App Review: iLog Sailing Companion
Sailors know it is essential to track their sailing and maintenance, and over the years they’ve developed various logbooks to help them do so. Now, there’s an app for that. iLog Sailing Companion ($9.99) combines a ships log, specifications, to-do lists, inventory, and a maintenance scheduler all into one app.
The app organizes your sailing based on “journeys,” which you create by inputting a starting position, destination, ETA and crew. Within each journey, the app records detailed log entries that include current position, speed, course and engine hours. It then allows you to specify the wind speed and direction, weather conditions, and sea state. All of this gets displayed on a world map.
The app also provides a list of maintenance scheduling and history. Maintenance events are defined with a due date and recurring frequency, along with the parts and tools necessary for the job. When a maintenance task is completed, it’s added to the maintenance history and rescheduled for the next recurring date. This is ideal for routine maintenance, such as engine oil changes, but because it references calendar dates instead of engine hours, you shouldn’t trust it for all maintenance scheduling.
This is a great app for sailors who like lists. There are checklists for “pre-departure,” “engine start” and “safety briefing.” Within each list, the user can define tasks and then check them off once they are completed. There’s a provisions list, which can be saved to the iPad’s reminders and used for shopping. There’s an inventory list and a list of the locations of safety gear, nav equipment, sails, deck gear and galley gear. Finally, there is list of tools and spare parts. To enhance this feature, I’d like to be able to interact between tasks and lists, i.e. to assign tools to a maintenance task or assign a checklist to a specific journey.
Finally, the app is a user’s manual, and stores boat information such as the builder, model, draft and beam, fuel/water/electrical capacity, navigation and communication equipment, and sail and deck gear. On the down side, documentation, registration and insurance information is lacking, but hopefully the developers will soon be adding a panel for this.
A recent update supports the ability to export the journey/log entries for printing or archive purposes as a preformatted PDF document or CSV export.
iLog Sailing Companion was clearly developed by avid sailors for use on a sailboat. With each release, the app continues to improve. Based on the improvements in the latest release (version 1.2), I give iLog Sailing Companion 3 anchors, with the potential to be a 4-
anchor app with the next release.