Saturday, February 20, 2016

ActiveCaptain and Jeppesen Charts - "Marriage Made in Heaven"

Last week Jeppesen announced that it will be integrating the ActiveCaptain data into their popular C-Map chart products. The Active Captain data was introduced on the C-Map charts at the Miami International Boat show and will soon be available on their chart products this spring.

I have reviewed all the ActiveCaptain products over the years including the Location, Drag Queen and the Companion apps.  I have been a big supporter of the crowd sourced POI and other data available through their website and the many apps that also provide the data. ActiveCaptain is the world leader in providing a unique set of verified crowd sourced marine data which has made the yachting experience safer and more enjoyable.
ActiveCaptain in iOS app SEAiq
ActiveCaptain and their legion of users provide detailed information about marinas, yacht clubs, marine fuel, docks, marine services, anchorages, marina reviews, hazards, shoals, currents, navaids, markers, bridges, locks, dams, ferries, boat ramps and marine stores.

ActiveCaptain has users world wide but the majority of them are located in the United States and cover areas including the east and west coasts, Florida, the Intercoastal waterway, Great Lakes and San Juan Islands.

Jeppesen will include this data in their March release of their C-Map 4D, Max and MaxN+ electronic charting products. These charts are used by many of the leading chart plotter manufacturers including B&G, Simrad, Lowrance, Furuno and Raymarine. This will bring the ActiveCaptain data to millions of new users all over the world.

ActiveCaptain  C-Map on Furuno NavNet
The C-Map charts will have the latest ActiveCaptain data at the time they are published. Subsequent updated data will be added to new C-Map chart releases.

The ActiveCaptain data in the C-Map chart sets will be static because it will resides in the chart plotter memory. Dynamic updates will not be available like the data in many of the popular mobile device apps using ActiveCaptain. These apps are updated with the latest data from the ActiveCaptain database.

Much of the data about marinas, marine stores, services and bridge heights does not change that often so it is mainly the reviews, hazards and fuel prices that won't be up to date.

The ActiveCaptain data can only be updated when you update your charts on your chart plotter. This is slight draw back so it is recommended that you get more frequent updates to your charts to have access to the latest data. At some point in the future I could see all chartplotters being tied to the Internet and being able to keep the database up to date.

Congratulations go out to the Active Captain crew and Jeppesen for creating this unique relationship. The addition of the ActiveCaptain data to the C-Map charts allow access to this enormous database to millions of new users.  Consider using the new C-Map charts on your chartplotter!

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Dockwa - Reserve a Slip or Mooring!

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android
Function: Marina slip and mooring reservation app
Rating: *****
Cost: Free

There's an app for that! Have you ever wanted to be able to reserve a slip or mooring in a marina before you left or while you were on your way to your destination? Well, you are not alone. Why can't reserving a slip be just as easy as making a hotel reservation? The smart guys at Dockwa have solved that problem with their new website and app. The Dockwa app is available in iOS and Android versions so is will work on all your mobile devices.

Dockwa was launched in May of 2015 by CEO and founder Mike Melillo. In October they were recognized by BoatUS and formed a partnership to provide discounts to Dockwa users at BoatUS participating marinas.

In the past, many of us have had to deal with the stress of not knowing if we had a slip or not. The process often involved trying to locate a marina and phone number or trying to arrive early before the slips of our favorite marina filled up.

The Dockwa app was developed to take the worry out of where you are going to spend the night. The Dockwa app and website are laid out by region with many details and colorful pictures of marina destinations.

The app is easily navigated with an on screen menu. Five soft keys across the bottom of the home screen are used for navigating within the app. The Search option is the first  key on the bottom left.  Simply page through destinations or type a location in the search box at the top to locate marinas in that area.

The next icon is the Map selection which shows locations throughout the United States with red markers. The east coasts is very well represented with many locations marked along the inter-coastal waterway.

The Florida gulf coast also has several locations fairly well covered.  Other than that, a few other marinas are shown in the Great Lakes and the Pacific northwest. Future expansion plans include the Great Lakes, west coast and the Bahamas.

The Map page allows you to apply filters by tapping the blue bar at the top. Filters include arrival and departure date, type of dockage, services and amenities and Boat US discounts. Applying the filters will then show you the marina locations with your filtered selections.

The next soft key is the Calendar icon. This page will show you all your reservations that you have made. This will require you to log in to your account.

The next selection is the Message Center. This will be used for communications between yourself and the marinas where you have reservations. If something comes up or your going to be late simply sent the marina a short text to notify them of your plans.

The last icon is the Profile page.  Here you can sign up or log in into your account. In your account data you can provide a method of payment so there is not need to enter your card information each time. The marinas can automatically bill you for all the services during your stay.


  • Review and book with marinas right from you mobile device
  • Book from hundreds of marinas and yacht clubs up and down the East Coast and Caribbean. 
  • Expanding to the Great Lakes and West Coast in 2016!
  • No booking fees to reserve a marina. 
  • Request a dock or mooring using the app and get confirmation within minutes. 
  • On-demand service means no long waits and more trips!
  • Book same day, nightly, or multi-day trips in advance or last minute. 
  • Accommodates all types of reservation requests.
  • Compare rates, amenities, and services for different marinas and provides quotes in the app.
  • Add your boat and credit card information to your secure account profile so you never need cash on hand at the marina.
  • Select your check-in and check-out times, berth type and electric requirements for your vessel.
  • Marinas, Yacht Clubs and Boatyards can benefit from enabling reservations automatically.
  • Enable marina customers to reserve transient slips and moorings without the overhead of manually dealing with reservations over the phone.
  • Back-end marina management software is provided to marinas at no cost.

There are other similar apps out there that provide marina information. ActiveCaptain is by far the leader in providing marina information and reviews for thousands of locations around the world.  The ActiveCaptain website and apps display crowd sourced POI and marina information, reviews, services, fuel prices and more. Dockwa has no where near the coverage but they have gone one step further and provided the marina reservation and billing through e-commerce.  This app is a win-win for both the boater and the marina operator. Boaters now can easily make reservations and pay for marina services easily with mobile devices. Dockwa has also helped marina owners with marketing and has streamline the reservation and billing process.

Dockwa has found a niche and will be expanding throughout the United States and abroad in the near future. I would think once they get their marina locations built out they could easily add a Trip Advisor type review system to thir site also.

Has anyone used Dockwa? What was your experience?

~~~ Sail On! ~~~~/)