Review of Aqualuma Gen 4 Series Thru-hull LEDs, Aquatic AV BlueCube & Mariner Amphibious DRONE. Yachting Times Magazine, Spring 2015, page 66.
Archive for the ‘iPad’ Category
Posted in blogging, Boating Gear, Innovations, iPad, iPhone App, Marine Industry, sailing, Technology, Travel & Leisure, tagged aqualuma, bluecube av, mariner amphibious drone, thru-hull leds on March 4, 2017|
Posted in boating, Boating Gear, Conservation, cruising, Fishing, iPad, iPhone App, Marine Industry, Press Release, small boats, Technology, Yachting, tagged bluetooth technology, crowdfunding, fuel sensor, interactio, kickstarter, wireless on November 17, 2015|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 16, 2015
Interactio Launches Kickstarter Campaign for
New Fuel Saving Device and Mobile App
View real time boat fuel flow, consumption and range information using your Smart Phone or Tablet. New Optio Fuel wireless sensor from Interactio
November 16, 2015 (Victoria, BC) – Every once in awhile a deceptively simple innovation comes along that just makes sense. Optio Fuel is one such innovation.
Until now, the options boat owners had for monitoring their boat’s fuel consumption were either very expensive or difficult to retrofit, leaving boaters relying on instinct and math!
The Victoria, BC-based creators of Optio Fuel, Interactio Inc., will launch their first product on the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter later this month.
This new device makes it easy for boat owners to directly monitor their vessel’s fuel use using a free app on their smart phone or tablet. The fuel sensor and the mobile app is all that is needed to monitor fuel flow and consumption. Further, current range and optimal speed are also displayed on the device’s map in real time.
Preliminary tests show fuel savings in the range of 10-30% or more*. David Burton, Interactio’s co-founder said “In many cases Optio Fuel pays for itself in a weekend of cruising”. (*Numbers will vary depending on your boat, how often it’s used and your cruising style).
“Our goal is to raise $25k to fund the production of the Optio Fuel,” commented Roger Lines, co-founder of Interactio.
With the funds and awareness raised through this Kickstarter campaign, Interactio will offer a series of new products leveraging “Internet-of-things” technology to bring products to the marine market. As a new technology startup company looking to do things in new ways, Interactio is using modern crowd sourcing from Kickstarter to bring Optio Fuel to market. In true Kickstarter style, being an early supporter gets you a big discount when it’s delivered. Lines reports that the retail price for the Optio Fuel will be just US$199, but on Kickstarter, the first 100 units will be $99, the next 200 — $149.
The project launches November 28th and will run until the end of December. You can find out more at: http://bit.ly/Optiofuel.
Posted in apps, boating, boating blogs, Boating Gear, Boating Resources, Boats for Sale, Cruising Resources, Green Gear, iPad, iPhone App, sailing, Technology, weather, Yachting, tagged boat gear, burger boats, iphone, weather, weatherflow, windmeter, Yachting on August 1, 2014| 1 Comment »
Posted in apps, blogging, Boating Gear, Boating Resources, cruising, iPad, Safety & Security, sailing, Technology, Travel, world cruising, Yachting, tagged charting, mobile apps, Navigation, water sport on January 14, 2014| 3 Comments »
Choosing the right navigation app is no easy feat. Some cost a few precious boat bucks just to download, and “free” doesn’t necessarily mean “less” when it comes to features. With the recent news that NOAA will stop printing paper charts this April, iPads are fast replacing chart plotters on the bridge or in the cockpit.
As a former cruiser, I often relied on print cruising guides to learn about a new port or cruising area. As we all know, this kind of information is always in flux. And there’s the rub: How do we get the latest information, preferably from other cruisers? The answer: AC.
For the past few years ActiveCaptain (AC) has grown and expanded to include over 100,000 boaters who write reviews and updates on anchorages, ports, hazards, facilities and more, all around the world.
Sail with confidence with any of the five navigation apps below. They all include ActiveCaptain data as an overlay for members. (AC membership is free).
SKIPPER (Ver 1.2)
Trailerbehind, Inc. – Free
The newest offering in the Apps Store is Skipper and the free version isn’t just a trial; it includes a handy NOAA online chart viewer for onshore planning and satellite imagery on shore. For the Pro version you pay an annual fee of $12/year and you don’t have to pay extra for the charts you’ve already paid the Government for in taxes. NOAA Charts are auto-updated (or choose Google Earth or Topo maps, including historic topos. What fun!). All is cached and displayed offline very seamlessly, except weather and Google Earth requires an online connection. It also does routes/waypoints and real-time navigation (which Garmin’s app doesn’t do). Your subscription syncs your personal data and routes, waypoints, tracks, etc. between your multiple devices. Raster charts (the best!) load fast and look great since they are mosaic-ed together and are only 1.8GB each for the smallest possible download size. Skipper’s creator, Andrew Johnson says that Inland Rivers Charts including all NOAA vector charts will be added soon and he is working on ways to integrate Open Street Map technology. Perhaps my dream of having one app that shows both Charts and Maps may soon become real!
