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Often one to make cerebral commentary, our friend Bob on Boat Bits recently posted about the similarities, and differences, of 3 sports that he enjoys: surfing, climbing and sailing. The main difference between the three he attributed to what he calls the “gear factor,” that being the amount of equipment that one requires to fully participate in the sport. Certainly, when it comes to gear, sailing, and even more so cruising, has to be up near the top of the list. Our sailing friend Drew, who is also an experienced climber, has said that he believes that “dinghies are about sailing and that cruising boats are about systems.” With the myriad of gear that we have to maintain, I have to agree.

I’m not suggesting that this is altogether a bad thing though. I, like many people, am fond of “toys.” Perhaps I’m like a cat that is attracted to a shiny bell hanging from a string but I love new pieces of gear, whether they be blocks, lines or electronics. As such, I am really digging our new iPad, and I can’t be the only one as there are a bazillion apps that one can download to run on them. Included among that huge list of apps are dozens aimed solely at sailors and boaters!

Yesterday evening, I posted a question on Facebook asking my friends to list their favorite apps for the iPad (iPhone). If you are using any that you think are worth mentioning, please post their details here. I’m definitely interested in any apps that you feel can benefit us while cruising but don’t limit your suggestions to that category. If there are some that you feel are valuable to bloggers, or for productivity, or even for entertainment, I’d love to hear about them. Coincidentally, one of our blog readers, Jens, just commented yesterday about the app that he developed for the iPhone, Marine Tool, which easily completes time/distance/speed calculations. I have yet to download it but I’m sure I will.

And while I’m plugging iPhone apps, I have to give a shout-out for our friend Carl and his Siesta Key application. Carl loves the Florida Keys and his app is designed to help you get the most out of your visit to the area, and it’s FREE. Check it out!

Screenshots from Carl’s Siesta Key app.

One further note, later today we need to return the Wi-Fi modem that our friend David lent us and as such, there is a good chance that I will not be able to post first thing tomorrow morning before we fly out. If you don’t see a new post, why not take the time to check out our Research Page. I added 5 new links to the “cruisers that we have met” category that should keep you entertained. Can you find which ones are new?

The plane we will be on in less than 24 hours.


  1. I love that I can use Kindle on my IPad. I have hundreds of books at my fingertips and they don’t take up any space. Plus Amazon offers thousands of free books. I also like ITranslate a lot because I only really know english well. You speak in english and Itranslate speaks it back in the language you select. It also works vice-versa, Knots 3D is great because I’m not all that at knots. I also have a lot of cookbook apps but not one that stands out really. As far as games go, I’m for the puzzle games like sodoku, solitaire, spider solitaire etc.

  2. Well I don’t think the apps I use the most will be useful to you at all but here they are:

    Pay By Phone – lets me pay for parking at any meter with my credit card and then… the best bit… add time from wherever I am without having to go back to the car to plug more coins (which I never have enough of) into the meter.

    Bump – lets you transfer information from one Bump activated iPad or iPhone to another.

    Shazam – activate it and it will ‘listen’ to any music playing and tell you who it is and what the name of the song is.

    Songza – great for streaming play lists.

    Plane Finder – always look at airplanes in the sky and wonder where they’re going? This will tell you!

    Pedometer – lets you know how far you walked and how many calories you burned.

    World Clock – what time is it anywhere but here?

    WiFi finder – might help you out actually. Finds free wifi.

    I had one that gave you the constellations of the sky above you at night as well but I seem to have lost it.

    Angry Birds – of course!!

  3. Try the MotionX-GPS app. It will record your track when you go on a hike.

    • Thanks, John. That would be cool but it’s unlikely I’d risk bringing it on any of the hikes we do, or at least not until we find a 100% waterproof case. Our new Garmin fenix watch will record our tracks for us.

  4. I’m a total Android junkie so I’m not sure which one of these, if any, are available on the iPad. I use Marine Traffic which is an AIS app, Navionics, WindAlert, and Drag Queen pretty consistently. We hope to have an iPad before we leave, but for the moment it’s Droids and the Android apps.

    S/V Kintala

  5. i use iSailGPS in my iPad wifi with the bluetooth GPS antenna xGPS150. I love it because it is highly precise and the app uses actual NOAA Charts.

  6. Pocket Grib let’s you download Grib files (small file size) and I love that you can refer to them offline, keeping in mind the age of the forecast. Wind Alert, mentioned above. Skype of course. And, I’m currently addicted to FlowFree (a game). When travelling I love Yoga HD.

    We’re heading to the UK next week and I understand that I can get a free SIM card for my unlocked iPad with 250 MB of data for 5 GBP, good for 30 days from Vodafone. Gonna check that out for sure.

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