Saturday, September 23, 2017

Check Out These Boating Apps!

July 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

boating apps title

Smartphones are the go-to technology choice for many boaters. They want forecasts, access, and safety right at their fingertips and that’s what a vast amount of applications (apps) promise to deliver. I’ve scoped out some of the most useful boating apps available to install on your smartphone or tablet. Some are free and some charge a nominal fee.


iNavX aiNavX

This is a full-featured app for charting and tracking your position, as it gives you access to navigation, GPS, and charting in the palm of your hand. iNavX communicates with marine navigation software including Navionics, Fugawi, and Waterway Guide. Plan routes and manage your adventure; the app keeps you up-to-date on weather and boating conditions including currents, winds, and swells. Cost is $19.99.


USCG AppU.S. Coast Guard Mobile App

This app provides pertinent boating safety information including a safety equipment checklist and scheduling a vessel safety check. While boating, the app allows you to report hazards, pollution, or suspicious activity in your area. It also features an emergency assistance button — with your device’s locations service enabled, it will call the closest U.S. Coast Guard command center to summon help for you or a fellow boater. Free.



Say goodbye to web forms, phone tag, and uncertainty about your itinerary with this app that allows boaters to select a destination, view area marinas, and request a slip or mooring. You can compare rates, amenities and services, get quotes in-app, and reserve at the last minute or months in advance. Once your selected marina accepts the reservation, payment is processed swiftly through the app. Free.


USA TidesUSA Tides

This tides app provides marine tide information from all reporting stations in the U.S. The app includes easy-to-read features such as tide data, tide graph, tide stations sorted by state, favorite stations, station distance from your location, and a station map. Additionally, times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset are provided. Free.


Boating BuddiesBoating Buddies

This is a revolutionary geo-sharing app that lets Facebook users broadcast their location to just friends and family or also to public users with shared interests and mutual friends. There are interesting features such as friend radar — it shows you which of your friends are nearby. You have the option to message your friends, view their location on a map view, and get directions. The app provides push notifications to notify and connect you to your friends and a public radar that shows users who else is using Boater Buddies nearby. You can see what your friends are up to and perhaps meet new people who share a love of boating. Free.


NOAA MarineNOAA Marine Weather & Radar Pro

This app puts a powerful yet easy-to-use weather station right on your device. Take a fast glance at your device (including your Apple watch) for a weather check and obtain a 24-hour forecast with just a swipe. This app has real-time animated weather radar images on a highly interactive map enhanced with severe weather warnings and alerts. Bad weather won’t take you by surprise with features such as push notifications, radar and satellite overlays, a 24-hour rain map, and hurricane tracking. This is the only app where all National Weather Service watches, warnings, and other alerts are shown on the map as interactive polygons. The cost is $3.99.


If you’re a member of a towing service, be sure to download the service’s app as well.



Tech protection, aka waterproofing, is a must. Smartphone options are available in different forms. When heading out on the water for a day or longer, consider these specific ways to keep your tech safe and useful:

Nano coating. This coating is very thin; it does not change the appearance of the phone, but it is only water-resistant and does not offer much protection at greater depths.

Pouches or dry bags. This waterproofing technique involves heavy-duty plastic bags that seal out moisture. Find the ones that are buoyant so you don’t have to dive to find anything that falls overboard.

Waterproof phone case. This is ideal for providing continuous protection of your smartphone in a boating environment. The case allows you to use the phone with the same ease as a non-waterproof case, a must when you’re relying on your ability to access navigation, weather, and social boating apps.


By Christopher Keller


is a marketer and entrepreneur from Buffalo, NY. When he’s not writing, he enjoys checking out new restaurants with his wife and playing with his dog. You can check him out on twitter or his company website,

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