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There are now many apps available for sailors, some for fun but others that can help with the safety aspects of boating. Here are five of our favourites on the market.
Imray Marine Rules and Signals
Obviously we’ve all completed our professional courses with a registered training school (haven’t we?) and we’ve learned the “rules of the road”, signals, flags, etc. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you need a quick reminder, this app is a great reference tool. Comprising of steering and sailing rules, day and night boat markings, restricted visibility sound signals, distress signals and all other forms of signals and communication at sea, you can use it to refresh your knowledge at any time, not just when an emergency arises.

Navionics Boating
This boating app has loads of functions and has the advantage that you can try it for free before you buy.
Charts can be downloaded for whichever location you need. You can record your tracks and create and edit routes based on your cruising speed and fuel consumption. It also has a wind prediction function with sun and moon cycles. The map options include Safety Depth and Easy View and you are able to overlay geotagged photos.

All this information can be shared with your friends and family while you are on the water via email, Twitter and Facebook!
Various upgrades can be purchased such as sonar charts, marine directories with information on ports and marinas, advanced route planning and more.

WeatherPro provides you with three hourly forecasts for the week ahead giving you temperature, wind speed and direction, air pressure, humidity and the probability and amount of rain.  You will also receive alerts for extreme weather warnings anywhere in the world. You can receive weather reports from over two million locations around the world and it has global satellite and animated radar.

If all that isn’t enough there is a premium version which has fantastic high resolution maps with advanced weather information including heat maps, cloud cover forecasts and precipitation types. It even shows lightning strikes!  There are also weather reports for ski resorts in 17 countries and for sun seekers the UV index and water temperatures for many holiday destinations.

Predict Wind
Claimed to be the most accurate wind forecast tool available Predict Wind gives you high resolution maps, graphs and tables providing amazing detail. When you are planning a trip it will show the optimum departure day, the fastest route with the wind conditions and real time graphs. With GPS tracking your family and friends can follow your track.

Compass Eye
Not just for sailors, this tool can be used on land too. Using your device’s live camera view a compass is overlaid which is accurate in all directions and has an 8x digital zoom. You can set bearing or collision markers and the red and green bearing lines can be dragged into position. It will give you triangulation bearings and you can set magnetic or true north depending on your location. With GPS enabled it will show speed over ground and course over ground.

These apps are all useful to have but any electrical device can fail so you should always be able to revert to the old fashioned methods of pen, paper and charts as taught during your training.
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