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The Best Apps for Boaters

By: Crest Pontoon Boats on Thursday, August 24, 2023

There’s quite a few things to make sure you have with you when heading out for a day on your Crest pontoon. One of the most important things also takes up the least amount of space on your boat—apps. Having the proper apps on your phone can make your day on the water safer and more enjoyable. There are various options available depending on your needs and how you use your boat. Let’s get into some of the best apps to have downloaded, regardless of how you’re spending your day on the water.


NOAA Buoys Marine Weather 

More than just your average weather app, this will help you to stay on top of the changing climate. It can be used to check wind observations, wave height, and water temperatures across the U.S. 

Tides Near Me

This app allows you to find tides and currents in locations around the globe with up-to-date details on over 5,500 tidal stations. It contains tide tables, predictions, fully automated charts, plus a sun and moon schedule. This handy app is used by boaters worldwide.

U.S. Coast Guard

This app is one of the most highly-downloaded apps and a must-have for safety, especially in the case of an emergency. You can request a vessel safety check, report a hazard, create float plans, get weather information, and more. 


WeatherBug is another highly rated weather app. It boasts a wide range of weather data including forecasts, maps, plus a few special perks that boaters will enjoy. Severe weather alerts, lightning alerts, and doppler radar are all included.  

Weather Channel 

It is always a good idea to keep track of the weather throughout the day. The Weather Channel app is many people’s number one choice for a weather app—it lets you tap into all the in-depth forecasts, weather maps, and live radar you can find on the Weather Channel itself. 




This app allows you to call for towing assistance 24/7. Thanks to your phone's GPS, dispatchers know your location to send help ASAP. It also has general data such as weather forecasts, weather alerts, and tide info. 

Sea Tow 

This is another app that delivers basic tide and weather data, but the main use is being able to signal for a tow. While it’s similar to the BoatUS version, this app is specifically for those with towing insurance through Sea Tow.




This navigation app is easy to use and a fun way to connect with other boaters. Within the app you can get directions, find reviews of marinas and nearby locations, see your maps in different modes, keep a captain’s log, and access real-time reports. 


Very much like the GPS on your boat, this one can be used via your phone. It provides access to all Navionics charts plus NOAA raster charts that imitate paper charts. While cell phones are valuable tools out on the water, it’s important to remember that coverage can be spotty. For your safety and the safety of others, never depend solely on a cell phone for navigation. 


MarineTraffic tracks the real-time locations of all freighters and commercial vessels using a chart. They use the largest network of land-based AIS receivers, so the app covers most major ports and shipping routes. It’s also able to show detailed vessel photos and more.


KnowWake is the equivalent of Google Maps or Waze on the water. The app gives users an easy way to explore all the dockside and waterfront locations available by boat. You’ll find everything from fuel docks, boat ramps, local restaurants, marinas, dive shops, inlets, dive sites, snorkel areas, and so much more. The app covers coastal waterways and more than 350 inland lakes and rivers around the world.




This is a great tool that provides GPS-based fishing spots, charts, maps, strategies, and tactics. You’re bound to catch more fish, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned pro. Some people also enjoy using Fishbrain as a fun social media platform.  

Fish Rules 

Fish Rules is a favorite among seasoned fishermen. Once you let the app know your location, it tells you what fish are in season, size limits, how many you can keep, and even food quality. If you don’t have a signal, you can manually enter your latitude and longitude or select your fishing location to get the regulations you need. 

Fish Spots 

Find the best nearby fishing spots with this one. You can also see a fishing forecast, record your catches in the log book, connect with other anglers, and see bait recommendations. 


For when you feel like more of a deep sea fishing experience, this app focuses on surface temperatures, moon phases, bathymetry data, tides, currents, and weather.