My-Villages Launches First Online Digital Collaborative for Boaters and the Marine Industry – My Boat Village

IT and Communications, Marine Equipment Products and Services — By on October 25, 2012 at 11:36 PM

My-Villages Launches First Online Digital Collaborative for Boaters and the Marine Industry – My Boat Village

My Boat Village Sets Sail with Dozens of Marine Industry Leaders Onboard Including Hinckley, Kadey-Krogen, Dometic, and Westerbeke and a Boatload of Content

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Oct. 25, 2012 — (Marine NewsWire) When it comes to the challenges of boat service, maintenance and communication, we’re all in the same boat. Today, leaders in the marine industry have joined together with My-Villages for the launch of the first online digital collaborative, My Boat Village (www.myboatvillage.com). With the largest database of manufacturer maintenance recommendations and a robust library of content and assets, My Boat Village offers boaters a single port of entry to find and share valuable resources and expert advice. Marine industry professionals will benefit from the opportunity to service customers directly with an arsenal of 21st-century tools.

As part of the My-Villages network of online communities, My Boat Village offers a free online boating collaborative for boat owners, boat builders, equipment manufacturers, service yards and technicians, authors, marina managers, industry experts, dealers, brokers and others who love boats, all of whom want to benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience. Members or “villagers” can ask experts questions, find vital documentation, share recommendations, get tips on DIY projects and build relationships that matter — all through a powerful digital network.

On Oct. 25, My Boat Village will launch a three-month, invitation-only beta at this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The beta will be in collaboration with several well-known industry leaders who have already signed on as beta participants, including Hinckley, Kadey-Krogen, Westerbeke, Dometic, Yacht Tech Services, Saunders Yachtworks, MarinaLife, and many other marine service providers. Each participant will contribute content and invite five customers or business associates to participate in the beta program and work collaboratively, offering input on community enhancements to improve the ownership experience and better inform boat owners on how to operate and maintain their boats.

“Here at Hinckley we have always been dedicated to building our boats using the latest technology methods and materials, and we recognize the need to utilize the latest online digital technology so that our customers can be better informed about how to operate and maintain their boats, ” said James McManus, chief executive officer of The Hinckley Co. “We are excited to bring our expertise to My Boat Village and join with our fellow mariners in an online community that offers one place to go for answers from industry experts or fellow boaters or by tapping a massive database of articles, recommendations and manufacturers’ documentation.”

My Boat Village will launch with a one-of-a-kind database of marine manufacturer maintenance guidelines, including more than 10, 000 recommendations covering more than 8, 500 pieces of equipment. Through content acquisition deals with popular boating publications Mad Mariner and DIY Boat, My Boat Village will also come loaded with a complete and robust archive. The extensive Mad Mariner library will cover all aspects of boats and boating, with full-length articles, video, podcasts and blog posts that help boaters make better decisions and have more fun on the water. DIY Boat, a 15-year-old quarterly print magazine, is providing a trove of how-to stories covering maintenance, repairs and upgrades for virtually every system on your boat.

Going forward, My Boat Village will be a true crowdsourcing site and marine industry collaborative, with all of the content contributed by its members. The benefits to villagers will be many:

  • Quickly get access to useful information: Search and get details and recommendations on maintenance, repairs and accessories — even on cruising and destinations.
  • Access more than 10, 000 manufacturer maintenance recommendations: Pinpoint the information you need from a robust database, without having to thumb through endless operator manuals.
  • Connect with trustworthy experts: Communicate and coordinate with fellow marine professionals and owners who want to share their knowledge and experience.
  • Share knowledge and advice: Give something back by posting advice or links to content published previously on myboatvillage.com or elsewhere.
  • Connect with villagers who share similar interests: Create a personal or business profile and join an open or private community — or start your own — and take part in a village of boating knowledge.
  • Use social network-like tools to “follow” people and “favor” recommendations.
  • Share videos and photos.

According to Tom Sutherland, director of sales and marketing for Westerbeke, “We are dedicated to providing clear ongoing support to our marine generator and engine customers, our distributors and dealers.  We are thrilled to be able to extend the reach of our new website and expand our digital access through My Boat Village’s unprecedented and robust online community and collaboration tools.”

“As an avid boater myself, I have experienced firsthand the frustrations associated with trying to coordinate a service call, obtaining the right information and communicating with the people who help manage and maintain my boat, ” said My-Villages Founder and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Hutchinson. “By streamlining the experience, My Boat Village gives us a destination; a powerful network where we can build relationships and access information that matters.”

To get an invitation to join the My Boat Village beta, boat owners and marine industry professionals can contact an existing beta participant or request an invite directly from My-Villages at www.my-villages.com. For a complete list of all marine industry beta participants, go to www.myboatvillage.com.

Later this year, My-Villages will release a mobile app, MV Advisor for villagers, service yards and techs who may want a more effective and efficient way to coordinate and document service, get maintenance alerts and reminders, and turn all of the expertise and advice available in My Boat Village into useful reminders and actionable information.

My Boat Village is part of the My-Villages network of online communities that connects consumers, service providers and product manufacturers in “digital villages” specific to the things they own, build and service.

About My-Villages

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Alexandria, Va., My-Villages has created an online collaborative where consumers, service providers and product manufacturers can connect in online communities, or “villages, ” specific to the things they own, build and service. My-Villages improves communication and coordination between consumers and industry professionals through its powerful network and via its online community and mobile tools, thereby helping consumers better manage and operate the things they own. The first village on My-Villages, My Boat Village, is geared toward boat owners and marine industry professionals.

By bringing experienced product users, expert service professionals and product manufacturer information into a single online destination, My-Villages has created a collaborative environment that not only improves the ownership experience but also ensures product quality and service efficiency —one industry at a time.

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