5 Best Boating Apps Every Boater Needs

Our top 5 companion boating apps every boater needs, including navigation app Aqua Map, weather tracking app PredictWind, and voyage logging app Nebo. Find out about features and benefits that can improve every mariner's boating experience.

2 min read

Boating is an exhilarating experience that offers many benefits, including stress relief, relaxation, and connecting with nature. With the advancements in technology, boating apps have become essential tools for sailors. These apps can provide navigation, weather and tides forecasts, voyage logging or an anchor alarm for when you want peace of mind over lunch or overnight at anchor.

There is no single app to rule them all. In fact, having multiple apps offer several advantages over relying solely on a single app and can help you make more informed decisions and increase your confidence on the water:

  • You can access a wider range of features that cater to different activities or situations

  • Having multiple navigation apps can serve as a backup and enhance reliability and ensure you have access to navigation tools even in challenging circumstances

  • You can compare routes suggested by different apps to find the most efficient one

  • You can cross-reference weather forecasts from multiple apps to get a more accurate picture of the weather conditions.

Here are our top 5 boating apps that every mariner should have to navigate, check the weather and keep track of your voyage logs with ease to make your boating experience safer and more enjoyable! We use these apps every single day and wouldn't be without them on at least 2 devices.

  1. Navionics: Navionics is one of the most popular boating apps that provides detailed marine and lake charts for cruising, fishing, and sailing. It has advanced features like dock-to-dock autorouting, weather overlay, and community edits.

  2. Aqua Map: Aqua Map is a comprehensive marine navigation app that provides detailed charts, raster charts where available, weather forecasts and a route analysis tool that automatically identifies marinas, fuel docks, bridges and known hazards. It also has features like AIS integration and an anchor alarm that is able to notify you even when you’re not on the boat.

  3. MarineTraffic: MarineTraffic is a vessel tracking app that provides live ship positions and movements. It has over 170,000 vessels in its database, making it easy to track your own boat or other vessels in the area. The app also has weather forecasts, vessel identification through your phone’s camera, real time port information, vessels’ past tracks and nautical charts.

  4. PredictWind and PredictWind Offshore: PredictWind uses global weather data to provide detailed and reliable weather forecasts, weather routing, and planning tools to help you make informed decisions for their next adventure on the water. With the Offshore version, you can download forecasts, routes, AIS data and weather satellite imagery over a standard web connection or a satellite communication service.

  5. Nebo and Nebolink: Nebo is a boat logging app that makes it easy to record and share boating memories and experiences. Boaters can share their boat log with family and friends, members of their club, or with their larger community via social media. The optional Nebolink device is a GPS tracker that enables automated tracking and voyage logging including weather observations.