The story of Deckee, so far

Jessica Watson
Posted July 23 2016

This week I wanted to take the opportunity to tell a slightly different story. As we welcome new members (and continue enjoying the company of our existing community!) I wanted to share the story of Deckee. That is, the story so far – as there is a boat load of exciting things to come. Let’s call this chapter one.

Deckee is…

Deckee is about you, the sailors and the boaties. We all know boating has a great word-of-mouth culture. Boaties like to share their recommendations on the best local businesses, the best marine products and boats and locations, but, before Deckee there wasn’t a place online to find these trusted recommendations.

Deckee is the place for boaties to find information to make their lives easier, to help plan adventures big and small, and it’s a community of like-minded boaties who want to help each other out.

Deckee will always be free for boaties, and we are dedicated to making sure the website is as useful and enjoyable as possible, while also giving businesses a platform to build their reputation, primarily by giving their customers a place to share their experiences with others.

Aussies often have an aversion to talking about things like values, but we’re not scared of talking about ours because we’re serious about them. Here are the three things that shape the way we work:

Share - a sharing, inclusive boating community is a better boating community.

Be Real - everything we do, and the way we do it, is genuine and heartfelt.

Build Value - every day we focus on building real value for the boating community in everything we do.

If you think we ever stray from any of these – even just a little bit – do us a favour and call us out. Honest reviews and opinions are a big part of our website, so when we say we love feedback (good and bad) we mean it. Don’t be shy – tell us what you really think so we can keep growing and improving!

Mike and the inspiration behind Deckee

As you may be aware, Mike is the founder of Deckee. He’s a skilled graphic designer who spent years working in the marine industry. During that time, Mike realised there was no definitive online resource that helped boat owners find, share and discuss the things they love – things like marine businesses, boats, products and locations. Mike realised that over the past decade, the internet had enabled so many industries to grow and improve, but boating had been left behind.

So Mike started on a huge amount of hard work to bring Deckee to life, a process assisted by his inclusion in the Slingshot Accelerator, a program designed to develop start-up businesses. The result of the program was the first version of the Deckee website, which went on to win national awards for innovation and tourism.

Ian takes our technology to new heights

Soon afterwards, Ian joined Deckee full time as Chief Technology Officer. Not only did he bring unbeatable skills and experience to the table, he has also completed an MBA (Master of Business Administration) and an MIT (Master of Information Technology).

With Ian on board, we made a big decision to move on from version 1 of Deckee and Ian embarked on months of hard work to build the new website that you see today. The new Deckee is built using graph technology, which means over time we can map out the entire world of boating and then put that resource in the hands of our users. This technology is unprecedented for our industry and sets a new standard.

If you're interested to learn more about the technology that makes Deckee work, Ian will be sharing plenty of great insights on our dedicated Deckee Tech blog. Deckee and the wider boating community is very lucky to have Ian on board!

And me, Jess

You might know me from my solo voyage around the world in 2010, but beyond that boating and sailing is a huge part of my life. I love boating’s fantastic characters and want to help the community become more connected and inclusive online. And I want more bums on boats!

In my time with Deckee so far, I’ve been inspired by the support and generosity of the cruising community. But I’ve also come across doubters – people who don’t think Deckee will reach its full potential. That sort of doubt reminds me a little of those who said I couldn’t sail around the world.

Where to from here?

We are constantly rolling out updates and improvements to Deckee, and there are a few big, exciting things in the works as well - stay tuned! We’re going to be taking part in a whole range of great community events and partnering with some very exciting companies.

But more than anything, we need you to share your opinions on local marine businesses, products, boats, or your favourite anchorage or destination.

So you could sit back and make a mental note to check in on Deckee six months down the track. Or you could get involved and help make Deckee a fantastic resource that makes all our lives easier. Surely it’s more fun to be part of the journey?

Mike, Ian and I are very appreciative of your support. It is you – the wonderful, knowledgeable, generous, well-travelled boaties - that make Deckee possible.

2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Jessica Watson


Write your reply...
neil johnson
Posted January 11 2017
Hi Jessica

what a lovely story,we feel we have also a great story to be told that of a chance meeting on a plane 15 mths ago between melb and cairns between two businessmen and one dr of Marine biology and world authority Dr Lisa ann Gershwin and at 30k feet developed an app for iphone and android called "the jellyfish app"which is the first GPS based app in the world that can tell you what jellys are near you how to indentify and the first aid reqired should you be stung,theres also a encyclopedia with over 250 species and a feature on "the jellyfish app pro" version which allows the user to upload a photo from the phone to Dr Gershwin who will reply with all the answered questions and more.Check it out or you can contact me Neil Johnson on 0418133608 for more details ...
4 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank neil johnson
Jessica Watson
Posted January 11 2017
Hi Neil, that is a good story and the app sounds great. Very timely after all the recent reportings of dangerous jellyfish sightings further south than normal. If you wanted to add the app to Deckee ( I'm sure other boaties would find it useful. Thanks for sharing.
2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Jessica Watson
neil johnson
Posted May 2 2017
Hi Jessica

I hate to admit it but I've only just found your reply to my email from 2016....I feel like an absolute dill but I cant explain how its occurred. However that being firstly let me thankyou for replying to me so promptly and to let you know that the App has been downloaded into 64 different countries and this week is available in Chinese /French and Spanish as well as English. We would most definitely be applying to add the App to deckee .com and would love to put your link on our news section of the web page or in the testimonials. It will give your site the opportunity to be viewed in at least 64 countries,if you want to write a small piece and have a larger section in the "news " section then you can contact me at

Once again please accept me appologies,,ill put it down to a senior moment
1 person found this helpful. Do you?Thank neil johnson

Please select a location