As we approach the prime time of boating season it is time to think about staying safe while you get where you’re going. You can do just that by having Boat Beacon – AIS Marine Navigation and Compass Eye – Marine Navigation and Bearings AR Compass by Electric Pocket on-board.
Compass Eye doesn’t change its reading when the boat rocks and enables sailors to take compass bearings with their iPhone or iPad. It replaces the need for Compass Binoculars and Professional Bearing Compasses for explorations and excursions on land, sea and even in the air. Compass Eye is fully gimballed and works accurately in all orientations and angles, unlike most compass apps which only show the correct heading when held level and close to horizontal. So it doesn’t matter how rough the seas get, Compass eye will work no matter what position it is place in. While the company advises that Compass Eye should be only be used for basic navigation assistance it appears to have a good track record.
Compass Eye Features:
- Real time, accurate in all orientations
- Compass overlaid on live camera view
- 8x Digital zoom
- Back, transit, or collision bearing marker
- Draggable Green and red bearing lines
- Triangulation bearings
- Optional time, date and GPS location information.
- Magnetic or True North setting with variation based on location
- Live map view with position and track
Boat Beacon is great for notifying you of other vessels in your area. The app helps you to spot oncoming boats while at the same time broadcasting your location so friends and family can follow you. The CEO of Electric Pocket actually came up with the idea for the app because of his own sailing experience and shares his story here.
In some real-life examples a mariner reports that Boat Beacon came out on top when put to the test on Lake Erie. The lake is shallow, storms can stir the surf up quickly so knowing where everyone around you is situated can come in pretty handy.
“We did an interesting experiment yesterday while helping a friend bring his 42′ sailboat through the south passage of Lake Erie. On board: Ship Finder Iphone app. a Raymarine AIS driven by E80 MFD and the Boat Beacon. The results within a 40 mi range were: the Ship Finder app had the least number of targets (2) Raymarine AIS had 4 and Boat Beacon had at least 6. Interesting. Additionally the Boat Beacon had more detail on the targets such as Ship names etc. The only rationale for the mid performance of Raymarine AIS could be that some of the targets were on the other side of Kelly’s Island.”
Not only will Boat Beacon display ships and their information on a Google map, it continuously monitors all ships within a 60 mile radius, giving you lots of notice so you can be on the lookout for possible traffic or trouble.
Boat Beacon Features:
- Over the horizon Collision avoidance (60 miles radius) using continuous Closest Point of Approach (CPA) calculations – highlights boats that are on a potential collision course and alarms.
- Continually transmits and receives position information and calculates and alarms CPA even when the app is in the background.
- Updates position, speed, heading and bearing of ships and boats near you and transmits your boats position, speed and heading to Global AIS Systems and other Boat Beacon users every minute.
- Live Map view with compass overlay rotates with you so you can look in the direction of the ships on the map to locate them.
- Ship to Ship Instant Messaging. Chat directly with other Boat Beacon users in real time for free .
- Arm all the crews in a race with Boat Beacon and have real time updates on the race positions – inland or at sea – and have the folks back in the Club house watch too on a large screen with Boat Beacon’s TV/Video Out support
- Keep a watch and in touch with other boats in your flotilla when sailing in a group.
- Let Friends and Family see where you are and where you’re headed to on Boat Beacon and leading AIS systems like ShipFinder, Marine Traffic and AIS-Hub which have free web viewers available.
- Ideal for busy and popular harbours, ports and coastal areas upto 15 miles out to sea.
- Designed by a Skipper for Skippers it can also be used on land so your friends and family can keep a weather eye on you.
Boat Beacon also has a host of other additional “Sailing” related features:
- A fully gimballed compass and rangefinder overlaid on the map so you can sight ships and shore stations, know their bearing and how far away they are.
- The ability to highlight other Boat Beacon boats around you so you can keep an eye on the race you are in or the flotilla you are sailing with and a ship-to-ship messaging feature so you can chat with them.
- The ability to overlay your planned route on the map (Waypoints) and show your track history. Its AIS transmit feature — my wife’s favorite feature as she can now keep an eye on me and where I am out sailing in the Bristol Channel from a web page on her MacBook at home!
Obviously, Boat Beacon should only be used for basic navigation reference in Coastal areas where there is internet and shore-based station coverage. It should not be solely relied upon to determine precise locations, proximity, distance, or direction. There is no replacement for the Skippers’ and their crews’ eyes and the Skipper’s ultimate judgement.
There are some possible drawbacks with relying on an Internet-based AIS for Coastal Navigation. It relies on you having Internet coverage, however most popular coastal areas in the US have cellular data access extending 12 or more miles out to sea.
So if you find yourself heading out to sea soon download Compass Eye and Boat Beacon to chart your course and stay safely on it.
Compass Eye - Marine Navigation and Bearings AR CompassVersion: 2.3Created & Sold by: Pocket Mariner Ltd. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
Categories: Navigation, Travel
"..works nicely, we tried it out at the Voiles d'Antibes...the Captain's response when trying it out was 'Cool!'." - Boatbookings, The World's Leading Online Yacht Charter Broker
Compass Eye can be used to help with navigation on land, sea or air as a bearing or marching
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Boat Beacon - AIS Marine NavigationVersion: 3.4Created & Sold by: Pocket Mariner Ltd. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
“An outstanding app, with great potential. Both interesting to use and very user friendly. This could be a life saver and especially of interest to small