Garmin BlueChart Mobile (Ver 1.4)
Garmin International – Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase and range from $30 -$70).
BlueChart uses vector charts with features such as search, routes, waypoints, weather stations (choose conditions overlay showing dew points, temperatures, wind direction and speed, water temp, visibility) GRIB weather with wave heights and period, celestial data, measuring feature, real-time tracking. Each icon gives great details when tapped. Lots of overlay features can clutter up the chart but choosing which ones to view is easy using the cool “radial chart object menu”.
Charts & Tides (Ver 4.7)
Navimatics – $19.99 *
The first full resolution, seamless charting iPad app. Charts&Tides uses NOAA and CHS vector cartography. Covers all of U.S. and Canada and cost $20-$40. New features include AIS support, Closest Point of Approach (CPA) computations and alerts, more connectivity options for GPS (WiFi, GPSD), new Dead Reckoning Mode and interface improvements.
*This just in… Now you don’t have to open a different app to chart a new area of the world. Navimatics has just added a newly developed chart engine to Charts & Tides for iOS and for Mac computers. Now the app is free and you can add these two options:
– The entire US NOAA collection of charts: $19.99
– The entire US NOAA collection + CHS Canadian charts: $39.99
PolarView MX (Ver 1.2.4)
PolarNavy – $3.99
From the folks who brought you affordable PC and MacOS charting. Their PolarView MX app for iPhone or iPad offers both vector and raster chart viewing combined with extensive instrument support that many mariners are seeking. Chart coverage includes U.S. and U.K. and world-wide charts are available.
SEAiq (Ver 3.4.0)
Sakhalin, LLC – $9.99
Developed by software engineer/live aboard world cruiser, Mark Hayden. SEAiq uses free NOAA vector charts. Try SEAiq Free first, then upgrade to SEAiq USA or Open for $9.99 with in app purchase to enable all features. SEAiq Open allows you to use your own vector charts. (S-57, S-63, CM93, iENC, BSB, and KAP) or you can purchase charts for anywhere in the world from ChartWorld. Also, with Inland ENC support, you can download hundreds for free charts for many rivers in Europe. Other features: Import/export waypoints and routes. NMEA data, AIS, Track recording, GRIB weather downloads, anchor alarm, instrument data, TCP/IP WiFi NEMA data.
Posted in boating, Boating Gear, Boating Resources, cruising, Cruising Resources, Innovations, iPad, iPhone App, publishing, sailing, social networking, Technology, Yachting, tagged charting, e-charts, Navigation, noaa, paper charts on October 23, 2013| Leave a Comment »
In a press release issued yesterday, October 22, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of thousands of nautical charts, announced that it will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts. The release went on to say that NOAA will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand (POD) and for electronic charting systems.
“Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we’re still going to provide other forms of our official charts.”
Since 1862, those lithographic nautical charts — available in marine shops and other stores — have been printed by the U.S. government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors, including the declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts, and federal budget realities.
“With the end of traditional paper charts, our primary concern continues to be making sure that boaters, fishing vessels, and commercial mariners have access to the most accurate, up-to-date nautical chart in a format that works well for them,” said Capt. Shep Smith, chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division. “Fortunately, advancements in computing and mobile technologies give us many more options than was possible years ago.”
NOAA will continue to create and maintain other forms of nautical charts, including the increasingly popularPrint on Demand (POD) charts, updated paper charts available from NOAA-certified printers. NOAAelectronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC®) and raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC®), used in a variety of electronic charting systems, are also updated weekly and are available for free download from the Coast Survey website.
The world of navigation is benefiting from advances in technology, Smith explained. He said that NOAA will consult with chart users and private businesses about the future of U.S. navigation, especially exploring the use of NOAA charts as the basis for new products.
The Bottom Line
It seems clear that NOAA isn’t making enough income off of paper. So they are moving towards more lucrative delivery systems.
