Garmin Active Captain App - with Garmin Electronics

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FootballFan, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    I have all Garmin electronics. Recently completed the upgrade on the software to the latest version, so now have the ability to display Active Captain database on the plotters.

    I could not install the new Active Captain app on my iPad until I did the iOS upgrade. Got that completed yesterday. Not at the boat for another couple of weeks, at that time will do the sync from the iPad to the Garmin network on the boat. I do have the enhanced chart chip. Planning on getting my charts for the Active Captain App from my chart chip on the boat.

    Looking for feedback from anyone who has used the new Active Captain App with the Garmin electronics?

    What has your experience been?

    Any insight on anything I should be aware of when syncing?

    How well does it work?

    Thanks
     
  2. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    815
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    I've used the new Active Captain with Garmins for the last year. It works well for me. As you probably know, in addition to the charting the app can display and control any of the devices on the Garmin network. That's particularly useful for making button selections while underway.
    One pointer you need to be aware of. When you pair the app, it wants to be able to access a chip card; I think this is used for an intermediate stop for downloads and such. I'm not sure you can use the chart card for this but I remember having to go out and get a blank card the first time I tried to set up. You might want to check the documentation for this before you to go to the boat and have a spare card with you.
     
    Cocktail Time likes this.
  3. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    TY.

    My electronics guy had told me I need a blank card in the chartplotter to store the AC database.

    Do you have Garmin Autopilot? Does the AC App work as described interfacing with the AP?

    I just changed out the Autopilot, was the last remaining non-garmin component. Now everything is Garmin.
     
  4. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    815
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    I do have a Garmin Autopilot and am all-Garmin as well. I have the Garmin Autopilot remote (which I highly recommend) so don't regularly need to go through the app for steering. But, I believe the Autopilot interface for the app is to select a chart plotter, then the Autopilot screen (which looks just like the control head) or one of the Navigation screens and go from there. I've not seen any function (including radar screens) that don't behave just like one was operating the plotter.
     
  5. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    I saw that Garmin sells a dedicated remote. How do you use the remote? What are the situations?

    Does the remote do more than the App does?

    One of the features I am looking forward to is remote monitoring of the chart plotters if someone else is running the boat and I am on one of the lower levels.

    With Bluechart or Aqua I can see course and heading. With the new Active Captain App I am looking forward to seeing everything I would see from the Chart plotters (Charts, Radar, AIS, and Sonar) while downstairs. Are my expectations reasonable given your experience?

    I do not want to control the AP from off the helm. The person at the helm needs to control that.
     
  6. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Yep, that will work fine. I also like to see the big plotter on the TV, but AC Helm lets you choose any of the MFD's.
     
  7. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    815
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    Garmin offers three remotes. One is the autopilot remote which I have. There are two other remotes available, both for chartplotter functions. There is a bare-bones version that essentially just lets you press the chartplotter buttons remotely; the other provides more control such as zooming. They are priced accordingly.
    I use the autopilot remote primarily at the helm. I typically cut over to it clearing a marina and switch back just before mooring. Having come from a Navy background, I naturally think in terms of course to steer so the remote is ideal for me for cruising. It is also a fatigue-reducer for longs spells at the helm. I do switch to hand-steering when there is any close-quarters situation with another vessel or object and for dodging crab pots. I agree steering needs to be done from the helm but I do usually take the remote with me when stepping away just in case. The app doesn't have the functionality of the autopilot remote for quickly setting and adjusting course.
    The chartplotter remotes don't do anything the app cannot do to my knowledge. But, I can see some utility for them; touchscreens can be hard to get to and use in rough weather.
    I think you'll need to test how well the apps will work when away from the helm. They should be fine but I'm not sure of the range available from the chartplotter wifi on a larger boat such as yours.
     
  8. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2006
    CT
    2015 L650 Fly #509
    CAT C-18, 1,150 HP
    I just read on another boating site that Garmin is no longer supporting Explorer Charts of the Bahamas with its latest chart updates. For those of use who cruise to the islands regularly, this is a huge misstep. Explorer charts are the only reliable product on the market. Now that Garmin owns Navionics, I guess it was inevitable.
     
  9. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    815
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    FootbalFan, another post that just popped up made me remember that, in order to use the Active Captain app, the chartplotter software needs to be updated as of around October 2017 or so and the last update had to be done the old-fashioned way. I imagine your software is probably OK but thought I would mention it. I started using the new Active Captain right around when it came out and learned about this the hard way as it wasn't advertised at the time, or I didn't see it if it was.
     
  10. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    My upgrade was in January. We were gone from home port from June 2018 till january 2019.

    I choose not to upgrade software until we got back.

    What do you think about the changes to the user interface?
     
  11. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    815
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    My system was installed in fall 2017 and the update came out and was installed after only one short underway from the install site to homeport. So, I've spent most of my time on the new version. As I recall, the differences are largely in menu access and content.
     
  12. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Assuming from your comment above that the ActiveCaptain app will upgrade chart plotter software once connected.

    Is this automatic? can you control it?
     
  13. alnav

    alnav Member GOLD Sponsor

    815
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    No, software updates are not automatic. The app will let you know there are updates, then you can choose to download when to download to the app. Once it is on the app and you connect the app to the devices onboard, you can choose when to complete the update.
    I just went into the app to refresh my memory and had several updates stacked up, understandable over the winter. This reminded me that you need to have all your devices registered for everything to work correctly. I think this can be done as of the first connection but I remember having to call Garmin tech support to get one of my chartplotters registered. There is also a connection with Garmin Express required if you haven't already set that up. Garmin Express also displays all of your devices as well as charts that are registered. It might be worth trying to get all that set up at home before trying to connect at the boat.
     
  14. j98052

    j98052 Member

    143
    Jul 17, 2015
    Seattle
    2010 Sedan Bridge 520
    Cummins QSM11
    Has anyone figured out how to get Navionics routes into Active Captain, which can then be sync'd to the chart plotter?
     

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