No boat owner and captain relationship is without its rocky moments. Even when the owner and captain may be one in the same person! And while there’s no elixir for making every partnership perfect, there is a tool that can make for a happier marriage.
Task coordination app MyTaskit attempts to do just that. Formerly known as The Boat Village, MyTaskit merges the capabilities of two services catering to the marine industry: The Boat Village and DockMaster. The newly branded MyTaskit offers boat owners and their crew a way to interact with each other in a way that allows for task-sharing coordination.
It also enables captains to assign tasks to service yards and technicians for boat repairs and regular maintenance, like engine tune-ups, or even more mundane, but necessary tasks such as changing fuses and filters or inspecting water pumps and ice-making machines. All the service assignments are organized online and sent out to boat yard service pros. Even digital maintenance manuals are stored and accessible online. “There’s transparency around which tasks have been assigned to which people,” says Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of MyTaskit. Whether the MyTaskit app is used on a mobile device or accessed via a desktop computer, “crew can see the status of things that are open, in progress, waiting authorization or estimate approval, or completed.” The last thing you want to realize is that something needs fixing and you’re five miles off shore.”
Who decides what needs to be fixed and for how much?
Boat owners pay the bills, but determining what repairs and upgrades are critical for a boat, can be a thorny issue. So, who exactly determines what should be entered into MyTaskit and then prioritizes them?
“That’s a two-edged sword,” says Hutchinson. “Some captains don’t disclose everything to the owner because some owners don’t want to know all the details. It’s going to vary by person, but it’s a shared record.” MyTaskit currently has the ability to assign out various tasks for estimates, and either approve the quotes, or request more info or modification to the task.
A photo or video says it all
MyTaskit can also help captains convince owners of repairs and scheduled maintenance, something that owners often scrimp. For repairs, captains can snap a photo or video of hull damage or a broken part, for instance, and then upload it to MyTaskit. There the image or video and a short description of the problem issue, remains for the service professional performing the job, and stays part of the boat’s repair history, so the owner is kept up to date.
Schedule maintenance also gets a boost through MyTaskit, which conveniently stores manuals for everything on a boat, from the icemakers to the engines. Manufacturer videos, like one from Hinckley yachts now post videos on everything from what steps to take before you turn on an engine to how to configure your AC system. Once a captain enters the specific type of engine he or she has on her boat, MyTaskit automatically sends service reminders at manufacturer recommended milestones.
“With MyTaskit, phone, voicemail, text messages and emails get minimized,” says Hutchinson, adding that MyTaskit also organizes the images so they can be accessed easily at any time. “This is where rich media plays a big role,” he adds. “I challenged my own service technician on a repair once, but then when I saw the photo and video, I said, ‘Oh man that’s awful, of course, get that fixed. It’s a fire hazard. Owners, Techs, and Captains have a tendency to net things out to a few words. A picture or video says a thousand words and best describes the problem.”
Will this affect my work with existing boat yards?
MyTaskit realizes that most professional captains have industry relationships when it comes to boat yards, mechanics, service companies and sub contractors. So, if a captain chooses to do business with a provider who isn’t currently using MyTaskit Pro, the fee-based service provider software (formerly The Boat Village Pro), your service tasks will simply be turned into a nicely formatted email that will go out to that provider. Service professionals using MyTaskit Pro, will offer their customers key advantages, such as charting the progress of a service task, communicating directly on the tasks, provide additional photos or video of the tasks, and the ability to keep online repair records.
Helping with new crew transitions
Crew turnover is like a revolving door on many boats, which is why having a central place, with up to date digital manuals, guides and schedules for maintenance is a good idea. It can help integrate the resources available and reduce the learning curve.
The interface works just as well for basic service coordination. For instance, if a crew is preparing a boat for a fishing tournament, the countless tasks for preparation, including packing and preparing tackle, checking equipment, ice and bait supplies, can all be assigned with a due date and organized checklist. Says Hutchinson, “MyTaskit’s capability is not limited to service and maintenance.”
PROVIDING A SERVICE TO BOAT OWNERS
Ed Stack, vice president, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, a custom boat builder in Beaufort, N.C., says it’s a longtime user of DockMaster and is making the transition to MyTaskit Pro, busy loading service recommendations and operational videos onto the platform for its new boat customers. Jarrett Bay is also encouraging owners of the roughly 1,000 boats repaired at Jarrett Bay every year to adopt MyTaskit as well.
“Our goal is to get our repair customers involved and get them using the product on their own so our service managers can communicate and coordinate with them,” Stack says. “The reality is that there will be other people working on their boats,” in ports around the world, he says. MyTaskit will help boat owners know they have the peace of mind to always have service manuals and guides easily available to them, but also enable them to keep track of whatever changes are made to their boat. “If they do stop by someone else’s repair facility, they have the information in front of them.”
MyTaskit: Free of charge to boat owners, captains and their crews and includes up to 1GB of storage (owners can purchase more storage as needed). Captains and crew should consider purchasing a MyTaskit Pro account for added coordination capabilities.
MyTaskit Pro: $79/month for user; discounts apply.