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Thread: Desperate Sailors

  1. #21

    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Stingo I hope your website will do well one day but if you keep doing what you are doing all you will achieve is doing your domain name proud Ė being desperate. The problem with desparatesailor is that it has no focus. It tries to be everything to everyone and in the end no one gets anything.

    Iím only new on findacrew but I can see why they are so successful. The difference is that you offer a lot on the surface, but they offer much more under the hood. Their marketing (itís my background so Iím always interested in that) is the opposite to all the other crew websites. They only claim that they are the largest online crew website, which I believe is true. Otherwise they donít brag about how well the website works because they make a point that they canít control that. It depends on where one is, what one has to offer and how well one uses the website. Desperate sailors, and many others, in contrast tout on about how ultimate they are. If you understand the meaning of the word it is classed as legal misleading representation Ė there is nothing ultimate about desperate sailors.

    I found findacrew because you or someone else made a comment on a recent pot-cast with findacrew. When I searched for desperatesailors on Google I came across that pot-cast link by David Anderson with Kylie from findacrew and listened to the interview. It seemed to me like they have a very professional approach and are very nice people who own findacrew. Apparently the owner and founder of findacrew is an e-commerce performance specialist for one of Australia's largest brand (an airline, your guess which one). I think it shows that they know what they are doing. Their security, fraud and scammer control is amazing.

    I couldnít agree more with Ď2hullsí. Do you really think Iíll hop on the internet when Iím anchored at secluded beach to find a diesel mechanic? If there happened to be a yacht around Iíll jump in the tender and go and offer a beer rather than trying to save my beer tokens and if they happen to be able to offer me some services than thatís a bonus.

    Here is what I would think about, if you like to get you numbers up.

    - The classifieds are a waste of time because it is too cheap, there is thousands of free classifieds opportunities on the internet and all you will attract with $1 classifieds is people who advertise crap. If I want to buy something decent and cheaply I use ebay.
    - The picture upload has no purpose. As Ď2hullsí says my time and internet usage is limited, if I want to share photos with my loved ones I use facebook.
    - The crew/boat finder is so basic itís not funny. The search is very limited. There is no transparency how many people are online in numbers not just green dots, or if they logged in 2 days ago of 80 days ago.

    Here are a few bullets where desperatesailor falls short of compared with findacrew:
    - Findacrew has an extensive search that you can even use as a visitor and can pre-view the members profile (like where they are, how old they are, and all their matching criterias etc) without being forced to register.
    - As a boat or crew member findacrew automatically calculates the match between you and thousands of other members and only with those who signed in in the last 45 days Ė that saves a lot of time when you donít want to browse through all the listings.
    - Members have various fields to but their contact details in and set personal visibility options (such as only members can see them who you contact etc) and there is also a field where you can write any kind of contact details but only premium members can see them.
    - They have over 60 phone numbers around the world to call them and donít seem to spare any cost for member support. I called them and they called me back from Australia to my mobile and talked to me for about 15 minutes. (She told me that their success is that they are more expensive than all the other crew websites, that automatically sorts most loners from the serious, which in turn increases the quality of the members and hence people keep coming back.)

    Stingo get back to work, and I'll come back to your website again.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Guys - be challenging by all means - but not aggressive please, it upsets me.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Ozmultis:
    One of the problems with a new business and asking friends what they think is that they usually say "Oh, it looks great", which is of no use at all. For me, this thread is excellent because I am receiving honest criticism, aggressive or not. Thank you to everyone that has replied, it is much appreciated.

    ocean sailing 24-7, Puck & 2hulls.
    Points noted and I could write a book in response, but will try keep it short, so may miss a few points.

    I very much doubt that Findacrew see me as competition and I don't see them as competition because their focus is predominately on the mega yacht or the professional crewing industry while I focus solely on cruising sailors ~ markets that are worlds apart. Sure they have lots of sailing boats, but very,very few are premium members. Remember that mega yachts can hide their profiles on FaC so it is not possible to see how many they have on there. By the way, I don't have one mega yacht as a member and I doubt that I ever will.

    A hundred bucks here or there for a mega yacht is nothing meanwhile a few bucks for a cruising sailor often makes a significant difference to their budget. Hence, FaC can afford to be the most expensive. If I could, I would make DS totally free for all as a service to the cruising community, but then my cruising kitty would never get topped up.

    With the above in mind, my goal is to make DS a one-stop-source for things that cruising sailors need (except for pilotage. Noonsite is the best at that), hence cutting down on internet time.

