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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


Novice sailors unite on Vagabound site

There’s a new option for anyone who’s interested in sailing and seafaring adventures, but doesn’t possess maritime skills.

Texas native Robert Patrick, along with co-founder Marco Grasso, a seasoned sailor from Italy, have created a Web site to help users create their dream trips. 

“ is a social network designed to connect people on their voyages, coordinate travel, plan adventures and allow the average person to have awesome sailing adventures like the ones I had always dreamed of having myself,” Patrick said. 

Grasso and Patrick met through a Web site called, which connects travelers with the local communities, allowing them to get in touch with a local resident of the place they want to visit. Residents even allow travelers to sleep on their couch – or floor or guest room – to cut on cost and to help create friendships. 

“We spent some time at my house in Rome,” Grasso said. “We enjoyed each other’s company immediately and became good friends, a friendship that has lasted since then.”

Using inspiration and influence by their experiences with, Grasso and Patrick decided to venture out and create their own online networking destination.
“Vagabond Sailing is the first online community to connect people through hands-on, group sailing trips” Grasso said. 

The company got its start as a Facebook group. Once a survey confirmed that the level of interest was positive, Grasso and Patrick began building their Web site.

“The members on the Web site are at 100 and growing, and the Facebook group is approaching 500 members,” Patrick said.

Currently the Web site has two voyages planned for July 2010, including a trip to Mediterranean Sea near Barcelona. 

For new users, the co-founders said they suggest that a new profile should be as detailed as possible.

“One aim of the site is indeed to make people know each other before getting on board,” Grasso said. “Afterwards, start to look for a trip or group that fits your needs.”

Freshman Elizabeth Forsythe said she navigated the site’s collection of information for people who are interested in boats, boating, voyages and making friends at sea.  

“Personally, I’m not interested in sailing unless it involves Captain Jack Sparrow, but I could see how the site would be useful for those who are interested beyond a piracy standpoint,” Forsythe said. 

Aside from Forsythe, college students across the nation have used Vagabond Sailing to plan oceanic excursions.

“We want to see the community grow and eventually expand sailing operations into the Caribbean,” Patrick said. “To accomplish this we plan to build a Vagabond Sailing Fleet using non-profit grant funding.”

Patrick said he and Marco want to see the Web site continue to expand and attract more users from different countries.

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