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5 Essential Boating Apps

These days, more people are ditching their laptops and picking up smaller, more mobile, devices such as smart phones and tablets. It's no wonder then that people are increasingly relying on their tablets and smart phones when they find themselves out and about, especially when they're out on the water. With this in mind, we've compiled a list of 5 apps that are available for both iOS and Android devices that we believe are essential to have when your boat leaves the safety of its boat lift and heads out on the open water. Take note though, while these apps are awesome and make commanding a vessel on the water easier than ever before, they are not necessarily suitable replacements for conventional boating utilities.

Pro-knot($1.99, Android) It is essential for any boater to know how to tie a knot if they want to be found sea-worthy, or at least just a little bit helpful when out on the water. This app provides over 102 knots both animated and illustrated, teaching you what each knot's use is for and the ability to save particular knots to a list of your favorites.

Intellicast Boating($4.99 for IPads and iPhones) Fast and accurate weather reports are crucial to being out on open water. Getting caught in a storm can range from ruining your day to spelling out disaster. This app combines NOAA navigational charts with up to date meteorological forecasts and data. It comes with a slew of additional overlays as well including wind speeds, temperatures, tides, satellite, and radar. A cellular or Wi-Fi signal is needed in order to use this app, however it is the best all-around weather app that we have found to date.

Float Plan(available in iTunes for $1.99, coming soon to Android) No matter how long you've been boating and planning excursions out on the water, it is always smart to have a float plan in case anything happens to you and your crew while you are out there. This app removes the tediousness of hand-writing your float plan and makes it a quick and easy process that could save your life. Simply load the pedigree information of your boat along with any vital information pertaining to your whereabouts and your crew, send it off to your loved ones, and you can rest assured that you are vastly reducing the chance of being stranded on the water.

Flashlight App (iTunes and Google Play) While we don't have a specific recommendation for this category since these apps are a dime a dozen, we do have some recommendations on what to look for when choosing a flashlight app. Make sure that it has the following features and you will be good to go.

  • Doesn't drain battery life
  • Bright
  • Easy to use
  • Loads Quickly
  • Has an SOS function

Google Sky Map(free for Android) This gorgeous app from Google is free and allows you to explore the night sky in ways never imagined by ancient sailors. While this app isn't a necessity, it is fun to lie on the deck of a boat and stare up into the clear night sky while learning about constellations and the stars themselves.


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