When planning a trip out on the water, most typically start their checklist with the basics: fishing license, spinning rod, bait-casting rod, back-up rod, bait, snacks, sunscreen, nautical maps, tide chart, GPS, lucky ball cap and life jackets. Then, grab the kids, keys, wallet and you’re off!
A great way to spend time with family and enjoy nature, boating and fishing are thought of as an escape, a way to de-stress. Disconnecting from a busy lifestyle often means leaving technology off the boat packing list. But, consider perhaps, packing your phone as its apps can be valuable, or lifesaving, in an emergency.
While apps can’t replace a VHF or save a sinking boat, they can help you prepare for a day on the water or help you react if something goes wrong. Consider adding these apps before your next outing:
Plan Your Boating Using These Apps
- Boat Ramp App: The Boat Ramp App allows you to quickly locate and get directions to more than 50,000 boat ramps and marinas worldwide. Boat Ramps has an easy-to-use interface and detailed information about ramps and marinas including where available contact information such as phone and email addresses.
- Float Plan for Your Boat: This US Coast Guard app stores information about your vessel, such as who is on board and your planned trip destination, then packages it together for a quick and easy send to a trusted friend or family member.
- Nautical GPS charts: The Navonics app has Nautical charts for cruising, fishing, sailing, diving and all your activities on the water. Get the same detailed marine and lake charts and advanced features as on the best GPS plotters.
- Boating Weather: Know the weather before you head out on the water. This app provides wind and tide forecasts and notes when small crafts should exercise caution on the water.
- Marine Navigation: With thousands of charts and maps, this app will help you navigate the water once you are out on your boat.
Be Prepared to React to Accidents or Boating Issues
- Towing Dispatch: Accidents happen, so make sure to have the BoatU.S. Towing Services App handy. BoatU.S. offers 24-hour assistance on the water when it comes to jump-starting batteries, fuel drops or towing.
- First Aid: The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Get the app and be prepared for what life brings. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.
- MarineTraffic: This app displays near real-time positions of ships and yachts worldwide. Using the largest network of land-based AIS receivers, the app covers most major ports and shipping routes.
- S-O-S Signal Flashlight: If you like night fishing, you may be out on the water in the wee hours. A flashlight app with an S-O-S function is helpful if you need to signal other boats or someone on land for help.
This not a comprehensive list of all the helpful boating and fishing apps available, but it should get you started. Be sure to search for others that may provide important boating safety information before you set out on your next trip.