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sQuidd.io: Frequently Asked Questions
sQuidd.io Frequently Asked Questions

Destinations: Frequently Asked Questions

Checking in and out of a Destination

sQuiddmasters

Stay Connected: Frequently Asked Questions

Chartering: Frequently Asked Questions

Owner questions

Renter questions




Destinations: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does sQuidd.io help me discover new, exciting boating destinations?

Boaters rely on a variety of sources to plan their sailing and cruising experiences: cruising guides, information from other boaters, charts, magazines and blogs. Until today, there wasn't a comprehensive, user-generated and easy to use application to make all this information available to your laptop, tablet of mobile phone through an intuitive map-based interface.
Whether you are sailing in the Australia coral reefs, looking for a marina harbor in Florida, or planning your upcoming cruise in Croatia, sQuidd.io is as indispensable as your navigation software and your marine charts. And it's available for free!

Q. What type of Destinations do you show in a search?

A Destination is a place of interest for boaters. Marinas, boat harbors, anchorages, yacht clubs, public docks, ramps, fuel pumps etc. are the typical examples of boat cruising Destinations you will find on sQuidd.io. Each Destination has its own page. Destination pages are meant to provide boaters with a sense of how attractive and well served a particular Destination is (through pictures, member-assigned ratings and member-provided comments) as well as practical information, such as phone numbers or tips from other boaters.

Q. Do you show Destinations worldwide?

Most of the Destinations currently on sQuidd.io are in North and Central America, the Caribbean islands, the Mediterranean (at least the European side), part of the European Atlantic coast, Australia and new Zealand plus a sprinkling of islands here and there. Because sQuidd.io relies on user-provided information, we expect our coverage to grow rapidly in the near future, as more users start adding new interesting Destinations.

Q. The address, location or other data of a Destination is outdated or incorrect. Can you fix it?

Yes. Please send us a quick email at info@squidd.io, include a sQuidd.io URL of the Destination and the information that needs to be updated or corrected, or even better, become a sQuidd-master and update the Destination page yourself. Being a sQuidd-master basically gives you write access to all Destinations! This way you will be able not only to correct errors or add missing information, but also reassign the Destination to the correct coordinates by simply pointing and clicking on the map.

Q. You are not showing my favorite marina, anchorage or other sailing place. Can I add it myself?

Yes. To add a Destination, go to the Destinations Map page for the approximate location of your new Destination (for instance, by using the Find Destinations page). Move the map around, zoom in (or zoom out) if necessary, until you find the exact location where you want the new Destination to be placed. Double-click on the map at the desired location. A temporary marker will be added to the map, and you will be asked to click on the marker to proceed. sQuidd.io will attempt to assign an address to the new Destination based on the geo coordinates. Please verify the address and if necessary correct it and add other contact information you may know. Posting a new Destination (if confirmed by sQuidd.io) also makes you the sQuidd-master for that Destination for the duration of the regular term. Note that the Destination will not be immediately available in sQuidd.io, as it needs to be reviewed and confirmed by the sQuidd.io Webmaster.

Q. What are the criteria for submitting a new Destination?

For a submission to be accepted, the Destination needs to meet certain requirements. For instance, if you add a Marina, a Dock or a Ramp, the facility must be easily recognizable on a Google satellite map at the closest level of zoom available at the geo coordinates you have entered for the Destination. When creating a new Destination, be as accurate as you can be in clicking on the correct position on the map. If you are submitting an anchorage, the location should appear to be in a natural setting which is suitable for overnight mooring. The sQuidd.io Webmaster reserves the right to reject submissions that are not deemed to meet these basic criteria. Also remember that users will rate and comment on your submission, and comments that consistently indicate that your Destination is misplaced or invalid may lead to the removal of a user-submitted Destination.

Q. Can I enter a Destination's latitude and longitude into my GPS as a waypoint?

We strongly recommend you do not! None of the information you will find on sQuidd.io is intended for navigation purposes. Please continue to rely on official charts and publications to make navigation decisions.

