Essential Boating and Yachting Apps

Essential Boating and Yachting Apps

By Kimberly Hudzina   April 5, 2017

If it seems as though there’s an app for everything these days it's because there really is. In the world of fishing, boating and yachting, there's a wealth of useful options to enhance your experience at sea or sharpen your maritime skills, just a quick download away. From real-time navigational charts and vessel safety checklists to fishing regulations and reliable radar, there are a great deal of apps available for both ios and Android devices that even the most experienced boaters, yachtsmen and anglers will find worthy of an install. We’ve compiled a list of the top apps to consider for your smart phone to maximize your time on the water and add to your vessel's arsenal of helpful boating accessories.

Boater's Pocket Reference 

The Boater’s Pocket Reference caters to all levels of boating expertise with a wide variety of content including 800 illustrations and photographs and a collection of charts and graphs. Boater’s Pocket Reference is a popular and useful printed book and the app is even better giving you access to a fact-filled boating guide at the ready. Boater’s Pocket Reference offers handy, how-to-do-it information and reference facts, figures, formulas, graphs, and tables about boating. For new boaters, this app provides an extensive introduction to all aspects of boating. For the seasoned boater, Boater's Pocket Reference serves as a great reference and memory jogger. 

Cost: $4.99

Boating Suite

Not just a boating app, Boating Suite is designed for boaters by boaters to help you better manage all aspects of your boating life. Log your trips, track your fuel, expenses, maintenance and even manage multiple boats. This app consists of seven modules plus several customizeable reports. Each module performs a specific function but all are integrated to give you a complete picture of your activities and expenses.

Cost: $4.99

Boat US 

A wise decision to have this app at your fingertips, Boat US mobile allows you to get towing assistance fast. Access your Boat US membership or insurance policy in seconds and even if you aren't a current Boat US member, you can still take advantage of the app to call for on-water assistance. Other features include tide and weather forecasting for your destinations up to 5 days prior to your trip. If you are a member, Boat US app also includes a local discount finder which can help you save on dockage, fuel and repairs.

Cost: Free with option to upgrade 


Created to provide boaters with the best experience on board their boats or yachts, Boatrax offers a simple way to keep detailed records of your boat while documenting moments on every trip you make. Sharing your location with other boaters and keeping up to date with boating tips and tricks is convenient with this app. Log your trips, get a snapshot of the current state of your vessel and the current sea conditions in your area, record maintenance needs, enable your crew to help manage your boat, track your expenses and chat with friends and family about your upcoming trip.

Cost: Free


Providing you with a convenient platform to reserve slips or moorings at marinas, yacht clubs and boatyards all across the country, Dockwa app allows you to spend more time boating and less time booking. Installing this app means you can easily discover new marinas, view marina amenities and photos and request and manage reservations right from your phone. You can see marina reviews, compare rates and get quotes as well as directly message your marina of interest. 

Cost: Free

Fish Track

Saltwater anglers will find that the Fish Track app provides them with everything needed to find fish. Features include free Cloudfree Sea Surface Temperature (SST) charts, global satellite imagery and marine weather forecasts. With Fish Track you are able to plot waypoints and save routes, view your current location while offline and save fishing charts for offline. Saving imagery and overlay data for offline use allows you to identify bite zones while navigating offshore. In addition to helping you find the fish while out on the water, Fish Track offers anglers tons of articles with tips and tricks as well as a collection of helpful how-to videos.

Cost: Free

Float Plan EZ

If you're planning on an extended cruise it is strongly recommended that you create a "float plan" to leave with someone dependable who can alert the Coast Guard should you not check-in as planned. The Float Plan EZ app is intended to make it easier to file and send a float plan. You have the ability to add multiple crew, vessels, recipients and destinatons which are saved and available for your next float plan. When you complete your plan and have arrived safely to your destination simply tap the mail button and a pre-composed message will be sent to your primary recipients letting them know you've made it. 

Cost: $0.99

Hilton's Fishing Charts

This real-time navigational app interfaces with the website to provide anglers with the ability to navigate on desired images using the phone as a chartplotter. You can view your real-time GPS position on dynamic maps outside of cell/internet range, navigated to temps breaks and probably weedlines, color changes or default custom waypoints by using touch screen technology. 

