For boating enthusiasts, some compact yet comprehensive tools to guide or accompany the trip on the water is no doubt one thing beyond importance, it’s a requirement. With the dynamic of technology, the best boating apps with different key functions can make for a better sailing experience.
Some of the important features of boating apps will always be attached to these different stages of pre-departure preparation, on-board tracking, and mooring :
- Waypoint and an enter float plan
- Navigation and plotting routes
Below is a compiled list of various boating apps with key features of those categories mentioned, take a look around!
Best Boating Apps For Your Next Sail Trip
Not only to have a good start and end of your sailing trip, but to anticipate you from being caught by bad weather conditions on the water, FishWeather is surely one of the best boating apps you need to have in your handy device.
FishWeather is not only helpful for professional fishermen but for those who love boating since this app has two different forecast and weather features. One is for free consummation which allows users to get real-time wind reports from over 50 000 around the worldwide water station; the free forecast version delivers all the leading global forecast models to your hand.
The other one is for PRO users, where the app brings to users the finest real-time wind reports from many exclusive FishWeather water stations. FishWeather owns a WF-WRF proprietary Forecast Model and presents it for Plus Forecast version users.
Take a look at how many features it has to provide you with a proper boating experience :
- Keep track of your favorite station by creating a favorite list
- Access to nautical charts, satellite/cloud maps, and tide reports
- Use their legendary wind alerts to get informed when the wind touches your predetermined threshold point.
2. C-Maps Marine Chart
C-Map Marine Charts provides users with a set of detailed charts they need to navigate during the trip on the water. As one of the boat navigation apps, C-Maps also can help you with the navigation function by informing you of a full marine weather forecast.
The app will provide both 5 days weather along routes and 5 days weather overlays. With the navigation features it has, users can enjoy exploring thousands of points of interest. You can even save places you want to visit and access them from any desktop or device later on.
C-Maps give users two options of usage: free app version, or renewable subscription for premium version. With a free version, users can get access to almost worldwide charts online. While the premium version allows you to download charts to your mobile device so you can access them even in remote areas with limited or no internet connection.
By the way, there are more than just a chart you need to better navigate your route, so take a peek at its feature below :
- Autorouting that lets you find the best route to your favorite places
- Observe the AIS data and get information about boats around you in a radius of 100 km, their position, speed, and course
- Custom your route maps: based on your boat size, highlight areas of the maps, pick out the unit of measurement to your choice, creates routes, waypoints, and tracks for places
- Navigate with your offline personal charts which is accessible offline
- Share the places, tracks, routes, reviews, and photos and help the community discover great places you visit
i-Boating is not only a boat GPS app to accompany your sailing trip, but it has ever since been an accompaniment for kayaking. This app is not only helpful with nautical charts but also equipped with inland river navigation charts and lake contour.
To your sailing trip needs, i-Boating has all marines chart plotter features you want! Users can get information about top topics which are related to tide and currents, waypoints, wind prediction overlays, anchor alarms, and many more.
Its map can be updated for unlimited time for 1 year. It covers a large area from the USA, Australia, major parts of Europe, Malaysia & South East Sea, South Africa, Caribbean, New Zealand, Iceland, Turkey, Greece and Italy, and many more.
For most of it, you can enjoy the following marine navigation features for your next sailing trip :
- Voice Alerts for off route and wrong course alerts & Voice prompts for approaching markers
- GPU accelerated offline vector NOAA charts/ENC charts
- Recording marine tracks, auto-follow with a real-time track overlay
- Route planning: create, edit or reverse the boat routes; share or exports routes, boating log, tracks, and markers
- Maritime aids to boat navigations including beacons, marinas, boat ramps, fishing attractors, etc
4. Imray Tides Planner
For someone who is into sport or leisure at the seaside, or on the water, knowledge about tidal data is not only important but a necessity. The thing is that calculating the tidal wave can be tortuous.
Imray Tides Planner is another free boating app that came with the solution to that issue. One thing you will fall for this app is how the app makes it really easy for you to see tides with more than eight thousand worldwide locations.
Using the free version of Imray Tides Planner you can download tides for one day. Users are allowed to make one tap to tides as your most preferred choice. Imray also provides you information about tides with worldwide coverage, though some areas have time limits from the National Hydrographic Office.
While using Imray Tides Planner, users are also suggested to consult tidal curves and check the local weather like pressure and wind, and swell condition which can bring more effect to seawater level; some of Imray Tides Planner’s features can be very useful for users :
- Tidal graph and month ahead tide table
- Vector current maps and current atlas
- Date of spring or neap tides
- Minimum or maximum depth, chart depth, or actual depth
- Scrolling scales
- Standard port information
5. Marine Traffic
Boating or sailing is not only about the activities during your trip on the water, but also the pre-departure and touching the station down. Users need to learn about marine traffic, and one of the best apps for tracking the traffic on the water is Marine Traffic.
