iPad Finds A Place on Deck

An article on today’s NYTimes.com confirms something I’ve been touting for months now…Sailors, in fact all Mariners love the iPad once they’ve tried it onboard and loaded with all sorts of useful apps.

“Software to help sailors navigate their yachts have made computer tablets, particularly the iPad from Apple, a valued piece of equipment on deck.”

Last October at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam, two marine apps for the iPad were co-winners of the most innovative product award.

simon2-iconOne, the SiMON2 ship alarm monitoring app from Palladium Technologies, uses Wi-Fi to interface with Palladium-made controllers that monitor the ship’s engines, generators, tanks, batteries, electric panels and other critical equipment, and present monitoring data on the iPad in truly rich graphics.


Navigation Apps for Your Tablet

navionics_iconThe other, (and one of my favorites!) the Navionics Mediterranean HD navigation system, offers high-resolution graphics of detailed marine and lake charts with a satellite imagery overlay, allowing users to search for marinas, set routes and markers and create a virtual travelog of a trip, which they can share by e-mail or through Facebook, or the Navionics social network.

The two iPad-compatible apps were praised at the 2010 Amsterdam show for making control and navigation of any yacht “significantly easier than it has ever been before.”

Read the Article in full – Here.

Using tablets like the iPad2 can make many mundane tasks more fun and life onboard that much easier. Especially when it comes to navigation.

navimatics-charts&tides_iconOne of my favorite navigation apps is Charts & Tides by Navimatics. It goes beyond the typical functions like tracking & waypoints, by incorporating the cruising guide on the popular site – ActiveCaptain.com. With a free subscription to ActiveCaptain, one can add this fantastic overlay onto the Charts&Tides app and have tons of local knowledge available in the palm of you hand. Marine Businesses, Marinas, Anchorages, hazards, and more! Anchorage info includes useful info like approaches, tides, ratings (for holding, current, shopping, wake and wind!), and even if its pet-friendly. Plus you can depend on the info being current, unlike most printed cruising guides.


earthNC-charts-iconI also like EarthNC’s Marine Charting app for the iPad. Turn the tablet and the charts turns with you. Or fix it steady with north up if you prefer. Record tracks, access tides, weather and points of interest. There’s also a full directory of boating services with details and contact info.



Useful Boating Resource Apps

Aside from the great nav apps you can get on your iPad, there’s plenty of useful resources too. I like these:

For Marina information, you can’t do better than MarinaLife. The app takes after the website of the same name and incorporates beautiful charts (courtesy of EarthNC). Tap on an icon and get contact info with active “hot links” to email, make a reservation or navigate to them.




Cruiser’s Nav 2.0 – A fact-filled guide to all of the Caribbean, Central America, U.S. and Canada, South America. Find information on Clearing In, Fees, Necessary Documents, Climate, Health, Crime and Events.



shipfinder_iconShipFinderHD is a virtual AIS receiver on your iPad! See all kinds of detail on ships nearby or anywhere that ShipFinder covers. Any vessel that’s registered will display their position, name,MMSI number (personal boat phone number!), registry, callsign,destination,ETA, and more.

Weather Apps for iPad

Of course no boater would head out without a weather forecast and though this type of “feed” usually requires a signal, those coastal cruisers with the iPad equipped with 3G can check radar using such weather apps as WeatherBug or WunderMap which are both free downloads.

marinecast_iconI recommend MarineCast powered by SailFlow. This app incorporates just about all possible views from radar to satellite, water temps to thunderstorm potential and of course, a wind graph for your local area.



hurricaneHD-iconHurricane Season begins tomorrow, June 1st, so make sure you download Hurricane HD for iPad so that you can track any disturbance or storm and get the latest news, video, satellite imagery, and historical data available.



nmearemote-iconUse your iPad to mimic your NMEA instruments with NMEAremote. View your position, Speed, SOG, Depth, App Wind, True Wind, Compass and more in a super clear, LARGE readout. Great for us older salts!




Speaking of old salts…Going Fishing? Be sure to download Boat Ramps and Bait Shops, two great apps for the angler anywhere. Fishing in Florida?Get Florida Saltwater Fishing Companion App by Verona Solutions.   Identify & log your catch using this handy app.



Just for fun!

animated_knots-iconA perennial favorite: Animated Knots by Grog. Just like the popular website, find any knot known to man or boat, climber, fisherman, or macramé wizard. Watch step by step and learn even the hardest knots.



Get this great language translation app while the promotional price is still low ($4.99)! Jibbigo lets you speak right into your phone or tablet and hear the translated words spoken. Simply amazing! Currently available for English-Spanish, Chinese-English, English-French, German-English, Korean-English and the costlier Japanese-English ($27.99)


Got an idea for a boating app? Contact Us and we’ll make it a reality.


Nancy Birnbaum with iPhone app on boat


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