iPhone apps for sailors

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iPhone apps for sailors

By Susannah Palk for CNN http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/08/06/sailing.iphone.apps/index.html

1. iNavX Marine Navigation
$49.99
Highly rated by users, iNavX is an all-in-one navigational program, providing detailed maps and high-quality charting features including GRIB weather display and waypoint (navigation reference points in space) and track plotting. If you are sailing in the U.S. this app can be very useful, with free access to thousands of detailed marine charts. If you are elsewhere, it is possible to purchase compatible chart software from a number of different sources, Navionics being a popular choice. As with other apps reliant on GPS, battery power is quickly drained if not charged.

2. AyeTides
$9.99
A nifty little app displaying tides and currents for locations around the world. Although there are cheaper versions of this app around, the key selling point is its ability to bring up information quickly and easily without internet access — crucial when you need information in a low-signal area. It’s also a handy way to plan the safest, fastest routes well in advance, allowing you to predict tides until 2100.

3. Wind Meter
$0.99
As the title suggests, this app estimates the speed of wind. Thought up by engineers in Silicon Valley, the app ingeniously measures the volume of wind passing across the microphone and then converts it into speed. There are mixed reviews about its accuracy, some swearing by it, other complaining it won’t measure speeds under 12 knots. But, for a thereabouts guide it’s quite handy.

4. SailMaster
$11.99
Want to improve your race times but don’t feel like forking out the big bucks — this app is for you. Designed as a low-cost alternative to expensive tactical systems, the SailMaster displays boat speed, distance and direction of waypoints, tidal information and has a countdown timer and digital compass. Accuracy depends on a good GPS signal and there have been mixed user reviews, but it’s a truly inventive idea. Another drawback of this economical all-in-one is the loss of tracking information when a call is made or received — so divert your phone.

5. Knots, Splices and Rope Work
$0.99
This app is essentially a photocopy of A. Hyatt Verrill’s 1917 classic treatise on knot tying. It includes scrollable text of descriptions and 154 diagrams of classic knots, splices and rope work. Some complain about its lack of technically wizardry, (there are no animated demonstrations), but the comprehensive list of knots coupled with easy to follow instructions make it a sailor’s dream guide.

By Susannah Palk for CNN http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/08/06/sailing.iphone.apps/index.html

Michael James
Michael James
Michael James has been with Murray Yacht Sales since 1995 and is in the the New Orleans office.

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