Category Archives: Product Reviews

Pure Libel?

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In a thread on SailingAnarchy regarding Garmin’s recent purchase of ActiveCaptain, while discussing with Jeffrey Siegel (apparently now a Garmin employee) a comparison of anchorage markers between ActiveCaptain and Waterway Guide, I made the following comment:
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“The #1 marker is in exactly the same spot as it is in Waterway Guide. So I’ll assume that’s the one you started with when you originally pulled the Skipper Bob info into your app.”

Jeff immediately responded with this:

“That’s pure libel.   Not one marker ever came from Skipper Bob.  I knew Bob and originally developed ActiveCaptain to show him what his ideas of an updated book would be if it were on the internet.  Unfortunately, Bob passed away and never saw it.  I tend to think he’s been cheering us along for the last decade.”

Wait…what?

Continue reading Pure Libel?

Is Garmin crazy?

Well, I posted about this on Thursday when it hit – but thought I’d give the heads-up here, too. Seems Garmin has bought ActiveCaptain…

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170511005897/en/Garmin®-acquires-Active-Corporation-Developer-leading-electronic

It will be interesting to see where this goes – in many aspects. I know that Garmin was using AC data in their BlueChart app; and it was okay, but definitely not the best. Let’s just say it was the best FREE could buy. So where will it go from here? The big C-MAP/AC integration was more a flop than a coups in my opinion (like the eBoatCards thing) so I would be surprised if Garmin allows that to continue…which will greatly reduce the integration footprint.

But will Garmin also keep the severely outdated and highly questionable (even dangerous in many instances) data in the AC database (e.g. – 10 year old marina reviews, hazards/approaches that are completely wrong, etc.)? All that made perfect sense if your only objective was to build a big database to license and/or sell – but now Garmin is on the hook for that kind of loosey-goosey approach. So the bar has been raised – big time. That approach won’t fly.

There are reasons OpenCPN and Navionics told AC to pound sand. That’s important to remember. On the other hand, there was definitely value in bringing over 250K* users to the table.

(*I actually think that number is quite questionable. Just in December of 2015 on this blog, ACDude was bragging about how AC would have 500K users by the end of 2016…which obviously didn’t happen. So AC was basically at the end of the road anyway I think.)

So, will the adults in the room now do something worthwhile? And will AC now move on to focus on sucking those users up into a darkening data cloud via the SignalK approach in my vid?

We’ll see. It’s definitely an interesting time in boating tech.

Waterway Guide Beats ActiveCaptain

Disclaimer: The following post contains a minimal number of screen-grabs and/or quotes from both web-based products being reviewed. Furthermore, these screen-grabs/quotes show only the information that is immediately and publicly available via the application. The purpose  and intent of this post is education, criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research. It is intended to be a truthful, non-deceptive side-by-side comparison of the products for the benefit of the sailing public – including my opinion regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each. Neither I nor bfsshop.com, nor any other entity with which I am affiliated, are being compensated in any way by any party for this review. Furthermore, I have no affiliation whatsoever with the organizations behind these applications. Therefore, I am claiming Fair Use on these screen-grab images and quotes.


As some of you know, I publicly asked the owner of ActiveCaptain (AC) to nuke my account after witnessing some of his actions on my favorite forum: Sailnet. I wanted nothing further to do with it. Continue reading Waterway Guide Beats ActiveCaptain