ActiveCaptain started as a small site in 2007 where boaters could add information about marinas, anchorages, bridges, hazards, and other information of interest to people on boats. The information changes frequently including pricing information, changes in depths, and whether a particular marina's showers are clear. It has grown into the largest database of boat cruising information in existence. There are 14 third-party products that now license the data for inclusion in their own navigation products with about 10 more products in development. Some of the largest boat electronics manufacturers are licensing the data too.
United States of America
Company contact details
Brief business history
ActiveCaptain went live in January 2007. In the first week there were 1,000 users who signed up. Today in 2011, there are 110,000 boaters who use the site. We often have 200 - 400 using the site at the same time, researching where they're going to spend the night or what is coming up next in their current travels along the world's waterways.
The entire ActiveCaptain project has been self-funded. We don't believe in banner ads, especially for vertical markets like boating. Instead, marinas pay us to accentuate their information when they get good reviews from users or when they have extremely good deals for boaters passing by. ActiveCaptain is profitable today.
Success to date
We are overjoyed with where we are. Our new user rate is now doubling our use every year. We've bridged the gap between the old way of boaters reading reference information into this new model of obtaining detail and review information, processing it to make decisions about travel, and then entering new experiences to provide to others. It's a wonderful thing. There aren't boaters who are out in their boats for weeks to months at a time who don't know about ActiveCaptain or aren't using it.