Favorite Boating Apps

By Mark Corke and Claire Wyngaard

From celestial identification to tidal data, lots of handy information is available at the touch of your finger.

Using a smartphone onboardPhoto: Thinkstockphotos.com/Carol Anne

More boaters are relying on smartphone and tablet apps for everything from navigating to fishing and safety information. To help you find the most useful ones — in addition to our own BoatUS app, of course! — we've added a new app section on our BoatUS website. Go to BoatUS.com/BoatTECH to see a selection of some of our favorites.


FriendMapper app icon

Handy for yacht-club cruises, poker runs, and fishing friends who make trips en masse, this nifty app lets you and up to 23 of your buddies track each other. Everyone appears on each other's maps. You can even one-touch dial any of the friends appearing on your phone's map. Available on the App Store or Google Play. $1.99 | friendmapper.co


GoSkyWatch app icon

Boat at night and want to identify all those sparkling lights in the sky? There's an app for that, and it's called GoSkyWatch. Best used on an iPad, the app is intuitive to use — point it at the sky, and it identifies visible stars and planets. It's a great tool for students of celestial navigation to verify they're looking at the correct heavenly body before taking their sights. Available on the App Store. Free | gosoftworks.com


Speed app icon

This app does one thing and one thing only: It tells you your speed. Make a sail adjustment or change your trim tab set, and it can impact your speed. With this app, you can instantly see what happens as you make those adjustments. This simple application turns your iPhone into a speedometer with large digits. Available on the App Store. $3.99 | highcaffeinecontent.com/speed/

IGFA Mobile

IGFA Mobile app icon

Anglers can check on the record status of any species of game fish caught in the world in real time. It includes a list of International Game Fish Association-certified weigh stations so you can find the closest scales to check in your catch. Plus, there's a trip-planning list and complete IGFA rules. Available on the App Store or Google Play. $8.99 | igfa.org

Marine Day Tides

Marine Day Tides app icon

If you have an iPhone or iPad and don't want to pay for one of the more comprehensive applications that includes tidal data, this app is for you. It offers tidal data for more than 5,000 locations worldwide, sunrise/sunset/moon phase information, and tidal graphs. Available on the App Store. Free | imray.com

Boat Ramps

Boat Ramps app icon

Want to know where to launch your boat? Nothing is as comprehensive as Boat Ramps, which gives the locations of more than 35,000 boat ramps nationwide. You can search by zip code, city, or current location. The app also gives driving directions to the ramp so you shouldn't get lost, even if you're in unfamiliar territory. Available on the App Store or Google Play. Free | takemefishing.org 

— Published: February/March 2017

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