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Making connections with like-minded people makes liveaboard life very special. Perhaps you want to find boats with families on board, or someone to practice yoga with, or a musician to jam with?

Groups are the key to identifying boats with a common interest. In this article we will look at an example of how to find boats sailing with families on board, but the same principle applies for any group on noforeignland.

This article’s banner image was taken by Brandon and Amber sailing on Everyday Saturday, and shows them in the company of other family boats they connected with using noforeignland in the Eastern Caribbean. Our thanks to them for allowing us to use it here.

Finding other family boats

So you’ve been out sailing for a couple of weeks, and your kids are starting to get restless – they want to hang out with other kids and you need a break.

You look on the noforeignland app to see if you can find another boat nearby with kids on board, but there are too many to choose from.

What you need to do is filter the map to just show the boats you want to connect with:

On the left, all boat and place markers are shown. On the right, the map has been filtered to only show boats belonging to a particular boat group.

Join a boat group

The Kids4Sail group, is the most popular group on noforeignland, with over a thousand kid boats, and growing steadily.

Tap on the Groups button in the bottom right corner of the screen and search for the group you want to join; in this example we want to join the Kids4Sail group. Then open the group page and (if you’re not already a member) tap on the Join button to join the group.

From the group page, you can create, read and comment on posts by other family boats, but better still, you can also filter the map to see where they are!

Top tip: there are lots of other kids groups, try searching for ‘kid’ or ‘family’ in the Groups page.

Filter the map

Towards the top right corner of the screen you should see the Filter button, which looks like a small funnel:

Tap on this button and you will return to the map with filters applied to show all the group members’ boats:

That’s all there is to it – all the boats you see here belong to your group.

You can now tap on the boats to see who they are, and use the in app chat to make contact and discuss plans.

Keep your location updated

To help other group members find you, it’s a good idea to register your boat and keep its location up-to-date.

We support lots of automated boat tracking options, but the easiest approach is to occasionally use the noforeignland app to move your boat to your current GPS location; if you’re not keen on sharing your exact location, then the app allows you to pick a nearby spot manually too.

And finally….

We love to hear about people meeting up using noforeignland. Please comment below to let us know if you’ve made friends using our app or website.

By Steve Neal

Steve and his wife Helena have lived aboard their Hallberg Rassy 43 Amalia since 2014 and have sailed extensively in the Mediterranean and more recently the Caribbean, the east coast of the United States and Central America.


  • Michelle says:

    I’d like to filter groups I follow and boats I follow.
    It seems to only allow one or the other, is there a way to do this?

    Many thanks

    • Avatar photo Steve Neal says:

      Hi Michelle,

      No you can only filter by one or the other.

      We decided not to allow this as applying two filters would be ambiguous to a user. For example, you want to filter a boat group and boats you are following. Should the filters only show boats you are following that belong to your group, or should it show all boats that belong to the group and all boats you are following. The results are quite different and potentially confusing.

      I hope this explains why we didn’t include it.


  • We have been using NFL for a bit over a year, after our Pacific crossing to French Polynesia. We love it and find it so helpful for meeting others, finding important local spots and contributing to the others who come in our tracks. Hope to see you all out there!

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