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  • Best Boating Apps

    Best Boating Apps For Fishing, Navigation, & Weather


    By: | Date: June 28, 2022

    Nowadays, smartphones have apps for literally everything, including an abundance of boating apps — everything from navigation, weather, towing services, Chartplotters, guides — you name it, a boating app is available for download. But which boating apps are the best boating apps? Check out our top 22 boating app resources below. 


    Best Boating Apps Categories

    Navigation apps | Fishing Apps | Weather Apps | Planning and Safety Apps | Boating Community Apps | Maintenance and Repair Apps



    Marine Navigation Apps For Boating & GPS

     
    Marine Navigation

    KnowWake

    If you travel by car, chances are you have a favorite GPS app like Waze or Google Maps that makes life so much easier when traveling. Why should boating be any different? KnowWake is a real-time navigation boating GPS app that makes it easy to find waterfront destinations, fuel, easy-to-understand tips for wake zones, and more.

    •  What We Like About the KnowWake App: KnowWake is equipped with an Offline Mode for users with weak or no service while out on the water. This mode allows everything to function correctly, even including the GPS.
    • What Could Be Better: Destinations could have more information. 
    • Best For: KnowWake is best for boaters looking to find local restaurants, marinas, fuel docks, boat ramps, dive shops, inlets, dive sites, snorkel areas, and more.
    • Cost: Free


    iNavX

    iNavX is the number one handheld Chartplotter that allows you to navigate with confidence. This app is the only Chartplotter available on smartphones that deliver charts from your favorite chart providers — From C-MAP, Blue Latitude, Explorer, Waterway Guide, Delius Klasing, to a host of other chart providers — and offers a plethora of features. 

    • What We Like About iNavX: The app provides high-resolution NOAA US waters marine charts.
    • What Could Be Better:  iNavX provides access to the most extensive chart and map library, but all additional charts are available via in-app purchase.
    • Best For: Casual and professional sailors, anglers, and cruising enthusiasts.
    • Cost: Free with in-app purchases


    Navionics

    The Navionics app is a Garmin brand that offers worldwide chartography coverage for oceans, lakes, and bays. You can also view seabed or lake bottom from multiple perspectives, connect your live location with other boaters, and more.

    • What We Like About Navionics: We love that boaters have access to useful local knowledge from other boaters on the app, like seasonal buoys, moorings, boat ramps, points of interest, and more. 
    • What Could Be Better: The app has limited chart layers selection.
    • Best For: Boaters and fishermen looking to plan routes with ease. 
    • Cost: Free two-week trial /$30 per year.


    Sea Pilot

    Sea Pilot is a marine navigation app that is easy to use and offers advanced features, like routing and weather forecasting. The app also features AIS boat tracking and up-to-date nautical charts.

    • What We Like About Sea Pilot: We love that the Sea Pilot app can connect to NMEA data from a boat.
    • What Could Be Better: Users report that the auto-zoom charting feature does not function properly in many regions
    • Best For: Sailors looking to plan passages.
    • Cost: Free version or upgrade to a premium subscription.



    Best Boating Apps For Fishing

     
    Guy fishing on a boat

    Fishbrain

    Fishbrain is the world’s #1 fishing app. Join the 14 million+ users and fish smarter by locating local fishing spots, viewing fishing forecasts, socializing, logging catches, shopping, and more.

    • What We Like About Fishbrain: The app has over 10 million logged catches. 
    • What Could Be Better: The app does not have geographic customization
    • Best For: Anglers on the lookout for new fishing grounds. 
    • Cost: Free version or purchase the premium version for $5.99/month.


    FishTrack

    The FishTrack app offers everything you need to find fish. The app offers Cloudfree Sea Surface Temperature (SST) charts and high-definition global satellite imagery. Other features include marking and saving your favorite spots, waypoints and routes, offline access, weather forecasts, and more.  

    • What We Like About FishTrack: The app uses the latest SST imagery.
    • What Could Be Better: Users complain of app unreliability.
    • Best For: Anglers and captains looking to find the best fishing grounds for prized catches. 
    • Cost: The app is free and provides cloud-free SST data for the globe, or you can upgrade to a premium membership for $14.99 per month or $79.99 per year.


