boating for a handful of seasons. Too busy with work, travel plans, or after school chauffeuring to and from kids activities.  Or maybe you’ve been dancing on the perimeter of the market, unsure if you’re ready to purchase, too timid to pull the trigger and call that listing broker, for fear that one of us would latch on and continue to cold call you with endless “opportunities” to buy.


East Coast Yacht Sales is home to a team of experts and we’re boaters ourselves. Who better to talk your aspirational yachting goals over with than someone who shares your passion? And with today’s technology, you can start the process from the comfort and safety of your own couch! I like to call it a “Buyer Readiness Consultation” but that’s really just a fancy way to say: hey, let’s talk about your options. Are you prepared for this process? What are our steps, procedures and costs from start to splash? What does your ideal boating day look like?


If it’s my first time “meeting you” on the phone I like to hear a bit about your boating background, history of ownership, and homeport. We will talk about your budget, your level of urgency and timeline to purchase, your required amenities onboard and general specifications you’re looking for. What’s great about working with a broker is we are your advocate and boating market insider. Whether you know exactly what year, make, model and topside color of the vessel you want or you are brand new to the marine world, a broker can help match you with the best boat for your boating needs. Anyone on the ECYS team can set up a Zoom date with you to review listings, go over new boat build/ spec sheets, or walk you through a boat in real time! What was once an office visit, multiple trips to yards for showings, and leaving with a file full of papers to sign- now can all be done on a smartphone! 


A real world example: A young father of three called our office a few weeks ago. His kids' summer camps had all been canceled. Some of his fondest childhood memories were boating with his family. His original timeline to purchase was two to three years from now as he wanted to until his kids were a bit older, but what are they going to do this summer to have fun, spend time together and stay safe? We talked about what his priorities were and came up with a list or criteria. He was looking for a Downeast style hull that would be safe in any sea conditions, be outboard powered, and have space for the kids to play. We landed on an amazing MJM 29z that another ECYS team member had sold a few seasons ago. We knew the boat, her solid history and her YouTube walkthrough video was online… We are under agreement now, with our father of three having never had to leave the comfort and protection of daddy day care! Our next steps are for me to attend the survey on his behalf, we’ll video chat while underway and the boat will be brought up to his yard with a professional captain. She’ll be detailed, sanitized and ready for his and his families enjoyment in a few short weeks!  And technology allowed the entire process to flow without him ever visiting my office!


What are you going to do to entertain and enrich your kids this summer if there are no camps?  If there are no summer concerts on the lawn, county fairs, or baseball games- How do you want to spend your time? With safety as a first priority and enjoyment a close second, boating springs to the forefront of options for entertainment. The proof is in the pudding: in the first few weeks of this pandemic, East Coast Yacht Sales saw online traffic double throughout our various media platforms! Our clients are surfing the web. We can see the analytics of folks watching hours of YouTube content and clicking through our variety of listings. 




Want to explore wicked cool new boat listings, learn fresh new epoxy tips and tricks, or tune in for some sweet drone footage of boats underway? YouTube can be an amazing resource with a huge range in content! There are literally millions of “how to” videos for your DIYer, you can watch pros compound and wax oxidized gelcoat or get a first hand look inside some of the most expensive yachts on the planet! We use YouTube as a way to showcase our listings, advertise the boat brands we deal and share some of the fun we get to have on the job… Maybe you’ll start your own channel to document your adventures and become the next great internet influencer! 


If this market has hit you and you’re looking to list your boat for sale… we’ve never had so many tech tools to market boats effectively! I like to put a healthy marketing packet together for my listing clients. We start with market research to best price the vessel and then dive into clean and bright listing photos and a variety of video options. I’m passionate about broadcasting my sellers’ boats across all the best platforms. That’s why you’ll see me snapping quick bites for instagram, YouTube and even LinkedIn. Technology is the most powerful tool we have to get your boat to her new owner! 




Dockwa and are at your fingertips for real-time, real world updates. Cruising the coast and needing a pit-stop to refuel: every bit of contact info you need to learn about availability of amenities, how to reserve a mooring, or call a manager with questions, is clickable within these platforms. Tip for making new friends: Ask a fellow boater what weather app they use- you’re sure to break the ice on the fuel dock!  Utilizing these tools is akin to having one of those big, old guide books but these can be updated live, in the palm of your hand!










Real World Application: If you’re cruising with other boats or just want to share cool places that you find along the way, there are super easy ways to just push a button and send the info along to friends or family- or have your delivery captain share their progress and location with the boat owner- the possibilities are endless!

As our stay-at-home orders begin to lift and Spring springs to life up in New England, we are itching to be back to activities that bring us joy. So if you’re already a boat owner, there are a million tools in the palm of your hand to help you make the most out of your boat this summer!  It’s important to keep to these social distancing guidelines while boating this summer. Your marina, boat yard or yacht club will have their own rules/ protocols that you’re going to need to familiarize yourself with and abide by.  You’ll probably see signage all around your waterfront, like the one below from Sea Tow. The moral of my story today is: Boating is fun. It can be a great escape from the stresses of today’s pandemic concerns. It is important to stick with social distancing and other recommended safety protocols. And technology, like Zoom, Youtube and a huge family of nautical apps can help!  Please stay safe, sane and sanitized and I look forward to seeing you out on the water!