From the beginning we knew ActiveCaptain would be different. Our free guidebook is different - just the difference boaters want. Our Sponsor program is different too.
Many websites use banner ads. We hate banner ads. We've got some new and innovative ideas. Here's the first one. It's a contest.
Starting today thru June 1st we're having a contest for boaters who stay with one of ActiveCaptain's Sponsors and write a review about their experience. To qualify you must also fill out your captain details in My Card, entering your boat name, length, draft, and heights.
|Ocean Marine Yacht Center In Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA is a new ActiveCaptain sponsor.|
On June 1st, we'll tally up the counts. The 10 captains who stayed at the most Sponsors will get a 100% free, lifetime copy of PolarView for Windows, Macintosh, or Linux. This is a fantastic software chartplotter that works with all NOAA raster and vector charts and can open other vector data from ChartWorld. Even more chart data support is coming for Canadian and European boaters too.
In addition to those 10 PolarView licenses, another 10 copies will be given out at random to boaters who stay at a Sponsor marina and write a review. So even if you'll just be staying at a couple of Sponsor marinas, you'll get a chance at the prizes. The more you use our Sponsors, the greater your chance of winning the software. What's really cool is that PolarView supports all ActiveCaptain data offline rewarding your ActiveCaptain use.
It's all tied together - ActiveCaptain, our Sponsors, our software partners, and you. This is a new way for us all to work together to provide incredible value.
Make sure to let our Sponsors know that you're in it to win it and please thank them for being a Sponsor. Please don't write reviews for previous stays at Sponsor marinas - this is only for stays that happen between now and June 1st.
And as you pass by the non-Sponsor marinas wave your hat and tell them about the contest! If they only knew that just one boat coming in would pay for a year of sponsorship, they'd be getting your business.
More contests are coming. We know this isn't the best time for marina use in upstate New York, the Great Lakes, the West Coast, and Europe. We have other ideas for you guys too. This is just the beginning.
>>> Blazing the trail >>>
Parts of the Atlantic ICW continue to show hazard problems. Thanks to ActiveCaptain captains, we have more hazards with more up-to-date information than the Coast Guard has. And right now some of our most experienced cruisers have started their northward migration. They are documenting their findings, telling you what to expect. This is rough for them because they are blazing the trail - there have even been some groundings due to shoal changes.
If you come across a hazard with a comment older than a month or if the conditions you find are different than what is written, please write your own comment on the hazard. Watch for captain's Pascal and Bob423. Each one of them has over 1,000 points, is quite experienced, and is probably ahead of most snowbirds with recent findings.
>>> Watch for Sponsors >>>
While many ActiveCaptain users are already making an effort to support the Sponsors, you now have an additional reason, our spring contest. Here are a few of the Sponsors at the southern end of the northern migration of snowbirds.
Gulfport Municipal Marina welcomes Loopers and Snowbirds with their
friendly staff: https://activecaptain.com/X.
America Marine and Fuel in Naples offers volume and transient
discounts on their fuel: https://activecaptain.com/X.
What a great place Fort Myers is with two 1st Choice marinas - The City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin and Legacy Harbour Marina: https://activecaptain.com/X.
If you'll be heading to the Bahamas, look for Harbour Island Club and Marina:
Remember to write a review of your stay to qualify for the free PolarView navigation software. And don't forget to thank them for supporting ActiveCaptain.
>>> Importing Routes: Nobeltec >>>
In upcoming newsletters, we're going to start a series about getting routes out of different software and hardware chartplotters and converting it to GPX format for use with ActiveCaptain.
We've received more requests about Nobeltec software than anything else so far so we'll start there.
Nobeltec is a Windows chartplotter with a very large following of users. There are many different versions of the software which makes it difficult to provide a specific set of instructions.
Starting with VNS 11, there is direct support for GPX import and export. All you need to do in that version is select the routes you want to transfer, and export them in GPX format.
For earlier versions, Nobeltec has their own export format called Open Navigation Format (ONF). All earlier versions support this archive format. All you have to do is export the routes you want to save in ONF format. It will create a file with an .ONF file extension.
GPSBabel won't read ONF files. This is where most Nobeltec users have gotten stuck. In the case of Nobeltec, get the other free utility called GPSU: http://www.gpsu.co.uk/
It's free and will directly read ONF files and convert them to GPX. The GPX file output from GPSU can be directly imported into ActiveCaptain's My Card routes database. We've done many route transfers already.
So Nobeltec users: archive your routes - keep them safe and available for use with other software. Let's get a bunch of your routes into ActiveCaptain. The route sharing we're implementing isn't just between users. It's also between your own devices and software. But you have to convert them to GPX and import them into ActiveCaptain.
The Charleston weather has turned warm. Heck, it's been downright sweltering by Maine standards. But everything is blooming and there are too many activities to count including the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. We've been hearing the booms of the reenactment at Fort Sumter. So for now these Yankees are lying low. But we still manage to sneak out each morning to the dog park. You can follow Dyna and Dylan on their blog:
Karen and Jeffrey Siegel