    About loser crew: I recognised this as a problem a while back and agree that charging for membership would get rid of the "I learn fast, play the didgeridoo, write really cool poetry and will do my own cooking" type of loser crew. Who would ever want someone like that on a passage? My business partner (ex-media) and I have debated this one for many, many hours, without consensus, so it would not be appropriate to comment on what we will do in the future, because it has not been decided yet.

    Since I changed the access levels on DS so that a visitor cannot do an advanced search or view a full profile, logins increased by ten fold and new membership registrations increased by five fold. Once again there is a conflict - I need people to register.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Hi Stingo, and all. Iím glad you responded because the last thing I intended to sound was aggressive. My feedback was about your website and certainly not about you as a person; your reply is plenty of proof that you are a decent person with great intention.

    I canít comment on many of the points you made because I think this is all business stuff that runs in the back ground to make a website happening, and I guess you have to be doing it to understand what is involved Ė if it was that easy every sailor and his dog would be running a website for other sailors.

    I donít know about the mega yachts on findacrew as I might not be able to see them as you say, but from what I can see findacrew do have many more cruising premium boat members than desperatesailors has free boat owners combined (I think you can see that without becoming a member). My impression is that they cater for any type of boats and any kind of crew. What they charge might be debatable as expensive, but I count myself as a cruising sailor and think itís probably the best return for my buck I spend in the last 12 month to comfort my lifestyle. But then also Iím not the kind of freeloader sailor you might meet who doesnít want to pay for mooring fees, or a warm shower at the marina etc. You always have sailors who buy the galvanised fittings because they think it saves them money, and there are those who go for stainless steel Ė thatís a personal choice and priority and not necessarily just because one is rich. I meet some great sailors on the tightest budget who only bought the best stuff because they can't afford to keep replacing it.

    I propose that you see my feedback comparing desperatesailors to findacrew rather as a compliment than criticism. If competition or not what Iím saying is that if you sharpen your pencil a little DS can be right up there with other great marine websites such as noonsite and findacrew. But my view is you wonít if you do what you have been doing so far. I suspect that your website is just a purchased dating software (such as eMeeting sells) that you reconfigured to be a sailors website. You say that in a few years you might have as many members as findacrew, but I suspect if they keep growing at the same rate as they do now you will never catch up. Unless you operate smarter than they do, it ainít going to happen.

    I like the name and I think it is different, to me that is a great start.

    As I said before, spent less time on the surface and focus more on the deep stuff. Running a great website is just like any other business: it requires investment, and if you like to make it free you have to run it like a charity or non-profit (such as couch surfer) because even non-profit requires money. Non-profit doesn't mean you are not allowed to make money, you just don't make a profit - big difference. Check out the next church you see, most of them take some decent cash to be maintained.

    By changing your access restriction you might get more registrations, but are they better members? Is your goal to go for numbers or for substance?

    Happy sailing!

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    I couldn't resist...

    Quote Originally Posted by ocean sailing 24-7 View Post
    But then also Iím not the kind of freeloader sailor you might meet who doesnít want to pay for mooring fees, or a warm shower at the marina etc.
    You're really a power boater, right? Who else would actually pay for a warm shower in a marina? Certainly not a cruiser....

    Proud to be a "freeloader".
    2 Hulls Dave

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Quote Originally Posted by 2hulls View Post
    Proud to be a "freeloader".
    2 Hulls Dave
    Now there's a plan. Maybe I should re-brand my site as www.freeloadersailors.com

    What does the panel think?

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Quote Originally Posted by Stingo View Post
    What does the panel think?
    Recommend you not.

    My, perhaps over emotional, negative reaction to the freeloader adjective is rooted in my proud cruiser's frugality >> being self sufficient as much as practical, eschewing waste and over-indulgence, and connecting with the natural world. "Paying for a hot shower in a marina" is an aptly phrased antonym.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    +1

    Great minds, and all that...

    There's a beer in my fridge with your name on it (and for everyone else that has replied to this thread).

  9. #29

    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Interesting 2hulls, I hope you are joking. Iím no expert on the accurate definition of self-sufficient but in my mind it is maintaining a lifestyle at no one elses expense and if one can achieve this in an ecological responsible way I would call it Ďsustainable self-sufficiencyí. A freeloader on the other hand is pretty much the opposite in my mind, someone who goes through life at the expense of others with giving nothing back in return Ė a parasite in stronger terms. If a sailor pumps out oil via his bilge I consider them a freeloader because someone else is going to pay the price in some form; either financially, ecologically or both. Iím a sailor and I love a warm shower after several weeks of ocean crossing or just after a day out, Iím certainly not ashamed of that. What Iím referring to is that if I pay my berthing fee I appreciate the facilities the marina offers me such as a warm shower, toilet, laundry or just a quick weather update. That might sound like a waste of money to some who anchor outside the marine but still think itís their right to use those amenities as part of their Ďself-sufficientí life style.

