Shower proof charts for sailing
Last year we moved beyond the walker’s favourite Ordnance Survey map style service we’ve always offered (on shower proof maps) and signed up to a license with the UK Hydrographic Office to cover the wet stuff that covers 2/3 of the planet. As a result, sea proof sailing charts sold to individuals, sailing events got their own bespoke designs and the most popular charts have become popular products in their own right, gaining product status on the web site.
Charts with NOAA
Following this success and having looked deeply into the Hudson River from so many angles at our New York launch in June, we’ve signed up to create sailing charts with NOAA, the USA’s own official sailing chart supplier.
But one observation of Americans made me want to try something a bit different this time.
Amazingly time conscious
Americans, I’ve discovered, are amazingly time conscious. In my home country it’s important to be punctual. But then, before any business gets done, we can enjoy at least a 10 minute conversation about the pros and cons of the current weather patterns. In the USA I think this approach is treated as some sort of torture. Good people will glaze over at the thought of clouds and any meteorological observations are quickly brushed aside. A brief chat (perhaps about a recent game of some sort) seems fine and then, straight down to business, squeezing the last bit of value out of each minute as if there was no more time to spare.
Make this time purposeful
I began to think. If these guys make such use of time, all the time, then what do they do in the shower? (I know… don’t think too long about this!). But a long shower is an indulgence. Though clearly a shower is never a waste of time, a longer stay is always great. So, for Americans, what practically can you get done when under a jet of body temperature water? My idea was to make this time purposeful… for people who don’t have weather to think about.
A new distributor based in Tampa Bay
I was in a great position to innovate around this. Having a new set of amazing looking current charts to use and having a new distributor based in the Tampa Bay area of Florida meant that my idea got into action very quickly.
NOAA chart blown up
As a slight gamble we made a batch of shower curtains and shipped them out. Featuring the Tampa Bay and St Joseph Sound NOAA chart blown up (but never distorted!) to fill a good-sized shower curtain, the good Yacht owning communities of Florida will soon have a pleasure of a permanent place to plan their sail!
So far? Half of the batch have already found homes. Businesses such as Florida Homes are considering them for their beach-side homes and the advertising has only just begun! And some in America have begun further inventing upon the idea; creating outdoor curtains for those lovely long veranda’s they have out there!