Checking in or our out of a Destination

Q. What do you mean by checking in or out of a marina, anchorage or other Destination?

Checking into a marina is a way to associate your current position with a sQuidd.io Destination in order to let other sQuidders know exactly where you are. Of course, you can simply post your latitude-longitude coordinates without checking in at a specific Destination, but those coordinates will be rather meaningless for most of your friends, whereas the name of the Destination may be known to them. By checking out of a Destination you inform your followers that you have left that Destination, and when exactly you did that. You can choose to be automatically checked in or out of Destinations by setting the relevant option in the Preferences page.

Q. How do you check in or out of a Destination?

To check into a Destination, you must be located within 1 kilometer (.6 miles) of the Destination itself. When on site, simply go to the Destination's page and click on the check-in button . A confirmation message will appear and the button will switch to the check-out button, which will allow you to check out when you are ready.

Q. What is the Skipper's Dashboard?

Think of the Dashboard as your home page on sQuidd.io. This is where you will find the most commonly used functions:

sQuidd-masters

Q. What is a sQuidd-master?

A sQuiddd.io master, or sQuidd-master, is a user with in-depth knowledge of one or more Destinations, and who feels passionate about representing and promoting these Destinations within the sQuidd.io community. This may include employees, owners, or managers of a commercial or non-commercial venue at the destination, such as a marina office, a restaurant or the local yacht club.

Q. What are the benefits of being a sQuidd-master?

In addition to being featured prominently on the Destination's page, sQuidd-masters can:

  • Update information about the Destination (correct lat-lon coordinates, address, phone number etc.)
  • Edit a paragraph describing the Destination, for prominent display on the Destination page
  • Use the Destination page to promote a local business

Q. Who can become a sQuidd.io Master?

sQuidd.io masterships are awarded to registered users with the highest number of days checked into a Destination over the previous 30 days. Masterships are awarded for a minimum period of 3 months. The mastership can be renewed for an additional period of 3 months by simply maintaining the highest number of check-ins for the duration of the mastership.

Stay Connected: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does sQuidd.io help me stay connected?

sQuidd.io allows you to track your friends' boat's position on a map and track the boat's progress over time, whether they are gunk-holing in the San Juan islands or taking part in an ocean race. For instance, you can keep track of the members of a fleet during an ocean crossing, see where competitors are in a boat regatta, or follow your loved ones as they brave the unknown.
Because you can send SMS messages to update your position on sQuidd.io, you can use a satellite phone to send updates even from the middle of the ocean. You create your network of sQuidders by inviting your friends, either through invites or email messages, or by adding other sQuidders you meet on the service.

Q. Do I need any boat tracking equipment, navigation software or subscription service to send my position to sQuidd.io?

sQuidd.io does not require dedicated vessel tracker equipment, such as an AIS system, or navigation software. If you plan on sailing close to shore, where cellular coverage is available, all you need is a device you probably already have on your boat: a smart phone with a data plan. If you plan to be offshore for a while, you may want to consider renting or purchasing a satellite phone, if you don't already have one. This will enable you to send log entries (which include position updates) from virtually anywhere around the globe by sending a simple SMS message with your coordinates. And because sQuidd.io relies on the SMS system, which is included in most basic sat phone plans, you do not need to sign up for a so-called short burst data service plan.

Q. What is an AIS system?

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and AIS Base stations. While originally intended for large cargo and passenger ships, low-cost AIS transponders are becoming more affordable and are increasingly popular among pleasure boaters. IMPORTANT: sQuiddio relies on AIS position updates available on the Internet and provided by a network of private and independently operated AIS Base stations around the world. Coverage is therefore limited to certain areas, mostly within a 20-50 mile radius of heavily populated areas. THIS SERVICE IS THEREFORE PROVIDED ON A BEST EFFORT BASIS and should not be relied upon when sharing your position with others at all times is critical. Check our AIS service provider's coverage map to find out what areas are currently served.

Q. I own an AIS transponder. How do I use it to share my position on sQuiddio?

If you own an AIS transponder (note: a simple AIS receiver will not do the job!), you can make your position available to other sQuiddio users, assuming the system is operating properly and provided you are in a coverage area, by entering your MMSI identifier in your boat profile.

Q. What is the follow list?

It is the list of other sQuidd.io members who have agreed to share their positions with you, and whom have allowed to track your position. You can invite friends using email or, if you have sailing Facebook friends, send them invites.

