Top Six Best Sailing Apps – Part 2

Top six best sailing appsFollowing on from our previous blog post, here are the last ten apps that we will be looking at before selecting the Top Six Best Sailing Apps in the third and final installment. Apps today range from the the incredibly useful to the darn right ridiculous withBoatbookings app ‘Hold on’ claiming pride of place as an app whose objective is to track how long you can keep a finger on a static position on the touchscreen! Unbelievable! These following apps are much more useful and will eventually make up Top Six Best Sailing Apps.

First of all comes one of our favourite yacht charter apps. It is of course the Boatbookings app! Our team at Boatbookings has over 8000 yachts at it’s disposal. We are an online retail broker which means we have no bias as to which yacht we recommend. It is all about satisfying the client and we will find the very best boat for you, where as other suppliers will try and push you towards one of their own boats, rather than showing you a range.  The Boatbookings app is a wonderful way to have access to Boatbookings on the go. It is compatible for both iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and will provide you with information on destinations all over the world. It also shows you the nearest boats to your current destination with all the information you need to make informed choices on chartering. Not to mention it’s FREE! A sure fire bet to get in the Top Six Best Sailing apps…or is it?

Next comes Aye tides. It is essential for the sailor to know everything there is to know about what the ocean beneath your feet is Aye tidesdoing and aye tides as the names suggests, gives you up to date and detailed information on the world’s tides movements. It is based on information on over 10,000 tide stations worldwide and you don’t need connectivity on the boat to use it, as it stores all the data on your device! You can choose a station alphabetically, geographically, or near your location. You can set up your favorite stations, or pick a recently opened station so that the information comes immediately. One draw back of this app however is it’s price. It is one of the most expensive apps I am reviewing at £5.49 but could well be worth it for someone who regularly works around tides and a contender for inclusion in the Top Six Sailing Apps.

NOAA Buoy and Tide Data app is a delightfully simple app that. As the name suggests, it uses the data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoys and enables you to have all their information at your finger tips. It is invaluable. It measures wind speeds, gusts, and their direction as well as pressure and tide movements. It costs £1.49 and as a general overview NOAA Buoy and Tide Data appis  fantastic! Another app that is competing with this one is World Tides 2013 – an app that uses the Simply Harmonic Formula and harmonic constants provided by the UKHO to give 7 day tide predictions without the need for an internet connection. It uses historical measurements taken at various locations to determine values. It works without an internet connection and keeps you up to date with tide levels, proving a useful companion. It could be an interesting and useful comparison to use in conjunction with another app and costing just £1.49, it could well be worth it for those interested.

SailGrib could well be such app to have along side a tide app of your choice, however it must be stressed this app comes only as an Android version. It comes in a free and paid version – the difference being you can only download up to 48 hours of forecast data with the free app and 14 days worth with the £4.50 paid version. It is all done through your e mails through Saildocs – you simply send a request and open up the following attachment that will be sent back to you to view the data.

Now, everyone has those small games on your iPad or iPhone that fill those small moments of the day when you are on the bus or waiting for someone – highly addictive, but fantastic fun. Here is just one of those games that will get you in the mood for your up and coming charter or help you envisage the next overtake  you will perform the following day as you relax after a hard days sailing. It is called Sailboat Championship. You can compete online with players from all over the world or against bots and you Sailboat-championshipcan upgrade and unlock new boats as you play and complete reasonably extensive courses for trophies and gold awards. It has some of the best graphics I have seen in a sailing game app and the online feature means that beating your friends becomes very addictive!

Another app that perhaps is so obvious that you wouldn’t think to select it for Top Six Sailing Apps is Flashlight. On a yacht at night, having a torch to hand is a necessity, as you never know what might happen. Therefore having a simple app such as Flashlight on your phone is something that is incredibly useful and practical!

If you have made the decision to actually go out and purchase a yacht – no matter the size, it will inevitably be your pride and joy. Just as you have baby monitors to check on your newly born baby, many yacht owners quite understandably want the equivalent for their yacht – especially if  they are chartering it out for the first time or perhaps have lent it to friends. With such an investment Boat wardenyou would be a fool to not have more than a passing interest in what is happening to your yacht. Therefore there are several apps that can help you here. We have selected three of this genre to give you an idea of what is on the market at the moment; Anchor Watch, Boat Warden, and Siren Marine Pocket Calculator. To take them in order, Anchor Watch is a very handy and simple app – it does exactly what it says on the tin. Namely, that if your yacht moves out of set limits, then an alarm will go off or a phone call will automatically be made to another phone. It is only a dollar and will provide you with a good nights sleep! Boat Warden is in fact an app that goes hand in hand with Boatwarden sensors. These are a series of sensors that you purchase and install on your yacht, which will monitor anything from bilge alarms to security perimeters to anchor dragging, or even battery usage. They cost upwards of $695 but provide complete remote control of a wide range of systems. This app comes with baggage in the form of $695 to purchase the initial set up but the app is a must if you are serious about the security of your yacht! Siren Marine Pocket Calculator is very similar to Boat Warden but does not have as many addable options – it is however cheaper at $499 but in my opinion you will either go the whole hog or not at all.

