Why he chose Argo:
“I was taking my family down to the Keys for the first time and I wanted to plot the course ahead of time because there are a lot of dangerous waters where depth can go from 5-6 feet to 6 inches within seconds. Most of that is sand but there are some rocks. So I downloaded a bunch of apps to try to get an idea. My driving force was: could I open it and scroll around with the ease and speed of Google maps, and did it have the things I needed? My first need was where is the right boat ramp for me near the hotel where we’re staying? Second, where’s the safe passage–even at mean low tide–to get to a restaurant and back, and how long is it going to take me. Argo gave me that the minute I opened it. The other apps were not as easy and were pushing me to upgrade immediately. For example, you click on a restaurant for a location but it says upgrade to see the information. Another litmus test for me is, do the developers keep the app up like Jeff keeps Argo up? Do they stay in contact like Jeff does? Do they really care about what boaters care about? For me, the number one priority is safety–my dad was in the Coast Guard and that was drilled into me at an early age. So, I chose Argo because it was easy and I could use it right away, and I stick with it because I see Jeff sticking with it.”
Best thing about Argo?
“I think Argo has successfully combined the simplicity of Apple with speed of Google and the complexity of paper charts.”
How he uses Argo:
“I use Argo as a supplement to my main Garmin GPS. I usually use it for when we trailer the boat into unknown waters, but I also just navigated at night for the first time around familiar waters in Boca Raton with the kids to see Christmas lights. Argo helped me know when the markers were coming up. It really is the north star on any trip!”
Best Argo story?
“We all wanted to go to Robbie’s, a well-known marina in the Keys. Because it was stormy, my kids and wife planned to drive down and I was going to take the boat. I thought it was a good place for a challenge – 6 feet of water, full radio coverage, cell phone coverage. So I went for it and plotted it out. I navigated the 15 nautical miles in about 45 minutes before the storm. On the way back the wind had come up and was against me–it took me about an hour and a half. In that time, my Garmin went out but there was nowhere safe to stop and work on it. Thankfully I had Argo at my side; it was nice to have this independent unit on the phone to help me finish the trip. I can’t say I wouldn’t have made it without Argo, but I have to say it was a great help because my GPS doesn’t have the features such as restaurants, it just has gas and boat ramps and such.”
Favorite Argo features:
- Plot and save. “I use this the most. I can plot something in the Keys, or North Carolina or Jupiter before I leave my home marina. Familiarizing yourself with where you’re about to go boating should be at the top of every safe captain’s list–where are you going, what does it look like, what should you be looking out for, what are the landmarks.”
- Search. “This function makes it easy to find places on the water, such as restaurants.”
- Create a report. “I think that’s really cool because you often run into debris such as a lodged log, especially after storm. It would be awesome if Argo became the international standard and someone can say, much like Google maps says there’s a cop up here, like, hey, there’s a log here and I don’t want anyone to hit it. It kind of creates a community of boaters that can help make a better chart.”
How Argo has helped him:
“It increases safety for my family. In a boat you can’t let your confidence get ahead of you. Not knowing where you’re going ahead of time can get you in a rough place really quick.”
What he would tell a friend:
“My dad and stepmom are buying a tug to go all through the Great Loop and Argo is the first thing I sent them. They’re from North Carolina but they’re coming to Florida to buy the boat and get their captain’s licenses. I said, if you haven’t taken your navigation class yet, Argo is a great way to understand what the different markers are on the way, just click on them and you see what’s what. I like how Argo makes it common knowledge.”