The iPad has transformed the sailing life. Where once before we carried weighty reference books, charts and called loved ones from the next port, nowadays phone, charts, books and satellite imagery is at our fingertips.
Although we carry hard copy pilots for most places we visit, we no longer carry paper charts, as the volume of charts for our journey would fill our yacht.
Most paper charts are outdated and electronic versions can be easily updated. We have a Raymarine a128 MFD (chart plotter and radar) plus CMap charts and OpenCPN as backups. The iPad apps however are particularly user friendly, more cost effective and so far we have no reason to question the accuracy of most of the data.
Weather is probably the biggest consideration in sailing – there’s plenty of apps available for weather, but only a few that are suitable for marine. We generally use a number of tools (apps, grib files, Internet, local information, blogs, our eyes) to decide on the best course of action.
The following apps we use mostly and we always verify any data where possible.
iMaps – a great app useful for clear Google images when underway.
iNavx – a simple marine navigation app. Uses Navionics and NOAA charts.
Skype – we use Skype all the time for contacting friends overseas and making local phone calls
SeaIQ – easy to use marine navigation app – easy to view ActiveCaptain and Google Earth.
Weather4D Pro – app for interpreting grib files for weather planning. Works with our Iridium Mail & Web software
Iridium Mail & Web – simple mail and web for IOS for use with Iridium satphone
PocketGrib – simple grib downloaded with data provided by Saildocs and Sailmail
World Tides – simply presented tide data, we’ve found it to be reasonably reliable
Ayetides – another great tide chart which can be linked to iNavX
Predict Wind – we have used this and the data is pretty good, you can pay for a full version or use the free version with limited information
Night Sky – app for identifying stars, and constellations
Sky View – app for identifying stars, and constellations
World Travel Atlas – can be used offline to some extent, online access gives you links to other useful sites
World Clock – easy to view times around the globe
Ship Finder HD – online access required to finding ships
iAnnotatePDF – program to easily convert images, Pages or Numbers files, or URLS into PDFs. Good for converting web pages for reading offline, particularly when you are on passage (Apple now allows PDFs to be saved from Safari directly to iBooks too)
WordPress – simple app to compliment your WordPress blog
Panorama – great for taking panoramic photos
Flashlight – handy for both iPad and iPhone
XE currency converter – easy tool to keep,tabs on your currency exchange rates
Google Earth – everyone uses this! Alternative is iMaps below.