And thanks for stopping by. The YachtCloud9 platform is now switched off, but we appreciate your feedback. So if you have been a YC9 user please send us a ping on Facebook or Twitter, we’d love to hear from you.
Here is a little history of this site.
YachtCloud9 started in 2014, on a warm summer night, on the docks of Granville Island in Vancouver, BC. Sitting on a friend's sailboat watching the sunset, we talked about tracking, boats, and how nice it would be to be able to combine the two, and follow a boat's journey and status anytime, anywhere.
Thus YC9 was born. Our idea was to create a digital platform to connect all the different aspects, companies and people across the world in the recreational boating world. From the guy or the girl that has a small boat, and just enjoys sailing it, to the industry around boating like marinas, charterers, service companies, all the way to the companies making the boats.
We spent the first 12 months talking to A LOT of people dealing with boats, to get a really good idea of where the issues are in each area of interest around this industry. One thing was very clear everywhere: there was way too much paper being used, and no unified, digital systems in place to properly collect, process, and manage all the data, and no user friendly (and especially mobile) way to access it.
That is what we set out to change.
Initially, the idea was to use existing tracking technology, devices that were used for containers, trucks and heavy equipment. But at the time, this technology, as we found out through extensive testing, did not work for our purpose.
On that first part of our YC9 journey we saw that there is a need for modern software all over the boating industry, and we wanted to focus on a very important aspect of safety, float plans.
Float plans, very similar to the mandatory flight plans in the air, are a crucial component of safety on the water. However, they are rarely used in recreational boating, because filling out the same information about you and your boat over and over again is tedious at best.
So we set out to make that task more enjoyable and build the second iteration of YC9, to allow people to easily create, file and share float plans. No more writing on paper, just a simple click and you put together a beautiful float plan on your computer or mobile device. You can invite your friends, and automatically file your plan with family, boating friends, or your club or charter company.
At each waypoint you simply check in, and check out when you leave (even via SMS!), and your float plan is automatically amended with that data. The vital information of where you were at, when you left and when you arrived is available for everyone that you share your plan with.
Our vision was to then build a device that would have the proper connectivity via satellite, so you can not only track your boat’s course, automatically check in and out based on your position, but also share that and other vital boat data with the charter company, service and maintenance companies.Your boat would tell you that it needs a service, automatically book an appointment, and you save time and money.
We looked for companies that would help us build the hardware, interviewed a bunch, and found a great shop in Sweden who was able to do it.
In 2017 we raised seed funding, to be able to fully design and build the first testing devices.
Unfortunately, we were too late. Just a couple of weeks after, we found that a competitor had leapfrogged us with their device, bringing it to market before we could.
As a small, fully bootstrapped operation, this was no good news. Even if the competition did not think as big as us, they had the first mover advantage, so we decided to call it a day. It would have taken us too long to raise enough capital to get ahead, and we did not want to gamble with our seed investors' money.
Since then, we kept the site going, to provide these awesome float plans, used it ourselves to keep safe, and hoped that we could someday pick this grand idea of ours up again.
Now, it’s time to say goodbye, as the site needs resources and money to run. We did not want to charge for this essential safety tool, to put a hurdle on helping people to use it.
We want to thank everyone that was involved in this journey, from the people that had to listen to our endless passionate ramblings about how we are going to change the boating world, to all the boating people we met on this journey and who gave us so much useful information and advice.
A big thanks also to our seed investors, who believed in our vision, and were ready to go on that adventure with us, and our advisors for their invaluable contribution to set us on the right path.
A special thanks goes to my co-founders.
Sarah Cassady, who is the most amazing coder/product person I have ever had the pleasure of working with over the last 30 years of me being involved in software development, and a good friend. Her relentless drive to build user friendly, smart, and efficient solutions is an inspiration to me.
Special thanks also to Colin Jackson, and Cooper Boating, who graciously gave us a home, many test subjects from their fleet, and super valuable, hands-on advice from decades of boating experience.
YC9 Co-founder & CEO