sailboat cruising

ActiveCaptain Expands Dramatically with Routes and More Reviews

ActiveCaptain logo

ActiveCaptain logo, the crowd-sourced database of local navigation and cruising knowledge, has been expanding its offerings over the last couple of months with some significant new capabilities.  The two most important, in my view, involve route-sharing and an allied site devoted to captain reviews of boating-related services.  Here’s a quick rundown on some of the new developments.


Route sharing is now active in the Interactive Cruising Guidebook section of the ActiveCaptain website.  Several thousand pre-plotted routes, posted by ActiveCaptain community members, are available.  They’re saved in a file format (GPX) that is compatible with most updated navigation products.  There are several different ways of searching and exploring routes which make it easy to both find something specific and just browse interesting places.  Route sharing is a logical extension of the original premise of ActiveCaptain, which is to take advantage of that huge database of “local knowledge” that exists in the boat cruising community.  Highly recommended!  Upload your own routes to contribute to the community and explore more at the website.

One other thing to note is the number of external software/hardware packages that now support ActiveCaptain.  The total is up to 14 and includes some of the most well-known nav packages, as well as tablets and smartphones using all the major operating systems.  I use Nuticharts Lite  on my Android-powered Droid X.  Catch up with the latest on this page.

CaptainRated logo

CaptainRated logo


This is the related website that takes advantage of that same knowledge universe, but this time captures data on services not necessarily tied to a specific chart location.  As an example, the first categorites open for contribution — others will open over the next year — include boat brokers, surveyors and transporters.  Future categories include products, resources and retail organizations.  There’s a good load of initial information in the database and room for an infinite number of captain contributions, all conforming to the same factual, honest format of the original ActiveCaptain chart-related knowledge base.  Check out CaptainRated and let other boaters take advantage of your experiences with the services we all rely on for our boats and cruising.

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Electronics, seamanship, Technology

Marinalife Launches New Website

Screen capture of the new Marinalife website

Screen capture of the new Marinalife website

Marinalife, the online boating concierge and reservations service, has launched a new website, with a clean, nautical look that bodes well for the user experience. The company has also added a useful search function for back issues of the Marinalife Magazine, and its new blog.

I did a quick test of the search function using the word “Charleston” and got three hits related to South Carolina destinations, including an interesting article on Beaufort, South Carolina, that included helpful suggestions on what to do, where to eat and where to dock.

“We are excited about the launch of our new site. We put a lot of thought into the features and functionality that would make the site easy to use and that would serve both our boating and marina members. Member feedback also allowed us to tailor the site to what the users wanted. As our 10-year anniversary comes to a close, the new site is an ideal way to go into our next decade of serving the boating public,” says Joy McPeters, CEO of Marinalife.

Marinalife offers boaters a free 30-day trial including a free one-year subscription to Marinalife Magazine; full membership is available with five different levels ranging from $60-500 per year.You can take a longer look at the website and their various membership services here.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Destinations, Passagemaking News