After I had resumed surfing browsers for marine or nautical software for laptop and other personal use electronic devices, I decided to stop it for awhile.
I do not want it forever, but there are so many offers in this market as has got stuck and confused a little bit.
To refresh my memory, I decided to check what a pioneer of this business offering today. First-movers on marine electronic charting software developers, I consider is Transas Marine Limited or TRANSAS in short.
As stated in LinkedIN profile:
„Transas is a world-leading provider of high-tech solutions and services for the maritime industry. Transas offers best-in-class navigation systems and integrated bridge solutions, recognized training and simulation solutions, well-known VTMS and coastal surveillance systems, fleet management systems, onboard and individual decision support systems for professional crew and pilots, as well as popular applications for leisure and the marine mass market. Transas operates more than 20 regional offices and has a network of partners serving their customers Globally. “
Briefly and exhaustively.
In fact, Transas electronic charts on a computer screen were the first which I came across long ago yet in the 90ies of the last century. An official price tag was so high to not affordable for private use but somehow appears on PC screens here and there.
I became so addicted by such a cool marine navigation wonderful tool.
I envied those seafarers who were on active service. I had not such an opportunity when working as a navigator on oceangoing ships. Paper nautical charts had to be manually corrected, and the position of the vessel was to put on the map with a pencil. Today ECDIS is IMO adopted marine navigation aid alongside such instruments as radar and gyro compass.
Such a company with so much experience in this industry inspires confidence and is worth a look at what it offers in my field of interest. Transas Marine Limited has the huge offer for the marine industry.
Beginning with Navigation and integrated shipborne solutions, Port and VTMS, marine simulation and training solutions, unique opportunities for fleet management and ending with applications for leisure and individual seafarers.
I will skip all but discuss a little bit about pleasure craft solutions as one of more related to our topic. Running a little ahead, even a very appropriate theme for marine navigation software for PC and Mac users for non-commercial shipping.
Transas offering three products in this range- iSailor, Pilot Pro and Yacht Viewer. I made a quick look on all of them and recognize that iSailor is second to none product. Someone could argue or oppose other software, go ahead!
One significant shortage I noted is a lack of software for MacBook or simply do not know how to find a solution for this lack. There is an app for smartphones and tablets both for iOS and Android. Why not for a laptop? The GPS absence of these devices easily could be solved by USB or Bluetooth antenna.
Why choose iSailor?
The main reason, in my mind, is Company Brand Name and long life leading position in industry market. Next essential for safe navigation is free quarterly navigational chart updates. I know how great and good is this feature, especially in busy shipping areas where frequent navigation aid changes and improvements are very common.
Transas iTX-97 format vector charts are the best in the marine industry.
Also, I would say that regular software updates and improvements, fast operational speed friendly user interface are must-have features to ensure the highest standards for marine navigation software providers.
Very common and useful for safe navigation today is AIS integration in software. There’s an AIS integration option in iSailor. If I got clear, this is an additional service for extra charge. You see targets around you on screen and so on, but it is not to be considered that your boat is equipped with AIS.
It is an Internet AIS service. It is a private network with no any legal obligations like Marine Traffic or another App (ShipFinder, VTExplorer, etc.). No internet-No AIS targets on the screen.
It is good as far as you are in G3 or G4 (WiFi) coverage area, definitely not in the open sea or abroad where high internet subscription fees are imminent.
I use Marine Traffic App on my iPhone even in my daily job to find some info details of the particular vessel. It used to happen by any technical failure reason or target out of coverage on AIS professional equipment’s screen.
There is a broad range of AIS dual channel receivers available for very friendly prices even in AIS in Amazon. Unfortunately, I do not see an option to implement AIS receiver in iSailor, and this is a significant shortage in so excellent marine navigation software.
I would not like to go into iSailor operating details. Those could be easily found on the internet and why to spend time and just rewrite it.
Prices? Free application download, after you can purchase nautical charts for every area you want for average prices about € 25. As much I know Transas marine charts I can say, perfect for safe navigation. Honestly, almost all marine digital maps are good enough, and you can use them for navigation purposes, but Transas for me is the best.
So, this is my view on the subject. If any corrections, additions and suggestions, please be welcome to leave a comment.