The Importance of Mobile Applications and Devices in Catamarans and Social Media

When looking at catamarans and social media, it can definitely be shown that taking advantage of various tools and applications can help reduce the amount of time it takes for a person to keep up his online businesses, which means more time spent traveling the islands and going from adventure to adventure! The world has become a much smaller place today, and with the advent of satellite internet and phone connections you can literally work from any port or location! Mobile applications and devices have come a long way over the last 20 or 30 years, which accounts for a much higher degree of safety and freedom in the boating industry!

Mobile applications usually amount to what can be downloaded or installed onto a smart phone or other device, for most people. However, in the live-aboard boating or sailing industry there are also many other hand-held or electronic instruments that can be classified in the “mobile” category… For instance, the old days of paper charts and dead reckoning have been vastly changed with the introduction of electronics, computers, and satellites. It is always a very good idea to keep paper charts on hand just in case there is some world-wide electronic black-out or breakdown, and you need to navigate without their use. Unfortunately, the vast majority of boaters depend totally on these electronic “crutches”, and would not be able to navigate without them.

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Imagine being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and sailing hard toward the South Pacific islands when all of a sudden your electronics go out without a warning? No news, no internet, no email, no telephone, no navigation, and nothing but the location of the sun, moon, and stars to direct you! This is the predicament that we find ourselves in today, because hardly anyone goes the extra distance to learn celestial navigation… Luckily for the maritime community, there are many great, advanced courses around the world where they teach the knowledge necessary to be able to safely traverse the oceans the way Christopher Columbus did. All deep water sailors need to be trained as soon as possible, because as they say in the military, “the more you bleed in training, the less you bleed in battle”!

 

Even close to shore boaters would benefit from this training. Mobile boating applications and tools today include electronic fish finders that will help a fisherman locate schools of fish to catch, and also the depth of the water they are traveling over and the location of any shoals, rocks, or debris nearby. This is incredibly important in local bays or rivers because safety is of vital concern. I have boated many areas that should have been considered safe, but had a huge amount of problem areas that needed to be located on a map or by using electronic devices. Boaters also have access to mobile weather information, which may be one of the most important and vital bits needed. It takes about 3 weeks to sail from South America to the islands of the South Pacific, and your boat will be exposed to the elements and storms that will surely come up! So, planning the trip is extremely important to try and avoid the worst of the weather.

Also, imagine getting sick while out on the ocean with the nearest help being 2 weeks away! There have been many cases where boaters have had medical emergencies aboard and they have communicated with medical professionals ashore via satellite internet. Sometimes, they even had to perform emergency surgery, being directed step-by-step by a doctor. An appendix could become inflamed and require an immediate evacuation, possibly to a nearby freighter or ship with a doctor aboard or medical facilities in order to save a life… Without these social media internet and satellite tools, sailing the 7 seas would be much more dangerous today than ever!

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Social media mobile applications can help the live-aboard boating community be much safer around the world, and there are many specific navigation, medical, or fishing electronic devices that are almost a requirement when taking off for the great unknown! Live-aboard boaters are a pretty tight-knit group, and they are very active in online forums and discussion groups since they understand they have to rely on each other when at sea. Companies that provide these “at-sea” services realize that boaters are very apt to use or purchase what they need in order to have a more pleasurable time while living their dream of traveling the world! In fact, for them to sponsor a forum or online community would be a fantastic way to bring these boaters together and to foster a lot of good-will and generate sales with them.

Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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4 comments

  1. Jeffrey,
    The Digital Yacht appears to be a very interesting mobile application. Not only is it unique but it also appears to be very beneficial for the boating community in terms of the 2 channel AIS receiver, weather updates, and navigation system. Mobile navigation systems are a great advancement, and I can see why many boaters are jumping on board with this trend. However, as you mentioned hopefully they are not steering completely away from paper charts and maps. I could not imagine relying solely on this mobile technology in the event of a technological glitch or malfunction occurring while deep at sea! That would be a HUGE disaster! I am sure this has happened to one too many people.
    – Ashley

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    1. Yes, and if you think about it, all that it might take is for a satellite to go down while you are in the middle of the Atlantic, and you would be totally without navigation! At least if you were keeping track with paper charts you could navigate successfully to your next port of call…

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  2. Every time I read your posts I instantly want to get on a boat and sail to someplace tropical. However, I would take your advice and ensure that I had the appropriate tools that can get me there safely and take care of me in an emergency.

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