i Sail GPS : NOAA Charts App Reviews

Don’t waste your money

Useless, doesn’t load charts , really a total waste

Says chart for lakes. Nope

I think we should be able to get our money back when the app developer misleads customers. It states clearly that there are charts for lakes. NOT for the biggest lake in the country. Lake Texoma. I know their are charts, this app just can’t access them. Buyer be ware.

Both Planning and at Sea

The charts are nicely integrated to the user interface making trip planning easy. The planned routes execute well while at sea. My go-to app for coastal navigation.

App hangs up

Updated app on iPad. No longer works on iPhone. Hangs up during update. Delete, reinstall, won’t reinstall. But fix caused new bugsz


I’ve been using this app for about a year and I am throughly impressed and happy with it.

My favorite app

I have used many apps for marine navigation. I have settled on this beautiful app as my favorite. Did you know that it is one of the only apps in this genre that will work on the iPad1? Not only does it use NOAA charts by our gov't but it can also stitch them together. The documentation is just excellent. I feel that you can become a fan of this application.


Really a very useful app with lots of functionality though not totally intuitive - need to review the instructions. The charts alone make the app worth having. Use extensively while sea kayaking. Strongly recommended

Really great

I have never written an app review before but now I feel compelled to do so! This app allows free downloading of official nautical charts rom the actual NOAA server so there are no issues with being up to date or inaccurate. It's a great balance between simplicity and functionality - the charts themselves, making waypoints and routes, tracking. That's about it. But when you are cruising that's really all you need. I have a vector-based competitor (iSailor) which is also very high tech and very cool and has more functions by far. I thought I would like it better. But in fact the vector information can be ever so slightly off so I never use it in tight quarters. In fact I've started to use this exclusively instead.

Excellent! Add Instrument Panel?

I love iSailGPS! Simple, stable, clear. Upgrade wish: Add an "instrument panel" page, showing just instrument numbers, for use when racing and/or in open ocean: - show: HDG, COG, SOG, DTW, BRG, VMG; use big numerals in vertical list; allow night-mode red numerals - to display: swipe left on instruments at top of My Location display (to return to chart, swipe left on instrument panel).

Great app

I bought this to rent powerboats in the keys and it has been very reliable. I love the the maps are not an additional cost. Great value for the price

Great backup

Great program for the money. Simple to use after you know how. Charts are great. Not as nice as my BnG chart plotter on my boat. But as a captain doing boat transport I will defiantly be carrying this as a back up. Also very useful for rout planing when not on the boat.

Not recommended

This app seems to consume the processor, as zooming in / out and moving the map around takes several seconds to respond, and battery life is short when its running. It was the only app I could find to show GPS position on a NOAA chart, but it really needs work to make it more responsive.

Excellent navigation app!

I use this app every time I sail. It is accurate, has many great options and has a very detailed help section. I reported a minor issue and a new version with the fix was released within a few days.

Great apps!

I purchased both iSail and iHike apps this year and they are both TERRIFIC! They were easy to download and easy to used. I sailed both offshore and inside small harbors in New England and found the iSail app to be incredibly useful. I chartered a sailboat this year and the chartplotter mounted on the boat was old and lacked detail. I found the iSail app especially useful when going in and out of small harbors, which required knowing precisely where I was relative to the shallow areas, which I needed to stay away from. It was no problem holding my iphone while steering the boat. I still brought hard copy maps and used the boat's compass, but this app greatly enhanced my ability to safely navigate, especially in tight places. iHike performed just as well when I went horseback riding on 80 miles of unmarked trails in Colorado in a area that was "off the grid" (I gave a separate review on the iHike site). Thanks for making such great apps!

Server problems

Constantly fails when downloading charts. Do not buy!

Doesn't work for me

There are no maps for the Tennessee River, I want my money back.


Sorry that I bought this. Slow. Unworkable map loading even on wifi!

I quit using it

It seems to be an OK sailing app. but I couldn’t get past the way it stitched the “paper" charts together (there seemed to be trouble at the seams, and loading the charts when I needed them, etc). I have SEAiq on also and ended up always using that instead. It’s $10 so also a good value. I wish I hadn’t have spent the money on iSail because I never use it now.

Great app!!

Very reliable. Accurate. Advanced features. Great for the ipad(with gps). A bit of a battery hog in track mode so be prepared with an alt energy source.

I like it!

