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#569149 - 09/13/17 11:36 PM Active Captain-Do You Belong?  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,822
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,822
Pasco, WA
I've been a member of Active Captain for several years and use it frequently when planning a trip to new waters. I don't know if any of you belong to it, but it is a forum that has UG (User Generated) Content. In simple terms, the members provide the information on things in four general categories: Marinas, Anchorages, Local Knowledge and Hazards.

Now just so you know, I have no affiliation with AC other than being a user for years. I have provided a lot of information in those four categories and will continue to do so as I travel by boat.

I got an email today from AC asking members to post new data about the conditions in the areas recently hit by hurricanes as it becomes available. It would be nice to know if you're planning a trip to FL (for example) if the marina you want to stay at is still open for business or closed for repairs.

Now I know a lot of you are Great Lakes boaters so, to give you an idea of what is available on AC in your I went to South Haven, MI. There are 27 points along the Black River between Lake Michigan and I-196 where AC provides some information.

I clicked on the Northside Municipal Marina and was able to read reviews, get their phone number and manager's name, found out they don't sell fuel but have a pump out, water and just about everything else a boater could want including nearby beaches, lots to do in town, etc.

I'm not pushing AC. Well maybe just a little bit, because I have used it a lot and like the way they present the information. If you're an AC user, that's great. If not, it might be worth your time to take a look at it.

Anyone else an Active Captain user?


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
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#569150 - 09/14/17 12:34 AM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,244
WayWeGo Online content
Admiral
WayWeGo  Online Content
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,244
Oakton, VA
We are regular users of Active Captain and have been for almost 10 years. I have become less enamored of it since Jeff sold it to Garmin, as it seems that capabilities are gradually being added only for Garmin and their web based interface. Since we are Navionics customers and use an Android tablet that does not support flash as required by the web app, AC is becoming more difficult to use.

I have maintained a copy of C-Map on my phone and tablet just to support AC, but Jeff's recent letter about posting hurricane damage only referred to Garmin and the web app to input data. I'll have to see if it still works on C-Map, especially as the C-Map app for my tablet is quite expensive.



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#569154 - 09/14/17 07:46 AM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,139
captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,139
Chicago, IL
Have never heard of Active Captain but it sounds like a great tool when exploring new waters.

Last edited by captkevin; 09/14/17 11:49 AM.

2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#569160 - 09/14/17 12:23 PM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,822
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,822
Pasco, WA
WWG, I tend to agree about AC being more suited to Garmin, but I think that's why Garmin bought them. I have Raymarine equipment on my boat and don't use AC with any of it. I just use AC for their HUGE data base.

Kevin, if you've never looked at AC it might be worth your time if you do take your boat to distant places. The volume of information they provide (well, actually it's the boaters who provide it, AC just provides a place for it and organizes it) helps out with planning trips because it gives you information about your intended destinations and reviews of those destinations by the AC boating community.

I don't think you have to be an AC member to browse the information but you do have to sign up (it's free!) to be able to post information.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#569165 - 09/14/17 08:29 PM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,470
Dave R Offline
Admiral
Dave R  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,470
Raymond NH
I just discovered it early this year and used it extensively to plan my 16 day cruise last month. I think it's great.


"Mischief Managed"
2000 Regal 2550 LSC
7.4 MPI Bravo 3
#569166 - 09/14/17 11:15 PM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,822
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,822
Pasco, WA
Dave, did you go back in and post your reviews of the places you visited?


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#569167 - 09/15/17 12:51 AM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,669
Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,669
Southern California
Sounds like WAYZ for boaters.

https://www.waze.com/


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#569170 - 09/15/17 07:08 AM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,470
Dave R Offline
Admiral
Dave R  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 6,470
Raymond NH
Originally Posted by GoFirstClass
Dave, did you go back in and post your reviews of the places you visited?


I was going to (I'm sure people here know I love to share my opinions), but it would have been redundant (I like to think I'm getting better at knowing when not to share my opinion). Every overnight stop had multiple pages of accurate reviews, and at least one or two recent accurate reviews. Of course, that's what prompted me to stay at those places...

I've looked up ,marina and port ratings/reviews for cruises taken in years past and I'm really pleased to say that prior to using AC, my other methods of doing pre-cruise research worked extremely well. I have stayed at AC-top-rated marinas more often than not and have not missed any great ports or attractions. The most valuable research has been using forums like this one to get first-hand advice and I have no plans to stop doing so.


"Mischief Managed"
2000 Regal 2550 LSC
7.4 MPI Bravo 3
#569209 - 09/18/17 10:17 PM Re: Active Captain-Do You Belong? [Re: GoFirstClass]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,244
WayWeGo Online content
Admiral
WayWeGo  Online Content
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,244
Oakton, VA
Originally Posted by GoFirstClass
WWG, I tend to agree about AC being more suited to Garmin, but I think that's why Garmin bought them.

GFC, I have to disagree with that. I think AC would have been a better match with Navionics, but Jeff has always been at odds with them, thus they were the only major charting vendor that did not work at all with AC. My gut feeling is that Jeff realized that Navionics was heading towards crowd sourcing data and he saw them as a competitor, but I really don't know.

Now that Garmin does own AC, it appears they are slowly moving towards making it a competitive advantage for their products. They are doing it slowly to avoid angering potential customers, and I suspect it will be more along the lines of rolling out features first in Garmin products before letting competitors have the same capabilities a generation later.

As long as they still allow the Web base application, it will remain accessible for computer users, but that was written to use Flash, which is severely limiting in today's environment. I suspect that Garmin and Jeff (under contract to Garmin) will not fix that, which will ultimately lead to the demise of this service, ultimately morphing this into a Garmin only feature. That is not necessarily a bad thing in a free competitive market, but I expect other similar services will become more popular as AC becomes a Garmin only feature. Time will tell...

In the meantime, I continue to use AC and submit reviews when appropriate. I find that many of my posts are now updates on markers and channels, since as Dave posted, there are good reviews of most marinas and we have been returning to ones that I previously posted about.

One real advantage to being an AC member is the weekly special at Defender. I have bought a number of expensive items through these specials at prices that just are not available anywhere else, including a 12" chartplotter and radar.



Last edited by WayWeGo; 09/18/17 10:19 PM.


1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP

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