Newsletter #255

Newsletter #255 - February 25, 2015

ActiveCaptain Services

>>> ActiveCaptain Services >>>

ActiveCaptain has become the place where boaters share experiences including destinations and navigation points of interest that aren't documented well on charts. We've seen how recording, indexing, and databasing these experiences highlights the good and the bad. This type of real information keeps businesses accountable and as we all know, makes them better.

But we're not done.

If you read threads on the various boating forums, you know there's often requests for information about services:

"Can anyone recommend a surveyor near Jacksonville?"
"Who knows a Westerbeke mechanic in Portsmouth?"

These types of questions are daily occurrences. Unfortunately, after the question is answered, the thread falls to the bottom and off into who-knows-where. At best, this mechanism offers only a few responses. Often, the people with real experience become tired of answering the same question over and over and their experience becomes lost.

What's needed is an Angie's List for boating services.

We recognized this 4 years ago and created a website called as a first cut. We wanted to see how it might be used. We learned that boaters need more than what Angie's List provides. We decided to keep the data acquired from CaptainRated but re-wrote the software. We're pleased to announce that it's now ready for use.

For now, ActiveCaptain Services will reside under until all of eBoatCards turns into You don't have to be logged in to view any of the information although you must log in to change details, claim a listing, or write a review.

To create an eBoatCards account if you don't have one:

1. Log into with your ActiveCaptain email/password.

2. If you haven't created your electronic boat card, it'll walk you through a couple of questions to set it up.

Once in eBoatCards, select Services in the upper right. That will open the Services categories index. You can also go there directly with:

We're only opening 4 of the Services categories today:

- Boat Brokers - professionals who assist you with buying or selling a boat

- Surveyors - professionals who perform surveying for boats

- Transport/Land - companies who transport your boat over roads

- Transport/Water - companies who transport your boat on their ships

You can see the other categories on the Services page. Those, and more, will be opened as we see how this capability is used. The Canvas category is mostly complete and will be next. We'll then be opening a large set of service categories that are often found at boat yards (painting, mechanical, carpentry).

We know there are a large number of delivery captains who are ActiveCaptain users. There will be a category for you too. But give us some time to get to that category. It'll happen.

The reviews you write for the services do not replace ActiveCaptain reviews. They augment them. ActiveCaptain has reviews for a boat yard giving general impressions for the facility. But that boat yard might be in six other categories of services with more specific reviews under each one. Other service companies will also have reviews - even the guy who works out of his truck who might be the most convenient or the best around. Reputations will be earned through your reviews and recorded and indexed for all to see. They won't get lost in who-knows-where.

So while this all seems like an Angie's List for boating services, there are key, critical differences - Angie's List doesn't cover the categories of services for boating and, most importantly, Angie's List charges a fee to access their data.

ActiveCaptain Services is, and will, remain free for boaters. Of course, free does have a price. Just like ActiveCaptain, if this resource is to become a valuable tool, it needs your involvement. So there are two things we need you to do right now to kick off this capability:

1. Nearly every boater has had an experience or two with surveyors and boat brokers. Find the surveyors and boat brokers you've worked with. Make sure their information is correct. If they aren't in the database, add them. Then, most importantly, write a review detailing your real experiences.

2. Find the business listings in your home area. Make sure they're correct and add businesses that are missing. Make sure the latitude, longitude of the business is correct - many of the positions are general. To update the position, edit the listing and drag the marker to the correct location. If you're the owner, claim the business. This will give you the ability to edit your description and receive notifications of actions to your listing. All of this is completely free for businesses too.

Using the Services groups is easy. There is a map interface and a list interface. If you know the name of a business, go to the proper category and search for the business name in the List section. There is an "Add Business" if you need to add a business to the category that isn't already there.

We've preloaded the databases with about 3,500 boat brokers and 1,000 surveyors. Similarly, the transport categories are pretty complete but there's no way we found every business - we need your help.

It's in your hands. We think the interface is pretty easy to use and helpful. There are likely some bugs to uncover and enhancements to make. We already have a list. If everyone writes a few reviews, this will kick off with a bang and we'll open the next category right away.

It all starts here and now with you.