I use this app in combination with a vector chart app. The NOAA charts are much better than vector charts at displaying names of places and features. I use iSail for planning and general navigation, then switch to the vector app when going into tight places where their extra detail and course-up feature is helpful. It is a bit hard to be sure you have downloaded all the charts you will need for a cruise. It would be very helpful if the "Coastline Locator" feature would show all the NOAA charts available in one color, then the chart you have already downloaded in another.

Great app

I use this app when I go open water rowing. The iPhone is in a waterproof pouch in a storage compartment of the shell( boat). After the row, my track is displayed on the beautiful noaa map. I hope that a companion apple watch app will be offered so that the iPhone app can be controlled from the wrist. This is a wonderful app.

Excellent App!

I will preface by saying that I have never used a charting app before so my baseline is limited. That said, I found the app very intuitive and easy to use when navigating a sailboat through some reefs while sailing from St. Croix USVI to Fajardo, Puerto Rico. I also appreciated the very prompt pre-purchase e-mail response from the app developer to a question of mine.


From the first time we used this app, we were impressed with its ease of use and clear interface. We downloaded the charts we needed with no problems. Many guest crew members have used it successfully and found it easy to interpret. We used it to navigate from New Bern, NC to the Delaware River in NJ and currently on the Chesapeake with very few problems. A great app for the price!

Navigation program

A real navigation program worth far more than its $8.00 cost. A bit tedious loading NOAA charts, but well worth the required effort. Used on recent yacht delivery on St Johns River Florida USA with perfect results. The up to date marked charts big help. Kept me and my crew on track through somewhat complex unfamiliar waters. Prevented two near groundings. Every boater with an I phone should have this program. Perfect for small boats with no other navigation equipment. Shows "course/up" and can be used by anyone with basic boating course qualifications. I hold a US Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters License.

Good waypoints, charting not great.

The waypoint functionality is good, but Marine US has much better chart functionality. It's annoying that you have to download individual charts.


App does not work. No maps to be seen. Very nice information under help but no maps are visual and it cannot find my location, using multiple wifi connections to check.

Capt. Ray

Not a user friendly software, not ready for marine navigation.

Works way better than I thought!!

The noaa charts are great. It's intuitive, tracks very well. Since this is the 3rd gps program for sailing on my iphone, I know what I want from the App. I was able to set waypoints and plot a route pretty easily. When you turn on tracking it works really well. Like showing details of us circling to Anchor and later motoring on a dingy to shore and back. The only caveat is if you forget to turn off the tracking when you get home it will continue to track and delete your previous tracks when the memory becomes full. One of the interesting features is the ability to email a copy of the chart with your track and current location straight off the app to your friends or to post on Facebook. I haven't tried it yet but it's an interesting feature. The only thing that I had spent time figuring out was how to change the course heading and bearing from true to magnetic. If you click the "help" button, it's got a lot of details on how to use the app. And of course you know that because it relies on the GPS on your phone you don't need to be connected to your 4G or Wi-Fi. Just remember to download the charts before you leave home. I'm giving it a four star, but it should actually be 4.5. When I use the app again I will further update. All the other crew on the boat were also very impressed and said they are going to download the app.


Hard to use

Needs a lot of work on usability

The designer of this software made some rather inexplicable decisions that make it much less intuitive to use. Some suggestions for improvement: 1. Let the user download chart KITS not individual charts. By requiring me to download individual charts I am almost guaranteed to find myself in a tiny, complicated harbor without the local chart and no cell signal. 2. Use the current map focal point to load the local chart rather than loading based on my current location. Sometimes I like to see the map of where I'm going BEFORE I get there (and I do not want to have to dig the chart up by name when I'm trying to steer a boat). 3. Add "use map" to the "add waypoints" screen. Does anyone really enter waypoints by manually entering lat/long coordinates??? Kind of impossible without a paper chart for reference! As it is right now this software is kind of useless for anything but simple day sailing where you will only traverse 2 or 3 charts in one day.

iSailGPS, I LOVE it!

This is, hands down, my FAVORITE app. There are others that I use more often, but only because we're only out on the boat now and then, and only in the summer (this being Alaska, winter is NOT conducive to boating). I think that it is fantastic that I can track our progress from the passenger side (or anywhere else) and make sure my husband is aware of any possible obstacles that I see on the chart, that may, or may not, be showing up on the main GPS. The only improvement I would like is the tracking line. It's kind of hit-or-miss. Some times is shows, sometimes it doesn't. No biggie, but it would be nice if it were more consistent.

