New Irish app helps yacht clubs manage boat parking

Park Turtle was developed by Dublin sailors Charlie Cullen and John Chambers

The app has already been rolled out at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, as well as Howth Yacht Club in north Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

The app has already been rolled out at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, as well as Howth Yacht Club in north Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

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A new app to manage boat parking, storage and seasonal fees for yacht clubs and marinas has been developed by an Irish start-up.

Park Turtle was developed by Dublin Bay sailors and engineers Charlie Cullen (19) and John Chambers, who is in his 30s.

Mr Chambers said the app is a “revenue-generating platform” that provides a mobile phone scanning system to eliminate the use of pens and paper to enable clubs to easily track boats and parking fees.

He estimated that clubs without the app miss out on about 30 per cent of parking revenue.

The app has already been rolled out at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, as well as Howth Yacht Club in north Dublin.

With the app, each boat is given its own unique QR code, which staff can scan with a smartphone to instantly access the owner’s identity, contact details, payment history and arrears.

“Historically in sailing clubs, many of the people running them are volunteers,” Mr Chambers said. “You might have 100 boats of the yard, and there are lots of people who will drive boats into the yacht club and leave them there. Nobody knows who owns them and they don’t pay for parking.

Digital platform

“So they end up the whole year trying to find out who the current owner of the boat is. They’re using pen and paper. They’re out in the rain. It’s getting soggy. They’re lifting boats and hurting their backs. This system takes all that away.

“Staff can log on to the digital platform, upload all the boat and member details, and have members pay online for that season. Staff know exactly how many boats are there, how many are unpaid, and gives them a facility to mass email people to chase down payment.

“Another big benefit is that we only use one small sticker per boat. This replaces the multiple large seasonal stickers normally added to dinghies every year at clubs, which is messy, costly and not a seamless digital solution for tracking parked and paid boats.”

Mr Chambers added that they are engaging with more clubs to roll out the app elsewhere in Ireland and Britain.

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