Top navigation apps for the water

By Colin FieldColin Field

Boat driving

Photo by hxdbzxy/Shutterstock.com

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When it comes to getting out on the water, knowing where you are is pretty important, especially in some of the challenging waters around cottage country. Once again, this is an area where our smart devices are becoming more and more useful. Here are some apps to help you navigate your way around the water this summer. Still, you shouldn’t completely rely on these—knowing how to read charts and use a compass the old fashioned way is always a plus.

Navionics

It’s difficult to beat Navionics for boating: With marine charts covering all of North America and beyond, simply turn it on and pick your region. A little arrow pops up to represent you and you can travel your way around the waterways easy peasy, always knowing where you are. At $14.99 for the iPhone or $54.99 for the iPad, this app may seem a little pricey, but it’ll take one experience with it to have you convinced it’s worth every penny.

StarPilot

If you want to know where you are, particuarly at night, then StarPilot is your app. This is a serious tool for people that are serious about ocean and waterway navigation. This app can help you plan routes, help you calculate speed, time and distance, create rhumb lines, and a whole host of other things only serious sailors can define.

Boat Marine Anchor Watcher

After you’ve dropped anchor and all you want to do is sit back and chill, sometimes it’s hard to relax. Without being a triangulation wiz, you’re never quite sure if you’re drifting. This app will take care of that. Simply let it know once you’ve dropped the anchor, tell it how long your line is, and relax. If you drift further than the length of your anchor line an alarm will go off to let you know.

Windfinder

There’s no doubt that knowing what the weather is about to do is an important aspect of boating. And whether you’re in a sailboat or a stinkpot, a change in weather can have pretty serious consequences. You can stay ahead of the game with Windfinder. Simply punch in your area and it will let you know where the wind is coming from and just how strong it is going to get.


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