Boating technology has been developing at an astonishing rate, and there are currently some really excellent apps available for boating and water enthusiasts. I know what you’re thinking – there’s an app available for just about anything you can think of, and it can be a pain to zero in on the apps most valuable for boaters. Another thing to keep in mind: While technology can be time-consuming and distracting on land, on the water, it can actually become very useful for creating a more predictable, enjoyable boating experience.
Here are a few boating technology apps we have researched and deemed worthy of mention on our list of Best Boating Apps for iPhone. These apps are either free, or involve a (reasonable) in-app purchase. Most are also available for Android with a quick search for the app name. Enjoy!
Ideal for sailing, SailFlow is also a great tool to keep handy before heading out for a day of windsurfing or kiting. Get real-time observations and spot-on forecasts for wind conditions anywhere in the world. We deem this the best boating app for wind information.
SailFlow is a mobile application to locate, monitor, analyze, and share wind data whenever, wherever, and however you want it. With over 50,000 weather stations for real-time observations and our forecast system for observations anywhere in the world we make it easy for you to find the wind data you’re after no matter where you are. SailFlow is essential equipment for sailing!
Review by Lovetadraw: “This app is great – From the real-time wind forecast maps to the wind and tide bar graph forecasts, Sailflow knows what’s up. As a sailor, I use this app daily to see what I need for the conditions. Sailflow almost always spot on in their predictions, which is why you can rely on it.”
by Bad Basenji Software
This very highly rated app is extremely useful for tracking tides and getting information about the sunrise, sunset, and moon phases. Another great thing about this boating app: You don’t need a data connection to get tide predictions, so it can be used even in remote areas where phone service is not available.
Hi Tide is a top selling tide prediction application for the iPhone. Hi Tide provides fast and accurate tide predictions for over 3,100 locations along the U.S. East, West, and Gulf coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories.
Hi Tide is extremely easy and fun to use and provides you with the information you need. The tide graph shows the tide height vs. time of day. Ebb and Flood tides are color coded green and blue, respectively. Tide events are clearly labeled with time and height. The current predicted tide height is highlighted.
In addition to the tide information, sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, moon phase, and moon illumination are displayed along the top of the graph.
Hi Tide has a unique user interface and allows quick and effortless viewing of future day predictions by simply swiping the screen to the next day (like the photo album app).
Hi Tide does not require a data connection to generate tide predictions. This allows the application to be used in remote locations where there may be poor or no cell reception.
Created by ActiveCaptain, DragQueen is an essential piece of boating technology that helps boaters sleep soundly at anchor. This review by Sailorgirl2 explains why it landed on our list of best boating apps: “If you want to sleep better at anchor, use this app. Installed on the iPhone, and carried to the V-berth, it saves me getting up and doing the 360 scan during the night. Works great! Love it!”
DragQueen is a simple anchor alarm. It provides distance and GPS accuracy alarms along with an alarm delay. The alarm is quite annoying and is the perfect thing to waken you at night if it detects anchor dragging to your specifications.
This great little navigation app works just as well or better than other more expensive versions. It does require in-app purchases, but they are reasonable, and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. View a mosaic of official NOAA charts (even offline), sync your waypoints, routes, tracks, and photos between your devices, get information about marinas, hazards, anchorages, and more!
Skipper is mobile charts done right. A seamless chart-plotter, with data synced across all of your devices, and backed up to the cloud. Convenience and power, charts and weather, wherever you cruise.
Quote from Reviewer, PennellFSA: “I have replaced INAVX with this application as it does everything for me that INAVX does and is integrated with ActiveCaptain which is useful for trip planning.”
Norton’s Review: “This boating app is a great Chart-Plotter integrated with ActiveCaptain. Perfect All-in-One for navigating, tides, winds, and just finding places to stop for a bite to eat.”
by Stina Bee LLC
This is a great area-specific boating app that’s handy for boaters who frequent the Canaveral Barge Canal, Indian River, or Banana River near Port Canaveral. Harbortown Marina’s custom app allows users to quickly check local weather and water conditions, as well as gas prices before stopping by the marina for a fill-up. Harbortown customers enjoy the added feature of making “Splash Boat” or “Work Cradle” requests straight from the app. The app is now also available for Android on the Google Play Store.
A tool for Harbortown Marina customers and boaters planning to visit the Port Canaveral, Florida area. Customers can make Boat Splash or Work Cradle requests instantly. Check Gas Prices on our ethanol-free gas and diesel, view Local Weather reports, and stay up to date on Harbortown Marina happenings and announcements!
Review by Mark From Cocoa Beach: “I like being able to instantly check their gas prices before I go out to the marina. I also appreciate their coupons and the weather function. Easy to use app for boaters near Port Canaveral and Merritt Island.”
by Osmic Research Company
This fishing app uses simulated sounds to draw in game fish and help stimulate them into a feeding frenzy. It requires the use of an underwater speaker, which can be purchased online. There seems to be some debate if this app is a joke or actually useful in catching fish. One reviewer used some of the sound samples while snorkeling and experienced positive results. You may just have to find out for yourself!
CATCH MORE FISH! This revolutionary app from Dr. Juice is an electronic fish feeding exciter. It includes over 80 distinctive FishCalls that are underwater vibrations, tactile stimulations and sounds to draw fish from over 100 yards away. They energize the fish through their Lateral Lines and Internal Ears. The TalkWithFish Activator entices them to your fishing area and stimulates them to bite your bait. These FishCalls are the actual underwater recorded spawning calls, fish feeding sounds and bait vibrations that attract predator fish in for the kill of the prey or sex with their own species. Fish hear and feel the sounds and vibrations of food creatures before they actually see them. Most of these special, tactile vibrations are below 1000 hz, some are infrasound, actually below human hearing. Whales communicate over hundreds of miles with sound. The FishCall sound waves on this app call fish to your boat, dock, bank fishing or ice fishing area and excite them into a feeding frenzy. Plug an underwater speaker into the earphone output of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Visit TalkWithFish.com to see this app in exciting fish catching action and examine an underwater speaker for sale.