How RaftUp Is Making a Huge Impact in the Boating Community

May 25, 2016

12:30 pm

If you are a boater or boating enthusiast, you know that navigating your favorite body of water often involves a combination of paper maps, scrawled notes on the best spots and sites from the locals, and advice from your friendly marina staff.

What Is RaftUp?

Raft-Up: An instance of tying or mooring together small boats; a social gathering centred around boats tied up in this way. (Oxford English Dictionary)

RaftUp, an Arkansas-based startup, is looking to shake things up this summer with launch of its new app. RaftUp was launched and is gaining early traction as part of the burgeoning tech startup scene in Central Arkansas.

In a recent news release, RaftUp announced the launch of its namesake mobile application in the iTunes App Store (Android version is in development and will be available soon). The app allows boaters to connect with each other on waterways and provides a key “Social SOS” feature that can minimize downtime in the case of a breakdown or maximize response times for first responders in case of emergency.

How RaftUp Improves Water Safety

The application and its corresponding web portal is now being considered by the Lake of the Ozarks Osage Beach Fire Department and Emergency 911 to help residents and boaters who may find themselves in need. RaftUp is a game-changer for veteran boaters as well as weekend enthusiasts renting a boat for some quick memory-making on the water.

“The moment I learned about RaftUp, I knew it would benefit our response time and the way that our department could help to keep boaters safe on the water,” said Jeff Dorhauer, fire chief of Osage Beach Fire Department on Lake of the Ozarks. “Everyone takes their phones with them everywhere now. There is no reason for a boater to  be stranded for hours on the water waiting for help. And in the case of an emergency, it’s a life-saver. Plain and simple!”

“This powerful safety tool is now available for every boater and recreationalist on the water,” said RaftUp founder and CEO, Corey Boelkens.

“This is a game-changer for boaters as well as marinas and public safety officials,” said Boelkens. “Our app enables immediate access to help and peace of mind as boaters can spend more time building lifelong memories with friends and family on the water this summer.”

How RaftUp Helps Build Memories

In addition to the benefit it provides to first responders, RaftUp is primarily a social app to help boaters engage more effectively with the community when on the water. Users can easily find favorite sites, “raftup” with other boaters, and share the fun with their social network. The app provides a streamlined, intuitive user interface that allows even non-boat owners the ability to navigate the app’s interactive map and easily find areas of interest, important amenities like boat ramps, fishing locations, dive sites, marina’s, restaurants, and opportunities to connect with the boating community.

“Boaters who dock at our marina–and even the first time boaters that come to the marina to rent–no longer have to rely on paper maps or directions scrawled on a piece of paper to find their friends, family, or a great fishing location on the water.  RaftUp lets boaters spend more time doing what they came to the water to do–have fun and make memories,” said Kevin Eastwold of Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock.

If you are planning to be on the water this summer, then Raftup is the newest “must-have” app and is available in the App Store.

 Photo Credit: Retrocat Media

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A self-proclaimed “Startup Nerd,” Steve Rice is the principle of SR Communications, a strategic communications and leadership consultancy. Steve also founded the Start Here Initiative, a community-led effort that seeks to close the gap that exists for women and minorities in access to capital in entrepreneurism. He routinely writes on inclusion, entrepreneurism, and leadership for local, regional and national publications.

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