More cruis­ing, less curs­ing

An app that helps you ex­plore un­charted ter­ri­tory.

Boating NZ - - Contents - BY LAWRENCE SCHÄF­FLER

The app’s de­signed and pro­duced by Sail South Pa­cific – a com­pany owned by John and Lyn Martin (for­merly of the Is­land Cruis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion) – and it is per­haps the most com­pre­hen­sive (and easy-to-use) guide to sail­ing around the New Zealand coast­line. And best of all, it’s free (well – mostly free. More on this in a minute).

Cov­er­ing New Zealand’s main cruis­ing ar­eas – top of the South Is­land with the Marl­bor­ough and Nel­son re­gions, to the top of the North Is­land, the guide’s de­signed for all boat­ing life­styles.

It fol­lows on the suc­cess of two sim­i­lar apps the com­pany pro­duced for our Pa­cific Is­land neigh­bours – Sail Tonga and Sail Fiji. This lat­est one, though, is a lot more com­pre­hen­sive.

The app’s ex­clu­sively con­fig­ured for an Ap­ple ipad – it won’t dis­play on iphones and doesn’t work on An­droid tablets. But depend­ing on the app’s up­take, says Martin, an An­droid ver­sion could be pro­duced.

HOW IT WORKS

At this point, the Sail NZ Cruis­ing Guide App cov­ers five re­gions – North­land, Auck­land, Bay of Plenty, Nel­son and Marl­bor­ough. More re­gions will fol­low as the app is ex­panded to other ar­eas.

The ba­sic ‘plat­form’ is free and can be down­loaded from the App Store at https://itunes.ap­ple.com/nz/app/sail-nz-cruis­ing­guide/id1292992642?mt=8. The file size is (cur­rently) around 346Mb. Down­load­ing is easy us­ing the QR code over­leaf.

The free plat­form pro­vides plenty of use­ful in­for­ma­tion, but if you want more de­tail for any of the re­gions, you buy the rel­e­vant add-ons.

Us­ing the app is sim­ple. Tap­ping on the icon opens the Re­gions Menu. This has a full de­scrip­tion of each of the five re­gions cov­ered in the guide.

To go to the Plan­ning Guide, tap the icon in the footer next to the Re­gions tab. Tap any of the icons on screen to ‘drill down’ to more in­for­ma­tion.

Us­ing the app is sim­ple. Tap­ping on the icon opens the Re­gions Menu. This has a full de­scrip­tion of each of the five re­gions cov­ered in the guide.

In the free plan­ning guide, you’ll find all the re­sources you’ll need for plan­ning your cruise. And because most of the in­for­ma­tion is em­bed­ded in the app you can view it ‘off­line’. It is only the web links and the Sky View that need an in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

In this first re­lease of the app ( Is­sue 1), de­tails of des­ti­na­tions, routes, mari­nas, fa­cil­i­ties, ac­tiv­i­ties in the five re­gions are pro­vided. These are sup­ple­mented with over­head videos – and tap­ping on one of the many ‘Sky View’ icons pro­vides an aerial per­spec­tive of the area you propos­ing to visit.

Is­sue 2 – to be re­leased later this year – will in­clude the rest of the South Is­land and Ste­wart Is­land. If you’ve down­loaded the app be­fore Is­sue 2 is launched – don’t fret – up­dates are free for life.

Once you’ve planned your cruis­ing, you might want more, in-depth in­for­ma­tion about your des­ti­na­tions. This is avail­able with the ‘in app pur­chase’ – one for each of the re­gions – and you buy these.

These lo­cal cruis­ing guides pro­vide de­tailed

in­for­ma­tion for nav­i­gat­ing the re­gion: plan­ning info, way­points, haz­ards and cau­tions, where to go and, more im­por­tantly, what to avoid.

‘Drill down’ to in­di­vid­ual an­chor­ages for in­for­ma­tion on bot­tom con­di­tions, pre­vail­ing winds in these an­chor­ages, whether an­chor­ing is rec­om­mended and ac­tiv­i­ties to do while you’re there.

There is also a slide-show of im­ages – so you’ll know what to ex­pect. The (grow­ing) li­brary of Sky View videos gives an aerial per­spec­tive – these are ideal for ori­en­tat­ing you to the sur­round­ing area.

Stress-free cruis­ing? There’s an app for that. Hover your ipad over the QR code (right) and click to down­load. BNZ

BE­LOW Drilling down takes you to a broad se­lec­tion of screens with de­tailed in­for­ma­tion.

FAR LEFT At this stage the app is only con­fig­ured for ipads, but depend­ing on up­take, an An­droid ver­sion may be tack­led.LEFT Photos, charts, videos and ac­tiv­i­ties – an Aladdin’s Cave of in­for­ma­tion awaits.

LEFT Tap­ping on the icon brings up the main Re­gions Menu.

BE­LOW LEFT Nav­i­gat­ing the guide is eas­ier. Tap­ping on in­di­vid­ual icons brings up de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about is­lands, an­chor­ages, nearby fa­cil­i­ties and at­trac­tions – and much more.

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