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Weather is unpredictable and when you are a sailor it’s the weather that can make or break a good sailing expenditure.

It’s important to be prepared before you sail out into the open water. Technology makes it possible for you to be informed about the weather before you start your sailing trip.

With easy access to apps through smart phones, it is simple to access the information you need. 

We have done our research and we are here to guide you through choosing the best wind app for sailing.

We will talk about the importance of having a wind app, the features you need to look for when you choose which app to use, and give you a couple of great recommendations.

Why do you need a sailing wind app?

Some sailors believe in using the signs of nature to determine what their experience will be like out on the water.

But it doesn’t hurt to be informed and prepared with the help of technology. In fact, apps are a form of disaster prevention.

We would like to talk to you about the benefits you can get from wind apps. Sailing is ancient, but you do not have to sail into the unknown like your ancestors did.

Wind apps allow you to check out the current wind speeds and see if there are any storms or hurricanes in the forecast.

With wind apps you can avoid sailing out on rough water and risking your safety and damage to your boat.

If you are planning a long sailing trip wind apps can show you the forecast for the coming days before you plan that trip. 

Another great benefit to using a wind app is being able to change your destination if the weather changes quickly.

It helps you avoid trying to dock in rough weather conditions so that you can protect yourself and your boat. 

A wind app can give you peace of mind on every sailing adventure you take through staying informed every moment you are out on the open sea.

What features to look for in a wind app for sailing

  • Accuracy — There is no point in having a wind app that is inaccurate. You need to know when the next storm is coming, how rough the water will be, how strong the wind is. You can never expect 100% accuracy, but you should get as close to perfect as you can when it comes to wind apps. With advancements in technology, there are apps that are nearly 100% accurate most of the time. 
  • Usability — The last thing you need is an app that is difficult to use. They lay out and the functionality of the app will determine how easy or difficult it is to use. You do not want an app that is really cluttered and offers too many options. It should be easy to access each and every feature within the app. However, clutter is different from detail. You want details, but not clutter.
  • Charts — Wind apps come with a charting system. The two types of systems you can have are raster charts and vector charts. Raster charts are basically screen shots of paper charts with great detail of the land and water that the chart covers. Vector charts are interactive charts that do not carry as much detail, but provide access to all U.S. waters so that you do not need multiple charts, therefore requiring less storage. Both have their benefits and disadvantages. It comes down to the sailors preference.
  • AIS — Apps that use AIS are very beneficial. They provide real time information on where other ships are so that you can prevent collision. AIS apps offer course, speed, name and size of all commercial ships in your path. Many apps easily connect to AIS so there should be no reason to have an app without access to AIS information.
  • Weather — You want a wind app that properly displays current and forecasted weather conditions accurately. There are many different aspects of the weather that wind apps can display. For example, they can display detailed wind conditions, tide information, storm prediction and so much more. With some apps you also have the option to receive National Weather Service notifications for severe weather, radar imagery, and real time weather data.

It’s important to note that you may not find a single app that has every single feature listed, but our goal is to inform you of the features that are most beneficial to you.

Which features that will most benefit you is entirely up to you.

Now that we have discussed the features you should look for in weather apps let’s get to the best part, our recommendations!

Best Wind App for Sailing

Sailflow App

Sailflow is a great app for any sailor. It uses real-time data from over 50,000 weather stations with great accuracy.

This includes stations globally and NOAA stations in the U.S. so that you can be up to date on current weather conditions at all times. 

It’s set up is simple and user friendly.

All of the buttons are at the bottom of the screen for easy access. You can set up alerts for specific conditions such as a change in the condition of the wind or an oncoming storm. 

An exciting feature that comes with this app is the profile. You can set up a profile specific to your plans.

Your profile allows you to tag your frequent locations so that you have all the information you need with just the click of a button.

This includes a 7 day forecast, wind speeds, weather conditions, air temperature, and more.

Sailflow comes with a search option so that you can search for weather stations in any area you want to go.

You can also set up virtual stations that are used to predict the weather where you are going based on forecasts and algorithms. 

This app offers an excellent, clean presentation that is easy to read and simple to navigate. 

Pros

  • Weather coverage all over the world
  • Ability to create virtual stations
  • Easy usability
  • Multi-feature profile

iNavX

If you are searching for excellent navigation, this is the app to use! If you have researched wind apps before, you should have seen this app mentioned. It is one of the most popular apps used by sailors today. 

Its is claimed as the #1 chartplotter available. It comes with many features including up-to-date easily accessible charts, weather monitoring, accurate tide information, and information on any destination you choose. You also have access to all free downloadable NOAA charts, which is a major benefit that does not come with all wind apps.

Unlike other apps, INavx can access AIS information without the need for an AIS module.  As long as you have wifi INavX will access AISinformation through its live service.

Because of the extensive information you can retrieve with this app, it takes a bit of time to learn the ins and outs of the app. That being said, learning the app is worth it. Ask any sailor who has used it! 

Check out the app here.

Pros

  • Excellent chartplotter
  • Access to AIS information without the need for and AIS module
  • Always up-to-date
  • Accurate weather and tide monitoring

Cons

  • It can take some time to learn how it works

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