This is good news for trailblazers like ActiveCaptain, the first to market with a crowd-sourced, electronic navigation product and the only Interactive Cruising Guidebook online. Since then, ActiveCaptain has been integrated with top e-nav systems across all platforms, like Garmin’s BlueChart Mobile, Navimatics Charts & Tides, Polarview, SEAiq, Jeppesen’s C-MAP, MaxSea, Nobeltec, and more.
Stop the Presses!
With all these choices available to everyone’s price-range, it’s no wonder NOAA has made the decision to stop the presses.
Paper charts will ultimately go the way of the Newspaper. As the developer of ActiveCaptain put it, ” I think that’s a big announcement and is just one more of a series of nails in the coffin of paper charts. It acknowledges what has happened in every other industry which has experienced similar technology changes. In this case, it’s the chart image, not the media, that’s important.”
It probably bodes well for cruising guide publishers like On The Water ChartGuides. Publisher Mark Doyle learned early on that if you’re going to compete in the digital navigation market, you’ll need to update often. His Intracoastal Waterway CruiseGuide and other guides come with free daily updates and alerts via Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and even text or email. As people find it too expensive to purchase charts Printed On Demand, they will want to turn to these comfortable chart books for detailed information and charts of US waterways.
FREE CHARTS! (For a Limited Time)
For a limited time, NOAA is offering its entire suite of charts in PDF file format. For the three-month trial period, you can download about a thousand high-resolution printable nautical charts – almost the entire suite of charts. These PDFs are exact images of the traditional charts we have come to love, currently printed by lithography. They are available now! Go to: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/pdfcharts/ for info and to download the PDF charts. You’ll need to have their Chart Viewer to choose which numbers you want.
So whether you decide to give up your paper charts and go solely digital or hold out for another year, keep in mind that if you are using paper, you’ll have to check Local Notice to Mariners for updates – a time-consuming job, for sure!
Check out the discussion (it’s a lively one!) on ActiveCaptains eBoatCards Discussion Group. It’s free to join.
Lastly, if you’re thinking about tossing your paper charts, consider giving them a second life by donating them to a local sailing group. Or send them to me and I will up cycle them into something very cool!
Posted in America's Cup, blogging, boating, Boating Gear, Boating Resources, Cruising Resources, Education, Environment, iPad, Oceans, Safety & Security, sailing, Technology, Travel & Leisure, weather, whales & dolphins, world cruising, Yachting, tagged ais, apps, best boating, garmin, Navigation, Raymarine, review, sports on December 12, 2012| 1 Comment »
12 Apps – On 12:12:12 – to Make Your Time on the Water Great!
By Nancy Birnbaum
It seems like there are five times as many apps for boating enthusiasts than there were when I wrote my first annual “Best Boating Apps” review, back in 2009.
Boaters are catching the wave and diving into the App Store for everything from navigation & charting to basic communications apps for their iPads, and Apple says that they’ve sold over 100 million of them since they first hit the market. With over 12,175,900 registered vessels in the U.S. alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a few million boaters now use a mobile device of some kind. Fortunately for those who have climbed onboard the mobile tech boat, there are some terrific new apps ready to make boating even more fun and safe.
The biggest change over the past year for handheld devices is the number of apps now available that connect to NMEA data via WiFi and TCIP. Which reminds me of the top question readers ask me, “How can I interface my boats’ systems to my iPad?” Some great news for the techie-types who want to virtually “run” their boat from the palm of their hand.
Many developers like Digital Yachts, Zapf, Ocean Equipment and ShipModul, have brought this capability to the world of iOS, thereby allowing data from instruments like wind and speed, as well as AIS and radar to be streamed to a laptop over WLAN or over WiFi to an iOS device. Note: You must have a device (such as Digital Yacht’s iAIS or SeaMate1A) that will get your NMEA data from your boat’s network to your various i-devices. But the good news is that it’s getting easier to integrate and the new apps are really well designed.
Here are a few for your consideration:
Garmin BlueChart Mobile
Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase and range from $29.99 -$69.99)
Just released in November 2012, BlueChart Mobile is the next level of Charting for boaters with iPads. It does what most of the top Nav apps do, like use the same BlueChart data available for Garmin chartplotters right on your iPad, but that’s where the similarities end and the amazing design takes you on a whole new voyage to charting heaven. The first big new element is the download interface. With BlueChart Mobile, once you’ve got your chart (via the easy in-app purchase), you’re offered a large-scale view of the area (say North America), with a simple grid overlay. By clicking on a specific box you can choose which areas to download—a great space-saver for your device. Zoom into to see chart features and overlays for weather conditions, (temps, wind direction/speed) grib info and ActiveCaptain content overlaid on the chart data.
