ActiveCaptain Community app support

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

34 Responses

  1. Ron Dwelle says:

    Note that Garmin Active Captain is not compatible with older iPads, only versions that handle the latest OS.

  2. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    Garmin confirms they still have some work to do in order to resolve the issues with syncing for both BlueChart Mobile and Garmin ActiveCaptain. Hopefully sometime next week the issues being experienced with those two apps will be resolved.

  3. It is incredible to me the complete lack of clarity on Garmin’s part. They acquired an expensive asset and can’t seem to share direction. Who is the voice of Garmin Marine? Their blog has no identity other than Garmin. During the month of May there were zero updates on Active Captain when there was a its coming blog in April. I really thinkGarmin has amazing engineering but they simply don’t know how to engage the community! Users who loved BlueChart are lost and unsure. And the silence from Garmin is deafening.

  4. Will Kamp says:


    You can add MX Mariner to the “Display coming soon, editing to follow” category. I’m currently working adding support for ACC display in MX Mariner. And, will follow up with ACC edit support.

    Will Kamp (MX Mariner Developer)

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I like to look at the bright side. It seems that right now, the only way that anyone can access or edit fresh ACC info while not connected to the Internet is to use Aqua Map or Coastal Explorer. Moreover, neither the ActiveCaptain App nor the old BlueChart Mobile — i.e. Garmin’s own apps– are slated to permit offline editing.

    In other words, it’s really hard to see how all the fears about Garmin keeping AC to itself and/or monetizing it are coming true. I’m sure that the AC app and BCM will be updating correctly soon, and AC is coming to (Garmin’s) Navionics Boating app sometime in 2018, but right now the third party developers have a good chance to win the hearts and typing fingers of ACC fans.

    • Evan says:

      Ben – I envy your “glass half-full” interpretation of the situation. I’m trying to stay optimistic as well. I’ve got a literal boatload of Garmin hardware and want this all to succeed.

      The missing piece to the puzzle is the input of Garmin’s product manager for AC. He should have a blog and publish updates weekly just as Jeff Siegel used to do. I realize that this may be a stretch for the Garmin corporate culture but they should bite the bulletin and learn from companies that do this well like Microsoft.

  6. Ken N says:

    … I’m rather surprised that they removed AC from HomePort. Homeport was going to be my front end for entering routes and waypoints into our new Garmin GPSMAP 64st (with the additional marine chart card)
    This rollout is still messier than I’d thought it would be.

  7. Phil says:

    As of today, June 4th, Garmin Active Captain app on iOS is still not able to sync to the database. Last dataset you can get is may 21st.

  8. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    WilhelmSK has added support for the new ACC API! The app didn’t support the old API so this is the first expansion of support we’ve seen. Still waiting to see the first Android app supporting the new API but I’m hoping we will see that soon.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Looks like Garmin is starting to support ACC info on some of their MFDs:

    software version 12.00/3.70 as of June 11, 2018

    Changes made from version 11.20 to 12.00:
    Added support for viewing ActiveCaptain Community information.

    I hope to try it tomorrow

  10. RObert says:

    This just in. Yesterday’s (6/11/18) update to the iOS ActiveCaptain app claims to upload AC community data to Garmin ChartPlotters. I’ll be doing some testing this coming weekend to verify if this is so.

    If True, this will mark the first time to my knowledge that the community data itself has found its way onto the actual MFD.

  11. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    Garmin sent an email today (6/13/18) to the ActiveCaptain mailing list updating users on the status of the new ACC launch. The email acknowledges there are problems signing-in and updating both ActiveCaptain (the app) and BlueChart Mobile. Garmin goes on to apologize for the inconvenience and targets Monday 6/18 for a fix.

    They also remind users that because of the privacy changes they had to make for GDPR they’ve permanently removed ACC support from HomePort.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      It’s strange that Garmin didn’t use that email blast to announce ACC support on most of their MFD’s, but what I saw listed in the v12.00 update is for real. Gizmo’s Garmin 7612 and 742 displays are both showing all ACC markers and data quite nicely after this morning’s update. More to come.

  12. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    It looks like Garmin is making progress on updating ACC data for their apps. Garmin ActiveCaptain (the MFD companion app) is working now, I show data updated 6/22/18 at 10:32am.

    BlueChart Mobile is making it further than it was before. It now downloads data for a while before reporting the update was interrupted.

  13. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    Garmin has sent an email informing users that they will need to log out of ActiveCaptain in BCM, delete the old data, and re-download the data. I’m about 15 minutes through and it looks like the process is working.

  14. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Happy to report that the ActiveCaptain app on my iPad updated ACC data properly this morning, and that it it also synched nicely from the app to Gizmo’s Garmin MFD network. I know for sure that the data is current because an unnecessary Hazard maker I deleted very recently at the ACC website is also gone on the MFDs and in the My Chart section of app. The whole process took just a few minutes, even underway with a modest cell connection.

  15. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    Aqua Map has released a new iOS version (11) with a number of pretty major features:

    • Added new function Anchor Alarm with advanced configuration
    • Integrated the Waterway Guide POIs database for USA
    • Added Canada Tides & Currents stations”
    This makes them the second iOS app to pick up Waterway Guide’s database. Aqua Map seems to be pretty close with an Android version that supports ACC but for now it still appears the Android crowd is left out of the ACC fun.

    • Hi Ben S! I bit the bullet and bought Aqua Map for my iPhone — WONDERFUL! Works a charm, and once you get used to maneuvering around the screen, almost as good as a full-size laptop. For ease of use, it eclipses iNavX completely.
      Note that I generally use it for exploring ahead, not for real-time navigation (though that mode works fine). It has both AC and Waterway Guide markers, so lots of info.

