While smartphones and tablets aren’t usually waterproof or impact-proof, they will surely be by your side all summer. Although they aren’t the most ideal devices to use by large bodies of water, there are plenty of reasons to take yours aboard. So what are the best boating apps for hitting the water? With so many options out there, here’s a look at some of the best apps to stay safe when boating.
Over the past few years, Navionics has become the benchmark for boating navigation apps. This app provides you with charts and presents them in a way you are familiar with. There’s also an add-on device that allows you to plot your own charts and set automatic routing based on boat details and depth parameters.
RaceLogic Vbox Sport
This sporting app is similar to the data-logging devices that many people use in their cars and trucks. It features a small module about the size of a deck of cards that connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet and uses GPS to log things such as speed, acceleration, deceleration and even lap times. It samples 20 frames per second and all the information can be viewed in the app in real time.
Garmin Connect App and Quatix 3
As one of the leaders in navigation, Garmin offers its Connect IQ app and Quatix 3 smartwatch for your consideration. The Quatix 3 syncs with Garmin’s famous navigation software to bring you nav, location, sonar depth, water temperature and engine data.
MyRadar NOAA Weather Radar
If one thing is for certain it’s that weather can change in a heartbeat out on the water. MyRadar harnesses the massive amount of info from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and packs it into a handy app for your smart device. Using layered radar display, MyRadar is great whether you’re out on the boat, or even on land, and need the most accurate temperature, wind and weather information.
Yes, there are even apps for fishing. Deeper connects to a tennis-ball shaped device that works as a sonar fish finder and displays a detailed underwater map on your smartphone or tablet. The device can be mounted to your boat or cast out once you’ve stopped and provides water temperature, depth, bottom composition, fish location and weather info to help you catch more fish.
The best boating apps on the market these days do far more than just help you get around. You can use your smartphone for everything from navigation, weather and sonar to fishing and even boat performance. It’s time to allow technology to make your life a little easier out on the water!
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Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.