Best Navigation apps for sailors: C-Map

Best Navigation apps for sailors tested. This time we take a look at C-Map and compare its pros and cons.

C-Map app as seen on a phone
C-Map app as seen on a phone

Modern sailing increasingly relies on apps on your phone or tablet to find your way. We have tested the latest and best navigation apps on the market.

C-Map Navigation app

C-Map app as seen on a phone

C-Map app as seen on a phone

C-MAP produces my favourite charts, with just the right amount of detail for spot depths, enlarged navigational marks on land and sea and clever colouring.

Wind data via GRIB files is easily overlaid and the colour shading system both makes it easy to see predicted wind speeds and discourages the user from trying to extrapolate unrealistic detail.

However, there is no tide and current overlay, which is a frustration for sailors, and it is also a disappointment that there is no satellite imagery overlay.

C-MAP’s automatic routing system is fairly easy and intuitive to use but having allowed me to set a minimum depth of 3m, it would then suggest routes that contravened this limit, albeit giving a second option that didn’t. Some caution is therefore required.

It felt more like a routing system adapted from land based technology for small motorboat users and left me a little uneasy about trusting it.

The app provides a useful distance and bearing measurement tool and the ability to overlay AIS data is useful, though I would definitely prefer it to link to my onboard system rather than rely on internet signal which can drop in and out even when close to shore.

C-Map pros

High quality charts
Wind overlays
AIS overlays with internet connection

C-Map cons

Slow to load
No tide or current overlay
No bearing shown when measuring distance

Get C-Map app from the Apple App Store
Get C-Map app from the Google Play Store

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Read our full list of the best navigation apps


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