Smooth Waters: Nine Essential Sailing Apps Every Boater Needs

Gone are the days of relying on the wind and the sky. Every modern boater needs to download these nine essential sailing apps before they set sail! 

Last year, we saw record-breaking yacht sales across the world, outperforming 2020 by over 140 per cent. 

If you’re more than ready to bring your boat back on the water, it’s important to be prepared with all the necessary tools. These days, your phone can be a complete guidebook of information—all in your pocket. 

Here are some of the top sailing apps you need to try before you return to the water.

1. Navionics

If you’re looking for popular boating apps, look no further than Navionics. You can plan a route, access nautical charts, view tides and currents, share your live location, read information on ports and marinas, and view and make sonar charts. You can also share information with other users and find or recommend fishing spots. 

It’s one of the best sailing apps out there and highly recommended by other boaters. 

It’s available on iOS and Android. It’s free, but there are subscription and annual fees based on your location. 

2. Windfinder Pro

As the name implies, this app makes it easy to view detailed wind and weather forecasts. You’ll see current wind measurements in real-time from more than 20,000 weather stations. You can also access tide forecasts for more than 8,000 locations worldwide. 

The Superforecast feature is a high-resolution forecasting model that shows your forecasts of most of Europe, North America, Egypt, South Africa, and the Canary Islands. 

In addition, you can save your favourite locations and monitor the weather for your trip. The pro version offers more features, and it’s also ad-free. You can subscribe to Windfinder Plus to access even more features. 

It’s available on both Android and iOS. 

3. MarineTraffic

MarineTraffic calls itself the “world’s #1 ship tracking app.” You can see near real-time positions of yachts and ships across the world. This app uses the largest network of land-based AIS receivers and covers most shipping routes and major ports. 

According to information on the app’s store page, over 170,000 vessels report their location each day using MarineTraffic AIS. You can also view port arrivals and departures for over 4,000 marinas and ports, plus the current conditions and ETAs. 

The app also allows you to browse 2.5 million pictures of harbours, lighthouses, ships, and more. Plus, you can upload photos to MarineTraffic yourself. The route planner tool lets you plan routes, measure distances and calculate an estimated time of arrival. 

There are both annual plans and monthly plans. It’s available on iOS and Android. 

4. Wärtsilä iSailor

This is one of the most useful navigation apps you can have on your phone as an amateur seafarer.  iSailor uses TX-97 format marine vector charts, which are considered one of the best in the industry. 

You’ll get access to navigation information and digital charts. The app also features regular chart updates. 

It’s available on both Android and iOS. 

5. AyeTides

AyeTides allows you to carry the tides in your pocket! You can see the tides and currents on tables and interactive graphs at more than 12,500 locations across the world. 

One of the biggest benefits of this app, unlike some other sailing apps, is that you don’t need a network connection. 

It’s available on iOS, Apple Watch, and iPad. The developer recommends AyeTides XL for the iPad, and there is a bundle option for both apps. 

6. Windy

Windy is one of the best weather apps for boaters around. It allows you to view weather forecast visualizations all from your phone. 

According to the developer, the app is trusted by professional pilots, boaters, fishermen, surfers, kiters, storm chasers, and weather geeks, as well as by governments, army staff and rescue teams. 

Every boater should download this app prior to hitting the water. You can easily track severe weather, tropical storms, and precipitation. It’s a must-have tool if you’re planning a trip

Windy has both monthly and annual subscription plans. It’s available for Android and iOS. 

7. Life360

Although Life360 is classified as a GPS locating app and the target audience is families, it’s also an extremely useful app to have on your phone while sailing. 

The app features a panic button or SOS option, which you can press in the event of an emergency. If you do, your coordinates go out to each of your emergency contacts. If their phone happens to be off, they’ll get an email instead. 

Life360 offers several membership plans. It’s available for iOS and Android. 

8. Knot Guide

Knowing how to tie different knots with confidence is one of the key skills that boaters should learn. If you don’t know them, using  Knot Guide can help you learn. 

Knot Guide features a catalogue of the most useful knots as well as a step-by-step photo tutorial so you can learn to tie them. The app also has a glossary of important knot terms. Plus, you can read about the best use for each knot and why it’s used. 

The app is available for both iOS and Android. 

9. MetOffice

If you’re looking for free sailing apps, MetOffice is a good one to have. 

Met Office publishes shipping forecasts, gale warnings, and inshore waters forecasts. You can get UK National Severe Weather Warnings in real-time. Marine forecasts keep you safe while on the water. 

You can also access surface pressure charts and view wind direction, gust strength, and more. 

This app is available on iOS and Android. 

Stay Safe With These Sailing Apps 

Before you board your boat or yacht this season, make sure you download some of these sailing apps. The more information you have, the safer your journey will be. 

Let Admiral Marine deliver you peace of mind with insurance for your yachtGet a quote or reach out to us for more information.  And don’t forget to check out the rest of our website for more useful information every sailor should have.