If you're just getting into boating, you'll notice a slew of different apps to download for the boating industry. We've tried plenty of them and have chosen these favorites for navigation, weather, wind, and other necessities for our live-aboard lifestyle. These apps provide consistency and are trusted by thousands of other boaters, giving you confidence and helping prepare you before getting out on the water. They are the best boating apps for our everyday boating lifestyle and hope you'll enjoy them too!
We have a chart-plotter, yet always have Navionics open while boating. It is an essential back up and has been trustworthy in every bit of our navigating. Whether you're dinghy exploring or heading out on a major passage, Navionics is crucial for the everyday boater. This app is free to download on Andoid/IOS but you'll need to purchase charts and keep updated regularly. They also have a variety of other versions to go with some of your other favorite hobbies.
Fishbrain is a newer app for us but is SO much fun! The app allows you to track the fish you've caught, connect with others, and provides intel for where the fish may be biting. We love the social aspect of this app because it allows you to track and show off the fish you've caught. There are some in-app purchases and helps you to know what bait you may need for the specific fish that are swimming around the areas you may be hunting in.
Windy is a great option for boaters to plan upcoming passages. The app provides predictions for wind patterns, rain/snow, temperature, clouds, and waves. Their interactive map helps us to plan and gives a great visual of what will happen within a 24 hour period up to 10 days out. It's been a great resource for us and is something we reference daily to know where to anchor comfortably and allow us to sail efficiently.
Snag-A-Slip is an online marina reservation system that collaborates with their marina partners to help you find the best options for a slip along your travels. They do not add any booking fees and their interactive map makes reservations quick and simple. They also offer a reward system to help you save money on frequently using them as your primary booking system, how cool is that?
NOAA Weather Radar is one of the top weather apps out there. They track real-time conditions for multiple locations and are a weather station right on your phone. They have a highly interactive map and provides alerts to severe weather that may be in your future. You can customize your settings to include multiple areas and show different overlays that make sense for what you might encounter. Plan ahead with this app!
The last weather app that we enjoy using is Predict Wind. The app includes routing and departure planning tools as well as an interactive map to notice weather, wind, and waves. They have an array of different overlays to choose from that are all mobile friendly and ready for passage making. They also have an offshore version that provides connection to satellite rather than using data everywhere you go. Connect it to your Iridium GO! and you can stay connected all over the world.
We've tried a few anchor alarms out and this has been the most trustworthy one. Our anchor is really tough but when heavier winds blow in, we like the security of an anchor watch. This app is simple to use and gives you advanced features with their pro version. They use latitude and longitude to detect the location you set for the anchor and then you set the radius for an alarm you set. Simple, yet satisfying to stay put.
Animated Knots is the #1 knot app out there and for good reason. They categorize their knots allowing easy access to the ones you'll need and animate each one for you to learn how to tie yourself. The app costs $5 but is well worth it to have along your boating lifestyle.
This app allows you to share courses you've tracked along your voyages and adds a social component to boating. You're able to log your experiences and add posts to share with other mates in your network. These posts can include pictures and videos for added fun too! It incorporates charts, weather, tide, and other tools to use underway. Their map filter allows you to easily find other users, way points, restaurants, marinas, and other points of interest. The app is unreleased but because you're a fan of ours, you'll get VIP access to try this app out before anyone else. Currently only available on Google Play but if you'd like a sneak peak on IOS, send an email to email@example.com and let them know you heard it from Mary + Tharon.
Obviously, you've heard of Instagram. It's a social photo-sharing app that allows users to share pictures and video through public and private profiles. It's great for boating because it helps share the story you have while on the water providing great ways to share pictures of your secluded anchorages, huge fish you've caught, or taking a selfie at the helm. A newer feature, Instagram Stories, allows you to share moments throughout your day, not just the ones posted to your profile and last 24 hours. You can send to individual users or for all to see. The options of sharing your boating lifestyle are endless with this app.
Cheers & thanks for reading!