Outdoors Magazine

Preparing for the Season with Boating Apps

By Sailingguide

I'm hearing more and more sailors saying they're moving to navigation using an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch instead of a traditional dedicated chartplotter. While I'd never trust one of these as the only means of navigation aboard, navigational apps certainly have a lot to offer, including a much lower cost if you already have the device. For one low price you get all the NOAA charts you need (raster or vector, depending on the app) without having to buy proprietary chart cards or CDs. The GPS in most iDevices is fairly good for routine navigation, and if you want more precision you can add an external GPS such as found in the Magellan waterproof case for iPhones. In addition to the standard navigational functions offered by plotters and handheld mapping GPS units, these apps often include a lot of extras that take advantage of your connectivity, such as weather and photos of harbors. Some also incorporate the ActiveCaptain information about marinas and anchorages.

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