Originally Posted by Fighterpilot
Marin, is Active Captain an app for the Ipad?
Yes and no. (How's that for clarity?)
We've only just started using it so I am by no means an expert on it. Active Captain is a web-based application. It has its own website https://activecaptain.com/
. You create an account (free) on the website using a computer. And if you use Active Captain on that computer, it contains the charts for your area, or in areas where it doesn't have the charts, like the more northern BC waters, it has maps and satellite imagery.
The data points, which are red, blue, green and yellow squares, are overlaid onto the charts or maps or satellite views. You can click on them and read the information, you can add comments (reviews) to them, and you can create new ones for places you've been and have info that you think other boaters could benefit from. You can download the Active Captain updates (for free) periodically to get the latest information that users have entered.
That's all on a real computer.
Active Captain is available on the iPad, too, but as an element of a another party's charting app. In our case, we downloaded the Navimatics chart app that covers the US and Canadian west coasts as well as all of Alaska, and Hawaii. The cost of this app is about $25.
Navimatics has the ability to overlay the Active Captain data points onto the charts contained in the Navimatics data base. But.... you need to have an Active Captain account in order to download the data to the Navimatics app on the iPad. And so far as I can determine, the only way you can set up an Active Captain account is using a real computer.
Once you've downloaded the current Active Captain data base into the iPad chart app (it takes the better part of an hour to do this) you can turn on the Active Captain layer in the app and the data point squares will be overlaid on the charts. Selecting a data point will expand it and give you all the normal Active Captain info.
You can also add user comments to an existing Active Captain data point using the iPad. What you can't do, it seems, is create a new data point from the iPad. You have to use a computer for that.
And you can download the latest Active Captain updates using the iPad. Once you have the current data base loaded, downloading the updates doesn't take very long at all.
According to the Active Captain website they are being added to other iPad chart apps all the time. Navimatics is the one that seems to get the most recognition right now, but there are apparently others. I don't know if the big (and expensive) Navionics app for the iPad has the capability to overlay Active Captain data or not.
And now you know pretty much everything I know about the subject.
I may have gotten some of this wrong because we're very new to the Active Captain operation. I had kind of ignored it in the past because I thought it was primarily an east coast-Great Loop sort of thing, which is apparently how it started. But after getting the Navimatics chart app I figured, what the hell, Active Captain is free so let's see what it has to offer. And it has a ton of great stuff for our part of the world. So very, very worthwhile in our opinions.