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Canuck Sailor
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Wally, I don't see how any of that's unusual in this day and age. As with anything internet-related, don't post what you don't want others to know. Period.
True enough Donna - but in order to play in most of these games, you have to pay, and the cost is information about yourself. My newspaper used to have a very significant database on its readers, pre-2000, which we were able to use to target readers for advertisers in a very specific manner. In fact, I'm not entirely certain that what we did then would be legal today.
I'm very aware of what can be done with these things, and would hesitate for that reason alone to involve myself.
 

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True enough Donna - but in order to play in most of these games, you have to pay, and the cost is information about yourself. My newspaper used to have a very significant database on its readers, pre-2000, which we were able to use to target readers for advertisers in a very specific manner. In fact, I'm not entirely certain that what we did then would be legal today.
I'm very aware of what can be done with these things, and would hesitate for that reason alone to involve myself.
No one is forcing you to use it.
 
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True enough Donna - but in order to play in most of these games, you have to pay, and the cost is information about yourself. My newspaper used to have a very significant database on its readers, pre-2000, which we were able to use to target readers for advertisers in a very specific manner. In fact, I'm not entirely certain that what we did then would be legal today.
I'm very aware of what can be done with these things, and would hesitate for that reason alone to involve myself.
I think it's fairly obvious that if you're using an app that gives you personal information about a bunch of other boats, that when other people use the same app they will get information about your boat. It's your choice whether the benefit outweighs the loss of privacy. I see no sign of trickery here.
 
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Canuck Sailor
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257 Posts
So let's see just what we get that enhances our sailing 'experience'....AIS class E - fine as long as you're within celphone range. Charts - which I already have. Active Captain - which is available otherwise, except for people such as Donna and I who have been barred from using it by its owner. Augmented reality - as long as you're within range of a cel tower. Social networking - or Facebook Lite for Boaters?
Really - is ANY of this necessary for a good day on the water? Does any of it improve or increase safety, or enjoyment? How did we sailors EVER survive without any of this? And are we getting too technological for our own good?
 

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old guy :)
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Really - is ANY of this necessary for a good day on the water? Does any of it improve or increase safety, or enjoyment?
Hey fellow Canuck. We coastal cruise for five or six weeks at a time in the summer (we too have a short sailing season). We use every source of information available to us to explore and find new places. And, there are times we would be very foolish to move without the technology that is available to us.

That said - if we just go out to our summer mooring on Grand Lake and have a "good day on the water" - then no, I don't need 95% of it. Heck - on a nice day it is all line of sight - I probably don't need 99% of it.

But going into Mistake Island in thick fog and blowing rain, it is nice to have been able to read reports from others who have done it. It is nice to see the rocks, buoys and other things on the radar and confirm them on the chart plotters.

And, going into Belfast it is nice to be able to call up the current phone number for the town dock on teh chart plotter so my Commodore can phone them and talk about mooring availability.

We have charts (paper and electronic), we have RADAR, AIS, chart plotters, VHF (DSC) and all the other things that we think we need.

We are both "Senior Navigators" with certification and usage with a sextant (which we have but would no more carry on a one month coastal cruise than we would for a "good day on the water" out on the lake.

As for social media, we have made some super friends on SailNet, Active Captain and FaceBook. We have shared meals and moorings, we have been in their homes, on their boats and have had them in and on ours.

Enjoy the way you do it and we'll enjoy the way we do it.

Shalom

Rik, Linda and Captain Hook
 

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Canuck Sailor
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257 Posts
Rik, I think I came across sounding like a Luddite with my last post. FYI, I'm a full time cruiser, anywhere between Lake Huron and the Caribbean. Most recent voyage was a delivery from Tortola BVI to the US coast, and bringing my own boat up the US east coast to the Chesapeake.
A lot of the time, areas I sail in don't have either cel or wifi access, or I'm simply too far offshore - thus I've decided to pare down what I use to what I know is always available for me, for safety's sake. I've discovered like tens of thousands of boaters before me that I can do just fine with charts, cruising and anchorage guides, a chartplotter and/or GPS and charts on my computer for planning. Dock and marina phone numbers are generally in the guides, so that's never been an issue. In any event, that's what I've used the VHF for...
I've only wanted RADAR a few times in the last ten years, and happened to have it on the delivery boat I actually needed it on, on the one of three times I could have justified having it.
As for reports from others, my experience (as a cruising editor with Waterway Guides) with the entire crowdsourcing thing has been that at least 50% of the information I've reviewed is either wrong or unreliable, and 20% wrong to the point of being dangerous. I won't trust my vessel, nor base my navigation decisions, on people whose skills and knowledge are unknown and who may have passed through the area once and gotten lucky in choosing an anchorage.
Are we in this to go sailing, or play with electronics? I vote for sailing...

