10 Best Apps for Boaters

Want to become the most tech-savvy boater at your marina? Check out some of our favorite boating apps to make life easier and more fun on the water.
  • 1. Navionics

    This may be the most downloaded navigation app. It's a fully functioning GPS system just like the GPS unit on your boat, but it works on your phone. Some boaters even mount a tablet on their dash to run it - it's that good. It provides access to all Navionics charts plus NOAA raster charts that imitate paper charts. Always remember that cell coverage can be spotty on the water. For your own safety and the safety of others, never depend on a cell phone for navigation.

  • 2. MarineTraffic

    MarineTraffic tracks the real-time locations of all freighters and commercial vessels on a chart on your phone. Using the largest network of land-based AIS receivers, the app covers most major ports and shipping routes; AIS is a boat locator transmitter required on commercial vessels, and voluntary on private boats. What makes the app even cooler, is that you are able to select a vessel on the map and open a page containing detailed photos and information. You can learn where the vessel is headed, its current speed, and direction. Boating nerds rejoice!

  • 3. Fish Rules

    Fish Rules is a favorite among fishermen. Once you let the app know your location, it tells you what fish are in season, how many you can keep, size limits, and even food quality. No signal? No problem. Manually enter your latitude and longitude, or select your fishing location to get the regulations you need.

  • 4. Fishing Deluxe

    This app lets you know the best time of day for optimal fishing. How does it work? Best fishing times are calculated by the solunar tables which is based on moon position and tides. The peak fishing time is about 2 hours every 6 hours, every day, and advances ahead about an hour each day in the future.

  • 5. Tide Alert (NOAA)

    Also utilizing NOAA data is Tide Alert (NOAA Weather and Tides). This app stands out from all other tide apps by presenting you the tide forecast data from NOAA along with a moon phase calendar. You can even set up alerts for high and low tides.

  • 6. Fishbrain

    The Fishbrain app is ideal for anglers of all skill levels around the globe. It provides information on local fishing spots based on your GPS location, charts and maps, fishing strategy and tactics, and even gear reviews. Not only is it a wealth of information, but it is a social platform as well. App users can post photos of their catches and provide information on how and where they captured said fish. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro, Fishbrain is a great tool to help you learn how to catch more fish.

  • 7. BoatUS

    The free BoatUS app has general data like tides, weather forecasts, and weather alerts, but more importantly, it lets you call for towing assistance 24/7 with the swipe of a finger. Since your phone has GPS, the dispatchers immediately know your location and can get help on the way asap.

  • 8. Sea Tow

    This is another app that delivers some basic tide and weather data, but the main purpose is being able to signal for a tow. Basically, it's like the BoatUS version, but for people who have towing insurance with Sea Tow instead.

  • 9. Dockwa

    Book and get quotes for dockage and storage at marinas in your area with Dockwa. Discover new marinas, view marina amenities and photos, and request and manage marina reservations right from your iPhone or iPad. There are no additional costs to boaters who use Dockwa – all marina prices and policies on the Dockwa platform reflect those set by the marina for all reservations.

  • 10. The MarineMax App

    The MarineMax app (a personal favorite) connects boaters to the nation's largest recreational boat and yacht retailer. For Boating Made Easy™, schedule your services online with MarineMax App. With the click of a button, you can easily connect with us and order services online for your boat – from routine maintenance, to requesting a wash or fuel or having us complete a repair.

    You’ll also find access to upcoming events, our latest inventory, and more!

    Discover more of the MarineMax App with 'From The Helm's' tutorial video.