So I was hanging out at the Sailing Club last night and a user stopped me and asked when the “app” was coming out? Because of the way we built RailMeets an app is not necessary. It exists in the cloud and was built from the ground up to be mobile friendly. We routinely test on iPhones, iPads and various Android devices. Just use your phones web browser and getting a “app” for RailMeets is a simple as adding us to your home screen.
A couple of months ago I posted on our blog how to add RailMeets to your home screen. The instructions were for an iPhone but they they are similar for an Android device. check it out…
The events that happened at the start of this past weekends Chicago to Mackinac race were very sobering to us and the sailing community. Here at RailMeets our thoughts are with Jon’s family, friends and shipmates. We did not know him other than meeting once at a party but I am positive he will be remembered fondly and be missed.
Every one of us has moved around on a boat only to have a wave kick the boat sideways or push the boat up or down sending us into a tumble. Sometimes we get a nasty bruise or cut, we put some tape on it and keep going. Once in a while we get a leg in the water but we grab a lifeline or one of our shipmates manages to grab us as we go flying by. Rarely do we end up in the water.
Every so often a perfect shit storm happens. A slip leads to a fall which leads to a person in the water in difficult conditions. Equipment malfunction stacks the odds against them.
Most sailing tragedies we rationalize away. We think we wouldn’t have made that navigation error or that my boat is perfectly maintained or I don’t sail on a science project or I am in shape and my body can handle the stress. This one hits home because missteps and falls have happened to everyone that has ever stepped on to a race boat. It’s the nature of the game and part of the risks we take to pursue the sport we love and are passionate about.
Kudos to the boats and sailors that were able to be part of the search. It will be a while before we see a report on what happened but till then I ask that you go into your gear bag and check your equipment. Do your shoes and boots have enough traction? Check your life vest, is it in good condition? If it’s an inflatable, have you checked if it inflates? Is the trigger expired? Are your sailing gloves in good condition? How about your shipmates equipment?
This is not a reason to stop racing sailboats. I doubt Jon would have wanted that. It is a reason to pause, check our equipment and make sure we always have one hand for the boat and one for ourselves.
Chicago to Mac race. This is the 110th edition of the 330 mile freshwater classic. Looking at the entry list I see RailMeets users in just about every section. With a northerly breeze setting up on the race course this one looks like it it could be a challenge. Bring your long underwear and remember one hand for yourself and one hand the boat. Good luck, sail fast and sail safe!
Another one for skippers and crew bosses. This week we tweaked the messaging. Now you can select who you send a message to based on their status. Try it out, from the dashboard click on your boats schedule, then click on the envelope in an event. That will bring up a window. Type your message and select who you want to send the message to. Your choices are crew that is Confirmed, on Standby, Available but not confirmed, the Maybe and the Unavailable. Checking all the boxes will send the message to everybody that changed their status for that event.
Did you know there is a Super User Mode? There has been one for some time but we didn’t say too much about it as we didn’t like it and depending on what computer and browser you had it was sloooow. This week we revamped the Super User Mode (SUM) to be as fast as the man of steel. Why use SUM? We all have that one friend or weird uncle that just ain’t computer literate. To keep track of him on your crew go to the confirm signups page. If you are a Skipper or Crew Boss you will see a pencil after the event name in the events column.
Click on the pencil, that will bring up a new screen just for that event. From there you can edit your crew’s signups for that event. Don’t forget to click on Confirm to finalize the changes
This week we made some changes to the log in. Now you can use any of the three ways to log in as long as they have the same email address. Lets say you use the user ID (email) and password method but if you use the same email address for Facebook you can now use either system to log into RailMeets. Same deal for Google+. Confused, think of it this way, your email address ties everything together and your records, info, signups etc are grouped by email. Use a different email and the system thinks you are a different person.
Based on user feedback we made some tweaks to how the crew for your events are displayed. Now the first couple of leftmost spots are always the boat owner and the crew bosses. Next the the crew is listed by most active to least active, if there is a tie then the order is alphabetical. What was happening was there were a few owners /crew bosses that have busy travel schedules and had a habit of signing up late. The crew boss would confirm crew but accidentally leave off the owner because he was on the far right side, doh! Remember from left to right – owner and crew bosses first then crew with most activity listed to the left. Crew gets more points for being confirmed or standby, then available, maybe and unavailable. No points for not entering anything, aka “unknown”.
I was at the Chicago NOOD this past weekend. Thanks to RailMeets I crewed in two different boats a J/109 and a J/111. Thanks to those of you that stopped me to introduce yourself and provide feedback, ask questions as well as suggest features. Always a pleasure to talk to our users.
A common theme was how can I help my skipper keep organized and keep the team on top? With RailMeets a skipper can set up a crew member as a crew manager or as I like to say crew boss. Here is how a skipper can do it. From the Dashboard click on My Boats, then click on your boat name. Next scroll down and click on Crews. From there find the crew member that you want to promote and click on Set Rolls. From there you can select Crew, which is the most basic, Manager can update and assign crew and events. The owner can do everything related to this boat. Each boat needs at least one owner or crew manager. New crew defaults to Crew
Now the new Crew Manager can approve crew requests, look for new crew, send invitations and confirm crew for a race. With power comes responsibility make sure the owner is involved with and on board with your decisions. You can also use this feature if the boat is a partnership, the sailor that set up the account can promote the other owners to owner status.
We are based in Chicago and we are proud of our heritage and our city. Our season is short but intense. If you go to the RailMeets home page we feature our city on point. The picture was taken from the vicinity of the Wilson Ave. water intake crib looking southwest. The boats racing are part of the notoriously competitive Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club’s Wednesday Night Series. CCYC is one of the clubs that use RailMeets to help organize their racing. We can help with crew finders, dues collection, rating certificate storage, schedule management and many other tasks to make your clubs racing better. Drop us an email and let us know how we can help your club.
So you are on a bunch of boats but you found the one, the boat is great, the skipper is smart, handsome / beautiful, the crew is all above average and you have new best friends. Congratulations! But what about the other boats that you signed up on? Especially the one that you just didn’t get along, what to do? You can leave the crew of any boat by clicking on “My Boats”. That will bring up a window that shows all your boats. Find the one you want to leave and click on “X Leave Boat” The system will ask you to confirm. You will be removed from their roster and no longer receive any notification from them.