One drawback: The new Garmin app does not support NMEA or AIS or any of the WiFi units mentioned here. Plus, you’ll have to buy iPad charts even though you may already have charts for your Garmin chart plotter.
BlueChart Mobile has ActiveCaptain inside! For those of you not already using it, ActiveCaptain is a web community that provides real-time content generated by mariners, for mariners. It’s a virtual cruising guide that never goes out of date. Read and write reviews about marinas, local boating knowledge, anchorages and hazards. More than 100,000 boaters write reviews and update the information on ActiveCaptain—with more users joining all the time. Best Feature: It’s seriously difficult to pick just one favorite feature on this terrific app, but it may just be the cool info wheels that pop-up when you click on any icon from the ActiveCaptain overlay or hazard. It’s just a really fun interface!
If you’re lucky enough to have Raymarine electronics onboard you’ll want to have this handy app on your iPad that lets you display everything from you e-Series or c-Series Multi-function Display (v 315 or later).
Even better than RayView, RayControl puts your iPad in the driver’s seat. Use it just as you would your Multi-function Display, with touch screen interaction and a virtual slide-out MFD keypad. Chart plotting, depth/Fishfinder, engine systems, radar, even view video from any installed cameras. Uses onboard WiFi network.
SEAiq Open/ SEAiq USA
Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase). The USA version is $9.99 with free charts from NOAA
What makes one Nav app stand apart from all the others? In the case of the new SEAiq, it’s the ability to view always up-to-date vector charts of the USA; however the free versions do limit you to only displaying charts of scales greater than 1:50,000 until you purchase the upgrade. Vector charts offer more detail and faster scrolling than Raster. SEAiq Open is unique for allowing users to install their own charts, including S-57, S-63, and CM93 charts, which means that you don’t have to purchase the same charts you’ve already bought a few times over. Though the interface is less than ideal (transfer chart files via iTunes), it is another great benefit not found in other nav apps.
You’ll need a fast connection to set it up the first time. SEAiq Free and SEAiq Open are among the few navigation apps with a useful free version. All the versions offer some good bells & whistles including ActiveCaptain, WiFi NMEA, AIS, and night color modes. You’ll need a fast connection for the set up. I found it took quite some time to download charts or transfer ActiveCaptain data and wished that it could have done it in the background while I went on with other things. Best Feature: ActiveCaptain interface and support of external NMEA/AIS over WiFi. In fact, according to the creator of SEAiq Mark Hayden (a sailor and delivery captain), it is the ONLY charting app of those reviewed here that supports NMEA and AIS over WiFi and TCP. “The SEAiq AIS is good enough that professional pilots that board 1000ft freighters use it,” says Mark.
SHIP’S SYSTEM INTEGRATION
It used to be that your ship’s library held all your various manuals, cruising guides and any “fun” reading took up whatever space remained. Thank goodness that ONboard came to the rescue with a great app that organizes all your boating-related reading into one really small digital space. On-Board gives you the ability to integrate and display your boat’s documents, photos, videos- both personal and from your yacht’s manufacturer, dealer or mechanic.
Get real time info from your boat’s manufacturer. Need to search for how to prime your fuel system? You can search your manuals and find it fast. Manage all your important records like maintenance, registration, insurance, financing, warranties and claims. Plus you can even manage your online subscriptions to your favorite boating pub right from the app. Best Feature: Getting your own unique email address at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This is the newest AIS plotter in the App Store and it’s by a UK company that seems to be putting out some pretty good onboard interface apps. AIS is great for anyone boating in crowded areas or for those curious about who’s out there. Any vessel that has a registered AIS device will show up with their name, vessel details, course, speed and direction which can be helpful when you’re in high-traffic anchorages or bays. Best Feature: iAIS also can be used as an overlay with iNavX. Now that’s handy!
Everyone responsible boater knows that it’s always prudent to file a Float Plan before you depart on your trip no matter how long you expect to be out. This new app, which runs on most Apple & Android devices, will save you time due to the easy interface and ability to email a pre-filled plan to anyone you choose. Though, I found it a little clumsy in my test of the app, specifically when trying to check off selections in lists like Safety gear. One improvement would be to have a default save New Trip, so you don’t have to check that (something I didn’t see until it was too late!).
It’s one thing to be able to get good weather info while you’re out there on your boat, but knowing how to interpret that info is an entirely different thing. With PocketGrib you can access, view and analyze global weather data (with a connection of course) and then display that info even when you’re offline.