      • A followup regarding Aqua Map – I had identified a problem with some current stations (the three in the Cape Cod Canal were depicting flows of 12-15 knots!) and sent them an email. They confirmed a problem, which they said was fixed for those three, and would be eliminated with the next version, due out soon. Bravo!

  16. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    Aqua Map has now released the Android version with ACC support. They’re currently the only app I’m aware of that supports ACC on Android (except for the MFD companion Garmin ActiveCaptain app).

  17. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Here’s an excellent Slowboat analysis of how various charts, guides, and AC compare to very the realworld details of a gorgeous harbor in Alaska, but I’d treat the last part about ActiveCaptain with a grain of salt (and think that Slowboat should edit it deeply):

    • I would agree with you, Ben – while “Kayley, Seattle” is clearly the result of someone posting copied stuff on AC, blaming AC management for it seems pretty lame.

  18. Delos says:

    Both versions Nobletec Timezero Pro and Navigator work well with latest update.

  19. James Gano says:

    Many months ago, Garmin announced a new version of Homeport that specifically would not have Active Captain data capabilities. I had the previous version (2.2.10) so I did not upgrade. I was told at sometime, Garmin would have a new Active Captain data structure that would not work with old (like my) versions of Homeport.

    I keep plugging along with version 2.2.10 and it keeps syncing Active Captain.. at least it says it does… so to test I got on my droid phone and launched the droid-based Garmin Active Captain and I made a review of a local marina. I then (within an hour) went to my PC-based Homeport, did a sync and then looked up the marina. I did not see the review I had just made on the phone. So on the Pc/Homeport (version 2.2.10) I made the same reviews and, Wela, it appeared on the review tab in Active Captain on Homeport. I should have gone back to my droid to see if it was there but I did not. I do not know if the review I made on the PC/Homeport was cached on my PC or if it actually went to Garmin for others to see.

    I did some looking around at other local marinas and I saw no updates/reviews closer in time than from about June 2018. If someone can tell me a specific marina in a specific US location that they updated within the past week or so that would be great. I would sync my PC/Homeport and see if this new AC data is truly coming through or if I am just seeing old AC data and AC data I created that is cached on my PC/Homeport.

    One last thing, I ONLY sync in Homeport. There is an option to rebuild the entire AC database but I dare not do that for fear I would lose even the old AC data.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      James, if you check this AC POI (a Hazzard marker just west of Curtis Island in Camden Maine)…

      …the main text should start: “The mooring field has extended around the 3 foot area marked by bouy G7 and has caused problems for numerous boats.”

      I just edited that sentence on my desktop computer at the AC site and know that it synced to the database because I can see it in the AC app on my iPad.

      Also in Camden Harbor, Check Lyman-Morse marina for a review by GarryH dated 8/29/2018.

      It would be nice if Homeport is supporting AC again.

  20. James Gano says:

    Ben Ellison… thanks… I just checked that POI in Homeport 2.2.10 and I see your edit…. Apparently Garmin never turned off AC updates in the older Homeport software.

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Glad to hear, but I’m confused. In June they changed the structure of the AC database and that meant all existing programs could no longer access the AC data. It wasn’t a case of turning it off; it just didn’t work anymore.

      • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

        Here’s my *GUESS* as to what is happening here. Garmin has explained previously they controlled the update mechanism for Blue Chart Mobile even when AC was an independent company. They did this by downloading AC data to a Garmin update server then providing this data to BCM clients looking for updates. I’m thinking they did the same thing with Homeport (and quite possibly even used the same mechanism and servers) so old versions of Homeport are still able to get updated data.

        If Homeport follows the same mold as BCM it’s likely the updates you make aren’t going anywhere and there’s no mechanism to let you know about these dead-end updates. Garmin majorly changed the update and new POI process in the new API and I don’t believe there’s any possibility of translators or converters like what is in use for the data download side.

  21. James Gano says:

    I thought the same thing…but I am just reporting what I am seeing…

  22. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Your Garmin chart plotter doesn’t have WiFi but you want to see ActiveCaptain data on it? Carolyn Shearlock at The Boat Galley wrote an excellent how-to:

  23. Tom Trottier says:
    “The First GPS Epoch ended August 21, 1999. We are currently in the Second GPS Epoch and will be in the Third GPS Epoch as of April 6, 2019.

    Most GPS units will handle the rollover OK Other units may not deal with it, and end up providing error messages or inaccurate data. If date-time information displays incorrect after April 6 2019, it may be necessary to either replace the system’s GPS sensor, add an external GPS sensor to the system, or replace the GPS sensing device (should no software/firmware update be available to address the 2019 GPS Week Rollover event).

    Contact your GPS Manufacturer or visit its website, to see if your model is affected and what steps to take, if any.

    Our main concern is that mariners are aware of the potential for error”

  24. zed says:

    Does anybody know where to find out information about building activecaptain data into an app. Garmin don’t seem to answer any enquiries on this?

  1. July 26, 2018

    […] plotters that work with the new ACC database, why not a table showing more detail about them (like our ongoing ACC Guide)? I also lobbied for more profile information about Captains willing to share it — which is […]

  2. August 9, 2018

    […] a month and with it came the need for a new planning and underway app.  As you may know from my ActiveCaptain Community app guide, I’ve been paying close attention to what apps support ACC data.  Aqua Map was among the […]

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *