Updated:
Original:

Intellicast Boating App for the iPhone and iPad

For sailors who rely on smartphones, a good weather forecasting app is essential. Intellicast Boating for iPhone and iPad by Weather Services International (WSI) claims to be “the most technically advanced site-specific weather forecasting system in the world today,” and I tend to agree.

For sailors who rely on smartphones, a good weather forecasting app is essential. Intellicast Boating for iPhone and iPad by Weather Services International (WSI) claims to be “the most technically advanced site-specific weather forecasting system in the world today,” and I tend to agree. The app blends advanced weather and forecasting information from the National Weather Sevice (NWS) with regional NOAA charts, based on various preset locations.

Once it’s installed, your iPhone/iPad references your home location. You can add additional locations using cities, zip codes, lat/lon or airport codes. The app then downloads the NOAA chart and NWS information for each location. 

You can choose from a menu of map layers, overlays and alerts to superimpose onto these NOAA charts. Each bit of information appears as a uniquely colored area or icon to help you interpret the data. Map layers include radar, satellite, wind speed, air temperature, water temperature and wave height. Overlays display NWS marine forecast, marine observations, tides, storm tracks and tropical tracks. Alert categories include marine, tropical, tornado/severe thunderstorms, flood and winter.

The app also allows you to view other weather information by selecting various menu items. Map, for example, shows the combined NOAA chart, map layer, overlays and alerts; Reports shows nearby buoy data; Alerts displays local NWS bulletins; Now shows temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction, and a historical comparison; and Hourly shows a table of weather conditions, wind speed and direction, and temperature. A toolbar allows you to adjust layer transparency, pick a map type or display a compass. 

You can gather much of the information on Intellicast Boating via other apps or using a web browser; however, the fact that this app simultaneously displays the information on a single screen overlaid on NOAA charts warrants its high price point ($9.99). The most useful options for boaters include the radar and wind speed map layer; the NWS marine forecast, marine observations and tides overlays; and the marine alerts. At times, the selection of layer elements seemed awkward, and the app could be improved with the inclusion of an hourly wind forecast graph. As is, it’s ambitious and usable, and I give it 4 stars.

Related

Hurrican-PHOTO

A Storm by Any Other Name

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricanes (the term most U.S. sailors are familiar with) and typhoons are just two different names for the same weather phenomenon: tropical cyclones, i.e., “a rotating, organized system of clouds and ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1002

Cyclone Season in Polynesia

Thinking of spending cyclone season in the South Pacific? Plenty of sailors take the chance every year, with the recent travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic making this an especially popular option in 2020. Cyclone season in this part of the world runs from November to ...read more

01b-LEAD-INSET-Kirby-IMG_0077

Eight Bells: Bruce Kirby, Creator of the Laser

With 2021 drawing to a close, Laser sailors find themselves reflecting on both their class’s 50th anniversary and the passing of the man who made it all possible: Canadian designer, sailor and sailing journalist, Bruce Kirby. Kirby, who died this past July at the age of 92, ...read more

2021ROLEXIC_DF_0061

Southern Yacht Club Wins Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Newport, R.I. -- The 7th Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup wrapped up on Saturday after five days of highly competitive racing in an international fleet that saw the Southern Yacht Club (SYC) of New Orleans best a fleet of 19 teams from Europe, Canada, Bermuda and ...read more

DUFOUR-530_NAVIGATION_009

Boat Review: Dufour 530

Dufour Yachts seems to have shifted its strategy with the introduction of the new 530. Previously, the French builder maintained two lines: Performance and Grand Large, with the latter targeted at the cruising crowd. With the Dufour 530, however, Dufour decided to combine the ...read more

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more