Mike Hardy

Product: APP: Swell Advantage

August 18, 2015 by Mike Hardy
View large version of image: APP: Swell Advantage

Spend some time in, on or around boats, and you’re bound to be asking these questions:

Have they left the dock yet?
I wonder where the kids are with the boat? Do you think they’re going too close to the rocks or going too fast?
Who’s out on the water right now?

A start-up based in Nova Scotia, Canada called Swell Advantage thinks it has the answer. Swell Advantage recently launched a location based social network for boaters designed to make it easy to find and track your friends out on the water while allowing for privacy on land. The iOS app allows you to see your friend’s location, heading and speed.

“We knew we wanted to build tools for boaters” says Iaian Archibald, co-founder of Swell Advantage. “As part of the process we talked to a lot of boaters from different types of boating. They were into the navigation tools and safety features we want to build, but their eyes really lit up when we started to talk about being able to find each other out on the water.”

Initial reactions to the app have been very positive. Iaian, along with co-founder Craig Sheppard, say that there are active pockets of users, especially in their home province of Nova Scotia. According to Craig “We’ve built a network so that means that it takes users interacting with each other through the app for it to work. The exciting thing is we’re starting to see little communities of boaters all over the world start to use it.”

Swell Advantage is not just building a social network. They have already started to add unique tools for boaters. For wind or muscle powered craft, Swell Advantage calculates effects of currents and wind on the boat, better known as drift. As Iaian says “I spent years as a kayak guide in Clayoquot Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, a real high current area. It’s not always apparent the amount that the current is effecting the boats. We’re excited to have figured out a solution that’ll help people in kayaks, SUPs and sailboats in tough situations.”

Thing are moving quickly at Swell Advantage with an Android version that should be out by the end of August, and the guys have a lot of features planned. Iaian and Craig are excited about adding traditional charts, as well as new twist on marine charts.

Craig breaks it down: “…originally there was a shift from paper charts to hardware plotters, and then a shift from the hardware plotters to handheld devices, then mobile devices. But throughout all of that what they’ve been doing is taking those traditional charts and carrying them along to every step of the way. And so again what we’re really trying to do is re-imagine the information that the user needs at that time, because it’s a much smaller screen. So why don’t we present the information that’s useful to the user at that exact time.”

Although they will not say exactly what these new tools will look like, Swell Advantage seems to be set on making waves in the world of boating apps.

Swell Advantage is available for download in the Apple App Store and they expect the Android version of the app to be released around the end of August. For further information about the company you can check out their website at http://www.swelladvantage.com

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