Q. How often do you report a user's position?

As often as the user decides to report his/her position. As a default, each log entry is manual so it is entirely up to the discretion of the user when to send your position updates.

Q. How do you post a position update using your iPhone, Android or other GPS-enabled phone?

Simply point your mobile device's browser to http://squidd.io/positions/new (there is a link at the bottom of the home page as well). You will be asked for your sQuidd.io credentials to log in. Once logged-in, you will be prompted to share your location's latitude and longitude. If your browser is Html-5 capable and your GPS is enabled, your current coordinates will appear on the screen. You can add a brief message, which will also be displayed on your sQuidd.io profile. Simply tap on the send position button to post your position and your status message on sQuidd.io. If you logged into sQuidd.io using your account, you will also be given the option to post your position and status on your wall.

Q. What happens when you have no cell coverage?

If you are out of cell phone coverage but have access to a satellite phone, you can send a GeoSMS message to communicate your present position.

Q. What is a GeoSMS message?

It is an SMS message that includes your latitude and longitude in a machine recognizable format. Simply put, it is a message that contains the special keyword 'geo:' anywhere in the text, immediately followed by your coordinates. Coordinates must be specified in decimal format, separated by a comma (preceded by the - (minus) sign for latitudes west of Greewnwich and longitudes south of the equator). sQuidd.io simply scans the text of your message looking for the GeoSMS-tag and displays your position on your friends' maps at the next refresh. For example, the message:

currently at geo:17.345,-66.234, winds from the NE at 15 kts. All is well.

will inform your sQuidd.io followers that you are somewhere in the Atlantic ocean, or precisely at latitude 17.345 north and longitude 66.234 west of Greenwich.

Q. How do you post a position update using your satellite phone?

Most satellite phones are capable of sending SMS messages. Simply send an SMS message containing your GeoSMS-tagged coordinates, and any other textual information you want your friends to see. If you are a user, you can choose to have your update automatically posted to your wall. Send the message to the number:

+1 650 458 0290

(IMPORTANT: Maximum of 60 log entry a month included in the free membership. This feature only works if the sender's number is a universally recognized sat phone number, i.e. it has a virtual country code equal to +881 or +870). Iridium, Globalstar and Inmarsat plans use either of these virtual country code, so they are supported.

Chartering with sQuidd.io: frequently asked questions

Q. Can sQuidd.io really help me cover the operating costs of my boat and even make some money?

Boats are one of the most underutilized assets in the world: just spend some time walking around a marina on a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon and look at the number of boats sitting in their slips. Doesn't it strike you as a huge waste of money? One of the reasons for this is that, until today, renting your boat to others was cumbersome and risky.
Certainly, you can put your boat up for rent with a yacht charter company, only to be left with a small fraction of what the amount that the boat rents for, or you can try a boat sharing arrangement with your best friend or a boat club and stress out over maintenance costs and schedule conflicts.

sQuidd.io is the leading social platform enabling boat owners to generate income by renting their boats out to people they trust, in a safe and easy manner.

Because sQuidd.io eliminates the middleman (the charter company), sQuidd.io members can rent great boats at extremely competitive rates and still enable a boat owner to generate a meaningful income.

Q. How does the process of renting a boat work?

Renting a boat has never been easier. Just follow these easy steps:

  • Find the boat you want
  • Check the boat's calendar for available dates
  • Obtain an instant quote
  • Wait for the owner to accept the request
  • On the beginning day of your cruise, upload or email your pre-cruise checklist from the boat
  • At the end of the cruise, upload or email your post-cruise checklist and leave

That's it!

(Click here for a more detailed overview of the rental process)

Reservations: owner questions

Q. Can I rent out my boat?

Yes. Whether you own a 60 foot sailing yacht in the Caribbeans or a small fishing boat on a nearby lake, as long as your boat is in good operating conditions and meets all your local safety requirements, it is quite likely that there is someone out there who is interested in renting it, whether it's for a one day fishing trip, or a two week cruise. sQuidd.io is the best way to find that customer!