Cost: Free

HMY Yacht Sales 

Are you in the market for a new or used yacht or ready to sell your current vessel? If so, download the HMY Yacht Sales app where you can conveiniently browse through HMY's entire new and used yachts inventory as well as view the name and contact information of every HMY sales professional and their current listings. The app gives you the address and contact information for every HMY location and also gives you the details on upcoming events such as the 2017 Bimini Rendezvous and big-name fishing tournaments. The app also provides users with easy access to our constantly updated blog that offers up to date industry news including the latest with HMY and our manufacturers like Viking Yachts, Princess Yachts and Cruisers Yachts.  

IGFA Mobile

If fishing is your thing, then this app is for you! IGFA's app allows you to check on the record status of any species of game fish caught in the world in real time so you can see how your catch measures up. It also includes a list of International Game Fish Association-certified weigh stations so you can find the closest scales to check in your catch. Plus, there’s a fishing trip-planning list, species identification and complete IGFA rules. Fishing for snook? With IGFA mobile you can easily see how yours stacks up against the record holders'. This bad boy was caught out of Quepos, Costa Rica on February 7th at 33 lb 8 oz. This Pacific snook could earn angler Casey Laine McLaughlin a new world record.

Cost: $8.99

Knots 3D

This app provides step-by-step instruction on tying all kinds of knots for all kinds of purposes but for the yachtsmen or angler, it conveniently teaches specific boating and fishing knots that are sure to come in handy if you find yourself in a bind while on the water. Knots 3D offers you incredible detail as you watch your knot of choice draw itself or tie and untie the knot with your finger. It's easy to see where the virtual rope goes in and out and around. Zoom in on the knot to get a better look or flip it around for another perspective. As they saying goes, it's better to know a knot and not need it than need a knot and not know it. 

Cost: $1.99


A leading source for marina information at your fingertips, Marinalife mobile app connects you to up-to-date marina listings near your location and shows current fuel prices for both gas and diesel. You are able to see and touch thousands of marinas overlaid on NOAA charts as well as brose and search listings. This is an excellent planning tool if you are traveling by sea and need to know where and when you can get into the nearest Marina.

Cost: Free

Navionics Boating

Navionics Boating is one of the top GPS apps favored by boaters and yachtsmen all around the world. With this app you can access the same detailed charts as you would find on the best chart plotters. Features include constantly updated Nautical charts, Sonachart - the award-winning bathymetry map that reflects ever-changing conditions, community edits made by users, dock-to-dock auto-routing, advanced route planning, plotter sync, advanced map options and much more. 

Cost: Basic - Free, Upgraded - $9.99

NOAA SuperRes Radar HDS (ios)

An app designed by weather enthusiasts, NOAA SuperRes Radar is the only app in that offers access to super hi-resolution radar mosaics for the continental US. When you're on the water safety comes first and it's important to know what kind of weather is on the horizon. If foul weather is approaching you need to be aware of it and plan accordingly. SuperRes radar has 4 times the resolution of typical weather radar products (250 meters vs 1000 meters), so you will be able to view storm features that can't be normally be viewed in ordinary radar apps. No other app delivers radar with this kind of accuracy in such an easy to use package.

Cost: $3.99

RadarScope (Android)

RadarScope is a specialized display utility for weather enthusiasts and meteorologists that allows you view NEXRAD Level 3 and Super-Resolution radar data along with Tornado, Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings, and predicted storm tracks issued by the U.S. National Weather Service. It can display the latest reflectivity, velocity, dual-polarization, and other products from any NEXRAD or TDWR radar site in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico, as well as reflectivity and velocity data from Environment Canada radars, and two radars in South Korea. These aren't your typical PNG or GIF images, this is raw radar data rendered in its original format for high levels of detail that you can trust. 

Cost: $9.99 

An industry leader in satellite fishing maps, RipCharts stands as a powerful tool that enables offshore anglers the ability to evaluate recent satellite imagery to determine favorable fishing conditions. On the website and mobile app you can search for, view and download maps of near real-time satellite imagery that you can take with you offshore. There are thirteen different data sets that you can view including ras SST orbit scans, 5 day SST forecast models, true color, chlorophyll/cloud mashups and more. 