See wind speed, direction, precip, air temp, waves, current, and forecasts. Grib data is supplied by NOAA’s GFS model and is updated 4 times per day or every 6 hours. Best feature: GRIB files can be downloaded to your PC via iTunes, which means that if you’re cruising with a personal forecaster service, you can view your Gribs using PocketGrib! Best Feature: This app is very well designed, easy to use and super fast.
It now easy to get the best weather info right on your chart with Intellicasts’ Boating for iPhone/iPad. Integrates NOAA nav charts with advanced meteorological data just like their website offers. Lots of overlay options from Radar to Satellite, Wind Speed to Temps, and NWS Marine Forecasts (Offshore) and Tides. Even track Hurricanes. Best Feature: Very handy and easy to see on the iPad’s retina display. Note: a cellular or WiFi connection is needed.
COOL TOOLS & FUN, USEFUL APPS
Not too many years ago, you either had to take your laptop with you ashore to send or receive email or better yet, take a tiny thumb drive, like we did in remote ports in Baja. Now there’s Dropbox. This handy app runs on any device and allows you to keep files of any kind in the “cloud.” That way you can access them from anywhere, either via the app or via your account on their website. The free account comes with 2GB of storage which you can add to by inviting others to join by sharing your files with them. The more you share, the more free space they give you. Or you can get a Pro plan starting at $9.99 for 100MB. Once you download those files, your space is freed up for more!
Just in time for the 2013 finals! The app gives you the latest news, event schedules and great videos. Enjoy the races anytime using the Virtual Eye 3D viewer including historical races. Listen to live commentary and onboard audio feeds streamed directly from the racing yachts when the finals start up in August/September. In the meantime, you can follow along as the teams wreck (er, I mean – race!) their yachts in practice events.
Easily measure the distance from your stern to that yacht that anchored right on top of you! Uses your iPhone’s camera to measure with a great 3D grid overlay. Just set up once (an easy task) and measure away! (Also a great golf aid).
You may have noticed more news about whales trying to jump on boats or boats running into whales. As more of us venture out into their world, chances of running into them increase. Now there’s even an app for avoiding whales by the good folks at EarthNC (makers of Marine Charts with ActiveCaptain!).
Whale Alert was designed to assist in the management of right whale conservation areas and to help reporting in shipping lanes in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Whale Alert can help reduce the likelihood of ships colliding with these endangered whales, which can injure or kill them. It is not meant to be used alone but to compliment existing protective measures. Whale Alert is the first mobile application to take advantage of the transmission of environmental data over the AIS protocol. The system takes DMA and real-time right whale observations and displays that data graphically, directly within the app.
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Posted in apps, boating, Boating Gear, Boating Resources, cruising, Cruising Resources, iPad, iPhone App, Technology, weather, Yachting, tagged boat gear, charting, charts, derek, mobile app, Navigation, noaa, simple, trauger on August 27, 2012| Leave a Comment »
Easy-to-use & Affordable Navigation for America’s Boaters
ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 27, 2012 – Derek Trauger & Associates, LLC (DTA), announced the release of their updated boating app – Simple Charts, now the easiest marine navigation app available to the nation’s more than 12.5 million registered boaters.
First released in August of 2011, Simple Charts provides seamless high resolution marine charting on either the iPhone or iPad without advertisements. The new version includes popular user-requested upgrades such as access to current NOAA Weather data; Aids to Navigation including obstructions based on both NOAA and USCG data; Current track export to Google Earth and Google Maps; plus additional charts for Mexico (Sea of Cortez) provided by Blue Latitude Press) and Social Media Integration.
Simple Charts combines an always-available mobile chart plotting solution, regardless of whether you have an Internet connection (charts must first be pre-cached), with a truly clutter-free interface. This handy navigation app offers full resolution seamless marine charting and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad. With just a few simple screen taps, boaters can view all NOAA Raster Navigational Charts (RNCs) that automatically load no matter where you are in the U.S. Using the handy in-app purchase users can now add charts of Brazil, with more areas to be added.
Simple Charts is available as an iPhone/iPad app download for just $9.99, still the most affordable, full-featured charting app currently offered. Now available for Android phones! Simple Charts can be downloaded through iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simple-charts/id451093694?mt=8#
About Derek Trauger & Associates, LLC
Derek Trauger & Associates is an Orlando-based design and development company specializing in the development, customization and implementation of custom software applications. Derek Trauger & Associates believe that their products should be easy to use, natural and create an intuitive experience that help people accomplish those everyday tasks easily. They have produced many well-known boating apps including Dive Spots, the BoatUS “find me” app, and Boat Ramps, which received the Boating Industry’s prestigious Innovation Award.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
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