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Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Medsailor has finally joined the ranks of "smart phone" owners/users. For years I had a samsung B2100 Xplorer because it was a cellphone that was totally waterproof and had a nifty flashlight. I did go swimming with it several times (both intentionally and unintentionally ;) ) and it served me well.

Now Samsung has a couple smart phones that are waterproof as well, and I purchased the "S4 Active". I have downloaded a couple apps, such as drag queen, buoy data apps, and sailflow, but I was wondering what creative uses you smart phone veterans have been using?

In THIS post, Minnewaska talks about using the "find your phone app" to find your boat in a dark/foggy anchorage. Now that's what I'm talking about! A racer friend of mine uses a continuous wind data app from the Washington state ferries to look up the ferries that cross his path in front of him. It allows him to see if the wind is stronger on the east side, west side, or center of the puget sound racecourse ahead.

The only unorthadox trick I can contribute is the same one I had on my old phone. I looked up the local Coast Guard station dispatch phone number and programmed it into my phone. If I fall off my boat in cell range, but don't have a handheld VHF, I can just call them up and tell them that I need a chopper pickup :D. Of course, with the smartphone, I can now make their job easier with GPS coordinates.

Anyone else have unorthodox tricks/apps for the modern sailor?

MedSailor
 

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Have you ever needed to go below, say to use the head, in an area with thin water or complicated navigation? You want to give the helm to the first mate, but you're a bit worried to go off watch? Or better yet, you're down below in the head and can feel the boat making an unexpected turn and you wonder where you are going?

I turn on the chart program on my cell phone and bring it below. I can watch exactly where we are the whole time. It's like having a chartplotter on the wall in every room. :)

I also use the Notes app to keep track of repairs or supplies that I realize I need. You know, you're sitting at the helm on a long passage and notice something or think of something. By the time I got to a piece of paper, hours later, I would forget. I just jot them in whenever I think of them. That bloody list gets long!!
 

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One more. Too lazy to keep a navigation log while underway? Open your fav smartphone nav program to a page that shows your position, heading and speed. The screen probably shows the time on it somewhere too. Just take a screen shot and save it to your photos every hour or so. On an iPhone, this is done by pressing the top and front button simultaneously.
 

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One more. Want to take a self picture of yourself at the helm? It does that. :D
 

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Tartan 37
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MS,

I just got a S4 Active as well. IIRCC its water-resistant to 3 meters for 30 minutes. Have you tested it yet? Just curious :) They sell a case that floats BTW with a lanyard for around $30 http://www.incipio.com/cases/samsun...tation-case-for-samsung-galaxy-s4-active.html

AIS apps are good I think, I have the $2.99 one with Marine Traffic.
Navionics app is great
Active Captain app is very useful
I like the marine weather apps and real time buoy data apps as well
 

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Raymarine current generation chart plotters have a wifi network, any android/iphone can literally hook in and see the chart / instruments, with RayControl you can flip screens and steer via autopilot - and if you have a video in from a camera you can see where you are going even:

While you are in the head.

While you are in your dinghy motoring alongside :) taking that awesome video of your boat sailing itself.
 

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Chastened
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Sometimes I take photos and video of sail trim and conditions, to compare with racing friends for advice on performance.

Active Captain mobile app is pretty handy as well.
 

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Glad I found Sailnet
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My original Andriod ($30 off eBay) with Navionics is my chartplotter. That, paper charts, and the autopilot's GPS.

I dream of the day when I can relax on the bow and steer via wifi. Would make picking up a mooring easier when solo.

It would be good to have a little camera at the top of the mast to help when going under bridges. I've been looking at these a lot, but haven't bought one yet.



Image would be viewed on the smartphone.

Regards,
Brad
 

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I always grab a pic of some beautiful sight, such as the sails against the sky, a sunset or lights glistening on the Bay. Then I either message it to someone I'm hoping will come visit, or just as satisfying, to someone who backed out and would have been there for that moment. :)
 

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Not strictly sailing but:

You can use them at night to stream movies if you are in cell range. I have an old one that I don't have cell service on that I use as a music player that pulls WiFi signal.
 
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