    Terrafin Boating App

    The Terrafin fishing app provides fishers with chlorophyll, altimetry, current, and CloudFree SST charts for the entire USA, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and parts of South America, designed specifically for on-the-water use. Additional functions include a tap-and-drag cursor for latitude and longitude, temperature readings, and the capability to mark waypoints.

    • What We Like About Terrafin: GPS-enabled devices can show real-time boat location and track on the charts.
    • What Could Be Better: Some users noted that the app map crashes from time to time.
    • Best For: Offshore anglers
    • Cost: Free app with sample charts, $109 for a year of current charts.


    Fish Rules

    The Fish Rules app is an innovative tool to help anglers understand complex fishing regulations. At a glance, you can find out if a fish is in season, how many you can keep, how big they have to be, and more. Other features include regulation charts, fishing hotspots, GPS functionality, and Quick fish ID illustrations. 

    • What We Like About FishRules: The app provides a quick fish logging experience where you can go back later to fill in more complex details. 
    • What Could Be Better: Some users have noted that the app will freeze while using.
    • Best For: Saltwater fishermen
    • Cost: Free app, offers In-App purchases



    Weather Apps For Boating

     

    Bad WeatherBuoyweather

    The Buoyweather boating app has been around for some time and is a favorite amongst the boating community. This boating weather app is easy to use and features map location-based forecasts, detailed wind and wave forecasting, simple navigation, and more. 

    • What We Like About Buoyweather: This app allows boaters to save locations as favorites. All you have to do is create a list of your top destinations, and you instantly have one-click access to marine weather forecasts accessible through the main nav at all times. 
    • What Could Be Better: Some users have noted issues with receiving error messages. 
    • Best For: All boaters 
    • Cost: Free app, offers In-App purchases


    My Radar NOAA Weather Radar

    My Radar NOAA Weather Radar is an easy, powerful, and accurate weather radar map that focuses on your current location and allows boaters to see what is coming their way in an easy snapshot on their phone.

    • What We Like About My Radar NOAA Weather Radar: My Radar offers patented precipitation models that inform boaters, hour-by-hour, how much rain to expect.
    • What Could Be Better: Users have reported issues with the “My Drives” option within the app. 
    • Best For: All Boaters
    • Cost: Free app, offers In-App purchases


    Fishweather App

    The FishWeather boating app makes it easy for boating enthusiasts to find wind and weather data at their fingertips. Detailed and color-coded wind charts are extremely accurate and display forecasting for up to a week. The app also provides free weather stations with real-time wind reports from over 50,000 stations. 

    • What We Like About FishWeather: Users can enable alerts for real-time or forecast wind speeds delivered by email, text, or push notifications.
    • What Could Be Better: Users have noted that the app will sometimes crash. 
    • Best For: The app is designed for anglers but is helpful for all boaters.
    • Cost: Free app, offers In-App purchases


    U.S. Coast Guard Mobile App

    The US Coast Guard Mobile App is much more than just a weather app, although weather features include free access to the latest weather info from the NOAA weather buoy nearest to your location. The USCG boating app provides boaters with valuable recourses to keep them safe while on the water. Also, the USCG boating app allows you to report incidents while on the water, such as hazards, pollution, and suspicious activity. 

    • What We Like About US Coast Guard Mobile App: The app includes important safety features such as float plans, boating safety equipment checklist, navigation rules, and more. 
    • What Could Be Better: Some app users report error messages and crashes. 
    • Best For: The USCG app is especially useful for new boaters as well as seasoned boaters.
    • Cost: Free



    Planning and Safety Boating Apps

     

    dog in a life vest Boat Ramps 

    The Boat Ramps Boating app provides location and directions to over 50,000 boat ramps and marinas globally. 

    • What We Like About Boat Ramps App: Contact information is available for locations in the app.
    • What Could Be Better: Some users report inaccurate boat ramp information.
    • Best For: Trailered boat owners. 
    • Cost: Free


    Marine Ways Free Nautical Charts

    The highly-rated Marine Ways boating GPS app provides access to marine navigational charts and route planning tools that allow boaters to plan adventures with ease. 

