As I sit here this morning it is a beautiful, sunny 25 degrees outside. The golden leaves are gently dropping off the trees in preparation for winter. Squirrels are scurrying about collecting food for the cold days ahead. It is that time when I must put away my boats and give in the the change of the seasons. As I was looking through some apps I saw a fresh update to one I had briefly looked at a while ago, SailTimer
Many of us sailors have been looking for a way to determine the optimal tacking angles to maximize speed and make headway upwind. The question has always been, should you minimize distance by sailing close to the wind, or head off the wind and try to make up the extra distance with more speed? This is particularly true when racing sailboats. The app has the ability to create your boat's polar diagrams on the fly and use this data to plot the fastest coarse. At last someone has finally created an app for sailors.
The SailTimer app now provides a marine chart display, complete with Waypoints, Tracking, points of interest, GPS realtime tracking and of course the calculation of the optimal tacking route.
- Save waypoints on the map.
- In-app purchase of Marine charts for $15.99-$23.99
- Charts sets for US, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
- In-app purchase for $9.99 for custom polar plot creation
- Calculates tacking distances, headings and times to get to waypoint.
- Use on an iPod or iPad with no GPS
- Use with the SailTimer Wind Vane to provide wind direction and speed wirelessly.
- Google maps and road maps are available free. Add marine charts with in-app purchases.
- Charts can be used offline.
- The crosshair icon provides your current location
- Multi touch gesture support
- GPS real time tracking of position
- The Graph button will save the wind data. You can save both wind speed and boat speed.
- Continuously monitor your progress on the chart.
- ActiveCaptain™ points of interest support is provided. It does require an in app purchase for $4.99
- Distance, heading and time of each tack is calculated.
Under Options you can make in-app purchases for marine charts and a polar plot function. I think the NOAA marine charts are overpriced at $15.99. Tracks can be save or deleted here too.
Select the Wind button to input the wind direction and speed. The app will then calculate your TTD, tacking time to destination.
Here the distance to the waypoint is only 3.3 mile but since the wind is on our nose, we have to tack a distance of 4.3 miles. The TTD is estimated at 43 minutes. Actual boat speed is shown in the lower right corner of the app.
There is a YouTube video that shows how to use the app. I found this helpful in explaining some of the features.
The Sailtimer WindVane is a little pricey at $689.00 US but it is priced alot less than some other wind instruments in the marine industry. It looks like a good value for what you get.
I like what I see with the recent additons to SailTimer. Steve and his crew at Indepth Navigation are continuing to update the app and provide added features and benefits especially for sailors. The addition of some electronics hardware to wirelessly provide wind data to the app is a real plus.
~~~Sail On~~~ /)