The Best Sailing and Boating Apps

I've often said that one of my favorite aspects of sailing is the ease at which you can unplug yourself from the complexities and over abundance of technologies. However, I'm also a bit of a gadget junkie and have become very fond of my iPad, even while on the boat. What follows is a list of my favorite apps for sailing. All are available in Apple's app store (and likely in the Android market too) and work on both an iPad and iPhone.

1) Navionics HD: While expensive compared to most apps, Navionics HD is an outright bargain when compared to tradition chartplotters. The bathymetric charts are beautifully detailed and include the option of overlaying Google Earth, Bing aerial photos or topographic terrain maps for land. Functions include tracks, route planning and guidance, speed data and many other goodies you would expect from a gps plotter.

2) Sail Master: This is a simple app, but it looks and works great. Think of Sail Master as your digital instrument panel. The app shows boat speed, boat position (lat & long), and heading. As a bonus, there's also an inclinometer to see your angle of heel. Each instrument can be shown onscreen individually or in a nice combo screen showing all data. The teak and brass look of the instruments really makes the aesthetics pop.

3) Ship Finder HD: If you don't have AIS on your boat, Ship Finder brings the data to a screen near you...sort of. You can't transmit your position with the app, but any commercial or recreational vessel that's transmitting can be displayed on your screen. You'll get the usual AIS data such as vessel destination, course, speed, length, etc. This probably shouldn't be relied upon for navigation and traffic avoidance, but it's a fun tool.

4) Wind Meter: Here's your anemometer for the iPhone. This isn't quite as accurate as a handheld Windmate or your masthead anemometer, but it's a cheap, simple app that gives wind data good enough to be useful. I love the ingenuity of using the wind noise coming through the iPhone microphone combined with algorithms to spit out an approximate wind speed.

5) Compass HD: This is as simple as it sounds - just a nautical-looking and functional compass for your idevice.

6) MyRadar: There are many good weather apps available and most include weather radar. However, not many are as simple, reliable and quick as MyRadar if all you're concerned with is seeing what storms are headed your way.

7) Cruising World: iPads are excellent for viewing magazine a content and Cruising World magazine is the first (far as I can tell) sailing mag to publish issues digitally for IOS devices.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

  1. My favourite weather sailing app is YachtWeather. It provides key information to help plan your sail day it gives temperature, wind direction and speed, wave height, wave length, wave period, storm risk, precipitation risk, humidity, pressure, etc. with 6 hour forecasts. Best of all its FREE!


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