At some point while cruising, things go wrong. Perhaps the engine starts belching clouds of smoke or you find rot in the woodwork where a leak has developed. In an unfamiliar anchorage, where do you start looking for someone to fix your problem? Now, thanks to desperatesailors.com, help is an Internet connection and a click away.
John Perry and his business partner found themselves in a similar situation when they were looking for crew and had no idea of where to find them. Eventually they did find the crew they were looking for and the experience gave them an idea. Perry and his partner started a website where members could profile their skills and expertise. Desperate sailors could then search the site and find the skills that they needed to fix their particular problem, be it engine trouble to looking for crew to babysitting.
What started as an idea became a user-friendly website. It was decided to keep the crew and boat-finder sections free, while charging a very reasonable annual membership fee for people offering services.
The goal is to eventually cover every corner of the cruising world, so that no matter where you are you can find some sort of help or – at the very least – a place to start asking. Cruisers can update their profile to show where they are and stay in touch with fellow cruisers that are also part of Desperate Sailors.
Are you nervous about putting your profile online? Don’t be. The site is secure and you have control of how much or how little information you share. Of course, the more detailed your profile, the easier it will be for people to find you and to see what skills you have to offer. The site also provides live chat, so you can correspond with other members in real time or leave a message for them if they are not online. The events calendar shows what is happening in a bay near you – live music, cruisers’ pot luck, Happy Hour – whatever is going on where cruisers can get together and make friends with other cruisers.
Cruisers have many skills to offer and what better way to advertise them than on a website specifically designed for that purpose.
For more information, visit: www.desperatesailors.com
Kerry Biddle-Chadwick is a freelance writer who has been writing for magazines in the Caribbean and online newspapers since 2006.