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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know, I publicly asked the owner of Active Captain to nuke my account after witnessing some of his actions here on the forum. I wanted nothing to do with it.

Since then, I've been looking around for alternatives and found Waterway Guide. They have what I think is a pretty damn good web application for planning a trip:

Waterway Guide | cruising guide, fuel pricing, navigation alerts and news for boaters and yacht enthusiasts

It's all chart-based, with great information about bridges, anchorages, marinas, fuel prices, you name it. And, like AC, it offers users the ability to provide information about each. BUT, with Waterway Guide - you don't have to sign up, try to get hats, do a boat card program, etc. Waterway Guide seems like it's there to help YOU - not the other way around.

Basically, it's most of the functionality of Active Captain without the dude and the hassle.

They have an app for the iPhone - although it's rated pretty low (2-stars). I've not tried it yet. Of course, Active Captain's app is also rated pretty low (2-stars). So that's a wash.

Anyway, I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up. I'm happy I found this thing.

Feedback from those that have used it extensively would be great. So jump in.
 

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I've tried Waterway Guide and, in my area (southern New England) at least, I think I'll stick with ActiveCaptain.

Reason: the crowd-sourced ActiveCaptain reviews---some insightful, some just dumb---are from Real Cruisers, and I can take them or leave them, using my own judgement. With Waterway Guide, there's no trace-ability: you have to take the word of the editors.
 

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Thanks. Seems pretty good. Nearly useless for my old cruising grounds of Lake Superior, but so is AC. Some surprising misses for anchorages in the North Channel too, but I assume they'll get filled in. Looking at marinas I know well, the info seems reasonably accurate, although hit-and-miss on many details. And there is the constant suggestion to "Buy the Great Lakes Waterway Guide - The perfect cockpit companion when exploring your waterways!" We all gotta pay the bills somehow...

Based on my use of AC I wouldn't say this tool is any better, but I'll definitely use it as an additional resource.
 

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Wow smackers not a good idea to publically bash Jeff S..

Mark my words he will seek retaliation and you will magically develop a virus on your computer. Jeff is a Pentagon level hacker and can seek digital retaliation on anyone who speaks ill of AC. He has done it to friends of mine. Just do a little digging and you'll see.

Please tell me you used a totally different email and password for AC than you did for any other site because if you did not you are "F'd". Change every password you have that is the same as the one you used on AC before Jeff gets the google alert and starts going to town on you digitally...

This is not a joke and I am dead serious. He will digitally destroy you and leave no trace of it... You have just caused yourself some serious issues with a seriously disturbed dude........ Be careful...
 

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Good timing to talk about boating websites. This weekend, Chesapeake Bay Magazine released their Best of the Bay issue for 2015. The survey comes from boaters on the bay - a pretty large group, I'd guess.

They rate a variety of marina, boatyards, places to go, and, websites/apps. The #1 website was ActiveCaptain.com. The #1 app was ActiveCaptain. I wonder how they missed WaterwayGuide.com given they're based on the Chesapeake Bay?

winners results 5

Although the ActiveCaptain app isn't well rated, I think they get the high ratings because they're in so many other apps that rate very highly. I'm testing their new Locations app which is a killer and unlike anything else that exists.

SAIL just released an article too about apps for navigation too:

15 Apps for Navigating with your Apple or Android Device - Sail Magazine

Look how many times ActiveCaptain is mentioned there. I didn't see Waterway Guide even hinted at.

If you're going to select the products to use based on what you think of the owner, you better decide to make everything yourself. I doubt you'd like the politics, attitude, or personal hygiene exhibited by 90% of the owners and executives of most of the companies producing the things you use.

ActiveCaptain is just one resource I use. I use it because it's the best at what it does. Nothing else matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks. Seems pretty good. Nearly useless for my old cruising grounds of Lake Superior, but so is AC. Some surprising misses for anchorages in the North Channel too, but I assume they'll get filled in. Looking at marinas I know well, the info seems reasonably accurate, although hit-and-miss on many details. And there is the constant suggestion to "Buy the Great Lakes Waterway Guide - The perfect cockpit companion when exploring your waterways!" We all gotta pay the bills somehow...

