Company debuts data-sharing tool for marine industry

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Those old enough to remember visits to the doctor prior to digitization remember the arduous process of carrying records by hand to specialists, hand-delivering prescriptions to pharmacies and calling to have records faxed after signing written waivers from one office to another.

Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of My-Villages Inc., is the man who changed all that.

“It was my company that connected the nation’s pharmacies and physicians to help them exchange information electronically,” Hutchinson told Soundings Trade Only.

Now the entrepreneur is bringing the same concept to the marine industry.

“Imagine if you walked up to your boat and your phone reminded you what you should do before you even turn the key,” Hutchinson said. “My Boat Village is the first product and it’s free to all the boating community. And by reaching out to the industry you can collaborate to make your own ownership experience better.”

Hutchinson hopes My Boat Village is a digital collaborative for boaters and the entire marine industry, including boat owners, builders, equipment manufacturers, service technicians and yards, marina managers, experts, dealers, brokers and authors.

Companies already on board in the beta-testing effort are Dometic, Hinckley, Kadey-Krogen, Westerbeke “and a boatload of content,” the company announced.

The Alexandria, Va.-based company announced today that The Hinckley Co. is the first strategic partner in the My-Villages Innovation Partner program.

The goal of the program is to work with companies that are committed to leveraging technology to develop new and innovative ways to connect, coordinate and collaborate with their customers. The Hinckley Co. is the first strategic partner of My-Villages Inc., which will include a limited number of boatbuilders, service yards and marine equipment manufacturers.

My Boat Village users will be able to customize their experience by following certain technicians, companies and service providers where applicable. It also will allow user manuals to be accessed and easily searchable online.

“The idea came to me when I was on my boat having problems with my IPS, and I’m on the phone calling this person and that person,” Hutchinson said. “I wanted advice and from someone who knows my boat. I realized I have GPS location capability. So if I have a service technician in California and I’m in Florida I can follow him since he knows about Volvo D6 engines, or water makers, or HVAC, or whatever I’m having a problem with.”

My Boat Village debuted Oct. 25 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

— Reagan Haynes

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