According to YACHT surveys among readers, almost 60 percent of sailors now use navigation apps in addition to the electronics installed on board. The advantages are obvious: the display can be taken into the cockpit, below deck or home for planning, and it is secured against theft on top of that. For crews of smaller yachts, due to the lack of space for built-in devices, their own tablet or smartphone often becomes the sole electronic means of navigation next to the paper map.
And the programs can also do more and more: For a year or two, the connection to existing on-board electronics in viW-Lan-capable models has been on the advance; in this way, depth, GPS data, speed and wind data are also transferred to your own device. In addition, AIS signals can increasingly be displayed, an important safety feature. The boundaries between mobile devices and fixed electronics are blurring. And there is a wealth of additional useful functions: auto-routing, MOB, weather forecasts with Grib files, current data and much more.
More and more devices offer to use navigation apps
And for a year or two it has been becoming apparent that the large electronics manufacturers, who have long tried to dismiss apps as unpleasant, inferior competition, are also taking them seriously. For this reason, Garmin, Navico and Co have recently bought up app manufacturers and integrated them into their portfolio. In the meantime, there are more and more programs in Android versions, and some apps even run on Windows computers or MacOS.