Taking inspiration from the last time that Doug and Vivek worked remotely on top of a U-Haul, we decided to up the ante. Two weeks ago, Doug, Daniel, and I worked from a boat around the Bay Area.
Why Work From A Boat?
At Pragli, we like to think unconventionally when it comes to marketing. Our philosophy is to try different strategies, learn from them, and see what sticks.
A couple months ago, I held a team creative brainstorm to come up with some unique ways to get the Pragli name out there. One of our mantras as a fully remote company is that you can "Work From Anywhere" when you're remote. As such, one of the ideas that came out of that brainstorm was working from a boat. So we made it happen.
Planning the Event
Since our team is fully distributed, we decided to just have the three of us based in California participate in this event. Since Doug and Daniel are both in San Francisco, I flew up from Orange County for the event.
Finding A Boat
The first order of business was to find a boat we could rent for the event. If need be, Doug said he could captain as he has experience sailing a pontoon sized boat. I stumbled upon a website called GetMyBoat that allows boat owners around the world to rent out their boats with or without a captain. You can select the type of trip you're looking for (boat type or activity), dates, budget range, and group size.
We didn't have a set budget for this event, so I just looked for the cheapest pontoon boats big enough for the 3 of us. I found one (below) that included a captain which I thought would be a safer bet. If you've been to the Bay Area, you know that the winds can get pretty crazy. For everyone's safety, I figured it would be best to have a captain who is experienced with sailing in Bay Area conditions. Plus, this would let us focus on the task at hand - working from the boat!
I figured four hours would be plenty of time for us to be able to sail to multiple locations and get some great photos and footage. Plus 10 AM - 2 PM is typically the time that most workers are out grabbing coffee or lunch.
After confirming with Doug and Daniel on the date and time, I put in a booking request with a note that this was for a marketing event where we would be sailing around the Bay while working from a boat. Captain Ryan then responded with his booking offer which we could choose to accept or deny.
The day before the event, Captain Ryan let me know that he would be bringing an even better boat for us, a Hurricane 188 deck boat, which actually ended up being our saving grace as you'll see below.
Unfortunately, the morning of the boat event was extremely gloomy and cold and Captain Ryan let us know it would be pretty windy and choppy out on the water. The previous week it had been nice and sunny (a rarity in SF), but just our luck today was the one day it wasn't. So we bundled up and settled in!
Doug and Vivek had previously ordered a huge Pragli banner for their U-Haul event and we had planned for Doug to bring it to the boat event. However, what I didn't know was just how large this banner was. The banner is a 10' x 8' banner intended for tabling events and conferences. Had Captain Ryan not brought this new boat that had more open space, the banner definitely would not have fit.
Not only was the banner way too big, but it also wasn't very sturdy. It certainly wasn't meant to be used on a boat with blowing winds! We had to take the banner down and set it back up every time we stopped somewhere for photos. Towards the end of the ride, the top and bottom horizontal poles also ended up disconnecting which made it difficult to hold up in the wind.
We left the overall route up to Captain Ryan since he had the best insight into where we were allowed to dock and get off. Since we wanted some wide shots that showed the entire boat and banner, we needed one person to get off on land to get the photos.
We sailed to the following sites:
🚤 SF Giants Stadium
🚤 Pier 30
🚤 Angel Island State Park
🚤 Golden Gate Bridge
🚤 Pier 39
🚤 The Embarcadero
Luckily for us, the weather ended up improving over time. It ended up being a really nice and sunny day! We also unknowingly planned this event during Fleet Week in the Bay Area. We got to sail by some of the impressive Navy ships that were brought in as seen below.
Boat Rental Cost = $645 for 4 hours
We actually ended up only staying on the boat for about 3 hours since the banner was on its last legs. 3 hours was plenty of time for us to be able to get a bunch of photos and videos and enjoy a sweet ride around the Bay.
Travel Cost = $717.35
Roundtrip flight from LAX to SFO = $122.96
Hotel cost for 2 nights = $401.13
Rides to and from airport = $193.26
The travel costs were actually more than that of the boat rental, this is largely due to travel changes during the pandemic. Given the limited availability of flight options, I ended up having to stay at a hotel for 2 nights. There were also pricing surges on Ubers and Lyfts from the airport.
Total Cost = $1,362.35
So were we actually able to work from the boat? YES!
Turns out you really can work from a boat, all you need is a hotspot connection.
Now is a boat the best place to work from? Probably not. The movement of the waves can cause some people to feel sea sick, so we're not going to recommend it. But is it doable? Definitely.
The goal of this event was to document the experience and get photos and videos that we could use for content later on. That's why we weren't too worried about the foot traffic day of. We'll keep you updated on how the content performs! 😊
Overall, it was a super fun experience and the three of us had a great time! We definitely want to continue doing these types of marketing stunts and hopefully we'll be able to do more with the whole team in the future.
Behind the Scenes Video
Follow along with us to see what it was like doing this boat event!
What is Pragli?
Pragli is a team communication platform that makes remote and hybrid work more fast, fun, and inclusive.
Our product is currently completely free - try it out at https://pragli.com/