I think with Active Captain
as with many things, it fulfills it's primary purpose very well. If one tries to use it for things beyond that, then it may be disappointing. There could also be a wish list made of hundreds of other features one or more people would like.
Personally, I have no complaints at all. If I'm heading somewhere or even on a long trip in a new area, I have no problem clicking on every marina and anchorage just to become familiar. I use the information there, which is always increasing. As to that not there I head
to the facility's website. I've found it of tremendous benefit in multiple areas.
As to what fit's in what classification, if one tried to be too specific you'd have as many colors as Baskin Robbins has flavors and be totally confused. Are fuel
? The dock
behind a restaurant where they do allow you to overnight? Where do moorings fit? Those are all just judgement calls made by AC and there is no right or wrong. It works for me.
As to the wish there was a search data base, it would perhaps be nice, but I think it might well lead one to overlook places they don't wish to. I'll give you an example we've encountered. We have cruised in larger boats at times. So we look for size restrictions. Yet we don't automatically eliminate those under our length. We might look on their site or just zoom in with a satellite
view. Amazing how many marinas
even say on their web site something like "Up to 60 ft." and then elsewhere you find out they can handle one or two larger boats on T ends or side tie docks.
Much is incomplete or out of date. Unfortunately, AC has no way to automatically get all that information from every facility. But one feature I do find very helpful is the Fuel
tab. Even using it though, I still need to call to know the latest price
but also all the deals. Discounts for this that and that. Or penalties for using a credit card.
To me AC is the place I start. It isn't the end all of everything. Can't be. But it's the most complete listing available. The biggest single
feature I applaud is that they do appear to do a great job of having every marina and fuel stop, details on bridges and locks, and public facilities. As to anchorages
there will always be additional places someone anchors and doesn't report to AC. We actually anchored one night in Alaska
and the Pilot said, "I sure hope no one reports this to Active Captain
." It was sort of his "secret" place.
If anyone expects a quick glance at AC to give them all the information they want, that's not going to happen. But spend time, starting with it as your base, and you'll get an amazing amount of information.
I compare it somewhat to "Trip Advisor." Trip Advisor isn't the end all for attractions or restaurants or other things. But it comes the closest to a complete listing I've found. And it arranges them in order of popularity. Now that doesn't mean it's going to fit with any individual's preference. But when I'm about to visit a new area, the two sources I start with are Active Captain and Trip Advisor (we only visit places by water
so they always go together...don't travel by car). They get me started and 90% of the way there in my planning. Then I get other information I can find.