    • What We Like About Marine Ways: The app also features buoy reports and obstruction information, a navigational dashboard with real-time information, marine map overlays, location sharing, and weather reports.
    • What Could Be Better: Some users experienced delayed loading times. 
    • Best For: Boaters looking for a GPS planning app for boating journeys. 
    • Cost: Free with ads. In-app purchases offered


    Garmin Active Captain

    The Garmin Active Captain is an all-in-one boating app that powerfully connects smart devices, Garmin Chartplotters, charts, and the boating community. Pair the app to seamlessly transfer and access charts, maps, routes, waypoints, and more. 

    • What We Like About Garmin Active Captain: This app provides user content about marinas, points of interest, anchorages, and more to help boaters make the most of their time on the water.
    • What Could Be Better: Some users have experienced pairing issues between devices. 
    • Best For: Garmin Chartplotter owners. The app is not recommended as a stand-alone navigational app.
    • Cost: Free, with in-app purchases.


    Snag A Slip Boating App

    The Snag A Slip app allows boaters to explore and book slips at marinas or private boat slips at the touch of a button. No more online searching and no more never-ending phone calls. 

    • What We Like About Snag A Slip: Avoid phone calls and endless online searching — this app provides a fast and simple booking experience for boaters looking for slip rentals. 
    • What Could Be Better: Some users report non-functional pins on the map.
    • Best For: Boaters looking to rent slips. 
    • Cost: Free



    Boating Community Apps

     

    boat dockMarineTraffic

    This boating app displays a live map with real-time positions of ships and yachts worldwide. How does it work? The app connects to the largest network of land-based AIS receivers and covers most major ports and shipping routes.

    • What We Like About Marine Traffic: Using the app, users can point their phone camera to the horizon and instantly get information about vessels in the area, including name, flag, speed, distance, and more.
    • What Could Be Better: The app could use a better pricing structure. Some users have complained about the in-app costs to retain ship information.
    • Best For: Boaters or users looking to track ships. 
    • Cost: $4.99 with in-app purchases.


    BoatUS Boating App

    Boaters can download the BoatUS app for 24/7 towing assistance and connection to TowBoatUS for a faster-towing experience. Other features include boating weather forecasts, advisories, local marina and fuel information, hurricane alerts, BoatUS discount finder, and more. 

    • What We Like About the BoatUS boating app: Easy tow request experience for boaters in trouble. 
    • What Could Be Better: Some users noted inaccurate weather information.
    • Best For: BoatUS members
    • Cost: Free with in-app purchases.


    Dockwa

    The Dockwa app allows boaters to book and request quotes for dockage and storage at marinas, moorings, yacht clubs, and boatyards worldwide.

    • What We Like About Dockwa: Boaters can compare rates, amenities, and services. Plus, they can also request quotes on the app.  
    • What Could Be Better: Some users have noted errors when trying to complete a booking. 
    • Best For: Boaters looking to reserve a slip.
    • Cost: Free



    Maintenance and Repair Apps

     

    boat toolsBoating Suite

    The Boating Suite App is the #1 boating logbook designed by boaters for boating enthusiasts. This boating app contains seven apps in one, including a trip log, fuel log, expense log, maintenance log, vessel log, shopping list, and to-do list. 

    • What We Like About Boating Suite: The new interface provides boaters with quick views of weather reports and trip summaries.
    • What Could Be Better: Some users have experienced app shutdowns. 
    • Best For: Boating enthusiasts who like to keep track of expenses, trips, and repairs.
    • Cost: $4.99


    Sea Tow

    The Sea Tow boating app offers peace of mind while out on the water. It is a boater’s direct connection to SeaTow assistance should they find themselves in trouble while out on the water. 

    • What We Like About the SeaTow App: 24/7 assistance by SeaTow whether you need a tow, jump-start, or help while boating. 
    • What Could Be Better: A membership renewal option within the app.
    • Best For: SeaTow members
    • Cost: Free


    Safe Skipper Essential Boating Safety Boating App

    The Safe Skipper boating app is a helpful resource that includes extensive information and tips on safe boating. Photos, diagrams, and illustrations help boaters with boating preparation, equipment check, emergency procedures, rules of the water, and more. 

    • What We Like About Safe Skipper: Easy to understand tips on how to stay safe on the water and prevent boating accidents.
    • What Could Be Better: More additional content available on the app.
    • Best For: Recreational boaters looking to stay safe while on the water.
    • Cost: $.99 with optional in-app purchases

     

    We hope this guide helps you find the best boating apps for your use while on the water. 


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