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Most of the best business ideas spring from personal experience. Remember Victor Kiam, the guy who was so impressed by his close shave with a Remington electric shaver that he bought the company?

Chris Whiting’s lightbulb moment happened while he was waiting for his phone to ring. He’d left messages for several tradies about fixing the boat he keeps moored near his home on Sydney’s Pittwater. When they didn’t call back, he started to get impatient…

‘Why?’ was the first question he asked himself. ‘Why am I wasting my precious lifetime, hoping these guys are going to speak with me. I’m new business for them, I’m happy to pay whatever they ask (within reason), so why is it so hard to find the right service provider for my job?’

The second question was: ‘How many other people are in the same boat?’ (so to speak). Why isn’t there a hassle-free way of getting in touch with reliable craftspeople who will do a great job at a fair price?

Chris realised that, if he could solve this problem for himself, he might be able to fix it for everyone else in the same position. The result, after many months of painstaking research and development, is, a new way of connecting boat-owners with the people they need to keep their boats on the water and themselves off the phone.

The new online platform is also terrific news for busy service providers, who can see at a glance the nature of the job they are being offered and can then decide whether they want to quote for it.

There are over 950,000 registered boats and 2 million licensed boaties in Australia. Google gets more than 26,000 searches a month for boat repair services in Australia, a quarter of those in the Greater Sydney area. For every job a boat-owner wants done, there is the ideal expert, keen to help and do what’s needed. But how can they get in touch with each other?

Here’s how it works: go to and tell them what you need, where your boat is and your rough budget. Your request will be passed immediately to a number of qualified service providers, who will be invited to send you their quote for the job. You email them back to make your choice. What could be simpler?

It’s a free service, designed to maximise your time on the water. Chris is hoping it will do the same for him, although for the moment, the initial response is keeping him pretty busy onshore.

He points out: ‘We live in the Information Age. Everyone expects answers at their finger-tips in seconds. They don’t want to troll through directories, calling multiple suppliers.

‘Some of the biggest companies in the world have few real-world assets – they just trade in information and provide a service that people value.

‘AirBnB own no properties, Uber don’t own any cars. This new platform,, puts the power back in the hands of the boat-owners. It saves them the most valuable commodity we have – time!’

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From Christopher ‘Fish’ Whiting