At the age most guys are cranking back the LazyBoy into retirement, a handful of “old-school” sailors on the coast of Maine hooked up with a filmmaker and a boat builder to create a compelling boat video. Then another video, and another. These videos brought such pleasure to those who saw them — and gave such clarity to complicated processes like “how to trim sails” and even “how sails are made” — soon they had over 40 exceptional boat videos.
At that point, with their LazyBoys gathering dust, they had no choice but to launch a video website for the boat-obsessed — those who want to enhance their time on the water with grace and old-school-know-how.
Since the site’s launch, these unlikely entrepreneurs have signed up 30 top sailors and boatbuilders to be Guides on the site, and the combination of all this experience has built one of the leading boating websites — OffCenterHarbor.com— a decidedly off-beat membership outfit with a well-designed collection of over 700 unique videos and articles to enlighten, inspire, instruct and just plain entertain.
Rather than dwelling on shiny new go-fast gadgets or mega-yachts, “Off Center” experts present old-fashioned seamanship and sensible boat designs that have stood the test of time. With this approach, they are betting there are more among us who don’t mind going a little slower occasionally, with a lot more grace.
How’s their bet paying off? So far, so good. Since its launch in 2012, thousands of mariners from over 60 countries have joined OffCenterHarbor.com and membership has risen steadily every month since they began.
While the founders’ age alone may make them less-likely entrepreneurs, their decades of experience as revered writers, photographers, sailors and boat builders (plus their location on the Maine coast) makes them perfect for creating high-quality instructional videos on topics they’re passionate about — sailing, camp-cruising, boat handling, maintenance, and experiencing simplicity afloat.
Their favorite quote, which has become a mantra of Off Center members, is: “Simplicity afloat is the surest guarantee of happiness”, by L. Francis Herreshoff. Because there are no advertisements on the site, there’s no corporate ass to kiss, so Off Center videos give surprisingly honest advice and instruction on which paint to use, and even which tools to use to build your own boat. Members rave about the authenticity, genuine nature, and quirky irreverence of the site.
The result is a deeply inspiring place of refuge for members to find peace (and centuries of old-school-know-how) amidst this modern chaotic world. So check it out at OffCenterHarbor.com.