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Old 07-15-2018, 08:28 AM   #21
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Think there is a far more simple takeaway regarding AC (Active Captain). Crowd source data by definition isn't about one review and in most cases less accurate by using averages. I use AC a fair amount. Depending on how critical the information is, should determine how many sources you need and whether they have a proven track record with you. From the risks listed in the article, it's unlikely I would trust 1 person on AC. If the risk was sticking the bow in some mud, that might be different. For the inlet in the article, I would need to see several reviews or at least a couple from reviewers I trust.

Regarding averaging, without reading the individual reviews, you can't qualify how relevant the reviews are to you. If a reviewer has a 10' draft and a 70' mast, you may get a decidedly different review of an anchorage than the cruiser in a shallow draft 28' trailerable.

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Old 07-15-2018, 09:18 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Ok, just figured out what I was doing wrong with SeaIQ. Now I see the reviews. still canít figure out how to use their web site.
It's good for certain things and not others. We use it more like a trip advisor than any sort of navigation tool. We use the web version only and do not integrate it with any plotter.

It is the most complete list of marinas I am aware of, so in planning trips we use it to search for marinas at both planned and possible stops. If then a marina interests us or we want more information, we go from AC to the marina's website through the link on AC. So, it's part of our trip planning. Also, if plans change, it's a quick resource for finding marinas in new locations. We do look at the reviews of marinas for any additional information they might provide. We've found them very helpful on things like "road traffic bad in north marina. Ask for south". Or for warnings like "docks under repair." For those of you concerned with marina restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities or with transportation or propane or groceries, the reviews often have information on that, just be careful to look at dates. It's a good source though if you see three recent reviews and they all complain about the filthy showers and restrooms.

We do not anchor as much as the rest of you. However, we've found it to be a useful resource for anchorages when in need. We've found it a very good resource into information on inlets and the advisability of using them and how to best use them. We've also found it useful in highlighting shoals and hazards, but as they do change a lot, wouldn't depend on it or any single source. Again, however, we don't use it as a plotter. We also, when on the east coast use Waterway Guide and Cruisers Net. In the PNW we'd use resources like Waggoner. For the loop, we found some very good Great Lake's guides online. We use other resources in different places. AC also has excellent information on bridges and locks including heights, openings, how to contact, and hours.

It was always ironic in that while I couldn't stand Jeffrey, I use and recommended Active Captain. My internal jury is still out on Garmin but I still like Active Captain. However, for us, it's a planning and "advisory tool". I say advisory because while I look at it's warnings, I don't accept them as gospel or the only hazards. We don't use it for routing, although we might just in looking ahead at locations.

Other planning tools we use are primarily online guides that have information on the towns behind the ports or marinas. For instance, the Great Lakes guides we found were excellent in helping us decide where to stop. Beyond that we go to land dweller's tools. For restaurants, we generally use Google Maps as our start. So easy to get a fairly complete view of restaurants near the marina or in the town and to get to reviews. For sightseeing, we generally start with Trip Advisor as the most complete list of sights and tourist activities. Trip Advisor also has restaurants and the comments are useful, but we've not found the ratings to be as useful as Google, primarily because they seem very price sensitive and because they don't show you the proximity of the restaurant to the marina.

Even when we had a boat with Garmin, we did not integrate Active Captain with it. For us, they're very different tools. I have no problem having a separate resource not integrated. I prefer it that way.

We have a great deal of pleasure in trip planning. Our friends and family jump in with us too. If we're planning a trip up along a coast, we love looking at all the towns along the way, seeing what is in each, then deciding which ones for this trip. That's entirely separate then from routing of that trip we will do.

As to using the website, we simply go to Maps and then on the new site, for a starting place we'll enter a city in the search. Then we will "Hide Marker Information" and remove the search term from the search box and just go from the map. We remove the search term so we're not limited in what we see. For instance, search on "Key West" and you just get those items in Key West, in a small area. Remove the search term though, and many more markers become visible. We hide the marker information, just to have a larger map. We also "Hide Filters" for the same reason. That gives us a full screen of map with all markers shown and we can go from there. For instance, from the same "Key West" search, I can now move up either coast. We will switch between "road" and "satellite" and "NOAA" view depending on what we need to see. Road gives a good quick overview and shows cities and towns and is easy to tell the area you're looking at. Satellite gives you the aerial view and appearance. Then NOAA will quickly show you the depths, channels, and traffic lanes.

We cruise in many different places and many of those for the first time. Every resource we can find to give us information on new areas, we find useful. We then learn, here's a town we want to visit, here's how to get there, here's the marina we want, here are the sights we want to see , and we even go to local events calendars to find out what is going on when we're planning on being there.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:46 AM   #23
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I use AC for anchorages all the time and rarely disappointed, however I like to see more that one comment and back up plan. Over time, I recognize posters that have pretty reliable info.

When entering an anchorage, I use Navionics sonar charts for depth and found it extremely accurate. I'd use my Simrad forward facing sonar more often if the damn thing worked.

The worse cases of anchorages has been spots where it's difficult or impossible to set the anchor... and that's been only a few times.

Overall, it's been a GREAT source for the Loop trip. Used it 3x in the past week.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:57 AM   #24
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Walking through just one example of how we might use various resources. Starting by entering Port Townsend, WA in AC.

