Newsletter #289

Newsletter #289 - October 21, 2015

The Top 5 Things Marinas Want You To Know

>>> The Top 5 Things Marinas Want You To Know >>>

In addition to this weekly newsletter for boaters, we also produce a weekly newsletter for marinas. We help them to see things from our perspective as boaters. We also provide some basic marketing advice as well as provide information about using ActiveCaptain. All past newsletters are archived at:

Each week is presented in a unique 1-minute format. You can sign up for the newsletter on that website. Make sure the marina you're at knows about it.

The newsletters cause many marinas to write to us about the things they wish boaters knew or understood. That's fair. We're often telling them about dockhands, customer service, welcome packets, and many other subjects. So here's the top 5 things they want boaters to know more about:

1. Don't lie about your boat length.

This is especially true when you're using an alongside dock or T-head. Marinas always have limited side dockage like this and it's highly desired by transients and large beam boats. A major problem happens when multiple boats reserve space for the side docks and don't count dinghies hanging off the back or large bowsprits/anchors hanging off the front.

Imagine if just a few boats give incorrect lengths. What happens is that the last boat arriving might not fit. This is a daily problem at many marinas. Just be fair to them - you're not saving a couple of feet of dockage; you're hurting another boater who might otherwise be turned away because they can't fit.

2. Contact the marina for reservation cancellations ASAP.

Most marinas do not require a payment when a reservation is made. This is a wonderful feature but consider what happens when you change your plans and don't inform the marina. It hurts the marina but also ends up hurting the boater who calls in and is turned away because the marina is still holding a space for you.

The moment you know you're not going to satisfy your reservation, call the marina. Don't use email - call them. It'll take 30 seconds and they'll appreciate the information. Without doing this, we'll start to see more marinas requiring a fee to make a reservation.

3. Update your reviews.

We are continually impressed with the number of marinas who hang on every word in your reviews. Reviews are often printed and hung in employee areas. We know of multiple marinas who give their staff a bonus on every exceptional review.

The good marinas want your feedback. They want to know what they're doing right and where they can improve.

Many of us go to the same marinas multiple times, especially when they are highly rated. Don't forget that you can re-review a marina. With every app and on the website, it'll bring back your past review and allow you to edit it. Add a couple of sentences about your recent stay. A small sentence added can bring a smile to many dockhands for the day or warn the marina about an issue they might not know about.

4. Understand new power pedestal issues.

There are many new electrical requirements for marina power pedestals today. These requirements have been added for good safety reasons but as boaters, we don't understand the implications.

New power pedestals require a much quicker type of circuit breaker tripping close to the pedestal similar to GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms. The result of this is that a 30 or 50 amp outlet will trip quickly at 31 or 51 amps (as a numeric example).

Many of us don't realize the loads our boats draw especially when we first arrive and everything is pulling power. An A/C pump spikes and ends up tripping the new, more sensitive breaker. The problem isn't the marina's power - they're forced to comply with the code. The problem is ours. So be sensitive to power draw and if you see new, shiny pedestals, the circuit breaking is probably being caused by us boaters.

5. Use high-gain WiFi only when you need it.

If you're connecting to marina WiFi and the marina's signal is very strong, turn down your WiFi amplification if possible. WiFi strength is a negative dB rating so the numbers get confusing. We believe that -50 dB is the cutoff. If the marina is stronger than -50 (-45 dB for example), then turn off the high-power. If it's weaker (-72 dB) then keep it on.

By blasting your WiFi so close, you're hurting the performance of every other boat trying to connect. Those boaters then go to the marina to complain or worse, leave a negative review. The marina knows they put in a good system and can't understand why there's a problem. The problem is boaters over-blasting.

The relationship between marinas and boaters is a complex one. In the end, we need to work together so everyone's experience improves. We hope this list sheds some light on things we all might not have realized.

>>> Defender 1st >>>

Watch this spot every week in the emailed newsletter for the Defender 1st special promotion. To sign up for the newsletter, create a new ActiveCaptain account at:

...or log into the ActiveCaptain website and select My Account at the top right of the page and make sure the Newsletter checkbox is checked.

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 had a week of cruising before we were delayed at Morehead City Yacht Basin for weather. It's a great place for the crew to be stuck as there are lots of friendly boaters, including many of the Krogens from the rendezvous, and the dock staff loves dogs. But all things must come to an end as we are once again underway heading south. You can always check in on Dylan and Dee Dee on their blog:

Karen and Jeffrey Siegel
Castine, Maine
sharing the experience
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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.

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