Saturday, February 25, 2012

MOBA Man Overboard

Application: iPhone, iPad iOS 4.3 or later
Function: Man overboard GPS
Rating: ****
Cost: $3.99

Man overboard is a serious problem at sea especially if your in open ocean miles from any help. The recent loss of life in the North Atlantic Rally for Cruisers event this years reminds us all to well.  On November 11th, 59 year old Jan Anderson was swept overboard in 30ft seas.

Most of us are familiar with Man Overboard buttons on our GPS or Chart plotter. At least we should be. Many people fall overboard and are never heard from again.  To prevent this tragedy from happening we first should all be wearing our safety harnesses, floatation devices and be tied to our yachts. If not, a Man Overboard app would help locate those foolish sailors.

If you don't have a chart plotter or GPS handy when you lose a crew member overboard, what do you do? One avid sailor Stephane Azzoni saw a need for a simple Man Overboard app called MOBA that could be used quickly and easily on our iOS devices. He worked with a Swiss company to develop the Swiss army knife equivalent of a Man Overboard app for your iPhone or iPad.  Your device will need to have the 3G option and GPS on board and you must have locational services turned on.

Features:
  • Small easy to use
  • One button activation
  • Compass heading magnetic
  • Distance in nautical miles 
  • Programmable Emergency phone call button
  • Time and GPS coordinates
The app is used by turning it on when you board your boat. It can then run in the background and be ready for implementing if you need it while underway. To activate the app simply tap the circular red button on the main screen.



The latitude, longitude, distance and time are shown for the target.  A compass dial shows you which direction to head back to your person overboard.

The Red power button will abort the MOBA operation. The Green phone button can be programmed with an emergency number. The application instructions are located by pressing the small i in the lower left side of the screen. The gear icon in the lower right will allow you to change the emergency phone number.

The author has made this easy and quick to use which is a necessity in a man overboard situation. The large dial lets you know which direction to head to pick up you overboard crew member.

This app can be use for other situations also. It could be used to mark a camp site so you can remember where to return to. If your shopping at the Mall of America you can set it to find your car in the parking lot.

Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you will need a MOBA app, but if you do, keep this one running every time you set foot on your boat. It will be ready to pull up and use if you ever need it.

~~~Sail On Safely~~~

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