Q. I am worried about the risks of renting out my boat to strangers. Can sQuidd.io help?

Yes. For one thing, you can tell sQuidd.io you do not offer bareboat charters, that is to say you want to take people out yourself or have a trusted friend act as a skipper. In this case, you can set a daily skipper rate of your choosing. Just check the Charters with skipper only (no bareboat) box in the boat charter rate plan page. You will have to specify the skipper's daily rate in the same view, an sQuidd.io will compute the total charter amount accordingly. Once you get to know your customers well, you can decide if you feel comfortable allowing them to bareboat-charter your boat.

Q. I want to be able to use my boat on specific days and make it available for charter on others. Can I do that?

Yes. sQuidd.io displays your boat's calendar to prospective renters to show when the boat is available and when not (either because you have reserved the boat to yourself, or because of other existing reservations). Because sQuidd.io synchronizes with Google Calendar, you can use the Google Calendar familiar interface to to set the available dates, either as one-time or as recurring events. For instance, you can make the boat unavailable for an entire month, or just on the first three days of each week. You can easily synchronize your sQuidd.io calendar with your Google Calendar, so that all reservations entered in sQuidd.io by users will be viewable in your Google Calendar at a glance.

Q. How do I synchronize my boat's schedule with Google Calendar?

Simply create a new Calendar under your Google account (don't use your personal calendar, or all your personal appointments will show up on sQuidd.io!) and give it a name you can easily associate with your boat (we recommend you use the default name created by sQuidd.io using the name of your boat in the Calendar name field of the calendar view ). Then simply create an all day event on the specific date(s) you wish your boat to appear as unavailable, and title the event something like 'unavailable', or 'gone fishing'. You can also create recurring unavailable dates. For instance, you can tell sQuidd.io that your boat is never available on Saturday, or on the first weekend of each month. When you have finished entering the unavailable periods in your newly created Google Calendar simply go to your boat's calendar view in sQuidd.io, enter your Google ID and Google account password, making sure that the Calendar name field contains the name you have given to your Google calendar, and click on the Sync with Google Calendar button. If your plans change, just update your Google Calendar and re-synchronize. Note that the sync process is bi-directional, meaning that as sQuidders create reservations for your boat, these reservation will appear on your Google Calendar after the next sync. Unlike the Unavailable periods you have entered from GC, however, if you delete a reservation in GC, the original reservation in sQuidd.io will not be deleted.

Q. Do I have to accept all reservation requests? How much time do I have to accept a reservation request?

You have 48 hours to accept or reject a reservation and no, you do not have to accept all reservations. Simply click on the Decline button if you do not wish to accept the request. A lack of response from the owner within the 48 hours period of time also means the reservation is to be considered rejected.

Q. What legally enforceable documents do I have to show the renter has properly completed the required pre and post cruise checklist and accepted all the terms of the rental?

First, at the time of submitting and accepting a reservation request, both owner and renter must check a box indicating they understand and agree to all the terms of the rental agreement (IMPORTANT: You, the Owner, need to create your own rental agreement and upload it in your boat profile. Remember that sQuidd.io is not party to the rental agreement, which is only between you and the Renter. Consult the Terms of service for additional information) . The renter will also be required to complete and sign both the pre-cruise and a post-cruise checklists that you have uploaded in your boat (IMPORTANT: sQuidd.io automatically assigns a default checklist PDF with each new boat you create. Visit your boat profile page to verify. You can create and upload your own pre and post cruise checklists as 2 separate pages of a single PDF file. You can find a sample in Microsoft Excel here, which you are welcome to modify as you wish). If the user has access to a smart phone equipped with a decent camera, he/she can photograph the forms and email them to sQuidd.io upon completing the process. You can use the sQuidd.io provided standard forms, or supply forms of your choosing in PDF format. You will be immediately notified of each checklist submission by email, you will be able to view and accept the checklist. The Renter is not authorized to proceed with the Charter unless and until you respond to the submission with an acceptance email.

Q. How do I know if the renter is sufficiently experienced to handle my boat?

First, we recommend that you do not offer bareboat charters until you have completed a hands-on evaluation of your renters' skills and level of experience. The best approach is to take the prospective renter out a couple of times with you as the skipper. Second, sQuidd.io relies on a user-generated reputation system, much like the one you may have seen on other e-commerce sites. Third, all sQuidd.io Members who intend to rent other users' boats are strongly encouraged to submit a resume of their sailing and charter boat rental experience in their profile, which should include links to online documents attesting their achievements and qualifications, such as certificates, awards, articles and blog entries. We recommend that you do not offer bareboat charters to members whose rating is undetermined or low, and who do not provide a credible and verifiable resume.

