Best Navigation apps for sailors: Seapilot

Yachting World

Best Navigation apps for sailors tested. This time we take a look at Seapilot and compare its pros and cons.

Modern sailing increasingly relies on apps on your phone or tablet to find your way. We have tested the latest and best navigation apps on the market.

Seapilot

This app is based on some features of the professional ECDIS charting systems and in many ways has some of the best features – but while some will not agree, personally I found it unintuitive to use.

The significant issue, however, is that the autozoom on its charting detail just doesn’t work in many regions. Until I zoomed in to a small area (maybe five square miles) there was so much clutter on the screen that there was not much that could be done. Even when zoomed in, information about navigational marks would often be overlaid on spot depths, making both impossible to read. Seapilot acknowledges that some regions suffer from this as an issue due to the use of ECDIS data and hopes to rectify it going forward.

The app also uses ECDIS warning symbols for some hazards, which leisure sailors won’t be familiar with.

Downloading GRIB files for wind was ponderous due to large file sizes, but once completed the data as a result was detailed and easy to use and clutter such as spot depth was automatically removed for clarity. Tide data is available at various points, but no current strength or direction.

The app has a great MOB feature which instantly marks the casualty’s location, showing distance and bearing. Other apps might well copy this.

Pros

MOB feature
Ability to connect to NMEA data from boat
AIS overlays with internet connection

Cons

Not the most intuitive to use
Auto detail on charts poor
No tide or current information
No distance and bearing tool

Get Seapilot app from the Apple App Store
Get Seapilot app from the Google Play Store

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence.

Read our full list of the best navigation apps


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