Based on my use of AC I wouldn't say this tool is any better, but I'll definitely use it as an additional resource.
Cool. Thanks Mike.

One thing I like is that you don't HAVE to buy the Guide to have full access to the app and even provide feedback like you do with AC. It appears that they rely on advertising on the chart itself (which I don't mind at all) as a primary source of revenue for this. Hopefully we can push some more traffic their way and help improve it.
 

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Cool. Thanks Mike.

One thing I like is that you don't HAVE to buy the Guide to have full access to the app and even provide feedback like you do with AC. It appears that they rely on advertising on the chart itself (which I don't mind at all) as a primary source of revenue for this. Hopefully we can push some more traffic their way and help improve it.
Agreed. I'll be providing my input to them now that I'm aware of the tool. Maybe I can help fill in a few of the holes. And I don't have any problem with people finding ways to pay the bills. As long as they're upfront with their requests, and avoid being obnoxious with the forced advertising, then it's all good.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Good timing to talk about boating websites. This weekend, Chesapeake Bay Magazine released their Best of the Bay issue for 2015. The survey comes from boaters on the bay - a pretty large group, I'd guess.

They rate a variety of marina, boatyards, places to go, and, websites/apps. The #1 website was ActiveCaptain.com. The #1 app was ActiveCaptain. I wonder how they missed WaterwayGuide.com given they're based on the Chesapeake Bay?

winners results 5

Although the ActiveCaptain app isn't well rated, I think they get the high ratings because they're in so many other apps that rate very highly.
I think this is a good point - and you're right, AC is integrated with some highly rated apps and products from what I've seen. For example, I use Navionics charts with iNavX and if I recall correctly, Navionics licenses AC data for their "Fresh Data" add-on. It would be pretty easy I guess to use it. But I don't always need easy. Which leads us to...

If you're going to select the products to use based on what you think of the owner, you better decide to make everything yourself. I doubt you'd like the politics, attitude, or personal hygiene exhibited by 90% of the owners and executives of most of the companies producing the things you use.
Maybe, but that's a very broad generalization. I'm speaking of something very specific. I am perfectly comfortable with my choice.

In any case, this thread is about Waterway Guide. I like the product and want people to know about it.

ActiveCaptain is just one resource I use. I use it because it's the best at what it does. Nothing else matters.
Okay.

SAIL just released an article too about apps for navigation too:

15 Apps for Navigating with your Apple or Android Device - Sail Magazine

Look how many times ActiveCaptain is mentioned there. I didn't see Waterway Guide even hinted at.
Then it's a good thing I'm bringing it to people's attention, eh? You're welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
AC is fun to play with, enter some info and get a discount at Defender but for me any internet based app is a waste of time once I round Caines Head.....there ain't no 'net in my criusing grounds.

Tis a Garmin, Navx and a paper chart for me.
Great point. I like using these apps for planning - but I certainly don't rely on them for anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Reason: the crowd-sourced ActiveCaptain reviews---some insightful, some just dumb---are from Real Cruisers, and I can take them or leave them, using my own judgement. With Waterway Guide, there's no trace-ability: you have to take the word of the editors.
I wanted to go back to this comment regarding AC. Apparently, AC operates very much like WG in this regard:

False Gods along the ICW: Fetishizing ActiveCaptain and the Magenta Line | Return to Seasons

See this comment below that post from the owner of AC:

I’m the software developer behind ActiveCaptain and the person who verifies and validates all hazards and anchorages. I’ve personally evaluated each one that has been entered. I also read every comment written on every hazard to determine if some of the details need to be updated because of dredging, aid-to-navigation replacement, or other factors. At this moment, there are about 3,000 active hazards throughout the world listed.
From this, you are apparently taking the word of one guy who validates everything you're seeing (3K hazards?). Is that better?

Again, I'm not at all saying that AC as a technology is not doing some pretty cool things...I'm just saying I think, in total, that WG is a better overall solution.
 

