by Donald McLennan
Take the Weather With You A new star among the constellation of weather apps  
Traditionally, sailors have used a hand-bearing compass or rangefinder binoculars to take bearings on a mark, check the angle of an approaching boat to avoid a collision, determine their distance offshore, and monitor their anchor position.
Having accurate tide and current information is invaluable when planning your trip through shallow waters or anticipating tidal changes when setting your anchor. Many of the popular navigation apps include tides and currents.
MotionX-GPS ($1.99 iPhone) or MotionX-GPS HD ($1.99 iPad) from MotionX hosts a rich set of GPS and map features to provide a customizable map display, an interactive navigation interface and a digital compass on your iPhone or iPad.

Apps for Sailors: Any.do

by Donald McLennan, Posted October 25, 2014
Managing a boat is largely a matter of maintaining lists of schedules, provisions and things to do. In the past, I’ve used a combination of task-management tools on my desktop, apps on my smartphone and old-fashioned sticky notes to keep things organized, but the Any.do app (for IOS, Android and with a Chrome browser extension) has become my go-to task manager.
In SAIL’s June issue, we reviewed 10 of the best apps for navigation (“Navigating the App World”). One thing I emphasized was the importance of an app being able to use data from ActiveCaptain. But what is ActiveCaptain and how does it work?
In recent years it has become more feasible than ever to navigate using a smartphone or tablet. Apps have improved to the point where they rival paper charts and chartplotters. With so many good navigation apps available, the question is: which is best for you?
A new app, HF Weather Fax Marine Radio Facsimile Decoder brings traditional offshore weather information to smartphones and tablets.  
As sailors, we’re constantly calling upon our personal repertoire of knots. We master a few common ones and, sometimes, learn knots that are more advanced or serve a more specific purpose. For instance, suppose you need to secure your dinghy to the foredeck.

Top 5 Apps for 2013

by Donald McLennan, Posted January 20, 2014
Since October of 2012, I’ve been using this space to review smartphone apps for SAIL readers. I’ve looked at the best apps for AIS, anchoring and navigation. I’ve tested new apps for boat logs, knot-tying and chartplotting. And when I wanted to send a postcard of my boat from a far-off sea, I found that, yes, there’s an app for that, too.
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