Now what did you make of all those apps? Many of which could be potentially vital and of great use to the sailor. In the next installment, we will select our Top Six Best Sailing Apps. Make sure you stay tuned to find out!

Top Six Best Sailing Apps – Part 1

AppsNow in this day and age it seems apps are playing a more and more essential role in our daily lives. Indeed, we seem to use apps for almost everything; be it finding a parking space or the nearest gourmet restaurant, keeping track of flights or even an app to help you rebuild your kitchen! The possibilities are endless and have become so popular because of the ease at which you can access and scroll through apps on your iPad, iPhone or Android device. Naturally the subject of these apps also extend to the Knot appsyachting industry that we all know and love. There are sailing apps for everyone whether you are the inexperienced amateur who is sailing with a skipper and wants to learn how to tie a few of those pesky knots, or the veteran adventurer who is looking for up to date info on the latest weather patterns and tide movements. Yet with such range and quantity of apps, the quality does not, I’m sad to say, remain of the highest standard and in this three part series I will attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff and provide you with a list of 6 of the best apps to try. In each of the first two parts of this series I will review 10 apps before selecting my top 6 in the third and final installment.

Now when it comes to knots – something that is essential for every sailor to know – it is very easy to feel as lost as Alice did in Wonderland. Especially when your Skipper screams at you to quickly tie an Alpine Butterfly on a Bight, Ashley’s Stopper or Palomar Knot to name just a few. With an app you can leave the heavy books at home and simply use your phone for a quality tutorial on how best to tie these pesky knots! The first app I have chosen to look at more closely is ‘Knot Time’. This app includes six different categories of knots: general, boating, mountaineering, fishing, lashings and scouting and each knot provides a brief description and most importantly an instructional video that walks you through exactly how to tie the knot. Although it only has 33 knots and costs £2.49 the video feature is invaluable and would be a great app for those that are serious and going to try and learn the basics well.

The next contender for the best knot app is ‘Animated Knot’ – named the best knot-tying app by Outside Magazine it boasts over 200 knots with the boating section containing 28 fully animated knots. The layout is fantastic and is very easy to use, offering step-by-step slide shows and an alphabetic list with a search function. It costs £2.99 but more than lives up to its reviews! The last of Urban Spoonthe knot apps is called ‘What knot to do’. This app has descriptions of 70 different knots with similar features to the previous two apps but crucially this time this app is free! If you are interested in being able to tie knots, this app is a must download – it will give you a taster of what you will be getting with the other apps but at no cost to yourself!

Now as every sailor will know after a satisfying days sailing, the only thing that could really top it off is a meal in a nice restaurant. Urban Spoon is not an app that many would think to use on a sailing holiday but if you are chartering a yacht around the United States Canada Australia or the UK it could be just the thing to find the food you are hankering after!

The next app I have selected as a possibility for my top 6 best sailing apps is the ‘Sailing and Boating Community App’. At the time of writing, this has over 90,000 members and provides a platform for the sailing community to share useful information through forums and threads. You can stay on top of currently available boats or crew positions, get the latest information on navigation and the coolest new innovations from boat builders. Oh, and did I mention it was free?

Now comes at first glance a seemingly boring app but in fact is potentially one of the most useful. You never know when you will Flag Appsneed to know what a particular flag means and in some circumstances it might mean the difference between life and death. This app is called ‘Signal Flags Info’ and contains pictures of all 40 of the international code flags. It is free and will take up no space at all on your iPad or IPhone – better safe than sorry!

For those amongst us who constantly strive for perfection when trimming the sails – desperate to eek out that last bit of speed, Sailsim is a fun and useful app to work out how best to do this. Costing just £0.69 you can adjust the wind angle and see the sails on a typical mono hull shift to their optimum position. It is brilliantly simple and well worth the money!

Now this app is for the racing enthusiasts amongst you. It a simple but useful app costing £3.99 that provides a number of useful features to make your hectic race that much easier. Firstly it tells you how much time it will take you to reach a certain point based on your current speed and secondly it provides a countdown able to sync with the race committee officials coming with audio and Navionicsvibration alerts. To compliment this app you could download You Tack Pro – a concise but very detailed app showing you all the latest sailing rules from right-of-way, room, penalties, signals and protest procedures based on the International Sailing Federation Racing Rules of Sailing. It comes as a lite or pro version so you can get a taster for the app before spending a considerable £13.99. It is a great app for the keen racer that wants to have the rules on hand!

And finally the last app that I will look at is Navionics. This well known app is a complete chart plotting system, you can mark wave points, obstructions and search marinas. Importantly you can download the maps on your hard drive meaning you can venture outside of your service area and still have access to a chart plotting system. You can also share maps and information over email and social media. As a recipient of many awards and labelled ‘incredible’ by Sailing World this app comes highly recommended and would be a valued companion to every sailor.

If you liked this blog watch this space for Part 2 & 3! Which ones will make it into the top 6? If you liked the content on this page and our previous posts, please become a fan and like our Facebook page to receive up to date information on our publications. Follow us on Twitter and Google Plus too.