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From this, you are apparently taking the word of one guy who validates everything you're seeing (3K hazards?). Is that better?

Again, I'm not at all saying that AC as a technology is not doing some pretty cool things...I'm just saying I think, in total, that WG is a better overall solution.
As a user of AC for 6+ years, so many of your facts are wrong or distorted. Even specifics you mentioned about Navionics above. It's all just wrong. Take a few minutes and look into what you're spouting. You have some obvious type of vendetta for the guy at AC - it's obvious. It'll have much more effect if you actually got your facts correct.

AC details are validated by the owners. They don't create the data - everyone else creates it (I have 4,800 points meaning that I've added a lot). They make sure it is consistent, spelled correctly, and verified. They also contact the CG and NOAA and have gotten resources involved in fixing problems that have come up. NOAA licenses their data and send CG boats out on new hazards when they are particularly dangerous. On top of that, anyone can write their own experiences as comments. Those comments don't get touched by AC. They are the organized opinions of others. I've added hundreds of comments over the years - they're all in my own words (with spelling errors).

Contrast this to WWG. They are the "trusted source" - there's no mechanism for sending them information except, maybe, by email (to who?). They search out all of their information themselves and put it up. It's old and poor from my experience. It's why their website isn't even in the top 5 for the Chesapeake Bay.

If you were actually out on your boat, moving along a waterway, you'd get it. It's sort of obvious that your navigation today is too much with a mouse and not enough with a tiller. For heavens sake, draw a mustache on the AC guy's face or something. What you're doing here is about the same level of maturity.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I must be too old school. What is Actove Captain and Waterway Guide? Are they something like a crowd sourced coast pilot??

MedSailor
Yeah. It's actually pretty helpful, especially if you're doing the ICW. I've been able to plan our trip to Florida pretty well with this thing.

Here is an example of an anchorage we'll be using and the info associated with it in WG:



I'll be sending updates into WG as necessary as we go - and will let you guys know how everything compares as well.

There's also all kinds of other info including bridges, marinas, fuel, etc. It really is pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
As a user of AC for 6+ years, so many of your facts are wrong or distorted. Even specifics you mentioned about Navionics above. It's all just wrong. Take a few minutes and look into what you're spouting. You have some obvious type of vendetta for the guy at AC - it's obvious. It'll have much more effect if you actually got your facts correct.

AC details are validated by the owners. They don't create the data - everyone else creates it (I have 4,800 points meaning that I've added a lot). They make sure it is consistent, spelled correctly, and verified. They also contact the CG and NOAA and have gotten resources involved in fixing problems that have come up. NOAA licenses their data and send CG boats out on new hazards when they are particularly dangerous. On top of that, anyone can write their own experiences as comments. Those comments don't get touched by AC. They are the organized opinions of others. I've added hundreds of comments over the years - they're all in my own words (with spelling errors).
I simply posted exactly what the guy said regarding validation. You're a user - he's the owner. I think I'll take his word for it over yours.

PS - I just took a look at my Navionics charts in iNavX again - apparently the built-in functionality is actually WG! I'll look into it more. If that's the case, WG just got a whole lot better! Thanks for the heads-up!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well that's just freakin' awesome! This is our chartplotter iPad with iNavX running the integrated Waterway Guide. Thanks for the heads-up serenade! I'm a fan!

 

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I agree with the guy in your link False Gods along the ICW: Fetishizing ActiveCaptain and the Magenta Line | Return to Seasons

Please keep in mind, the ICW between Jacksonville and Jekyll is a tricky stretch. I'd say it was the most challenging area we did after leaving Texas, and the only place we went aground (2 times), but got past the shoaled area on the third try. Note that tides are about 8' here, so things change pretty quick. Clearly, Florida doesn't concentrate in maintaining the AICW very well once you are north of Jacksonville. At least that is what it seemed like to me.

We want to make it to the Chesapeake, at least, next time we are on the east coast. I'll give Waterway Guide a try when I start planning, and let you know how it goes. No problem with the advertising, since we already have all of the guide books anyway, plus Skipper Bob's.

Ralph
 
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