Cruisers are long-term planners, and voracious hoarders of information. Obsessive! They’ve planned their precious voyages well in advance, searching in every nook and cranny for information about the path ahead of them. In year’s past, we relied heavily on the printed guide books. These are still great references, but they do tend to get a bit stale and need to be repurchased every couple of years. Active Captain was originated in 2007, and has proven to be a very nice (dare I say "essential") additional resource for boat bound adventurers.
This resource was created by Karen and Jeffrey Siegel, a couple of seasoned cruisers from Castine Maine. Karen and Jeffrey saw a need for a better guidebook platform and had the tech savvy and marketing skills to build it. What they came up with in Active Captain quickly gained acceptance and continues to blossom today. The traditional guidebooks haven't responded with similar platforms - which means Active Captain is very much the place for marinas to be!
Karen and Jeff knew cruisers on the move needed up to date, internet based information about anchorages, local services, fuel prices, great restaurants within walking distance of marinas – and of course, current information on marinas. They also knew that customer reviews could really add punch to the value of the information, and maybe even create a little more competition in the marina world to keep operators on their toes.
Your marina is most likely listed, even if you don’t know it. Nothing sadder than a bare bones marina listing on Active Captain. Cruisers will judge you, and maybe unfairly so, if you are not updating and fully completing your marina listing.
It is very easy to do. Simply create a free User account. Active Captain has created a free 18 page reference manual for marina operators at this link https://activecaptain.com/sponsors/marinasGuide.pdf. They are working hard for you, now return the favor!
The marina data base has an extensive listing of criteria. It isn’t necessary to have information in the criteria which doesn’t pertain to your service offering. What is important is that that your information clearly reflects that you actively manage the data and keep it current.
And make your listing unique and personal too. Provide your manager and dockmaster names. These cruisers love a welcoming marina – and you can set the stage for that feeling when they first find you on Active Captain. I kid you not. Remember that they likely have several marinas to choose from. A statement like “friendliest marina on the Treasure Coast” will stick in the back of their mind.
Many navigation software providers imbed Active Captain information, so your marina is getting tremendous exposure even beyond the Active Captain website. Wow! Leverage baby!
Ask for reviews.
Respond (nicely and never defensively) to comments and complaints.
Active Captain sends out a weekly Marina Minute newsletter via email to marinas with good operational tidbits and to remind you to update fuel prices and the general information about the marina. These folks are really trying to make this a snap for you.
The cherry on top is that this is a free service. Sure, they have options for paid advertising, which might make sense for your marina. But at the very least, I just can’t think of another free resource with more potential than this service to get your marina on the cruiser community radar.