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Sail Timer now for iPhone, iPod or iPad AND with a waterproof bag

by Sail-World Cruising on 31 Mar 2010
Drypak SW
The SailTimer app - a quick and simple way to get your Tacking Time to Destination - from iTunes can now be used on the new iPad tablets, in addition to iPhone and iPod, and currently comes at a marked-down price of US$3.99.

Ordinary GPS units do not account for the fact that sailboats zig-zag, when calculating ETA. The SailTimer app does, and can also show you the optimal tacking angles.

You can get the iTunes link at where you will also see a link to the Apple Online Store for an impressive new GPS attachment for iPod Touch. There are also soft waterproof bags that allow you to control the touchscreen right through the soft plastic -- also available for the new iPad!

All about SailTimer:

Whether you are a racing sailor, a day cruiser or a circumnavigator, calculating when you will arrive at your next destination - a waypoint, a marker buoy or a distant island - is a vital piece of information, pretty easy if you're running, but if you're tacking, it's more of a challenge.

Iphone App SailTimer has the answer. Unfortunately,the ETA function on standard GPS units was designed for powerboats, and does not deal with sailboat tacking very well. That is why it may go blank when you stay on a tack too long. It views that as cross-track 'error'.

Using VMG (velocity made good) to gauge your progress towards your waypoint while tacking upwind is also problematic. VMG decreases all by itself the longer you stay on a tack. It is like driving down the highway in a car at a constant speed, and have the speedometer deflate all the way down to 0, even though your speed hasn't changed. Not very useful. It could even be a safety hazard.

But with SailTimer for the iPhone/iPod, all sailors can now have a correct method to know when they will make

landfall - or be home for lunch.

However, it has one more benefit - it will also calculate for you what are the optimal sailing angles to get there.

SailTimer already appears in several navigation/charting programs for Mac and PC including ones from and There is also a free version for Google Maps (which requires an internet connection), and a small Windows desktop version (no maps).

You can plot waypoints on Google Maps and calculate times to go to them, can calculate the distances on each tack, and much more. SailTimer Lite is a free download from iTunes, and the full version is US $13.99, now dramatically reduced.

For more information, go to the SailTimer!Website!

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