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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
All,

I created a tool to help me in my sailboat search and I thought I'd share it with you all: sailboatlocator.com (sorry can't post link because this is my first post). It runs on a fairly small server and it's still in beta so I'm not sure what will happen if it gets heavier traffic but I guess we'll see. It uses gmail authentication so you need a gmail address to use it.

The problem: I have a list of about 30 boats that I'm interested in (I'm still at a very preliminary stage of my search). Going on yatchworld, sailboatlistings, boat trader and querying these 30 boats ends up in a total of 90 queries, takes too much of my time.

sailboatlocator.com provides a solution: you enter a list of sailboat you are interested in (it supports about 6000+ types of sailboat at this point) and enter a list of states you are considering (e.g., Washington state and Oregon), and the search engine gives you a nice summary of all boats which match your search. It does so by querying other search engines periodically, and it can email you if a new boat arrives on the market.

There can be a delay of 15-60 minutes between the time you create a search and the time results start appearing since it needs to query other engines.

It only works in the US for now. Feel free to use it and send me feedback if you have any (e.g., if you have issues, think of new features or if you know of a similar service out there)

Thanks,
-Gabe

p.s. here's a screenshot of an example search results
imgur.com/KFxEEHh
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Currently only yachtworld.com and sailboatlistings.com, adding another source is fairly easy although I didn't know what new source would be worth it. Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Adding boats.com and sailingtexas.com should be straightforward. Craigslist and kijiji might be a bit more tricky since parsing classified ads is trickier, but I think it would add a lot of value to the tool. Definitely adding that to my todo list.
 

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I like it. You should turn it into an android app.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk
 

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It would be nice if the Terms of Service said you weren't going to use our email accounts for any other purposes...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks thesnort and jimgo, I'll add these to do my list of sources to consider.

Alex W: I just added a terms of service that I picked from here: automattic.com/privacy . It's available under the Creative Common Sharealike license so I just replaced Automattic by SailboatLocator.com. In summary, I guarantee I won't share the emails with anyone. At this point, I'm only using the emails to send notifications when new boats get on the market, and there's an unsuscribe button for that. Let me know if you have other questions about terms of service.
 

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I would also add sailinganarchy.com classified list. It's mostly racing boats, but a lot of nice day sailers pop up there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just added boats.com . It does create a lot of duplicates, it seems there's a lot of overlap with Yachtworld.com. However I did find some new boats that weren't on either sailboatlistings.com or yachtworld.com (a nice Baba 30!)

For now I'd rather not try to deduplicate the boat automatically since recall is more important than precision to me. I'll be adding a way to hide the duplicate boats from the search results.
 

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Good plan. It may be difficult to do an accurate de-dupe. When I was searching, I would have preferred to scan the ads myself, in case there was additional information, pictures, etc. in one versus the other. Perhaps a way of grouping suspected dupes might be a better alternative?
 

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The mentioned boat searching site is likely to be malisious - a typical exploit of cross-site scipting attack. You don't need an AUTHENTICATED gmail account to send email notification - just an email address is sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Argalax: Just taking an email address wouldn't be enough. I want to make sure that if you create a search on the site, only you can access that search. It wouldn't be enough since if someone's email address became public, everyone could access that person's search results. I sure could have users create their own username/password on the site, but then I'd have to handle storing passwords, recovering lost passwords etc. This is precisely why more and more websites use Facebook or Gmail for authentication. (see this Wiki article on OAuth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Please feel free to inspect any javascript source code (right-click and "View source") and PM me which part you think might be malicious, I'll be happy to go over and explain what's happening in the code.

If it makes you feel more confident in using the search engine, here's a link to my personal website Gabriel Parent which has a pointer to sailboatlocator.com. I don't know of anyone who would put a link to a malicious website on their personal website :) I appreciate your effort in warning the SailNet community about cross-site scripting as it can be an issue, however I guarantee it's not the case here.

I'd be happy to answer any questions,
-Gabriel
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just added the "Dulicate Match" state, along with "Hide 'Duplicate Match' results". So if you see a duplicate match, select Duplicate Match which will hide the boat from the results. If you ever want to see all boats you've marked as duplicate, uncheck the "Hide 'Duplicate Match' results" and they will show, which would allow you to unmark the "Duplicate Match".

@Jimgo: I think that automatically grouping duplicate boats as you suggest would be the way to go. A naive "model + location + price" exact match should be pretty good (e.g., how many exact same models of the exact same year and price will be selling at the same time? not that many I'd think). Adding to the todo list.

-Gabriel
 

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Voyageur_131,
Perhaps you have good intentions. And I see the real value in your project – I would gladly use it myself...
However, Google search "cross-site scripting" (XSS) or check Wikepedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-site_scripting. Or better yet - read the Security and Abuse sections in the OAuth link you've provided yourself.
At this point you are saying “just trust me”.

I work in IT, and XSS vulnerability is something I have to deal often. You can accomplish what’re trying to using old-fashioned cookies, sessions and other methods.

Your website will gain more trust and loyal followers if you will not require its users to surrender their Gmail accounts.

Wish you luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Argalax: There's now close to 60 OAuth providers (including Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and other major players) and probably hundreds of thousands websites using OAuth for authentication and authorization. OAuth is the way to go if you're building a web app in 2013. Sure, there might be XSS attacks enabled by OAuth out there (a quick google search only gave me one such theorical attack), but it won't stop me from using my Gmail and Facebook accounts to log in other websites. I don't like having to remember 20 different passwords. I'm not saying "just trust me", I did offer to go over any HTML or JavaScript bits you were concerned about. I think that if you are accusing my website of being malicious, the burden of proof is on your side.

At any rate, since you are interested in using the site and since you are genuinely concerned by possible XSS attacks, I'll happily add my own custom login mechanism tonight. I'll handle password recovery through PM for now since I don't have time to implement a password recovery system.

I'll post an update once I've pushed the change,

-Gabriel
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just pushed a change with a in-house login system: SailboatLocator - Find your dream boat! It's now possible to create a username/password combination specific to sailboatlocator, however there's no password reset system yet. You can always PM me to have your password reset. You can still use your gmail account for logging in.

Next update, adding sailboat stats to the search results: sail area/Disp., ballast/Disp., Disp./LOA, LOA/beam, etc.
 

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Another site you might look at is smartcarguide.com. You can search by sailboats or point specific on the make and model you want. Thanks for your work on this although I think you just gave the admiral another reason to roll her eyes when she asks me what I'm doing on the computer.
 
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