The free all-in-one ActiveCaptain™ app provides a powerful connection to your Garmin chartplotter, charts, maps and the ActiveCaptain community for the ultimate connected boating experience. Wherever you are, you’ll have unlimited access to your cartography, be able to purchase new maps and charts, and have access to the Garmin Quickdraw™ Contours Community. Connect to the ActiveCaptain community for up-to-date feedback on marinas and other points of interest. Smart notifications¹ on your chartplotter screen keep you connected with everyone else. Plan a trip or pre-fish a lake, and ActiveCaptain will automatically sync with your chartplotter. Even view and control your chartplotter from your smartphone or tablet while you’re on the water.

This app is not recommended for non-Garmin chartplotter owners and is not intended to be a standalone navigational app. The included basemap is not useable without purchasing additional charts/maps.
- OneChart™ lets you access all your Garmin unit pre-load and accessory card charts and maps from your mobile device and purchase new ones
- Receive smart notifications¹, such as calls and texts, on your chartplotter display when paired with the app
- Connect to fellow boaters with the ActiveCaptain community for up-to-date feedback on marinas and other points of interest
- Make, save and transfer routes and waypoints between the app and chartplotter
- Easily upload and download the latest Garmin Quickdraw Contours content from the community
- Download software updates and notifications from the app to your Garmin devices
- View and control your chartplotter from your smartphone or tablet

¹See compatibility matrix -

What's New

Version 14.0

New and improved UI to make ActiveCaptain simpler and easier to use.
OneHelm: Access the advanced controls and capabilities offered by your on-board systems such as underwater lights, digital switching, and more on your mobile device.
ActiveCaptain Community 2.0: New and improved display of ActiveCaptain Community marker content.
Dynamic Lake Level: Adjust your LakeVu maps to reflect changes in lake level.

Ratings and Reviews

2.8 out of 5
123 Ratings
123 Ratings

Room for improvement, but not bad

First, if you’re not pairing this with a Garmin chartplotter, don’t even bother downloading. I had Bluechart prior and that was a fantastic standalone program. That program was the reason I bought a new Garmin chartplotter in the first place. I still keep it on my iPad for reference. This is designed for use with a Garmin compatible chartplotter.
The main issue/problem with this is how slow it renders the maps when you open the program. They claim the map has more detail but it still shouldn’t take almost a minute to fully load. I’m running this on an iPad Pro and reloaded the program in an attempt to correct. Still slow. Cut down map detail and size of downloaded charts, still slow.
When using Active Captain from the app, you can only read 10 reviews of a location, some outdated. To see all the reviews of a location/anchorage, you have to go to the Active Captain WEB site. A problem on the water without internet connectivity and even if you had WiFi, you’re switching between programs.
This app has a lot of great features when paired to the chartplotter, like updating maps and software, controlling chartplotter from iPad, however until they fix the painfully slow map loading speed, it only gets 3 stars.
Let’s hope they keep updating the App and improving.


A very good app!

Hi, I noticed the app has a 1.8 rating so I just had to weigh in and give it 5 stars. Yesterday, I downloaded the app and synced it with my 7612xsv and everything worked flawlessly!! Connected to my home WiFi, walked through all the prompts added a 32gig card and everything worked perfectly. She updated the software, found the network, walked through every feature and just did exactly what was advertised!! I even had the 7612 and my iPhone talking so well that my mfd chart displayed on my iPhone and I could control the mfd from the phone!! It was pretty cool and will be useful when I don’t want to sit at the helm to program and create trips. The iPhone app has lots of accurate info and I’m positive I will use it frequently. So, great job Garmin, keep improving and thank you for keeping this free!! Safe boating all!!

Developer Response

Thank you! Please let us know if you have any other questions or feedback to share at


GPS location does not work...

GPS location on the app used to work and with all Location Services turned on, it shows me in Miami?? I’m in the Bahamas! I’ve contacted customer service and after multiple responses they told me Active Captain was not designed to be a chart plotter. I don’t need it to be...just want it to show my actual location. The only thing this app is good for is plotting a course and syncing it with your chart plotter...but only after you’ve found your actual location. Was looking into a Raymarine switch but found Garmin bought Navionics! Thought paying the extra $$ for Garmin would be worth it. You guys have proved me wrong. Garmin: get your stuff together. Oh, and your customer service is only available 5 days a week?! We cruise full time but isn’t 95% of boating activity done during the 2 days you’re closed? I’m afraid all of these acquisitions are showing consumers/users you’re more interested in profitability than quality. I’ll be seeking alternatives in the future.

Developer Response

Please email in at regarding Location Services settings. Turning Location Services on is the first step, but ActiveCaptain also needs to be manually set to use location data in iOS. We would like to explore this further with you and find out why the position isn't being reported correctly.


Garmin International
142.1 MB
Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (5th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (5th generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular (2nd generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular, iPad (6th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (6th generation), iPad Pro (11-inch), iPad Pro (11-inch), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation), and iPod touch.
English, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2018 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries
In-App Purchases
  1. BlueChart + LakeVu HD Map $84.99
  2. HXUS604X - Download $219.99
  3. U.S. LakeVü HD Ultra $199.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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