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Old 16-10-2014, 06:20   #16
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

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Originally Posted by Helbent View Post
I think the Waterway Guide and Skipper Bob's Anchorages serve different purposes. The Waterway Guide is good, as you say, on describing towns along the way. However, Skipper Bob's Anchorages has way more information on anchorages, just way more. When we just went down in August and September, we only stayed at a marina one night, so Skipper Bob's was invaluable.

And, you are right, ActiveCaptain is awesome, but it is not always the easiest thing to use when underway or even in a secluded anchorage. Plus, there are some limitations to crowdsourcing navigation information.
The problem with "crowdsourcing" is, almost 50% of the population is below average intelligence. Consider this typical statement on Active Captain "We had about one foot of water below our keel." What does that tell us? - Nothing unless we know the depth of his/her keel. A more intelligent person would have listed the water's depth.

I read a review of an anchorage where the reviewer gave it one star because he couldn't find a nearby marina that would let him land his dinghy and take showers for less than $10. What does that have to do with the quality of the anchorage? Why would someone expect a marina to let them take up dock space and use their water and electricity for free?

There are a couple more anchorage guides that I find easier to use than Skipper Bob's. The Great Book of Anchorages is one.
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Old 16-10-2014, 06:59   #17
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

For general guidance, we'll put another vote for Skipper Bob's. Simple and straighforward to follow.

For detailed anchorage and marina spotting, we've yet to find anything that comes close to Active Captain. Yeah, crowd sourced isn't perfect but it's a heck of a lot better than 2 yr old info about a marina that paid for advertising in a guidebook.
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Old 16-10-2014, 07:44   #18
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

Also keep in mind that the NYS canal system shuts down on November 19th this year.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:02   #19
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

These conversations always turn into arguments about active captain, it seems.

My answer is: all of them!

I did the ICW from the Manatee River on the west coast of FL, all the way home to New York. I was frequently glad to have multiple sources of information, online and off, as no resource is 100% complete. It's also nice to have several opinions on anchorages, bridges, etc., when they do overlap.

Since I was single handing in a small (23') boat in sometimes awful weather, there were many times I couldn't fire up my laptop or iPhone, and I was glad to have paper charts and paper books on hand.

ActiveCaptain fans frequently argue that the books are out of date, but I didn't find that to be the case, at least as far as anchorages go. I used Skipper Bob, and also all the Claiborne Young books, which are even older, I think. Anchorages don't change that fast.

I also frequently found it convenient to use actual book marks, stickers, written notes, etc., in the books. Yes, I WROTE in my books! Take me away, book police!

Seriously, buying every book out there is a trivial expense, compared to the expense of the trip. And you won't regret having the water-stained evidence that you made the trip on your bookshelf, long after the trip is a memory.

You cannot have too much information, including ActiveCaptain, if you happen to have a computer on board.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:16   #20
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

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Originally Posted by cofc View Post
I don't know why anyone would need anything more than a chartplotter and Active Captain.
We use Active Captain extensively, but also Waterway Guide. I think there is very helpful information in the Waterway Guides that Active Captain just doesn't provide. I would suggest both, especially for a first timer on the ICW.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:36   #21
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

Almost forgot: I also think it's a bit late to make the offshore jump from Sandy Hook to the Delaware Bay. That's a long, nasty leg at this time of year. Even if the boat draws less than 4' and you plan to run the NJ ICW, that leg from Sandy Hook to Manasquan can be a beast. I had to wait for 2 weeks in Nov 2010 to catch a good day, and it only turned out to be half a good day. If you are prepared to wait for a window, you might be able to do it. Would not be my cup of tea, though.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:41   #22
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalmberg View Post
These conversations always turn into arguments about active captain, it seems.

My answer is: all of them!

I did the ICW from the Manatee River on the west coast of FL, all the way home to New York. I was frequently glad to have multiple sources of information, online and off, as no resource is 100% complete. It's also nice to have several opinions on anchorages, bridges, etc., when they do overlap.

Since I was single handing in a small (23') boat in sometimes awful weather, there were many times I couldn't fire up my laptop or iPhone, and I was glad to have paper charts and paper books on hand.