[edit - if I sailed in an area of frequent fog, I would have radar....]
 

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...As for reports from others, my experience (as a cruising editor with Waterway Guides) with the entire crowdsourcing thing has been that at least 50% of the information I've reviewed is either wrong or unreliable, and 20% wrong to the point of being dangerous. I won't trust my vessel, nor base my navigation decisions, on people whose skills and knowledge are unknown and who may have passed through the area once and gotten lucky in choosing an anchorage...
That concern seems plausible, and worth discussing. Is this what got you banned from using AC?

How about Donna? Same thing?

It would seem to me that banning someone over a legitimate concern such as this would be an overreach on the part of AC's management. I'd like to hear about it if this is the case, since open discussion of the merits and pitfalls of crowdsourcing should be encouraged, not penalized.
 

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old guy :)
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[edit - if I sailed in an area of frequent fog, I would have radar....]
Welcome to The Bay of Fundy and the Coast of Maine

:)



And this was a really good "fog day". We were gone 31 days, five of them were less than 1/8 mile vis. And two of those were serious passage making through not nice stuff. We thought 5 out of 31 was a great number.

Rik
 

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Canuck Sailor
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That concern seems plausible, and worth discussing. Is this what got you banned from using AC?
No, it wasn't, it was another issue on another forum site, he has a habit of attacking people with whom he disagrees, it's well known in the industry - but if you'd like to better understand the man, search his posts here on Sailnet.
 

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Let's not turn this thread into a shadow boxing match, please. It's not fair if both parties aren't involved. Discussing the merits of crowdsourcing in its own thread is fine.
 
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As for reports from others, my experience (as a cruising editor with Waterway Guides) with the entire crowdsourcing thing has been that at least 50% of the information I've reviewed is either wrong or unreliable, and 20% wrong to the point of being dangerous. I won't trust my vessel, nor base my navigation decisions, on people whose skills and knowledge are unknown and who may have passed through the area once and gotten lucky in choosing an anchorage.
Canuck, you raise a valid point. But I'm left wondering, how is the information in the Waterway Guides obtained and verified? Is the process different from what AC does? I'm not trying to be argumentative. I really am just curious because I don't know.

I bought the latest edition (2012) of Shellenberger's book about cruising the Chesapeake Bay, but found it was a waste of $ because I do not trust its contents. It describes, for example, an island in the Rhode River that no longer exists and has not existed for quite a few years.
 

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Canuck Sailor
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257 Posts
Speaking for myself, I personally check the areas I report on regarding navigation. It's not possible to check every single anchorage in a given season so I use a two year 'rotation', but Great Lakes anchorages (Georgian Bay, North Channel) tend not to change significantly, unlike anchorages in tidal areas, where shoaling, etc. can effect changes in short periods of time.
As for the marinas, those can often be dealt with using other sources for information when I can't personally visit them.
In the area I write on noted above, I make a point of checking the Active Captain posts - many of them are inaccurate or incorrect, and I've said this publicly before, so I'm not piling on here. The problem isn't Active Captain, but the way in which information is provided to AC, and other 'crowdsourcing' sites.
Transients (for example), who travel through once, get lucky and find the one 'sweet spot' in an otherwise marginal anchorage and report it as being a gem - or find the one bad spot in an otherwise great anchorage. Also - the Small Craft Route through the 30,000 Islands is very very tricky, with lots of granite and narrow channels, it's far beyond what the ICW for example presents. Boaters not experienced in reading these conditions will report inaccurately on the route, although tens of thousands of local boaters safely and confidently use it every season. I've been sailing and boating in the region for 40 years btw.
As for what checks Active Captain provides on its postings, I have no idea. And since the owner of AC has never been to the Canadian Great Lakes...
The rationale, as I've heard it explained before, is that the sheer volume of posts will provide a check on the information. I don't buy that, and I'm not real keen on reading 25 posts while trying to figure out just who knows what he's talking about and who doesn't.
I don't know Shellenburger, so I can't comment. I can say that I recently turned down an assignment to write on the CB because I felt I didn't know the area under discussion well enough to do a credible job.
 

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First String
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Great thread... Lot of great opinion's out there. I'm glad the apps are out there. I look forward to the time when I can think my boat into its birth hands free...
 
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