From navigation to boat services and maintenance, boating app technology can help improve the boating experience using a mobile or tablet device on your boat.
There are many options now for boaters to utilize mobile apps on their boat. Most boating apps will greatly improve & digitize how you are able to plan boat trips, maintain your boat, book services and more efficiently manage boating tasks. If you think there must be a better way to do something on your boat, then there's probably an app for that!
Explore the different types of innovative boating apps you may want to use in your boat life.
Types of Boating Apps
Boat Navigation Apps
Gone are the days you have to rely on old paper charts, or hard to read outdated chips in your chartplotter.
Boat navigation apps allow you to chart a course from your mobile device, follow markers & depth charts, create boat trip logs and more. You have the added convenience of planning ahead or reviewing trip information from anywhere, and sometimes even synching your info up with a desktop computer at home.
A built-in captain's log, along with access to your boat trip info and charts anytime & anywhere (at boat or home) are all big advantages to using a boat navigation app.
Many boat navigation apps have a free plan with some limited functionality, along with paid plans that provide advanced navigation features.
Featured Boat Navigation App
Argo Navigation Boating App
Argo is an easy to use navigation & social boating app that is free to download & use. Find and route to new destinations anywhere in North America, track boat trips, see boating friends on the water, get real-time local knowledge from other boaters and more. Argo's Premium plan includes advanced features like offline charts, weather, custom depth colors, GPX file import/export, web app version and more.
Boat Slip Apps
Tired of calling around to marinas hoping to find an available slip for your next boat trip? Well, there's an app for that! Several actually.
Transient boating apps allow you to "book a slip" or "reserve a slip" directly with a marina destination so that you don't have to try to call them asking about availability. Using one of these apps is also a big time saver because it saves all your boat information - like size, draft, electrical requirements - as well as your payment information. You can also use these apps to find out about marina amenities, search for marinas in an area, leave reviews and more.
Most transient booking boat apps are free for the boater to use... the marina or destination pays any fees for using the service!
Boat Maintenance Apps
Keeping track of all your boat maintenance needs manually makes the chore of maintaining your boat even more of a burden for boaters.
Boat maintenance apps help manage your boat's ongoing maintenance with innovative in digital technology that make the job easier. They can help organize or automate many of the tasks needed to maintain your boat, track maintenance & service intervals, log repairs, track costs, share details with marine mechanics, eliminate endless paperwork and more.
Cost can vary by app, but many of these boat maintenance apps offer some basic services for free for boaters, while professionals (such as marinas or yacht management companies) pay for use.
Marine Weather Apps
Tracking weather is different on the water, and many boaters like to have boating apps that are specifically made for marine conditions.
In addition to weather forecasts, marine weather apps can include special features like wind patterns (particularly useful for sailors), high tide/low tide and wave height. These are all things that are important to track before leaving the dock. Note that some navigation apps now carry some of these marine weather features.
While there are plenty of free weather apps boaters could use, weather apps that offer more sophisticated features for use on the water range from free to paid subscription plans.
Recommended gear to protect your mobile devices from the elements on your boat:
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