Need to know what is the best boat navigation app to guide you through your next sailing adventure? In this boating resource guide, we show what your best options are.
Boating has been around since ancient times and has come a long way since then. With the advent of smartphones, you can easily navigate through the water at a touch of a button.
These days smartphones aren’t just for communication, taking photos, or watching your favorite videos online. Mobile technology can also help with marine navigation, keeping track of tides and currents, and more.
Whether you’re a first-time sailor or have been sailing for a long time, there’s a boat navigation app out there that could help make your boating life so much easier.
Is There A Free Marine Navigation App?
There’s no denying how convenient it is to use marine navigation apps and know that the application will take care of the rest, so you can simply relax onboard. While the best boat GPS app out there comes at a price, some apps are available fully free or offer basic but valuable tools in the free version.
- C-Map Embark: Free basic version
- Navionics: Free app, but you must purchase chart regions and other upgrades
- iNavX: free for Android’s basic version
- Garmin BlueChart Mobile: Free app and includes a high-level world chart
- KnowWake: Free app
Almost all boat navigation apps offer free or reduced-rate trials, allowing boaters to try the app before buying it. If you do sign up for a free trial, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to test it out when you’re out on the water.
If you feel that the app you’ve chosen doesn’t meet all your needs and expectations, you can always use multiple apps that are designed to help with a specific problem.
How To Choose The Best Boat GPS App
With so many boat navigation apps on the market, choosing can be a challenge. Here are the most important things to consider and features to look out for when choosing an app to help you with marine navigation.
- Chart Data- Ensure that they use reliable sources for their chart data.
- Ease of Use- Apps are supposed to make your life easier, so you should pick one that is user friendly and are simple enough to understand
- Offline chart availability- Network connection can be unreliable on the water. A good app should allow you to download the chart beforehand and view it even if you lose connection.
- Flexibility- This allows for customization to fit your needs and should be functional even when you’re aboard a different type of boat.
- Automatic Route Planning- Head out to your favorite destination using the dock-to-dock guidance from your boat navigation app.
- Sharing & Connectivity- This allows you to connect with other boaters.
- Tides & Weather forecast
- Depth markers & underwater contouring- Helps in finding the best fishing spots.
Marine navigation apps have made quite a big impact on how traditional and modern boaters travel on the water.
While it is important to learn and understand the techniques of traditional navigation, there is no denying that recent innovations in technology have allowed for a more safe and relaxed time on the water.
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Pontoon boats are a great way to have some outdoor family fun on the lake or a party with friends out on the open sea. Check out these practical must-have pontoon boat accessories to add to your boat for smooth sailing.
Download Your FREE Boating Pre-Departure Checklist
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MORE RELATED RESOURCES
Boating is so much easier with a navigation app at hand. But after a day of fun on the water, you should also know how to properly store your boats. Check out our recent post on how to store a pontoon boat, some principles may also apply to boats in general so make sure you don’t miss it.
And if you ever want to become a full-time sailor, coz why not? Here is a post about Life aboard a sailboat, for more inspiration.