A Chat with Tristan Dargay, Founder and CEO at Boat Tech Start Up: VirCru

VirCru enables UK boat owners to monitor and control their boats from the comfort of their couches. It is the world’s best value, fully functioning, monitoring and control system for any boat, whether power or sail. We provide owners a ‘Virtual Crew’ for when they aren’t able to physically be on their boat.

When something changes on board, the owner is informed via a notification from the app on their phone and then is able to easily take action.

We help owners make the most out of the time they have with their boats by enabling them to monitor everything from battery charge, to water levels, to location as well as whether their boat is still safe on its mooring, whether anyone has accessed it whilst not being there or if any of the monitored items on your boat have been removed.
 
 

 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
When I bought my first boat, there were no affordable, low-maintenance, high-tech solutions on the market that would keep tabs on my boat. Often I’d stay up at night worrying: whether the isolator was off, if I’d closed the hatches, and if the fridge was cold enough.

I was driven by a simple desire to ensure boat owners can alleviate any worries associated with keeping a boat without forking out a small fortune, even if living further away. I felt I could achieve all these by creating VirCru.
 

 

What can we hope to see from VirCru in the future?

 
We’re constantly looking at ways to extend and improve the VirCru marine line of products. We want to look at integrating third party apps and functionality to offer as much value to our customers as possible. We also want to make VirCru as compatible as possible with marine industry standards like NMEA2000 and Victron.

Beyond the marine industry, we’re looking at other opportunities where we can transfer the expertise and products that we have into other sectors. We’ve got our eyes on a couple of possibilities across other leisure sectors and the home markets but watch this space…
 

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

 
My advice is to be prepared to fail. The first business I tried to launch was a monitoring and control product for the marine industry when I first left University. It didn’t go well and put me off launching another product into the consumer space for a long time.

However, it did spur me to set up TAD Electronics which has been at the core of what I’ve achieved for the last 17 years. It’s now also formed the basis for VirCru and the outcome this time will be very different.