The app provides the free and paid version with a responsive customer relationship seen from how they react to reviews with the right solutions for each of their consumers.
Marine Traffic – Ship Tracking offers near real-time information about ships and yacht positions around the world. You can figure out information off major ports and shipping routes since it connects with the largest network of land-based AIS receivers.
With Marine Traffic do much of the following things :
- See the vessel’s track with animated playback
- Under the ‘My Feet’ section, users are also allowed to manage the list of vessels and share it to all of their devices and the website of Marine Traffic
- Search for ships, boats, seaports and find out what’s near with the Vessel on Live Map feature
- Learn about the port arrival and departure from across 4 000 ports and marinas, and even the estimated time of arrival of boats & ships
- Use the AR tool and your phone’s camera to identify the vessel around users
- Many more to be explored
Anchor alarm often is included in chart plotters and/orMFD’s app. But having a specific one in your device won’t hurt, especially one which comes with a user-friendly interface, like this one: Anchor!
Anchor! Provides an SMS alert that can be connected to up to two numbers of the cell phones. It should work in case the anchor drags. Users also can use the email alerts option for this function based on their choice.
It has other alarm methods you can try to use: blinking black on white screen as catching visual alarms (for foreground use only), remote live monitoring for premium versions.
Anchor promises its consumer for easy usage below :
- Set anchor position: the main button to set anchor on your current position, relocate anchor position with drag and drop
- Stop all alarms by pressing the main button (anchor up)
- Enable, disable and reset the track
- Identifying your anchor position with recorded boat track
- Offline mode: map replace with graphs, detecting anchor position and alarm circle and boat position corresponding to the anchor.
7. Boating Suite
Another great boating app designed by boating enthusiasts, Boating Suite is currently available only to accompany iOS users. This app not only acts as a companion to boating enthusiasts but it assists them with logbook and expenses tracker format.
This app is very essential for those who need help with tracking the maintenance, or in reminding which stuff to buy for the sailing needs. Boating Suite was created with seven different and important functions in only one app. You can find the logbook function, fuel log, expenses log, maintenance log, vessel log, to-do, and shopping list and reports.
With One Button Trip Logging, users can get basic details, including the weather condition within just a click on Start Trip. You can choose to start a recording of the track as well.
Some key features that you may need :
- Available for the numbers unlimited number of boats, engines, batteries, generators, and fuel tanks data
- An instant and detailed reporting about usage and expenses, users can select the date range and information according to their preferences
- Detailed records from engine hours to weather conditions for each of your on the water trips
One of the boating community apps you have to have on your device is Dockwa. This app will help boating enthusiasts with their on-the-water trip itinerary.
Dockwa is one of the best free boating apps, with no hidden charges for your trip. Users can gain services from discovering new marinas, requesting and reserving a marina without booking fees or price mark-up.
Take a look at some of its collaborative features, enabling users to be exposed to another great adventure :
- Get information about marinas and yacht clubs, new locations coming up daily, and reserve a slip or moorings
- Submitting reservation requests through the app directly and getting faster response from the marina’s team
- Check out reviews or recommendations from fellow boaters, compare marinas or yacht club facilities, and make the last minutes or one-month prior reservation
9. Marine Max
Just like a ride on land with cars or motorcycles, your boat also needs regular maintenance or maybe even a repair. Come to think of it, there’s one boating app that responds to that specific case, which is Marine Max.
Marine Max provides an extensive range of services in order to support the boating community and enjoy a great experience on the water. With just some clicks on the device, users can get in touch with experts from the MarineMax team for services they need.
Reviewing quotes and paying invoices for the service is just a mind of some taps on the screen, users don’t even need to get to the boat when requesting their services. It only needs a login with an account in the application, then order for services can be done right away.
Figure out what this app provides users :
- Find ‘My Store’, Services, Classes, Contacts, and even Demo Days for a sea trial of a boat you are interested to buy
- Get services from Fuel, Boat Wash, Bottom Cleaning, Mechanical and Electrical Services for your baby-boat
- Schedule a sea trial if you are interested to buy a boat from MarineMax
Now since you already have some references, all you need to know is to consider the safety aspect first, besides choosing the free or paid version. So better to verify which one of the apps will give you a hand in anticipating weather, navigation with top-notch level.
Do not forget that while not all the best boating apps can compile the needs altogether, each one of them is surely useful. Always be prepared by keeping your way not too far from the cell tower and have the electricity source as well.