3 best sailing navigation apps
Denis Korablev
  • 26.10.2021
  • 276

3 best sailing navigation apps

McConaghy boats built the Adastra trimaran, which was 140 feet long. In Monaco, this luxury yacht won the 2013 ShowBoats Design Awards in three nominations at a ceremony. Controlling the yacht from an iPad (within a radius of 50 meters) was recognized as an original technical solution.

Of course, this is the only case so far, but it clearly demonstrates a trend: more and more often mobile devices are used on the yacht. Today, there are many mobile applications with the help of which the owners of personal and charter yachts can increase the comfort and safety of the boat. The iPad can replace the weather station, navigator, compass, etc.

3 navigation applications deserve attention, which we will consider in more detail.


Navionics vector charts used in conventional chartplotters are popular among yachtsmen. An application of the same name has been developed for mobile devices, which is used for building routes and navigation. It features a high level of detail and a simple interface (the map scale is adjusted with the standard movement of two fingers), which allows you to see the parking spaces in the apparently attractive marina.

Allows the application to save the current route by marking possible parking points and send information to others using Facebook or email. If you wish, you can map out a new route.

Yachtsmen actively use the opportunity to add new objects to the maps on their own. This feature helped Navionics build a large database that is constantly updated. But there is also a drawback, Navionics does not control and track incoming data, so one marina can have several names; cases of erroneous indication of its location are not excluded.

The application provides data on weather reports, wind direction; you can see the tide map. It is convenient, but sometimes there is not enough information. You will need to pay for the Navionics application (350 - 2600 rubles); the cost depends on the region. It can be downloaded for Android, iOS and Windows S. A test version is provided: you can use the application for fifteen days for free.

By purchasing cards, the buyer receives updates during the entire period of use.


The Plan2Nav application is intended for small boats. Produces a combination of Navionics and C-Map vector maps, i.e. information comes from two sources at once. Provides the ability to build and save yacht movement patterns. The digital compass projects the position of the vessel onto the maps, as well as the speed and direction relative to the ground. With the help of the application, at any time you can get data on weather forecasts, wave heights, wind direction and speed in a certain area.

Plan2Nav is free to install (world map included). For vector maps (with more detailed images of regions) you will have to pay from 20 to 38 dollars, they will need to be downloaded additionally. Optimized for Android and iOS.

Often among yachtsmen there are disputes about whether C-Map or Navionics maps are more accurate. In fact, some regions are more fully represented in C-Map, others in Navionics. Try it, be convinced by your own experience and draw conclusions. Many users consider the incomprehensible Plan2Nav interface a disadvantage: the icons are inconvenient, small; it takes a long time to deal with the operation of the application. However, there is more information in Plan2Nav than in Navionics.


The original, fully functional iNavX navigation application is considered by many to be standard, although it costs significantly more. The interface is simple and straightforward, similar to a simple stand-alone chartplotter. The main feature of iNavX is the display of data from various yacht devices (weather vane, sensors, etc.). For information recognition, the data must be converted into messages of the textual communication protocol of marine equipment NMEA 0183 and transmitted using Wi-Fi. It is not difficult to modify the data, it is enough to install the MacENC program on the laptop.

The iNavX app is available for iOS mobile devices (i.e. iPhone and iPad). Users who purchase the app for $ 50 get a map-free version; they will need to be downloaded from external sources. The app recognizes raster (free NOAA) and vector maps equally well. When purchasing a vector map, registration on the X-Traverse.com website is required.

Experts 2yachts note that more and more often paper charts and sailing directions, which are included in the mandatory package, fade into the background, more and more often yachtsmen prefer use navigation applications. Choose according to your taste!