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Old 11-08-2014, 18:03   #1
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Active Captain - Ramblings of a User

First, a disclaimer: I'm a big AC fan and an early adopter. I have AC data on a number of different apps on my smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop.

Now, my beefs:

1) If you don't want to put in any information, DON'T WRITE A REVIEW! Cruisers want to know how much it cost, what amenities, conveniences, and nearby services are available. What to do and how to do it. What were the high and low points of your visit? A few stars and the minimum text is worse than useless, it's a waste of everyone's time. Fill in every section you know, and go out of your way to find out the rest. Maybe you took a mooring, but ask much it would cost for dockage. You didn't fuel up, but check the price on the pump on your way by. Ask how many moorings the town or yacht club maintains, and how well. Look around the facilities, even if you don't personally use the shower, laundry, or whatever.

2) Tell us WHAT YOU'RE REVIEWING. Most often I'm looking for whether or not the facility offers overnight dockage or moorings. If not, make that clear in your subject, or the first sentence or two. And see #1, above - fill in the appropriate fields so other users know whether it's a boatyard, full-service marina, or just a fuel dock, fish pier or welding shop.

3) Tell us a little about you. Maybe what's no good for you, is exactly what I'm looking for, or maybe my boat can anchor where your's can't. At a minimum, mention your draft and size. If you didn't like something, say WHY. I may or may not feel the same way.

Finally, my biggest beef with AC is that I can't search and sort the data the way I want. The web site has some basic filtering and can sort on a few fields (if anyone bothered to enter them.) But the web isn't always available underway. Most of the 3rd party apps can't do any sorting. So I have to click or tap each icon, one by one, and read through the data to find, say, who rents slips, or how much the fuel is, or even how many stars in the reviews.

To be fair, AC is still much better than printed guides which contain NO prices or reliable reviews, and seem to cater more to which businesses paid the most to be listed.
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Old 11-08-2014, 18:20   #2
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

Good constuctive points!

I don't use it because I am in Asia ....but I wonder if they could create a template of necessary information fields to be entered before a post can be submitted?
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Old 11-08-2014, 18:25   #3
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

I like it mainly for anchorages and quick links. Other than that it is the same old old.

But I loaded the mobile app to my phone.
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:58   #4
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

I stopped believing in AC when the newsletter suggested I use my boat to check if reported discrepancies and shoaling were still accurate.

I don't think so...

Before that, I was a believer. And I still think the dogs are cute. But now I've realized that the navigation information includes reports from Booger and Skeeter, who couldn't find their favorite nav aid to tie their bass boat to, so they reported it missing.

So I use it for reviews, and am happy with the cost. CaptTom, it sounds like it may not fill your needs, maybe you're paying too much.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:50   #5
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
So I use it for reviews, and am happy with the cost. CaptTom, it sounds like it may not fill your needs, maybe you're paying too much.
On the contrary, I'm still a believer. I understand the limits of crowd sourcing, and can pretty much ignore Booger's and Skeeter's reviews.

My big beef, beyond the posting of meaningless drivel, is the difficulty in filtering out the empty entries. If I'm looking for a slip, I want to see just the marinas offering slips, preferably by location and price. Likewise fuel, moorings, etc. Instead, I have to tap on and read through listings for Skeeter's bait shop and Booger's diesel repair shop. A restaurant with a dock is not necessarily a "marina", and won't help me when I'm looking for diesel repairs.

You can unsubscribe from the newsletter. I tend to read them, when I get time. I saw the one about checking shoaling reports. I don't recall Jeff recommending anyone stand into danger for the sake of a review. But with my 3'3" draft, I'll happily motor over a reported 6-foot shoal in a marked channel and pass along my findings.
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:56   #6
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

"crowd sourcing" means any fool can add his or her information. Remember, almost 50% of the population is below average intelligence.

There's a marina on the AICW that I stopped at. It was little more than a restaurant/bar with fuel. Bathrooms but no showers. Some fool gave it five stars and called it a great marina.

AC is a good tool but you have to learn how to use it and use it along with other tools.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:06   #7
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

Quote:
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. Some fool gave it five stars and called it a great marina.
AC is a good tool but you have to learn how to use it and use it along with other tools.
No way to keep the owners and friends of a particular service from giving it rave reviews, if I owned a marina, I'd be likely to review myself highly
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:22   #8
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

Wait! Wait!!!

Booger and Skeeter got on the Internet, so what they say must be true!


Like any other information source, some measure of caution and care may be prudent.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:39   #9
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

I found it excellent. And unlike the morons who think all boaters are morons, I think the reviews and cruiser information is EXCELLENT!

knowing the vagaries of the internet, Twitter et al, its great to see the internet being used for something so useful so well



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Old 12-08-2014, 10:08   #10
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

I like ActiveCaptain too, but take the reviews with a grain of salt.

My beef is all the 3rd party apps download their entire database. I must have 3 or 4 sets of all ActiveCaptain data in various nav apps on my iPad. All I want to store is my local sailing area.

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Old 12-08-2014, 11:05   #11
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

They need an app that is their own stand alone rather then purchasing another nav package. I'd even pay 19.99 for it.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:29   #12
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinmike View Post
They need an app that is their own stand alone rather then purchasing another nav package. I'd even pay 19.99 for it.
In the play store for android. It's called Active Captain Companion.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:34   #13
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

I must be an "old timer". I use a computer.
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Old 13-08-2014, 08:59   #14
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

You have to be an educated consumer of information. If there are only a few reviews I click on the reviewers and look at their other contributions and make my own assessment of those people. If there are a lot of reviews I click through to the reviewers that are different.

ActiveCaptain is one of the best resources available to cruisers.
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Old 13-08-2014, 09:06   #15
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Re: Active Captain - ramblings of a user

Quote:
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In the play store for android. It's called Active Captain Companion.
Their base chart resolution sucks. They'd be better off with Google Earth than the low-res NOAA charts.
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