Showing posts with the label apps for sailing

Do You Know the Wind? SailFlow App Review

"To know the laws that govern the winds, and to know that you know them, will give you an easy mind on your voyage round the world; otherwise you may tremble at the appearance of every cloud." - Joshua Slocum from Sailing Alone Around the World As sailors, we need to make our peace with the wind. After several years of sailing my boat, my feelings for the wind are still sometimes jumbled. When there's no wind I reluctantly fire up my old gasoline Volvo inboard and curse the swarming flies. And then there are times when I see a forecast calling for 25+ knots or I see the foam blowing off the top of a swell and my stomach tightens a bit as trepidation creeps in. I know the tremble that Slocum speaks of and apparently I've got more to learn about the wind. So how do you learn the wind? Well, there are plenty of books on the subject and I'm a firm believer in learning through doing. But there are some crutches available that will make your relationship wit

Don't be a Drag: Anchoring App Reviews

"And I advise all sound cruisers to anchor properly in a harbor, not tie up at a marina, the yachtsmen's slum."   - Samuel Eliot Morison , Pulitzer Prize winning author and Rear Admiral of the US Navy Reserve We've always enjoy the simple pleasures of staying on the hook. There's something peaceful about the way the boat gently bobs and floats around the anchor. But I have to admit, even with our massive Bruce-style anchor and chain rode, we sometimes roll over in the middle of the night and wonder if we've dragged or drifted. That's when setting an anchor alarm is reassuring.  We don't always set an anchor alarm because we have the right ground tackle and we take our time to get a good anchor set. However, when the wind comes up or we're in a very crowded anchorage, we typically set an anchor alarm using our Garmin handheld GPS. But during the last couple of cruising seasons our iPhone and iPad have begun to take over some duties from the

Sailing App Review: Theodolite HD for iPad

Sailing apps are finally starting to become numerous in the Apple App Store so recently I've been experimenting with Theodolite.  You check here , here , and here for more of my sailing app reviews.  Theodolite is a multi-function app (for iPad/iPhone) that can serve as a compass, GPS, zoom camera, rangefinder and two-axis inclinometer. The basic premise behind the app is that realtime GPS position and bearing information is potentially useful when overlaid on the iPad's live camera image. There are also options for several different reticles and screen lenses, including a couple of "night vision" lenses. Typical Theodolite screen image Perhaps the most useful tool for sailing is the rangefinder function which can be used to calculate distance, height, heading and bearing using algebraic equations and triangulation. Need to quickly estimate the distance to a landmark such as a lighthouse? Assuming you know the height of the lighthouse from your charts, you can b

Review: Navionics HD Chartplotter for iPad and iOS

Can chart plotting and navigation on the iPad replace more traditional marine electronics?  I've been using a combination of electronic devices for navigation over the last couple of seasons and thought now would be a good time to review one of my favorites, Navionics HD for iOS on the iPad 2 . For reviews of another great mobile chartplotter app, see my review of MotionX GPS . I have traditionally used a Garmin GPSMap 76cs Plus handheld plotting GPS and more recently added a netbook computer running the free OpenCPN chartplotter software tethered to the Garmin.  You can see this system in action here .  More recently, I've put the Garmin in a back-up role and begun using the Navionics HD app for iOS on my iPad 2, along with a suite of  other great navigation and sailing apps . Chart screenshot from Navionics HD Let's get some iPad basics out the way first.  The iPad's size, touchscreen and brilliant display are excellent for looking at charts.  However, t

Update: Best Apps for Sailing and Boating

Just a quick update to let readers know I've made two new additions to the  Best Apps for Sailing and Boating  blog post.  You'll now find the Star Walk and Cruisers Forum apps included in the list.  I'll periodically continue to add new sailing apps as they become available and I have a chance to review them.