Cost: Free to download and operate if you are an existing RipCharts subscriber. If you are new to RipCharts, you can purchase a subscription via In App Purchase which runs $169.  


SeaTow mobile is one of the number one boating apps out there today. Whether you are making preparations for a boating trip or need 24/7 assistance or fuel on the water, even if you stumble upon trailer issues on your way to the boat ramp, you can turn to your SeaTow app for immediate help. Features include hourly and 10-day Marine weather forecasts, hourly and 7-day tide forecasts, compass and speedometer functions, latitude and longtitude position, and one-tap on-water assistance. You do not have to be a SeaTow member to experience the peace of mind this app can bring. 

Cost: Free


A top rated and top ranking maritime app since 2009, Shipfinder allows captains to view a live feed of moving ships on a worldwide map. Used extensively by marine professionals, this app lets you know what boats are out there working faster than radar which lends itself to increased navigational safety. With Shipfinder you are able to use augmented reality view to identify ships out at sea using your device's camera. How this app works is by picking up AIS ship feeds used by all passenger vessels, vessels over 300 tons and increasingly by yachts and smaller pleasure crafts. 

Cost: $3.99

Swell Advantage

Saving you time and eliminating the hassle of typical marina booking, Swell Advantage connects you with currently available mooring, dock and warf spaces for temporary places to tie your vessel up, no matter where you are located. This app handles is all from showing you where a boat of your size will fit, to handling the booking, payment and confirmation of insurance. Once you sign up you can book spots along your route in real time with the push of a button. 

Cost: Free


The Tidegraph app uses harmonic predictions from thousands of US coastal stations and presents them in a fun and interactive graph. There are intuitive graphs that display the sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset, and moon phase at a glance. It has been a trusted app for tides since 2008 with half a million tide predictions sent out each month. Tidegraph allows users to save locations, find locations using GPS and save graphs for later reference. An internet connection is not required to get the lasted tide graph. 

Cost: $1.99

Tides Near Me

Tides Near Me focuses on nearby tide stations and current tidal conditions. You can quickly find out the tine of the last and next tide and current as well as when the sun and moon will rise and set. An important tool for anyone on the water whether fishing or boating, fully automated tide tables, charts and predictions certainly come in handy for a multitude of reasons. No ongoing payments are required to access up-to-date tidal information for over 5,500 tidal stations accoss the globe. 

Cost: Free

USCG Mobile

The first priority of any boat owner should always be his or her own safety and that the vessel's passengers. One of the most important and resourceful marine apps you could ever download would definitely be the official U.S. Coast Guard Mobile App. This app was of course developed by the U.S. Coast Guard and its intention is to make your water craft as safe as possible. Features include help in keeping and maintaining a checklist of all the safety and emergency gear you should have on board your vessel, showing you how to file a float plan, how to request a safety check, listing your state’s rules and regulations, and so much more.

Cost: Free

Weather Underground

Founded in 1995 as the first online weather service, Weather Underground supplies weather data solutions to the many of the leading media companies and millions of users across the globe through their mobile apps and website The new Weather Underground app provides the world's most accurate hyper-local weather forecasts in addition to interactive radar, satellite maps and severe weather alerts. Powered by our unique community of weather enthusiasts reporting live data from weather stations in their own backyards, this crowd-sourced data generates forecasts targeted to your precise location. Weather Underground has a specific funtion dedicated to marine forecasting as well. 

Cost: Free

HMY Yacht Sales

Are you in the market for a new or used yacht or ready to sell your current vessel? If so, download the HMY Yacht Sales app where you can conveniently browse through HMY's entire new and used yachts inventory as well as view the name and contact information of every HMY sales professional and their current listings. The app provides you with the address and contact information for all HMY locations - from South Carolina to Key Largo and also gives you the scoop on upcoming events such as the 2017 Bimini Rendezvous and big-name fishing tournaments. Stay up to date on industry and lifestyle news with our constantly updated blog that also includes the latest information on HMY and our manufacturers, Viking Yachts, Princess Yachts and Cruisers Yachts.

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