Pocket Mariner’s SeaNav app updated to provide boaters even more accurate charting and navigation

Wales, UK – Pocket Mariner’s recently launched SeaNav app, with versions for both the US and UK/Ireland, has been updated to offer a more complete charting and navigation toolkit for boaters. To improve navigation and collision avoidance when out of reach of cell phone coverage, SeaNav — together with Pocket Mariner’s Boat Beacon app — can now also use on-board live VHF AIS data feeds. The app also now enables sailors to jump directly to specific locations using latitude and longitude searches and has been extended for use on iPods as well as iPhone and iPad.

SeaNav was designed to enable boaters to explore, plan and navigate their boating trips in real-time and high-resolution using the latest up to date Digital Vector Marine charts covering the US coastlines and Great Lakes or the UK and Ireland. Pocket Mariner has successfully completed sea trials of the new local AIS feature with Lowrance, Simrad and B&G’s GoFree™ wireless systems, as well as with easyAIS and Digital Yacht.

Robert Langford-Wood Product Manager for GoFree Technology said: “Applications such as SeaNav and Boat Beacon, when combined with GoFree wireless, allow boaters to make the most out of their Lowrance, Simrad and B&G chartplotters and AIS systems away from the helm. It means that every member of the crew can have a navigator’s eye view, increasing safety and enjoyment out on the water – a great innovation!”

SeaNav works best when paired with Pocket Mariner’s Boat Beacon, which has become an enormously popular app among sailors for its simple-to-use location sharing and real-time “Map View” of both the user’s and other nearby boats via AIS. Together, SeaNav and Boat Beacon provide a powerful set of charting, navigation and location-sharing tools. While Boat Beacon provides SeaNav with its AIS data and alarms, Boat Beacon gets marine charts and routes from SeaNav. The two apps share hot-jump buttons that ensure they are both on the same location and at the same zoom level on the map.

Key features of SeaNav include:

• Route Planning and real time tracking including Waypoints, SOG, COG, ETA, CTE etc.

• Route and Track export, import and sharing.

• Charts downloaded and stored on device so they work without mobile coverage!

• Seamless fast panning and zooming across charts.

• Live AIS Ship positions overlaid from Pocket Mariner’s Boat Beacon app.

• Configurable layers; buoys, lights, depths, rocks, wrecks, anchorage areas etc.

• Automatic Chart updates.

SeaNav has two versions, SeaNav US which uses NOAA charts providing complete coverage of USA and Great Lakes and free chart updates for life. SeaNav UK uses UKHO Admiralty charts and includes the complete set of charts for the UK and Ireland plus a year of free chart updates in the one-off price. New versions of the app with charts for other countries and regions are in the works.

Both versions are available from the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and – in this latest version – on an iPod touch, for US$9.99 and £9.99 in the UK.

For more information, visit PocketMariner.com. or email steve@pocketmariner.com

Live screenshots testing Boat Beacon in the Solent

Our test boat!

Live view from Boat Beacon: the test boat is the purple boat in the centre, while the Ferry is blue to port

View of the blue target (Ferry) from bridge of our boat.

About Navico: Navico is currently the world’s largest marine electronics company, and is producing products under leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad and B&G. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide. www.navico.com

Australian CoastGuard using Boat Beacon

We were asked if we could help out with a new Australian Coast Guard radio log  system using Boat Beacon. The system is now live and made it onto Australian TV.

Boat Beacon being used with the Australian Coast Guard.

N.B. The clip where they accredited Pocket Mariner with making Boat Beacon is on the cutting room floor unfortunately – you have to love reporters 🙂

Boat Beacon – “Your app may have saved our lives”

 Captain Ian Engelbrecht and First Mate Ibolya Palko from Worldwide Yacht Deliveries  sent us a report today on how Boat Beacon helped them when they were caught in fog 4NM off the South African coast. They were sailing a Jaguar 36 Catamaran on a 900 mile, 12 day voyage from Cape Town to Durban, South Africa. There is a map showing their planned route to the right. They had just passed Hamburg on their route up the East South African coast when they lost visibility.  Their primary AIS system had failed.  They did the right thing and diverted in close to shore to find shallow waters and avoid any commercial shipping (see the  track map below). They were hoping there wouldn’t be  anything else so close in. They decided to power up Boat Beacon on their Android smartphone and leave it running to keep a look out.

Boat Beacon alerted them to a container ship, also close in, going in the opposite direction!  At a range of 21 NM ( well over the normal VHF AIS horizon) Boat Beacon gave them plenty of time to assess the situation and take the necessary avoiding action.


They also had some very useful feedback. Having no visibility and due to the specific courses involved, they weren’t too sure on how the Closest Point of Approach (CPA) would pan out. In other words what would the CPA be in relation to their vessel – port or starboard? That made it difficult to decide on the correct avoiding action to take. Captain Iain Engelbrecht asked if we could add a new feature to Boat Beacon to give the bearing of the closest point of approach with respect to one’s own boat (e.g. 0° is dead ahead, 90° to starboard, 270° is to port etc.).

Captain Engelbrecht was impressed by Boat Beacon’s real time performance – that may have saved their lives – and our immediate response to his suggestion.  We are now adding the new CPA Bearing feature, continuing Pocket Mariner’s commitment to providing useful, professional and affordable aids to navigation and safety.



PocketMariner at the Southampton Boat Show

We popped down to the Southampton Boat Show to share our wares and look for new App ideas. We also got a chance to take Boat Beacon out for a spin on a $1M Speed boat and test at high speed!

 

 

Here are some real time screen shots from the boat and of Boat Beacon’s display. All lined up in real time perfectly. We are on the purple boat in the centre of the screenshot doing just over 20Kts overtaking Red Falcon which is to port.

We chatted with McMurdo about their new and very popular S10  and Kannad R10 Personal AIS Beacons (see Panbo’s article) – flying off the shelves like hot cakes. They appear on Boat Beacon when activated and in test mode, but were showing up as unknown ships! Time to add some proper support. Show them with the correct AIS SART symbol (red cross) , show the Safety message sent by the device and alarm if one appears within range. The typical range quoted for these beacons at sea level is 4 miles. With Boat Beacon using shore based receivers we should be able to see them further away at upto 10 miles out! Any volunteers for testing?
The latest Android version (1.2) of Boat Beacon now has AIS SART support and it will be included in the next iOS release.

We met up with Yachting Monthly Editor, Keiran Flatt and he is going to publish our Marine Apps survey on-line and in the next print edition and he also had some ideas for new Marine Apps he would like to see. He is thinking of setting up a photo shoot and story about our company with a trip down the Wye to the Severn from our offices on Sarita.

A fantastic day and some great new ideas and opportunites for Boat Beacon and for some new Apps.