Digital Yacht has unveiled NavLink, a navigational charting app for iPads and iPhones that allows owners, captains and crew to explore, plan and navigate routes undertaken in UK waters.

Utilising the latest UKHO digital vector marine charts, the app is intended to complement on board touchscreen chart plotters and can be integrated with the vessel’s GPS and AIS systems.

Charts can be presented north up or course up and routes and waypoints are created and edited using a simple touch screen interface.  Real time navigation shows current position, track, course, speed, ETA, VMG, bearing and distance to next waypoint. Its sharp, high-definition display enables simple zooming on detailed vector format charts, as well as allowing chart data to be layered and therefore de-cluttered.

Other advanced features include tidal information, weather data from weather buoys showing current local conditions such as wind speed/direction and swell, and full route planning capability with sharing.

Da Gama Maritime's Steve Monk was keen to emphasise however, that while it may sound like stating the obvious, the app did not meet official safety requirements as a primary means of navigation for a yacht. "Too many people use these apps without realising that, unless they’re using official means of maintaining their safety, they’ll encounter a lot of problems if something goes wrong and it’s proved all they were using was an iPhone or iPad", he explained. "‘Complementing it with on board touchscreen chart plotters’ is not the same as using it alongside official ECDIS."

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