>>> Defender 1st >>>

This week's Defender 1st offers some more great LED options for your boat. We've found that replacing traditional lighting with LED's makes a big difference on our energy usage. Check out these two products by Taco. Act now and save even more with their $25 mail-in rebate.

The Taco Lumateq LED Spreader/Deck Light has 6 high-powered 1-watt LED's yet draws only 0.5 amps. The high 675 lumens light output provides the equivalent of a 50 watt halogen light. It is built tough to withstand the elements with a UV and impact resistant housing, polycarbonate lens, and shock resistant LED's. Plus it comes with an adjustable stainless steel mounting bracket.

The Taco Lumateq LED Spot Light has 3 high-powered 3 watt LED's offering a 900 lumen light output while only drawing 0.7 amps. It also has a UV and impact resistant housing, polycarbonate lens, and an adjustable stainless steel mounting bracket.

These prices are great but you can save even more when you purchase two Taco Lumateq marine-grade LED lights with the $25 mail-in rebate. You can download the rebate form from the Defender website.

Checkout the link below to obtain the full details and the ActiveCaptain code.

Taco Lumateq LED Spreader Light: $47.99 (Regularly: $63.99)

Taco Lumateq LED Spot Light: $58.49 (Regularly: $77.99)

Plus a $25 Mail-in Rebate on your purchase of 2 or more lights.

Special ends: March 3, 2015 at 11:59 PM ET

Get the special price and learn more at:

Take advantage of these great savings now and continue to save money into the future with these energy efficient LED lights.

Remember - Defender 1st: one product, one week, one incredible price.

When you're thinking about purchasing boating supplies, think of Defender first.

Dylan and Dee Dee are loving their time here in the Bahamas. What's not for a dog to love? Beaches, dinghy rides, coconuts! Make sure you are following the aCappella crew on Dylan and Dee Dee's blog:

Karen and Jeffrey Siegel
Castine, Maine
sharing the experience
Social Navigation for Active Captains

Newsletter Archive
We are currently merging the different ActiveCaptain websites into a single website.

Because of this, all later newsletters are being only put onto the ActiveCaptain Help Center found here:
ActiveCaptain Help Center : Newsletters

Older newsletters will be duplicated here until these pages are removed.

2016-03-02 #308 - Unexpected Benefits
2016-02-24 #307 - UK's MCA
2016-02-17 #306 - Chartplotter Support Questions
2016-02-10 #305 - One Giant Leap
2016-02-03 #304 - Bahamas Internet
2016-01-27 #303 - Community Anchoring
2016-01-20 #302 - Sharing Your Identity
2016-01-13 #301 - ActiveCaptain is...
2016-01-06 #300 - MMXVI
2015-12-30 #299 - The Power of Sharing
2015-12-23 #298 - Joyful times
2015-12-16 #297 - Thoughts of Cuba
2015-12-09 #296 - The Power of Love
2015-12-02 #295 - Windyty
2015-11-25 #294 - Mary Had a Little Lamb
2015-11-18 #293 - DeLorme inReach
2015-11-11 #292 - Celebrating Furuno
2015-11-04 #291 - Your ActiveCaptain Identity
2015-10-28 #290 - iPad/Android Tablet Owners
2015-10-21 #289 - The Top 5 Things...
2015-10-14 #288 - Skype
2015-10-07 #287 - Locations 1.2
2015-09-30 #286 - Cell Phone Frequency Issues
2015-09-23 #285 - Cell Phone Unlocking
2015-09-16 #284 - Mr SIM Card
2015-09-09 #283 - Route Storage & Sharing Continued
2015-09-02 #282 - Route Storage & Sharing
2015-08-26 #281 - Here's What You Told Us
2015-08-19 #280 - Bahamas 2016
2015-08-12 #279 - What is Services Missing?
2015-08-05 #278 - Aqua Map for Android
2015-07-29 #277 - Obtaining Critical Mass
2015-07-22 #276 - Our Backup Anchor
2015-07-15 #275 - Which Anchor is Best
2015-07-08 #274 - Pocket Mariner's SeaNav
2015-07-01 #273 - Services Galore
2015-06-24 #272 - Canvas and Upholstery Services
2015-06-17 #271 - Locations, Locations, Locations
2015-06-10 #270 - Keeping Track of Everything - 4

Archive Complete list of all newsletters
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