Skipper App Review - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  

Quick Menu
Boat Reviews  
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Marine Electronics
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here

Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Apps & Authors
 Not a Member? 

Apps & Authors This forum is specifically designed for authors, designers, and members to showcase their wares. These must be sailing related!!!

Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By jimgo
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-23-2013
jimgo's Avatar
Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,012
Thanks: 71
Thanked 116 Times in 114 Posts
Rep Power: 4
jimgo is on a distinguished road
Skipper App Review

To the mods: I wasn't sure if this belonged in GI or in the Apps forum, or if you want it elsewhere. Feel free to move it as you see fit.

For those who don't know me, I'm a novice. I read a lot, and am happy to share my experiences and what I've learned, but in the end, I'm a novice. So, it was with some trepidation that decided to try to move my newly repaired, new-to-me boat from Rock Hall to Forked River, NJ. I started off by using Active Captain to study the charts for my intended route. Toward the end, I think I could have drawn the route on the map, including approximate depths, in my sleep. That being said, I wasn't about to trust my memory. I had a Garmin 440S chart plotter from my old boat that I was planning on installing on the new boat, but I wanted to have backups. I didn't really want paper charts, though. So, when the team with Skipper posted their free 1 year trial offer, I decided to take advantage of it.

Skipper is a really neat app. It uses your phone/tablet GPS to get your position, and acts as a chart plotter. It can even download the most current charts and store them on your phone, which is a GREAT feature if you're in areas with bad cell coverage (as was the case occasionally during our trip). It also allows you to superimpose different layers on top of each other, so you can see, for example, the local chart on top of satellite imagery, which was a great help when trying to find buoys or other waypoints. It also integrates with Active Captain, which is good for helping to identify shoaling and other possible issues, and it can track your movements so you can see the route you've taken.

In addition to the typical navigation stuff, Skipper also has easy access to weather forecasts and tidal information for your current GPS coordinate, or for any other location. The tidal information was very handy as we moved about on the ICW, so we could better predict when the currents would change to something more favorable to us.

Over all, I was very pleased with Skipper, but I do have a few minor nits. First, the app crashed on me twice. Mind you, I had it running pretty much 12-14 hours a day for each of the 3 days we were out, and I accidentally left it running one night while we went for dinner, too. I used the app a lot, zooming in and out, scrolling here and there, pulling up tidal and other information, so I'm not surprised that it would conk out; I basically gave it a stress test. The fact that it "only" crashed twice is actually pretty good in my book, but it would have been better if it didn't crash at all. The tracking also didn't restart when I restarted the app, and that was annoying because I would forget to turn it on for a while, so we lost some data.

The weather information doesn't make much sense to me. They give you the current NOAA weather forecast, but they don't include the marine forecast. Or, at least, I didn't see a way to get the marine forecast. For a boating app, that seems like a no-brainer. However, having the weather at your fingertips (literally) without switching apps was pretty neat and it still includes some useful information.

I don't like the way Skipper handles the superimposition/tiling of the maps. Our last day, we decided to try to make the run from Cape May to Forked River in a single day. We opted to go out to the Atlantic to Atlantic City, then follow the ICW up to and through Barnegat Bay. That's over 85 miles and the second half of it was largely twisty, winding channels in some very skinny water. We used the Garmin to help the pilot steer to the appropriate next channel marker, and used Skipper to help us find the next few markers, identify areas where we could "cut corners", etc.. Unfortunately, if you zoom Skipper out "too much" you lose the ability to see depth information, the purple ICW line, or much else from the nautical charts. Toward the end, when we wanted to know where we were in a more general sense, we used Google Maps to see what towns were nearby and our position relative to Forked River, Skipper showed us where we were at the "medium zoom" chart level, and the Garmin helped with a detailed view. Had we not used Google Maps, we would have sailed right past Forked River because you couldn't see the river on the chart while still displaying the ICW.

All in all, I was very glad to have Skipper along with me. I know the annual fee is something like $12-15 if I want to keep using it after the first year's trial is over. I'm frugal, but that sounds like a reasonable price for what I was able to get out of the app. Compared to the cost of buying paper charts (which quickly get outdated) or updated charts for my Garmin, it seems like a good deal.

I have no affiliation with Skipper, and they haven't asked me (or authorized me) to post this. But, since it's a new app and since they generously offered a free trial to any Sailnet members, I thought I'd pass along my opinion. I hope this is helpful!
Fau and Sal Paradise like this.
- Jim
Home: Western Philly 'burbs
1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Review – BMW 18 rlltrash Boat Review and Purchase Forum 5 08-06-2012 09:18 PM
paid skipper - co-skipper 4-11 june Turkey dmitriomettov Crew Wanted/Available 2 05-12-2011 03:52 PM
Please Review!! Justeen Boat Reviews 0 01-08-2010 01:43 AM
com-pac 23 review? blackout Boat Review and Purchase Forum 6 11-24-2009 09:34 PM
Sailing on Skipper of Lively Lady, Alan Priddy, co-skipper Steve Mason from Portsmouth and two young adults have set (Yachting Monthly) NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-05-2006 07:15 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:23 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) LLC 2000-2012

The store is owned and operated by a company independent of the forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.