It shows us Port Townsend Boat Haven and Point Hudson Marinas and also the PT Shipwrights Co-op and PT Yacht Club. Both have links to the town's website. Looking at reviews of Port Townsend Boat Haven, I found mostly good but not necessarily current. For instance laundry equipment out for repair but that was May, 2017. Still worth checking when calling them. Grocery store across the street. I saw West Marine right across the street but that was 2015 so I'd double check. Looking at Port Hudson, I found it's right in the old part of town. I even got a link to the ptguide.com for local events such as the Wooden Boat Festival. Showers roomy and spotless. Good floats, permanent fender strips. Lousy wi-fi.

I remove Port Townsend from my search box and also see several marine services. I see anchorages too and as my mind wanders, I see Fort Flagler State Park Moorings so decide to look at it. Last reviews were 2013 and seemed a problem with buoys breaking loose which I'd definitely want to check and see if that continues.

What else is near. I see Port Hadlock going south. Ok, I've decided on Port Townsend, but is it Port Townsend Yacht Haven or Port Hudson. I have to go to their websites and perhaps call to decide as depths and size slips aren't shown on AC for those locations. Looking at Satellite view they did both appear to have nice long transient docks so size not likely an issue.

I then went to Trip Advisor and found so much to see there. The Marine Science Center and Maritime Center instantly got our attention. Also the Light Museum and Museum of Science and History and some of the parks. Aero Museum might appeal to many. We found the visitors center too. Definitely a place we could see spending a few days.

We actually spent 3 1/2 days in May 2014, seeing many sights, spending one day in our RIB exploring near by. I recall Lanza's was a very good restaurant. Going to Google if I was looking to be within walking distance of the marina, I'd look at Sea J's Cafe, Propolis Brewing, the Marina Cafe and Blue Moose Cafe which all have excellent reviews.

I just went to ptguide.com. This weekend the Olympic Music Festival and the Chimacum Inter-Dependence Day was yesterday. Farmer's Market today for those interested. I looked ahead to August and saw the Olympic Music Festival continues and Acoustic Blues Festival plus a county fair, a street fair. Doesn't look like anytime during the summer there isn't something going on there.

That's how we would approach Port Townsend and some of the tools we'd use.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:52 AM   #25
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It would appear this article has upset Jeff and his followers on Facebook. They are trying to tear down Slowboat. I know the folks from Slowboat and find they are very repeatable and honest folks.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:35 AM   #26
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It would appear this article has upset Jeff and his followers on Facebook. They are trying to tear down Slowboat. I know the folks from Slowboat and find they are very repeatable and honest folks.


Jeffrey doesnít handle any criticism well and the issue of the plagiarized material was brought to his attention years ago and he chose to not address it at the time.

I also use AC as a resource and have contributed to it. I think the idea is great as long as you recognize crowd sourced information for what it is.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:45 AM   #27
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Jeffrey responded

Quote:
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Jeffrey doesnít handle any criticism well and the issue of the plagiarized material was brought to his attention years ago and he chose to not address it at the time.

I also use AC as a resource and have contributed to it. I think the idea is great as long as you recognize crowd sourced information for what it is.
Jeffrey responded to the accusation on the Active Captain Facebook page. In essence he said that he did not invent Kaylee and that she is a real person who has been cruising the PNW for going on 30 years. He has no explanation of why the guide and her comments are so similar. Take a look at the Active Captain facebook page for full explanation.

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Old 07-16-2018, 01:09 PM   #28
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Jeffrey responded to the accusation on the Active Captain Facebook page. In essence he said that he did not invent Kaylee and that she is a real person who has been cruising the PNW for going on 30 years. He has no explanation of why the guide and her comments are so similar. Take a look at the Active Captain facebook page for full explanation.

Gordon
And if that's the best defense he has, it's lousy. Same one he's used before. It's plagiarized, regardless of who did it, and once he's been told then he's just as guilty as if he had invented her. Doesn't matter. Amazing how he can delete members because they argue with him over vegan on TF, but couldn't remove plagiarized material. He'll never change. Not even in retirement, it appears.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:39 PM   #29
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And if that's the best defense he has, it's lousy. Same one he's used before. It's plagiarized, regardless of who did it, and once he's been told then he's just as guilty as if he had invented her. Doesn't matter. Amazing how he can delete members because they argue with him over vegan on TF, but couldn't remove plagiarized material. He'll never change. Not even in retirement, it appears.

He also thinks the sun rises and sets in Facebook, people who don't use Facebook are Luddites and too stupid to propagate... and he intentionally ignores the rest of his possible market because the only good input can come from either a) people who agree with him, or b) Facebook users, if they agree with him.

OTOH, he was always civil and seemed to be engaged in e-mail correspondence... back when he did that.

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Old 07-17-2018, 10:03 PM   #30
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... Take a look at the Active Captain facebook page for full explanation. ...
Yeah, not goin' to happen.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:14 PM   #31
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I plan on never being on Facebook...
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:22 PM   #32
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I plan on never being on Facebook...
Wouldn't matter anyway. Seems Jeff has shut down the conversation on this matter.
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