6 Apps Every Sailor Must Have!
“Even loners have a phone”, right? We carry our smartphones with us everywhere — even shower thanks to waterproof phones. So, it wouldn’t be weird to say that even sailors have smart phones while on board, would it?
Although having a smartphone may interrupt your inner loner, it can be useful in some situations. Following is a list of 6 Apps Every Sailor Must Have; thus, read on to find out how you can use your smartphone as a professional navigating assistant!
If you’re an Apple person — simply said: having an iPhone or Mac devices — SeaNav is the best app to trust. You can navigate through its regularly updating map and sync it up with your Apple Watch. SeaNav offers you some amazing features including: VR view, SOG, COG, ETA, CTE and lights and AIS ships overlaid on the camera. You can also download charts to use them while out of network.
SeaNav comes in two versions, one of which is designed specifically for American Routes and the other one for UK Coasts. You can also add some extra charts for Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands and Belgium. So, ig you want to have an navigating assistant on board, try SeaNav! You can download it from Apple Store now, but I suggest you to visit their website before purchasing the app — because you can find more information along with download links there.
2. The Navionics Marine & Lakes
The most upstanding feature of The Navionics Marine & Lakes app is its autonavigating system, which allows you to see some navigating suggestions even though narrow areas. I don’t recommend you to fully trust this app for your charting, but it would give you some ideas to consider anyway. However, autonavigation is not the only useful option on The Navionics Marine & Lakes and you can also use its Plotter Sync feature to transfer Marks and Routes anytime!
The Navionics Marine & Lakes offers you real-time access to weather conditions and tides in order to plan your route deliberately. Moreover, there’s a timeline section on this app that enables you to track all previous travels, routes and maps with panoramic pictures and statistics. The Navionics Marine & Lakes is available both for ios and Android devices, so if you want to get it now, just click on the link below — purchasing this app will give the ability to use downloaded maps and some features permanently, but you may need to renew your subscription to download more maps after one year.
3. The SEAiq marine navigation and plotting
The SEAiq is not recommended for everyone, because not having piloting knowledge may cause some confusions while using this app. So, let’s agree that The SEAiq may not be the best application for you — unless you’re an piloting and navigation expert. However, The SEAiq offers its user some functional options including Waterway Guide Content. That is, you can use this useful application to gain practical AIS information and the overall waterways’ condition. Waterway Guide Content has a full-time staff that work hard to provide you an accurate waterway map.
The SEAiq is one of the rare applications that is available for all major platforms including: MacOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows. Thus, no matter what your favorite device to have on board is, The SEAiq can be a serviceable option to serve some purpose. You can easily install it on your smartphone and/or tablet, along laptop and PC. However, keep in mind that it wouldn’t be easy to use it appropriately without any background knowledge of piloting systems — so read the tutorial before starting to use it. Better yet, click on the link below, go to their website and see if it suits your requirements based on information provided by them.
Designed for amateur sea dogs, iSailor, is one of the best options that we have on our list of ‘6 Apps That Every Sailor Must Have’. It’s easy-to-use and you can figure out “what’s what” pretty soon. iSailor uses TX-97 Chart Format which is believed to be one of the best Vector Chart Formats. This practical application gives you the ability of planning routes and find reliable information about daily chart conditions. There are different regions and areas covered by iSailor, but you need to purchase them before starting to use. That means you can choose which charts are necessary for you and buy them first. After one year of subscription, you won’t be able to update maps and a renewing may be needed— however, you can still use your earlier maps without updating.
iSailor is available for ios and Android devices so don’t worry about your preferred platform in use. According to their website, Chart Folios on this app cover coastal and offshore waters of North America, Latin and South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Far East, Asia, along with Australia & New Zealand. That means we are talking about a major database that might be practical for different parts of the world — and just America.
