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 will soon be available for Android users as well.
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.
Have you considered mounting your phone or tablet to your boat? Check out the post, “Mounting a Tablet or Other Device to Your Boat”!
Introducing the Harbortown On-The-Go App!
This brand new app is a tool for Harbortown Marina customers and boaters planning to visit the Port Canaveral, Florida, area. Customers can now quickly and easily make Boat Splash or Work Cradle requests. 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!
Android version coming soon – updates to come!
*Note: Harbortown Marina welcomes any and all feedback about the app’s functionality – This is the first version, so we would like to know how it is working for users, and improve from there. Thank you!
Make Boat Splash or Work Cradle Requests
With the app, Harbortown Marina Customers can make Boat Splash or Work Cradle requests instantly! Just enter your Last Name, your Splash Password, the Time you’d like your boat to be ready, toggle the Request Type you are making, and hit “Send Request”.
Once you make a request, a Harbortown Marina Crew Member will respond with a confirmation. You can choose whether you are contacted via Text, Call, or Email.
Check Gas Prices
Harbortown Marina offers ethanol-free gas and diesel on site for your convenience. Check Gas Prices before you arrive at the pump straight from the app!
Check the Local Weather
With the tap of a finger, check the local weather at Harbortown Marina (2 miles west of Port Canaveral), or toggle ‘Current Location’ to view the weather where you are.
Stay up to date with what’s going on at Harbortown and in the Port Canaveral area with the Announcements section. We will also send important notices through push notifications, if you enable this feature.
Known for its thunderstorms, if not for its sunshine, Florida is considered the “lightning capital” of the country, with more than 2,000 lightning injuries over the past 50 years. A great deal of these accidents happen to individuals involved in water-related recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming, surfing, and others.
Along with the threat of injury or death, lightning can also present a major fire hazard for boats (and marinas). With the recent boat fire possibly caused by lightning over at Kennedy Point Marina (17 miles away from Harbortown Marina), this topic has come up a lot among Port Canaveral boaters.
Any seasoned boater will tell you that one of the most terrifying accidents that can happen on a boat is a fire. Whether you are in a marina, where the fire can rapidly spread to other boats (fiberglass, sails, and wood are all quite flammable), or you are out on the open water, where there is nowhere to run, and help may not be immediate.
Luckily, there are a few things boaters in Florida can do to protect their boats from lightning strikes, and potential boat or marina fires.
Get Your Boat (and its Captain) “Lightning Safe”
The best rule of thumb when it comes to lightning is to avoid becoming a target.
Get off of the water whenever weather conditions are threatening. If you can hear thunder, there is danger of lightning strike! Seldom will you hear thunder more than 5 miles from its source.
Lightning “Protection” Systems
When it comes to your boat, fiberglass-constructed boats, especially sailboats, are particularly vulnerable to lightning strike. Any projection above the flat surface of the water acts as a plausible lightning rod. The risk of damage from a lightning strike for these crafts can be reduced by properly designed and connected systems of lightning protection.
Remember that lightning protection systems do not prevent lightning strikes; they will actually increase the probability that your boat will be struck – That being said, even though lightning strike is more likely, having a lightning protection system installed on your boat will reduce the amount of damage caused to your boat in the case of a strike, and will help protect those on board from injury.
Are your Emergency Contacts updated? Stop by the marina office to assure that your records are updated.
Some other general boating fire safety tips to keep in mind:
- A boat that is well-maintained to minimum safety standards is far less likely to catch fire.
- Routinely replace chord sets, and do not hook them up if you see burn marks, or if your chord set will not firmly connect.
- Regularly inspect fuel and electrical systems.
- Do not leave operating electrical equipment unattended, especially portable heaters.
- Smoke alarms are an essential life-saving devices that should be installed on your boat and tested regularly.
- Do not leave oily rags in plastic bags – the chemicals can break down the plastic, creating heat, and the potential for a fire.
Did you know? The most common cause of boat fires is AC and DC wiring/appliance malfunction (55%).
Harbortown Marina, located 2.5 miles west of Port Canaveral, Florida, is nestled in a protected harbor with minimal tidal changes. Looking for a spot to keep your boat during Hurricane Season? You’ve just found it. Click Here to View our Current Specials.
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