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Using Tech to Make Sailing Simpler
As any seasoned sailor will tell you, the weather and water conditions are some of the most important aspects to successful sailing adventures. It’s also some of the most unpredictable things in life, even with the latest tech. There are hundreds of weather apps available for smartphones to help us figure out what the weather holds. These apps can be super helpful in planning trips and could even help sailors avoid sail and yacht damage due to unexpected adverse conditions. Unfortunately, none of them is ever 100% accurate.
How to Find a Good Weather App
Even though weather apps are never spot on with predictions, there are some good ones out there. The trick is to find and use one that’s as accurate as can be while also being suitable to your unique sailing needs. Here are some of the top weather apps for sailors, what kind of sailor they’re suited to and what makes them good:
The visualization of this app is excellent. It’s also simple to use, fast and one of the most accurate apps out there for tracking storms and severe weather. Windity is not only used by sailors and fisherman, but also by skydivers, pilots and kiters.
Although it’s on the expensive side, PredictWind is worth every cent to offshore cruisers and yacht racing enthusiasts. The level of detail on this app is phenomenal and will help you to plot navigation through marine forecasts using graphs, table and map views of wind, rain, cloud cover, water temperatures and swell.
- Yachting Weather App
An ideal beginner app suited to newbies and those who don’t have a budget for weather tech. It is user-friendly and it’s free (with in-app purchases). Yachting Weather App gives you the basics like pressure, cloud cover, rain, wind and pressure presented in table format.
Extensively used by sailors, divers and fisherman to plan their routes, Navionics offers real-time weather data, tides, currents, wind speeds and daily and hourly forecasts. It is updated every day and caters to all kinds of water-based activities.
One of the most highly-rated apps, SailGrib is a complete marine navigation tool. It monitors your mooring, tracks your navigation, optimizes routes, provides currents, weather and tides and nautical charts. It even has an anchor alarm feature. This app is the perfect choice for competitive and recreational sailors.
If you’re looking for simple weather forecasts, this classic weather app is it. Although it doesn’t have a great variety of features, WindGuru works on slow connections and even provides access to previously downloaded forecasts when you’re offline.
With Theyr, you have two options, one free and available on a subscription basis. The free version allows sailors to view ‘low precision’ forecasts for the following 144 hours. This shows temperature, wind, pressure and wave. If you want a high precision forecast, you have to subscribe. The animations are well-displayed, easy to understand and clear.