Download some maps, turn off your cellular mobile network, and go ahead! That’s how Memory-Map works because it can continue working with no access to internet. This serviceable application is great for those who travel long distances with no access to internet at some points. Memory-Map offers you a vast array of free maps from different parts of the world. However, there are even more detailed maps that you need to purchase before using. The team behind Memory-Map is aware of the fact that you may not trust them with your eyes closed! That’s why you can try their detailed maps for a specific time to make sure you will be satisfied after purchasing them — I think it’s worth it.
Memory-Map comes in two different types: one for smartphones and the other for PCs. There are also some DVDs among application which include free maps available for you. That means you can transfer these maps to your phone through PC or download them via cellular data/Wifi. After downloading/uploading maps to your devices, there won’t be any need to have access to the internet. Memory-Map will be your offline GPS navigator, able to help you pilot through waterways. You can use it to plan a route and/or get to know the directions ahead of you. Check out their website for more information:
6. MX Mariner
The 6th of our “6 Apps Every Sailor Must Have” list is the MX Mariner. Although it is only available for Android devices, lots of people are using it right now. This app offers you almost everything you need as an amateur sea dog to navigate your way. It works both online and offline so you can plan for parts of your trip with no access to internet and vice versa. MX Mariner also lets you to import and/or export GPX, have access to Online satellite and road maps and Offline raster marine charts, create, edit and navigate waypoints, record, archive and edit Tracks, create, edit and navigate routes etc.
MX Mariner uses configurable measuring units, so you can choose the best option among other units. Moreover, this application includes Raster marine charts for United States, New Zealand, Brazil and United Kingdom. For this reason, you can use it almost worldwide. Just install it on your phone, download detailed maps, plan your route and sail! That’s that… There’s also another awesome fact about MX Mariner and that is containing an Interactive Cruising Guidebook! Could anything be better than that? I’m not sure.
You can use the link below to check out their website for more information and find download links for your devices in use.
Bonus: 4 AIS Apps!
You know what AIS means, right? Well, you better do, because being a sea dog without having any information about AIS would be impossible — and pretty much dangerous! However, since not all of you are a sailor and there some just-interested-in-topic out there, here is an explanation for the term “AIS”: standing for automatic identification system, AIS, is way of indicating ships’/sailboats’/yachts’ locations on the Marine Radars. This system allows sea transportation to be safe and ships use this information to navigate their way appropriately.
If you’re a candidate for the next great sea dog of the sailing history and still not aware of AIS usage, it’s better to think twice before making any decisions! Anyway… Here’s a bonus list of 4 AIS Apps that may come in handy when on board:
Ship Finder is one the best AIS applications for ios device, offering Live moving ships, Ship route trails, Search by vessel name, Ship information such as – Vessel Name, Port of Registration, Destination, and ETA Technical information such as – MMSI, IMO. But its Android version is not something to be recommended! There are lots of problems that you may face using Ship Finder on Android devices, so it’s better to exchange it for FindShip — while using Android devices
Marine Traffic is brand new AIS app that has added a gun new feature to its functions which you may like. Now you can use your phone’s camera in order to sea what’s going on around you just in one glance. That is, Marine Traffic uses AR technology to show nearby ships and their information — including name, flag etc. You can also use its detailed map to have a bird’s-eye view of the waterways’ overall situations. Moreover, Marine Traffic is capable of showing wind forecast for the next 48 hours — live!
Boat Beacon is a well-known AIS app with millions of users, because it’s the only application that uses CPA (Closest Point of Approach) information to inform you that possible collision may occur. Boat Beacon uses online information of other ships around you to provide a detailed map. As mentioned earlier, the most important usage of the automatic identification system is to prevent possible collisions on sea transportation. And Boat Beacon, being aware of AIS importance, has provided a useful tool to inform you that bad things may happen — before they actually happen! (Pro version of this app costs $3.99)
A new player in the game! Boat Watch is the best option for those who want to keep track of different ships. It may not be a perfect choice for sailors because of the lack of exact information; however, it’s a nice application for people who want to keep track of their loved ones on board. Since Boat Watch can alert you when a specific ship sets sail and/or arrives, you can follow their journey at home!
1. Lochhaas Tom | 2018 | Best Sailing and Boating Apps | thoughtco