    Self-sufficient means to me I can get myself to an island on my own keel, and the only thing I will be taking away are pictures and the only things I leave behind are my foot prints. I have a yacht built out of fibreglass, carbon fibre, aluminium, stainless steel, plastics of many sorts and plenty of highly toxic substances in the electronics and some semi-poisonous liquids, so Iím not going to BS anyone that Iím a sailor in tune with nature. All I aim to achieve is to co-exist with nature and have my broken radio disposed of responsibly rather than throwing it over board. Iím not able to swim across the Atlantic so I have to cut some compromise with nature to allow me to be sailing my high-tech yacht instead.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    I understand completely. We have more in common than I first thought. But when you say freeloader = doesn't want to pay for mooring fees or warm showers in a marina, you're talking about many, many cruisers. We don't want to pay for those things - so we don't use them. Perhaps call us cheapskates, instead.

    2 Hulls Dave

  11. #31

    Smile Re: Desperate Sailors

    I do think we have some common ground here. I don't talk about the many sailors here who don't want to pay for a service because they don't use it, or are not going to use it because it costs money - I'm one of them. I own a yacht because I pay for what I have, and don't buy what I don't need. When I talk about freeloaders it is about people who don't want to pay for something but are still going to use it anyway. I don't want to judge those people to the extend that they are thieves, some might. I just think this is freeloading and it is not something I like to be relying on to experience the great lifestyle that sailing is offering. It's just not something I think I will be proud of when I'll be remembering the fantastic time I'm having now. If I'm having a warm shower someone is putting in an effort to heat the water and I acknowledge this by paying my dues or at least offer them a bottle of wine. And no I wouldn't be calling you a cheapskates. I would call you a show off or a waster if would pay for things you didn't want or use, a freeloader if you use things but don't pay for it, and a sailor if you only pay for the things that you are using or are going to use.
    Stingo says that a few bucks can make a big difference to a cruisers budget. All I can say to that is: 'What went wrong?' Most CRUISING sailors I know, sit on a yacht that is worth at least $150K. How on earth can a few bucks make a difference? I have met people who were hit by earthquakes, to them a few bucks can make a difference. I'm annoyed at sailors who cry poor while sitting on a reasonable tangible asset, while there are people who feed a family on less than a buck a day.
    To come back how all this discussion started; what I'm saying about DS is that I rather pay DS $100 for a great service and get some substance then to pay nothing and end up with freeloaders. What goes around comes around. If one expects something for nothing, one might end up with nothing.
    Last edited by ocean sailing 24-7; 13th July 2012 at 01:45 PM. Reason: ...

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Quote Originally Posted by Stingo View Post
    There's a beer in my fridge with your name on it (and for everyone else that has replied to this thread).
    Very neighborly. If you're currently in the Carib, as your post header states, what beer do you stock while there? Being a cheapskate , I usually stock Presidente because it's usually the cheapest, pretty darn good, and widely available. But I always like to get the local island beers. Piton in St. Lucia, Wadali in Antigua/Barbuda, Hairoun in SVG, etc. Unfortunately, these are not widely available on other islands.

    2 Hulls Dave

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    WHo wants desperados on their boat? Not me.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Quote Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
    WHo wants desperados on their boat? Not me.

    Gooday George. Does that mean No 'freeloaders' & NO 'desperados' are going to be invited to cruise with you on your new (to you) Atlantic 46LR - Damn - I was just going to offer to scrub the bottoms - each & every day - til I - just wash away - in the current.

    What are you doing to stay - well-balanced - ha ha - (Is possible ???) now you sold your 'great-mate'. Safe sailing young fello. Ciao, james

  15. #35

    Default Re: Desperate Sailors

    Signing out. Just about to go sailing for another two month. Already found a nice couple and two charming ladies on findacrew.net who will be sailing with us.

    Hey Stingo, how about calling your website charmingsailors.com instead. Sounds actually more appealing to me than desperate and might be closer to your personality. Who thinks desperatesailors.com should be called charmingsailors.com?

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