On-board entertainment system

Apps & co. – Entertainment and others

The third part of the Apps & co. mini-post-series is about entertainment and  other stuff I think you should know about. Something I really enjoy about sailing is the possibility to disconnect from the constantly faster spinning surrounding daily business. Yet some inspiration from nice music, books or even trash TV along the way, after fingers are bleeding from the salty steel strings of a guitar, is not too bad either… sometimes …

Note: I am currently using Apple products (iPad 4 WiFi + Cellular and iPhone 5); the user experience may be different on other devices and platforms.


I love the sound of seagulls,  the sound of waves clashing onto the the boat, kids laughing, wind breezing slightly. This beautiful sounds of nature often shouldn’t be ruined. Nonetheless, right music at the right time will boost my mind, intensify the experience. In a figure of speech glutamate of the moment.

Spotify is my first choice. There is other music  streaming services with comparable offerings. After trying some, I stuck to Spotify. I find the app really easy to use and I love the playlists, the community is publishing. Especially the once with music not heard of every day, if ever. Totally different from the day in and day out kind of music played over and over again at the radio stations. The best thing of all … the offline mode! You can download your favorite playlists to your device, go offline and listen to it for 29 days without an internet connection – It requires some subscription but saves a lot on connection fees, especially when roaming.

Sometimes I create my own playlists while cruising. Tuning into them at home way after, magically brings up good memories in an instant.


Admittedly, I am a little old school when it comes to books. I rather consume from paper. Bright sunlight is not a cause for reading interruptions with paper, valuable energy from the on-board battery not an issue. But the weight!

Weight matters a lot when sailing and storage space! One could argue books are stack-able weight but … no. + I’m sure I will not run into re-charging issues with my new solar charger.


For “real” books, I mainly use Kindle. Practically because it’s available for any platform and I find it really convenient to get books e.g. via amazon.

I also have Adobe Reader and obviously iBooks installed. For pdfs I plan to read again at some point, I really like the category function of iBooks. It allows me to order the stuff, so I don’t accidentally see or – even worse – open a work related document.

YachtI really enjoy the new “Yacht” app. Yacht claims to be Europe’s biggest sailing magazine. It’s issued every 2 weeks. I you have a mobile subscription, you can download the the magazine ~ 2 days before it’s sold. They have a vacation service to send the paper issue to you – no matter where you are but it’s so much easier over the internet.


ServusTVWatching is more of Sina’s domain especially around the German ARD & ZDF media center apps. I sometimes join for German CSI though. My favorite TV app is Servus TV. Especially as they where streaming the last Americas Cup races live. It also includes a lot reportages about all kinds of topics  like sports, science, culture etc. – all in German I have to admit. Those 3 apps are very easy to handle and free of charge. Together with our Bluetooth speaker it’s almost cinema feeling, if just the screen would not be soo damn small.

The best TV app is still a beer can in the cockpit in a small harbor like Birkholm at rush hour … full HD and 100% natural sound!


I promised entertainment & others. I guess I have to deliver now. The only app I could find that fits the topic is “Bordkasse”.

Bordkasse manages your cruising kitty. Have you ever had to calculate how much everybody owed to or was entitled from the the cruising kitty, especially after people payed with the credit cards, made cash down payments etc. that didn’t match other crew members? I did … it was not a pleasant job.

That’s why I looked for an app and found “Bordkasse”. An excellent one. You can manage individual down payments or take-outs. It allows you  account for direct credit card payments, even calculated currency exchange rates.

The app calculates and shows the balance of each crew member at any time. You can even scan the receipts but if trust stops there already, I would think twice to be on the same boat.

Leave money issue to the app and enjoy sailing. 3.99€ I gladly spent.

According to the iTunes page, the app is also available in English, all screenshots are in German though. I could not find a setting in my app to switch language. So if you are not familiar with German you should be cautious before buying the app.

If you have any further suggestion, you have good experience with other apps or something important is missing in your opinion, please post a comment.

11 thoughts on “Apps & co. – Entertainment and others”

  1. Arte (only in France and Germany)
    Soundcloud (startup from Berlin)

    ps. never thought about using some commenting tools like Disqus. With your present system I don’t get notified when there is an answer 😉

  2. Phil, thanks for the heads up. I thought notifications are send out by default. Well, it’s available now.

    I did not choose Disqus though. With Disqus comments are stored on a Disqus server… I rather not send your data around!

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