Booking Request is more than visitor reservations

Our new Booking Request feature enables your customers to, well, request bookings. But we’ve designed it to be more than simply a tool for visitor berth reservations.

Like other Harbour Assist features, users have total control over Booking Request. You can configure it to help your business in the way that works best. For example, you could give your customers the power to:

  • Book a dry stack launch
  • Request haul out and winter storage
  • Report a fault or problem
  • Register for next season
  • Apply for club membership
  • Sign-up for an event or activity
  • Ask for a visitor berth

Example: Using Booking Request for registrations

Fowey Harbour uses Booking Request to help improve on-water safety, especially for paddle sports enthusiasts. 

Using a QR code linked to Booking Request, the harbour authority has made it easy for paddlers to register online even while they’re preparing to get afloat. Capturing registrations means that Fowey can provide safety advice and updates to the right people, more easily identify owners of abandoned equipment and increase payment of harbour dues.

Read more about how and why Fowey is using Booking Request.

What is Booking Request?

Booking Request is effectively a boater information-gathering tool that integrates seamlessly with your management system, calendar and operational processes. 

It enables boaters to take action when it suits them by completing a simple form on your website or customer portal. You can nudge customers into action using a QR code on signs (like Fowey Harbour, above), links in your email newsletter and on social media, or by a button on your website header.

Submissions are delivered directly to the right person in your team, with everything automatically recorded in the database. There’s less chance of customer requests getting lost or forgotten, and automated responses free-up team members to concentrate on delivery rather than the process.

Take a look at this video to see how it works.

You have control

Users don’t need to come to us to publish a new offering – control over all elements of Booking Request is in the Administration settings. And if you’re worried about team members making random changes, all users have roles that define access rights.

Dates and scheduling

You can offer date-specific services, such as berth and launch requests, or activities with an end date, like event sign-up. Or your offer may be unrelated to date, for example, membership enquiry.

Activities with a start and finish date can have a maximum duration, so for example, online requests for visitor stays could be for up to five days. This allows your dockmasters to talk through options with long-stay guests.

You can also define how far in advance dates are available for booking. If you don’t want customers booking for July in January, you might set a 90-day limit. So in January, boaters could book into March, but not July. The choice is yours.


One fear with online requests is overbooking, and we’ve solved this with slots. You can allocate a specific number of slots where capacity is limited, such as spaces at an event, berths for visitors, or crane movements.

Slots are the maximum number of deliverables you’re making available online. You could set the number of slots below actual capacity, so you can continue to take bookings by phone or be available for emergencies.

You can also vary the slots by day. If you don’t operate the crane on the weekend, you will set Saturday and Sunday to zero.

And, because we know that marine businesses work around peak and low seasons, tides, regattas, scheduled maintenance and staff holidays, we’ve built in a simple calendar override.

As they make their request, boaters use an intuitive date-picker calendar to select preferred start and end dates, with available dates only offered for selection.

Automated notifications

Communication is the backbone of every successful operation, whether between the company and customer or internal teams.

Every submission made through Booking Request is visible to all Harbour Assist users on a dashboard with drill-down detail. From here, users can accept, decline, or otherwise process.

To save time and help with prioritisation, you can set automatic emails to alert team members to certain types of requests. So your sales team is made aware of new enquiries, or the dockmaster knows who wants to visit. And by linking to a Task, the request automatically drops into the activity calendar, ready for scheduling.

Customers need confidence that you’ve received and are actioning their request, so again, you can set automated email or SMS text notifications. 

Wouldn’t it be great for a boater to receive an email telling them that their boat is launched and wishing them a fun weekend? With a full HTML editor, your emails can be personalised and beautiful as well as informative! Use the feature to take your customer service to the next level.

Booking Request delivers

We know that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for marine businesses. Each marina has a unique mix of operational opportunities and challenges – a distinct range of products and services and a different blend of customers. 

Booking Request is flexible. You can use it to sell to, recruit or engage with customers. To be more responsive to boaters’ needs and streamline your processes. Like every element of Harbour Assist, we help you work more efficiently and effectively.

How can we help your business?

If you’d like to talk about how Harbour Assist can help you to enhance customer service and smooth teamwork, email Nick Gill to start a conversation.