You always want to have reliable communication devices when heading out in a boat. But these days, your mobile phone can do a lot more than just make emergency calls.
Most mobile phones now come with a GPS receiver, so an option like Google Maps will work. But you’re relying on a cell-phone signal or wireless service, you may be out of luck. And remember enabling your phone’s GPS will eat up the battery quickly.
For navigating in open water, the Marine & Lakes: USA app overlays nautical charts onto a map database. If you exit a service zone, the app will have already downloaded, so it can work without a signal.
Another option called iNavX is a popular charting app for the iPhone and iPad.
And then there are the non-navigational options. One called Boating Suite helps you keep track of boat maintenance, expenses, and fuel use.
And here’s a fun one: The iKnots app is a simple way to learn all the important sailing knots.
The app has animated and written explanations to teach you how to tie the right knots for the right situation.
Learn more about boating in our Water Sports section.
Get more advice in our Travel Tips section.