These days there are social media apps for singles, business executives, knitters and book lovers. Why not one for sailing too?
That’s the concept behind Go Sailing, an app introduced more than two years ago by the American Sailing Association (ASA). The app aims to draw more people to the sport of sailing and give current sailors tools to spend more time on the water.
“When you look at a marina, you often see hundreds or thousands of boats sitting idle on the weekend,” said Bob Solliday, the national ambassador for the Go Sailing app. “We thought that a lot of these owners would go out more often if they met fun people to sail with.”
“I call it the Match.com of sailing, and it gets a grin out of people — but it’s not for dating, it’s for getting crew on boats,” he added.
Screenshots of the Go Sailing app, which aims to increase the number of people enjoying the sport of sailing.
Go Sailing is available at no charge and can be downloaded on Apple and Android mobile platforms. There are currently almost 17,000 users, most of whom live in the United States. Users create profiles that can be seen by others in the Go Sailing community.
The app lets users post events, put out or respond to calls for crew and even split the cost of a charter. People can find “buddies” through the app, and vessel owners can review profiles before accepting or declining someone who responds to a call for crew. Those approved for a voyage can message back and forth between other group members.
The Go Sailing app does not allow users to rate, comment on or otherwise publicly criticize other users.
The American Sailing Association has more than 300 affiliate sailing schools around the U.S. One such affiliate, in Northern California, developed software that later became Go Sailing in 2015. ASA bought the program and redeveloped it to accommodate users across the U.S. The app launched in the U.S. in the summer of 2015 and became available for international users soon afterward.
Not surprisingly, the app is most popular in coastal cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Key West. Usage surges in the summer months in New England and around the Great Lakes. Once in a while, captains post on Go Sailing seeking crew for trips in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Mexico.
“ASA wants to make sailing accessible for everyone,” Solliday said. “They would like to connect millions of sailors around the world, and hopefully it’s a solution for skippers needing crew and sailors wanting to sail.”
For more details on the Go Sailing app, visit gosailingapp.com.