Edit: Feb 2017 - This test is superseded by iSailor review by Pip Hare.
We tested the iSailor iPad app as part of a group review of portable chartplotting software. • Transas • Vector charts • App Free. Charts vary in scope and price – eg £11.99 UK chart area, £17.49 Baltic Southern Part, £17.49 Spanish Med

Product Overview

Overall rating:

iSailor iPad app



  • • Clear, easy to read and uncluttered display
  • • Clear and very visible navigation and route information
  • • Easily created routes
  • • Night colours option
  • • Additional features for AIS, anchor alarm
  • • Fast scrolling speed
  • • Easy additional chart downloading on the move
  • • Shows ship’s position clearly
  • • Comprehensive worldwide coverage


  • • Variable chart areas and prices, expensive if you need large coverage in UK
  • • No live tidal or weather data
  • • Recorded ship’s track was erratic in our test


iSailor iPad app



Edit: Feb 2017 – This test is superseded by iSailor review by Pip Hare.

iSailor iPad app has clear, easily viewed charts with optional boxes to display lat and long, course, distance, XTE and ETA, without having to change the whole display. It has other neat tricks, such as being able to export/import route data, an anchor alarm, making passage planning ashore easy, and for £6.99 you can unlock extra features such as AIS transponder input via TCP.

The charts are expensive if you need a large area: £11.99 per folio in the UK, with 18 folios covering the whole country, variable pricing elsewhere. But if your sailing is concentrated in one area – for example charts for the West Country or Ireland South Coast – both £11.99 or French Med £17.49, the pricing of these charts might be better value than having to pay for access to charts for the whole country or region.

They are, incidentally, simple and quick to download on a mobile signal and seamlessly paid for through Apple iTunes.

See reviews of the other iPad apps in our group test


Clarity of charts, navigation and route functions are the real pluses for this app, which has been well thought out to display what the navigator needs on one simple page


  • BJ

    Just downloaded local maps for isailor couple of days ago. Really impressed. Have compared against my Navionics, and it is so refreshing to not be “downloading base nap” everything I open the app/chart area!!!!! Also really happy with the visual look of the Transas maps also. Great work, keep it up Transas.

  • BJ

    Hi Jason, thanks heaps for that much appreciated. Love to read your article: bpjoosse@gmail.com

  • Jason

    BJ I’ve written a small article on these apps let me know you email and I’ll pass it on.

  • Jason

    BJ I used iNavx and Navionics to start with as they were pretty much the first to release apps. After some time though iSailor stepped in and after a few releases they added the function of AIS and there routing became much easier to work with. iNavX was great as the NMEA data input was there from nearly the start but once isailor got onto it and offered the same charts for both the iPhone and iPad there was no comparison. With isailor you get really detailed charts, ok not so great in some areas like Fiji, Tonga and other faraway destinations but around ports they are super and you don’t loose as much detail with the zoom out function. And you get free updates, can use them on both devices and also you don’t have to pay a yearly subscription to keep them like others. We do a lot of long passages around the Pacific, Med and Atlantic and the one of the main issues with Navionics is the way you can only download certain areas at a time. If you have bought a chart region you should be able to download it with one click not have to select small areas to download at a time. It’s a school kid app as far as im concerned that looks pretty and had great marketing. They all fall short in a lot of areas that islailor don’t. Hope I haven’t rambled on too much but I see a lot of areas in these apps for improvement but no ones really taking the lead like the isailor Transas guys are.

  • BJ

    Hi Jason what’s your view of the chart detail from Transas versus Navionics & Cmap?
    As I just posted under the nationics review, I hate the exorbitant price for the Australian iPad Navionics version!!! Also SEAiq looks to be as powerful apparently as InavX but unless you have PC/Mac charts, diffult to get hold of maps, even tho far cheaper than inavX. Thoughts?

  • Jason

    Why don’t you mention that although they are expensive they do now have the options of weather and tidal functions, that came with there last update. And the chart updates are free!! Something that none of the others offer! It’s by far the best iPad app out there and you know your using some of the best commercial charts out there as they’re from Transas.