With so many smart device applications available to you, where do you start? Well here are a few of my favorites with some comments about each.
Marine Traffic – I have this on both my iPhone and Kindle devices. You can also go to their website: https://www.marinetraffic.com and see from your desk. I love to use this application when on vacation. The boats coming and going from marina’s in the Caribbean can be majestic. If I want to know a little more about the boat I am seeing I can just pull up the map and see the boat details. You can see the track it took , how long it has been at sea, the size, pictures of the boat, year it was built, what flag it flies under. Just about everything. One thing it doesn’t show however is the boat owner. You have to do a little more research for that. The other thing I like to use this application for is tracking barges on the Mississippi River. Using this I can find out well in advance if it appears a lock is going to be busy when I get there and adjust my schedule accordingly. Sometimes it can be multiple hours while you wait for a barge to get situated and get the entire load through the lock. This can give you that heads up so your not just sitting and waiting.
Knots 3D – Created by Nynix, LLC. OK, you know the bowline, maybe a figure eight or a clove hitch. How about a heaving line knot, an anchor hitch, a pile hitch or a sheet bend? This is one of my favorites. You can adjust the speed at which you see the knot being tied, rotate the view 360 degrees, zoom in, turn it upside down and replay over and over all in a 3D video until you get it. Of course there are many categories then boating available such as camping, climbing, first aid and more. Twenty seven knots in all for boating use, you may not use them all but when you need a knot for the right occasion, this is my go to app. Find it in the app store.
United States Coast Guard – Here you can find the boating laws of each state, request safety checks from the Coast Guard, report hazards to the Coast Guard, file a float plan, even request emergency assistance. You can add all your vessel details, contact information. If you are in a small boat with no radio, but have cell phone service, this app will provide the Coast Guard with all your information in an emergency, allowing them to contact the local authorities with proper information to find you. If you trailer your boat from state to state, don’t have a vhf radio, want a simple way to file a float plan, this is the app for you.
Of course there are many more applications available to you, these are just a few and I’ll add more reviews as we go! Have fun and stay safe !