Wednesday, April 08, 2009

iPhone Apps for the Mariner

I have had an iPhone for about 6 months now and there are some terrific apps out there that utilize the GPS and other functions of the phone. First off, the app I use the most is the GPS app called iNavx. I was about to buy a GPS for the boat when my wife gave me her old iPhone. This phone did not have GPS but used cell towers to triangulate your position. It worked OK but once I upgraded to the latest iPhone, I was hooked. I loaded up some charts and it is very accurate. The charts show you everything you need to know about the area you are in. Instruments like a compass, SOG, Lat & Lon are all there. It will keep track of waypoints as well as your route. It's a great app that is constantly being updated. Would I use this to cross oceans? Only as a back up, but it works great on the SF Bay and in the delta. Cost is $49.99.

Next up is an app called Tides. Pull up your home waters and you will be able to see all the info you need including predicted currents. Always remember that the currents are a prediction only. We ran into a problem outside the Gate a few years ago. Due to recent storms the runoff was greater that expected and the current doubled on us. It was a very long slog to get in. This app is free.

Lastly if you want more of a feel of a real compass, download the free version of MotionX GPS Lite. A compass is there as well as lots of data related to your way point info. It also sports magnetic or true settings. There is also a paid version with more options.

If you have an app you like that relates to on the water fun, please leave a comment. Happy sails!

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