Crew Manager LLC was formed as a company in 2019 and named after the WordPress plugin developed by the owner. It was developed by a Newport, RI based sailor to meet his boat and crew schedule coordination needs.
If you haven't guessed it by now, the company is a one trick pony formed to support Crew Manager. This product is dedicated to sailing. If you want a product to manage a team for baseball, football, tennis or heaven forbid golf - please look elsewhere. It all started when other free sites we used disappeared, and other paid sites were tailored to managing team sports. The Crew Manger plugin started Beta testing in April 2018 with four boats local to Narragansett Bay - J/109 Vento Solare, J/92s Spirit, J/109 Marquise II, and J/109 URSA. Crew Manager is a web based product viewable in any browser. It has been tested on PCs, Macs, iPads, Android tablets, iPhones and Android phones. Displays have tailored content based on the screen resolution to make viewing easier.
Each of the boats involved in Beta testing has the following attributes:
- The Skipper and Crew like to race
- Each boat does it all - racing, cruising and pleasure sailing
- The Skippers and Crew like to party occasionally (ok - maybe more often than occasionally)
- We are all friendly competitors who sail with each other and against each other
- The need to schedule and coordinate crew is an ongoing chore
Subsequent to the 2018 sailing season Beta test, it was determined that Crew Manager met a strong sailing community need. The plugin was modified to support a WordPress multisite environment with a few more features added. Additional content was added with a page having Windy.com™ weather and side displays with Sailflow™ wind charts. A Links page was added to provide a number of external links sailors find useful. Since the product would be supported and offered to others, the addition of a subscription feature was incorporated so functionality could be controlled based on the subscription status for purchased time periods. The multisite Crew Manager version was released for production in January 2019 allowing Skippers anywhere to obtain custom boat websites through a low cost subscription. The new release focussed on supporting multiple boat websites hosted on the same network. This allows the developer to keep support time and associated costs to a minimum.
Crew Manager is a full featured sailing crew and boat management application where the Skipper schedules events on the calendar, Crew members indicate availability for events, the Skipper assigns crew positions, indicates what color shirts to wear and who brings beer. Automatic email notifications are sent to crew members before an event. The application allows entering race and series finishes (with links) that display on a results page. There is a crew roster with contact information only visible to crew members who are logged in. Additional reports are available for one design events including crew weights and a World Sailing (ISAF) sailor classification report. Crew members may store shirt sizes in their profile so the Skipper may easily order crew shirts.
Documentation is available online with a Skipper's manual and a Crew manual. There is a forum setup so that users may post questions and obtain support. The forum is visible to all so that any recurring questions may be easily answered. FAQs and responses will be posted as necessary.
The company is staffed by a team of one - Bill Kneller owns J/109 Vento Solare and is committed to keeping his boat and crew organized.
Without the assistance of the Beta test team, Crew Manager could not have become the product it is today. The following people participated in the Beta test and provided product feedback, reported bugs and suggested enhancements. EC Helme (Skipper J/92s Spirit), Brooke Mastrorio (Skipper J/109 URSA), Taber French (Crew J/109 URSA), Sam Goldblatt (Skipper J/109 Marquise II), Mark Boivin (Crew J/109 Marquise II), Eric Irwin (Crew J/109 Vento Solare). The crew members on all these boats were the Guinea pigs who were able to use Crew Manager with very little training. Additional thanks go to Steven Caldwell & Sam Goldblatt for vetting the business model and helping to setup Crew Manager LLC as a company.