VesselVanguard, the brainchild of CEO Donald Hyde, is a web-based service that organizes, tracks and alerts you to your boat’s maintenance requirements. If your experience was like mine, the first time you bought a new boat, or a used one with lots of documentation, you found yourself with one or more huge, looseleaf binders and hundreds if not thousands of pages of manuals, specifications and warranties. Maybe they were all there, but I never really knew.
With VesselVanguard, once you go through a basic set-up process, you can access your custom profile via any web-enabled device and see at a glance the maintenance status of all your equipment, both OEM and aftermarket-supplied. You track your boat usage in the digital log. Here’s the description of the set-up process from VesselVanguard:
“VesselVanguard alleviates the work and worry in owning a boat by providing you with a Dashboard view of the maintenance status of listed equipment and on-board systems. Based on days or hours-of-use, Task Alert emails are automatically sent to you, and parties you determine, in advance of required maintenance as recommended by the boat maker and equipment manufacturers. Never again leave the dock without knowing the exact status of your boat.”
The system will send you (or anyone else you want) an alert when a system or device is approaching a service interval. You can see all of these at a glance when you log in. There are many ways in which you can customize your experience, including by specifying that maintenance alerts go directly to your mechanic or yard.
The best thing about this service, IMO, is that they have done all the work for you in terms of collecting all the manuals and service recommendations for your boat — they have a huge database of painstakingly collected OEM references. You don’t have to worry about tracking down this manual or that spec sheet; it’s done already in all likelihood. If your boat has some customized gear that was added after it was purchased from the manufacturer, you just tell VesselVanguard about it; they’ll probably already have the manuals and recommendations for it anyway. Check out this brief into video from the company:
How expensive is this service? Well, it’s not free, but frankly, it’s probably less than a tank of gas for a typical mid-size cruising powerboat. Again, here’s VesselVanguard with the price explanation:
“Initial Set-up* is $579.00 and recurring Annual Membership is $179.00. If you are an existing member of BoatUS or MarinaLife you are eligible for a member-benefit discount. *The Set-up fee may be offset with insurance premium discounts from participating insurers.”
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