Friday, May 29, 2015

Waterway Guides on iNavX

Application: iNavX Waterway Guides
Function: POI on US Coastal Waterways, Great Lake and Bahamas
Cost: $9.99 per region, 50% off for iNavX users

If you have done any cruising on the ICW you are probably familiar with Waterway Guides. Waterway Guide has published their popular paperback guidebooks for years. The also publish a magazine and some mobile apps along with their very popular interactive web site (  The guidebooks are used as planning tools by mariners and provide updated information for anchorages, alerts, navigation, marinas, fuel prices and more. The company has been recognized as one of the leaders in providing reliable travel and navigation guides for boaters and cruisers within the United States.

Waterway Guide has teamed up with Fugawi, the developer of the iNavX app to make available their guides and points of interest data to mariners.  Fugawi is a Canadian company who is a leader in providing online chart services through the Fugawi X-Traverse website. The Waterway Guides are now available on X-Traverse and provide geo-referenced data layers for use with the top-selling iOS iNavX navigation app.  The guides are available for 6 regions covering the East Coast of the United States, the Great Lakes, western Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Bahamas. The Waterway Guides provide iNavX users five layers of data that can be overlayed on any of the chart products provided by Fugawi.

If you own the iNavX app on your iPhone or iPad the Waterway Guide regions can be downloaded from the X-Traverse website. All of Fugawi's charts are only available for purchase through this website.

The iNavX app is a full featured app that allows users to view real time positioning on charts displayed on the iPhone and iPad. Other features include creating waypoints and route and support for displaying NMEA instrument data over WiFi through TCP/IP. The app also displays AIS data of surrounding ships for collision avoidance.
iNavX can also provide weather and routing information to be incorporated on the chart display.

You will first need to set up an X-Traverse account to use the site. The Waterway guides are listed under Content and Pricing on the website. Select your platform and software from the Guides listed near the bottom under Cruising Data.

To enable the guides in iNavX on your mobile device select the gear icon in the upper right of the main display to open a menu. Select the Points of Interest list then select Setup and choose the Waterway Guide region you have purchased. Only one region can be displayed at a time. The Waterway Guide data should then show up overlayed on the iNavX charts. Simply select anyone of the icons to display the detailed information.

The Waterway Guide data is overlayed on the iNavX charts and includes layers for anchorages, navigation alerts, bridge height and lock opening times and contact information. The data is updated daily so you will have the most up to date alerts and notices. Data is updated directly from NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Waterway Guide also incorporates observations from actual cruisers on the water with local knowledge. This data is then vetted for data integrity by Waterway Guides.

If you do a lot of coastal cruising or spend time on the Great Lakes or the Bahamas these guides are invaluable. Now that they are incorporated with iNavX it is easier than ever to access this information. The Waterway Guide information works offline so if you are out of cell range you can still get access to all the info. This will allow you to navigate the waters safely with all the latest alerts, POI and updates.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sailing Log by BoatBook

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch requires iOS 7
Function: Marine Tracking and Logging
Rating: *****
Cost: Free

I ran across an app the other day on FaceBook of all places.  There are getting to be a lot of marine companies who have FaceBook pages.

Sailing Log is the newest sailing log book app that can be found on iTunes. They also have an Android version found on the Google Play Store. It is made by BoatBook who appears to be a new developer in the marine app industry.  Sailing Log is fully automated so all you have to do is start boating or sailing and it senses and records your every movement. Heading, speed and distance are all recorded for you on each trip. There is also a companion website at where all your logs are kept and maintained for access on any device.

  • Works Offline
  • Automatic recording of your motor or sailing trip
  • Live worldwide maps and sea charts. Constantly updated by the best in GPS and mapping technologies
  • Real time sailing data at any point of your sail, cruise and voyage
  • Review your heading, speed and distance throughout the sail
  • Mark your waypoints and tag them by type of event
  • Log back to any leg of your voyage to look up your stats at past points
  • Sailing Log automatically saves your sailing route so you can log back to historic routes and review the sail at any time
  • Compatible for yachts, motor boats, kayaks and sail boats
  • Automatic recording of your sail on your maritime logbook
  • Innovative logbook software – get online and desktop records of your sailing trips by registering for free as a user.
  • Electronic logbook support – log into Boatbook’s website at any time to see all your app’s sailing log data online.
  • Maritime pro logbook for sailing, yachting and boating professionals at any stage of their career – fully functional marine log book.
  • Marine navigation & GPS software daily updated with the most accurate nautical charts.
  • Manage all your ship log book information, routes and trips in one easy to find app.
Screen Displays:  The main navigation screen is a two tone tan and blue type worldwide map. I would not call it a nautical chart because it does not provide much more than a map.  I am not sure where they get their map data but it does appear fairly detailed for most river, lakes, shoreline and coastal area. No depth or sounding data is provided.

All navigation features of panning and zooming work as expected with a touch of your finger.

Several icons are located on the screen for navigating the various features of the app. A Knot icon in the upper left of the screen provides access to Settings, Tutorial and Contact information. The settings are minimal. The tutorial is just a little five page slide show showing the various features of the app.

The app is very easy to use so there are not a lot of setting to make. Contacts just provides an email address to the developer.

In the bottom left of the screen you will see the Marker Icon.  This is used to drop marketers or pins to show anchorages or special spots along your journey.

When you begin your travels the app automatically starts records heading, speed and distance travelled.

 The Eyeball icon will only begin to display after you have started your journey. This can then be selected to display your navigational details.

The Choose Boat button in the middle allows the user to set up the details of the vessel that they will be traveling on.

Multiple  vessels can be added to keep track of your trips on individual vessels. Specific information can be added for each boat including type, length, builder, year and home port.

The last icon on the main display is the GPS Location Icon located in the lower right of the screen. Tap this to instantly move to your position on the map.

The Wheel in the bottom center of the screen can be selected to view all of your log entries for each trip. Simply turn the wheel left or right to see older or newer log entries from previous trips.

Older trips can be selected and they can be stepped through with the slider on the right side of the screen reviewing your performance along the way.

The Marker Icon allows the user to place markers on the map during the trip to add locations for points of interest. This is a handy feature to mark a favorite anchorage or marina.

The app only allows placing of marker on the water so it is of no use for marking other points.

It is still spring here at home so I have not had the chance to get out on the lake and try out all the features. I will report back once I have recorded a few trips.

I have reviewed other log books with better features and more capability.  Other features that may be nice to have are a way to add pictures, email friends and post your trips to social media like FaceBook or Twitter.

A free form note page for each log would allow the user to enter wind direction and speed, fuel levels, sea state and other pertinent trip details.

While not the most full featured app it is a quick way to capture some data for your yachting trips. I am sure the developers are working on more features for future releases.

The app has a companion website where you can access all of your trip too. If you are out of range of an Internet connection your logs are stored on the device and uploaded to the website when you reconnect.

There is functionality to create boats, Captains and view a running total of the miles you have traveled.  The website could also be expanded to include photos, social media, log editing and more.

What do you use for a log book? Do you still use an paper log or do you use an electronic log?

Do you use your iPhone or iPad or other mobile device or do you use a PC to capture log entries?  It would be great to hear what other people are using. Please comment.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)