Q. How does the sQuidd.io reputation system work?

sQuidd.io Members can rate other sQuidd.io users on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being an ace and 1 ...well... better stick to golf perhaps), by clicking on the corresponding star of the rating widget shown in the user's profile page, provided that the two users have completed or initiated at least one rental transaction with each other (a transaction is considered initiated after the owner has accepted a rental request). You can visit the a user's profile page by clicking on a user's name or picture anywhere in the application (provided the name is a live link). Renters can rate owners and owners can rate renters but, on whichever side of the transaction you are, we ask you that you please be objective and considerate!

Q. I am sailing around the world. Can I charter my boat from different locations?

Yes. Just check the Charter from current check-in box in your user preferences. All reservations will use your last check-in location (rather than the boat's home port, which is the default) as the pick-up and return location for the cruise. Remember that once you accept a reservation, you cannot change the pickup and return location, so make sure you honor all your existing reservations before you sail off to your next destination!

Reservations: renter's questions

Q. Can I rent anyone else's boat on sQuidd.io?

Yes. You can rent a boat anywhere a sQuidd.io member is offering one, whether you want to go blue-water sailing in some exotic island in the south Pacific, or simply go fishing in a nearby lake. That's the beauty of sQuidd.io: you can stay off the beaten path and avoid the crowded destinations serviced by charter companies.

Q. How do I find the boat I am looking for?

There are multiple ways to find boats available for charter that meet your needs:

Can I use sQuidd.io to manage my chartering business? Yes. sQuidd.io allows you to manage third party boats. You can avail yourself of all sQuidd.io's great features, such as having your boats appear in geographic charter searches, Google Calendar synchronization, reservation management, PayPal payments, mobile check-in etc for all the boats in your charter fleet. You can ask your charter customers to send you log entries (include position updates) periodically and you can monitor the position of your entire fleet at a glance (of course, this can be done automatically if your boats are equipped with AIS transponders) Some chartering companies have created a set of recommended overnight anchoring or mooring destinations, and are automatically notified each time the client checks into one of them. How do I get started managing my charter company on sQuidd.io? First, log into sQuidd.io with your personal account and sign up for a free business account. If you want to display your logo with your listings, you can provide a Gravatar-enabled email address pointing to your logo. Second, have your sQuidd.io contacts assign their boats to you by going to their boat's profile and clicking on the ______ assign button. (Note that in order for a user to assign their boat to you, you must be in each other's follow list). By having a boat assigned to you you obtain unrestrained access to the boat's prate plan, calendar and boat profile, and can essentially manage the boat as if it was yours. Once a boat is assigned to you, all reservation requests and check in/check-out notifications will be automatically sent to you. An assignment can be revoked by either party at any point provided there are no pending reservations.

Q. Now that I found the boat I am looking for, how do I go about renting it?

There are just a few easy steps to renting the boat you want:

Q. How do I check the boat in and out in the case of a bareboat charter?

When you bareboat charter a boat, you must complete a pre-cruise and post-cruise checklist. IMPORTANT: sQuidd.io requires that you submit a scanned copy of your signed checklist to the owner of the boat in order to complete the check in and check out processes. Therefore, you need to have access to a digital camera, or to a smart phone equipped with a decent camera (for instance an Apple iPhone) at the time you complete the check in / check out. A PDF file containing both forms will be made available to you during the reservation process. When at the boat:

Q. How do I pay for the Charter?

The Payment methods is the entirely at the discretion of the Owner, and will depend on whether this is a skippered or bareboat Charter. In many cases, the owner will require you to send a down payment a certain number of days prior to the start of the Charter, either by check, PayPal or other forms of payments, with the balance due on the beginning day of the Cruise. Remember that sQuidd.io's role is limited to bringing together reliable and trustworthy Owners and Renters, and facilitating the exchange of information prior and during the transaction. sQuidd.io cannot accept any responsibility with regards to the successful completion of the payment transaction. It is important that you clearly understand from the Owner how he/she expects to be paid prior to undertaking the Charter. Please refer to our Terms for additional information regarding roles and responsibilities of each party.

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