by Donald McLennan
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.
I started using iRegatta in December, and I’m not sure I’ll sail without it again. Although I’m primarily a cruiser and the app is nominally for racers, it provides an impressive amount of real-time and historical data that all will find useful.
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.
Don’t let the fact that the Sea Tow app is produced by Sea Tow Services or that you are not a Sea Tow member dissuade you from installing it. This is a great free app...
The free app is available from iTunes and includes high-quality world charts, route management, wind GRIB downloads and ActiveCaptain integration. Routes, tracks and waypoints can be wirelessly transferred between your iPhone, iPad and Wi-Fi-enabled chartplotter.
A day on the water revolves around wind, and there’s nothing more appealing than knowing where the next breeze will come from. Many weather apps provide current conditions, but PredictWind offers accurate and reliable wind forecasts.
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