Monday, July 15, 2013

Top 10 sailing apps for Android. Best android sailing apps 2013.Top 10 Android apps for full time cruising sailors

Top 10 sailing apps for Android.  Best android sailing apps 2013.

These are the best android tablet and smartphone apps I've found to suit our cruising lifestyle. Since internet is not so ubiquitous in the South Pacific and much of our travel is even further off the beaten track you'll find most of these apps work well offline.  Clicking on underlined text will take you to the Google Play store.

#1  Marine: Asia&Africa HD  At $38-65 depending if you run your apps on the phone or HD tablet. Either way  it's the cheapest and most comprehensive source of digital charts available on an Android device.  The Navionics app lacks even the most basic features of a typical marine chartpolotter, but the chart coverage is still a real value.

#2 MX Mariner - Marine Charts  At $6.99 Will Kamp delivers a familiar look and feel to those currently running OpenCPN on a PC or Mac.  MX Mariner brings many, but not all modern chartplotters features to your tablet or phone and works great offline on the high seas.  The only catch is default chart coverage is limited to free raster marine charts published by NOAA (USA), LINZ (New Zealand) and the Brazil Navy.   For those willing to tinker, it's possible to add additional charts.  More info at:

#3 PocketGrib is well worth the $4 price for a solid GRIB viewer that provides a configurable 8 day outlook for wind, waves, pressure and the precipitation data needed to plan a safe voyage.  You can also load GRIB files you obtain from other sources like a sat phone or saildocs via HF radio.

#4 Sailsafe  This anchor alarm or anchor watch app that helps you sleep easy in conditions where the boat might go walkabout.  Simple intuitive use and a piercing alarm make this the best anchor alarm afloat.

#5 Barograph as the name implies, records pressure and even has an alarm to warn if the pressure really drops. 

#6Kitchen Timer is a simple and effective multi-timer that lets you set three concurrent alarms to keep you tuned in to key watch keeping activities.  We always use this app for night watches. 

#7  Splashtop Personal - Remote PC Admittedly, this app is not for the timid, but for boats equipped with a onboard wireless router this app opens all sorts of interesting doors.  Imagine repeating your Navigation PC screen to any of your android devices and remotely controlling the PC to boot.  Very cool. 

#8 Sky Map guides you across the heavens during long night watches.

#9Google Earth is a powerful tool we use to scout out potential anchorages.  Unfortunately, I've had issues retrieving cashed data, but Google updates will eventually resolve the bugs.

#10Candy Crush Saga This uber addictive game will keep you entertained on the longest of passages.  Tip:  Once you get to the challenge levels requiring you wait 24 hours just change the time on your android to keep playing.  Once we got to level 110 we deleted game to save our sanity.

If you have some favorite apps you like to share please send me a link via email: david at