ActiveCaptain fans frequently argue that the books are out of date, but I didn't find that to be the case, at least as far as anchorages go. I used Skipper Bob, and also all the Claiborne Young books, which are even older, I think. Anchorages don't change that fast.

I also frequently found it convenient to use actual book marks, stickers, written notes, etc., in the books. Yes, I WROTE in my books! Take me away, book police!

Seriously, buying every book out there is a trivial expense, compared to the expense of the trip. And you won't regret having the water-stained evidence that you made the trip on your bookshelf, long after the trip is a memory.

You cannot have too much information, including ActiveCaptain, if you happen to have a computer on board.
I agree. You may end up relying on one source more than the others but they all help, especially in planning a trip. The printed guides are also interesting to read after you've made the trip just to see if your experience matches the author's.

Active Captain doesn't tell you about the history of towns along the way or places to visit. The guides do.
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Old 22-10-2014, 13:49   #23
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I agree. You may end up relying on one source more than the others but they all help, especially in planning a trip. The printed guides are also interesting to read after you've made the trip just to see if your experience matches the author's.

Active Captain doesn't tell you about the history of towns along the way or places to visit. The guides do.
travelwiki does nice for places to visit and an overview.
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Old 24-10-2014, 13:33   #24
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
The problem with "crowdsourcing" is, almost 50% of the population is below average intelligence. Consider this typical statement on Active Captain "We had about one foot of water below our keel." What does that tell us? - Nothing unless we know the depth of his/her keel. A more intelligent person would have listed the water's depth.



I read a review of an anchorage where the reviewer gave it one star because he couldn't find a nearby marina that would let him land his dinghy and take showers for less than $10. What does that have to do with the quality of the anchorage? Why would someone expect a marina to let them take up dock space and use their water and electricity for free.

Easy killa. One would be foolish to not consult that crowd sourcing. I'm not an active captain fan, having only used it a little, and not for nav stuff. Surely we are all smart enough to read reviews and decide what's useful, as you did.

Just to be accurate and factual, active captain is a free resource for boaters, and has some great commentary, and i don't remember ever thinking it was full of dumb comments. Maybe my expectations are lower.

Am I missing something? Do they charge big money for this now? Why would one forgo a free resource, given connectivity?




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Apologies for typos, truly too busy to edit
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Old 24-10-2014, 14:05   #25
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

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Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
Easy killa. One would be foolish to not consult that crowd sourcing. I'm not an active captain fan, having only used it a little, and not for nav stuff. Surely we are all smart enough to read reviews and decide what's useful, as you did.

Just to be accurate and factual, active captain is a free resource for boaters, and has some great commentary, and i don't remember ever thinking it was full of dumb comments. Maybe my expectations are lower.

Am I missing something? Do they charge big money for this now? Why would one forgo a free resource, given connectivity?




Sent from my iSomething using Tapatalk
Apologies for typos, truly too busy to edit
"killa"?

I don't think you understood my post. I'm too busy to explain it.
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Old 25-10-2014, 05:32   #26
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Re: ICW guide for newbies

Sigh. I guess we have to update the list:

Anchors
Guns onboard
Pirates
Non-approved LED nav lights
ActiveCaptain

Of COURSE you can get some bone-headed comments on any crowdsourced site. Our marina (private club) has one star in Google or someplace, because the only person who ever reviewed it wasn't served dinner. Turns out they thought it was a restaurant.

Anyway, rather than re-litigate all the arguments for and against ActiveCaptain, allow me to point out one factual omission:

You don't need to be on line to get AC reviews. I have them on my smart phones, tablet, and laptops. One day soon they'll be available on your MFD, too.

I use guide books, but more and more I'm finding AC has the best and most current information. Sometimes we avoid a place with a "good" review, or seek out one with a "bad" review, because it's clear that the reviewer had opinions or requirements that are opposite ours. When we want peace and quiet, we look for places that were dinged for having "No shopping." "Too shallow" from someone with a deep draft means I'll probably be able to squeeze in where other boats can't.
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