Good and Simple

I have played with this app for some time and I really like it. NOAA charts work great and waypoints are easy to add. Sometimes it's a bit slow to load the charts but other than that it works great.

Waste of money

Waste of money, don't buy it. Very difficult to make a new waypoint and don't change from a chart to another chart

Great tool!

Used for first time on a mark boat at Yngling North American Championship regatta. Very easy to use. Made verification of mark locations simple and adjusting courses a breeze using Go To functions. Highly recommend.


As a novice to coastal navigation, i have found this app to be awesome. It Works just like a chart plotter but better cause you can save screen images of your routes. I know there's pricier nav apps out there, but for 8 bucks this one is an accurate way to chart your course and see exactly where you are, speed, ETA, waypoints, and easy to use. Just be sure to download your charts before you set sail so you can access them at sea. I'm still learning all it does, but so far it's perfect for my Ga. Coastal navigation .... S/V Glory Days

Great App

Love this App. While sailing last year, my friend had it on his iPhone. I enjoyed watching where we were going with this App…it was so simple! The Help Menu is amazing - and the App does exactly what it says it will do! When I got my iPhone for Christmas, the first App that I bought was iSailGPS. Looking forward to Spring and Sailing!

Fast, easy, intuitive

And very inexpensive. It's easy to learn, and, though I'm a died-in-the-wool plotter and dividers kinda sailor, I love the ease of making and recording routes. Paper charts still have their uses -- still the best way in MHO to get an overview, but at night in the wind, my i-pad with this app is a more practical backup to my chart plotter than paper. And one more thing -- when you read that a chart has been changed in the LNM, you'll be able to download it fairly soon and for free. An earlier rater found the program deficient because it does not have a course-up feature. That would be nice, but until then, I can turn the iPad.

No coarse up

No coarse up makes it useless to me. Otherwise seems like a nice app.


All the staff from check in to exit were great. The iPhone issue was corrected with some effort. Henry was very skilled. Thanks so much:)

Nice sailing app

Perfect for day sailing!


First, this isn't going to replace your chart plotter or other $500+ device, so if that's your purpose move on; however, for a reasonable cost ($8), this program does provide great tracking and waypoint information against free NOAA charts. I found it to be user friendly, instructions page is concise and well laid out, and it displays information well. Its a strong recommendation from my experience, for sailing and boating

Robert C. Fern

I've never written a review before and I've purchased hundreds of apps but this app is so bad that I felt compelled to warn anyone that they should not buy it. AWEFUL!!!

Great App and Great Support

My husband and I downloaded this app to use on a race. There was one aspect that we couldn't figure out and we had an answer to our question almost immediately via -mail. Locator works very well. The waypoints were accurate and easy to read. We loved the fact that you could add notes so we knew if we were to make a Port or Starboard turn. Deserves all 5 stars!! Gene and Nellie S/V Sun Chaser

Love it!

My wife and I have a 38' Hughes sloop and we put this app to the test this past weekend on Monterey Bay with flawless results. Get yourself a waterproof iPad case, download the charts for your area (make sure to get harbor detail charts), setup your routes in advance and you're good to go. I had just received new hard copies of local charts and those downloaded in iSail (free) were identical. While it wasn't a necessity, I tested route following from Monterey to Moss Landing via a few designated waypoints on Friday with perfect results. I then used the tracking feature to track my distance traveled under sail and average speeds during a leisurely sail on Sunday with equally perfect results. I've also shown this app to a few other sailors who have since downloaded and are equally impressed. Thank you iSail!

good app

I Think this is a good app, for the money. I was able to download the NOAA charts for the Great Lakes with little trouble. The GPS tracking worked well. For little $$, I have a good working navigation program.

Needs a little work.

The program is okay, but it has a ways to go. For the price I guess it is adequate.

ios5 Problems

ios5 problems maps do not display This app is a good value in nautical gps navigation. It's uses NOAA charts that are downloaded and stored on the iPad. The charts are free. It displays realtime location and tracking via gps, wifi or cell phone provider. It will use internal or external gps devices depending on your devices capabilities. Would like to see satellite imagery overlay as a future feature. Good job.

Well done raster charting

iSailGPS displays raster charts - essentially photo copies of the printed NOAA charts. It shows your position. It can record your track. It can set and store waypoints (but not routes). For $8, that's a huge bargain. There are some problems: The method for downloading charts (they're free) is quirky. The interface has to be learned. But these are small issues compared to the utility of the app.

Excellent app

It's a lifesaver at an excellent price

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