iPad For Your Next Charter by Ryan

Jared Paul Stern at Luxist just posted about Lürssen's awesome new iPad integration into their $600,000 Solemate charter package. Stern writes... The captain hands each guest their own iPad upon boarding, which remains theirs for the duration of the voyage. Via the device they can control the shipboard entertainment and climate systems, adjust the blinds and lights in their cabins, and even summon a crewmember to bring more cocktails.

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Boat Show Homework! #flibs by admin


So while we are at boat shows, we do more than checking out booth girls and attending swanky parties.  We stop at a lot of booths and ask the pros about any and all questions we might have. While we have done our homework on working on teak, it is always good to stop by and see the guys at Teak Decking Systems, as they are the industry standard (they do a lot of factory installs).  Who better to spend 30 minutes with asking questions about teak?

While a lot of boats we work on are not painted, we still have quite a few customers who have some Awlgrip paint on their hull or non-skid.

Boat shows also give us a great opportunity to get the heads up on new products, such as new anchor designs.

No boat show would be complete without a stop to the Navionics booth.  We got to play with their maps on the iPad, and talk to them about their expansion into the world of Android.

Have something you want us to check out for you at the next boat show?  Drop us a line at info@FirstMateYachtCare.com!

Active Captain for the iPad/iPhone by admin

The goal is not to bring every app for the iPad/iPhone into the spot light, but Jeff Seigel does a great job of showing off a few features of Active Captain through a series of screen shots. If you are curious as to what value such a device could have, this is worth a look.

Here are some screen shots of the iPad application to be released in a few days that fully supports all of ActiveCaptain's data offline. No internet connection is needed to view all of the marinas, anchorages, bridges, locks, boat ramps, etc., along with all of the reviews. It works incredibly well and even rotates the chart as your boat is turning.

On a related note, the tablet game is starting to heat up (HP with WebOS, and Android tablets are popping up!). With a wide variety of price points, features, and operating systems, it will be interesting to see if another tablet will be better suited for marine use. How long before there is a weatherproof iPad case?

Sunseeker iPhone/iPad App by admin

If the Lake Michigan Fuel Price app did not fill your appetite for boating information on your favorite Apple device, perhaps the Sunseeker app will help out.  If this is any signal, it is only a matter of time before business specific apps become widespread and commonplace, akin to getting a website was 10 years ago.

  • View the entire range of New Sunseeker Motor Yachts in the palm of your hand.
  • Search our Brokerage Listings from anywhere in the world.
  • Save your favourite boats to your phone to create a shortlist to view anytime.
  • Request more information on any of our boats directly from within the application.
  • Email details of any of our colleagues from anywhere, anytime.
  • Contact your nearest Sunseeker Brokerage Dealer by using our locations page.

Lake Michigan Fuel Price App for iPhone/iPad by admin

Seafaring Solutions has just released a fuel price app in the iTunes store.  While this app will certainly pay for itself, it is only compatible with iOS4 or later.  So if you do plan on using this app, make sure you update your software first.  Also, be aware early adopters, the original iPhone will not be able to upgrade to iOS4, and the iPad upgrade will not be out until this fall!

Want to save money on fuel for your boat this season? With Seafaring Solution's "Lake Michigan Fuel Marine Fuel Prices", you can do just that.

iPad and iPhone - Put to the Test! by admin

Along from watching marine industry news and events, we also keep an eye on the mobile and tech landscape. For example, we have mentioned a few times, here and here, about the importance cross over products are already having in the marine industry. Mad Mariner (a great news source if you don't already follow them), has a quick review of using the iPad while out on the water.

Having said that, the iPad is not “must have” technology, and it will invariably raise questions about how many devices you need (and what each of them will do). Like all marine equipment, the value of the iPad will depend on its user, governed by factors such where you take your boat, the type of equipment you own already and how much you depend on a computer to run your life.

The BBC is reporting a lost vessel was able to be found the other day thanks to an iPhone app as well.

With no flares, flash lights or VHF radio onboard, the Wee Rascal was unable to signal its position to rescuers.

It was then that the Belfast Coastguard resorted to mobile phone technology a locator iPhone app was able to give rescuers the vital latitude and longitude they needed.

What does all of this mean?  In the short term, the iPad will probably not be replacing typical electronics en masse (and we are still rooting for Android devices!).  What the application of smartphones and tablets being used in this manner does suggest is how powerful gadgets can become when they are not bound to doing one specific action (only GPS, or only being a radio).  These multi use devices also signal simplicity and function often go hand in hand.  Akin to Volvo's IPS technology, anything which makes boating easier is an easy sell.

To push even further, imagine yacht designers and builders having to dedicate less and less room to dedicated controls and displays.  Perhaps a sleek display/control panel which is easily concealed, a remote control for the entire boat which can be run from the crew quarters.  Maybe some bluetooth devices which mimic phyical controls, essential allowing you to have a mobile helm station!  Far off?  Perhaps, but these ideas are less far fetched than ever.

Navionics on Android! by admin

While having Navionics on your iPhone or iPad is certainly appealing to many AT&T customers, what about the rest of us?! Navionics is rolling out their marine app to the Android platform!

Ideal for boaters, fishermen and water sport enthusiasts of all kinds. Track your navigation while on the water, capture geotagged pictures, and create a virtual travelogue to share with friends via email or facebook. The most comprehensive features available in version 3.2:

  • Record/Save tracks, routes
  • Capture geo-tagged pictures of your adventures
  • Access the largest database of specialty marine POIs available
  • Search marinas and specialty marine POI, with just one click to call
  • Check tides & currents, moon phase, sun/moon rise/set

Given the variety of devices out there for Android right now, on each of the big 4 carriers, this could be the compelling reason to go jump on board with Android. The EVO (just realized on Sprint) is a solid piece of amazing hardware supporting a 4.3" screen and could be perfect for those day trips.  There looks to be a lot of different hardware options in the pipeline too, including a new revamped version of The Droid on the Verizon network.

Now if someone would just make a bluetooth depth finder to pair with a phone (seriously)!  Not only could you make your smartphone of choice all the more like a Swiss Army knife, but I'm sure with enough aggregated data someone could provide better and more detailed charts.  High traffic areas would have almost real-time water depths.

Mobile phones are becoming more and more powerful, and iPhone remotes are quite common on superyachts for media and lighting controls. The next step may be an NMEA2000 bridge that would display relevant mechanical data on your device.

How many electronics do you need? by admin

How many different screens do you look at during the course of a normal day? How many do you have on your boat (and know what they all do!)?

Multi use devices, such as the iPad, have been finding new and better uses given more and more specialized apps. Navionics Charts has been out for the iPhone, and is now out for the iPad (the larger screen real estate is really a selling point for charts for me). Add in a data plan, and matching cords for your stereo, and you have weather, charts, quasi-GPS, and music all on one device (and easy to use!). If you do not need a dedicated display for everything, this is a great way to have one less screen to fit in the dash and taking up space. For $499 it is a great multi-use electronic gadget to have, and considering it can be used off the boat, it might be worth taking the plunge if you were already sitting on the fence.

The Navionics apps (there are 29 to choose from) will run you about $19.99 and you can choose marine charts from around the world and lake maps of the United States and Canada. You can build routes, set waypoints, and share them on Facebook or see them on Google Earth. In addition, you'll get tide and current data as well as moon-phase information. If you have a Wi-Fi-model iPad, you can also get your GPS position.

(HT:Power & Motoryacht)