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A current sailing trend and a bit on the Caribbean

December, 2014

A current sailing trend and a bit on the Caribbean

December is a great time to reflect on how your previous year went and what you can improve upon in the future. And as the beginning of 2015 is looming towards us, you might be wondering what you can do to make your sailing life a lot easier.

The Caribbean calling

It is hardly a surprise that numerous boats start sailing season in the Caribbean every fall. Not only are there beautiful islands, friendly local residents and idyllic weather conditions, but there is also a host of events to pick and choose from. Racing, regattas and simply sailing as a small adventure on vacation to name but a few. Needless to say, every single event requires plenty of groundwork and in the case of sailing it all boils down to choosing the right navigation application. As everyone knows, it is still vital to carry paper charts as primary navigational tool. Certainly, there are also a lot of cruising guides, especially for the Caribbean. Despite this fact, nowadays most navigators and even amateurs prefer using electronic devices with multifunctional navigation system. In recent years, the trend for such kind of devices is transforming into hand held chart plotter. Transas iSailor is a real life example of a hand held navigational application, a quintessence of all that you need for navigation on your own tablet. According to a recent App Store review, “you definitely need this app at least as a backup”.

So why iSailor?

Do people really tend to use tablets and mobile phones on the board and why? First of all, users tend to look for simple user interface, smart features and useful services. User interface and app’s design is paramount for tablets and mobile phones, because of a relatively small size and the inescapable touch screen technology. We are certainly lucky to have on our staff a highly qualified specialist in mobile design, and throughout the life of Transas iSailor the product has changed its look a number of times. Changes were primarily due to addition of new original features and invaluable users’ feedback.

Coming back to smart features, what do we really mean, when we use this term? The basic functionality like dedicated navigational system (aka ECDIS) contains, reinforced with touch screen technology and a few other powerful features. The reduced list of such kind of features includes the following: monitoring of navigation data (position, course and speed over ground and the positioning accuracy); display of charts, routes, tracks and user objects; data import and export functionality; schedule calculation; ERBL; Day and Night presentation mode and finally alarm system (an audio and visual signal, announcing a condition requiring immediate attention or operator action). Summing up, smart features allow you to be a smart captain, using both old and new technology for comfortable and seamless navigation.


Several factors are at play

Talking of features’ development, it is extremely vital to know the product area like the back of your hand. To create an impeccable marine navigation application you should think like a marine man. Fortunately, our product manager in charge of the project is exactly the man we need - with second to none marine education and extensive sailing experience.
A bunch of useful services provide a variety of sailing opportunities: connection to other devices and sensors, monitoring other ships’ location in ports (AIS service), checking weather conditions (Weather service) and others features (tides and currents, as well as the database with all the information marinas - in the coming soon version).
For sure, there are other advantages. If you use your own tablet, you already know how to operate it and there’s no need for you to learn the system. Yet another advantage here is, of course, that your digital charts won't get wet in waterproof electronic device, not to mention the possibility to be synchronized with other devices.


The main cartography rule

The cartography, in its turn, plays no less importance for users. Going back to the Caribbean, we have wide-ranging coverage of areas attractive for sailing; you can see chart’s details at isailor.us/folios/index.htm , just tap “the Caribbean” in to search line. Over 1,000 users tried charts of the Caribbean last year. Bear in mind, though that the main cartography rule of thumb is regular updating the charts. You should do it on a quarterly basis when up-to-date charts become available.

A fascinating fact of chart updating is that we have recently been scrupulously gathering user information, checking for changes and adding a few corrections based on the new data. And the credit for this rigorous work goes to our cartography team.
Fact is, almost all producers of mobile and tablet navigational apps collect users’ feedback for continuous product improvement. We are no different in this respect and regularly do it via Facebook, Twitter and Web site support, as we realize that our clients appreciate having formidable control over the product they use. As Preben Sejer Kristensen said once: “To sail is human... to power divine!”


Hopefully, the article explained to you some trend features and new opportunities for sailing. With 2015 just round the corner, it’s a sure bet that you will hear from us again and again. Wishing you good sailing around the globe!



For more general info about sailing in the Caribbean, visit the official website at www.carribbean-sailing.com

Truly yours,
Transas iSailor team.

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