Boating — the wind, the sea, the elements and yes, your smartphone! While some people revel in escaping loved ones and technology, the truth is, your smartphone is the last family member you should be chucking at the dock. With loads of boating apps to choose from, we’ve decided to fish out the best marine-based apps for your New Zealand summer! Check out our posts on Marine Wifi here too.
Coastguard app is a must. Nowcasting weather will give a real time read out of the windspeed and direction at all available stations. As well as Nowcasting you get the marine forecast, tides, and most importantly you can log your trip with Coastguard. Should anything happen the Coastguard will already have a fair idea of where you are and what to look for. Finger crossed you will never need to call them but all the correct VHF channels are also listed for areas.
Sign up to be a member today, you would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
You gotta get Predict Wind. Nothing is more crucial on the water than accurate weather stats. PredictWind cleanly summarises weather conditions and gives you up-to-date info on wind speed, wave height, wave period, rain, cloud cover and temperature. The app itself is free and also offers paid services for enhanced into. Check it out here. Be up to date, safety doesn’t take a day off.
Look up the current tide, sun and moon data for your location, easy to read and clear. This app is a must for being able to quickly check the tide, sun and moon data for your location.
All this info is great for your navigation as well as the fishing!
Boating NZ is a highly useful back-up app to your main plotter and It’s also a cheap alternative to any handheld GPS. It doesn’t quite have all the same functionality, though. But it does come with features such as marina phone numbers, tidal height, stream and drift. As well as that Boating also offers route planning and tracks your voyage. Conveniently, you don’t need to be in cell range to use it, either as it relies on the phone’s GPS receiver.
By far one of the most accurate weather forecasts for the marine environment. Windy gives you the option for different weather sources, as well as a map overlay. You can see up to 10 days ahead along with Windy will show wind, waves, temp, SST, rain, cloud and chlorophyll… This app has everything you want and more.
Windy also offers a Widget for your home screen so you can check the weather at a glance of your screen.
Anchor Watch / Alarm
Anchor watch is a position logger, Email/IM alarm and sound alarm and it monitors the device’s current location and informs you if the location of the device changes too far away from the set anchor. In that case, it will sound an alarm and optionally send an Instant message or an email. (Pro version)
Please know that the performance and accuracy of the Anchor watch application depend on the hardware and software of the used device. If you have bad reception, please move the device to a location that has better satellite reception!
NZ Fishing Rules
With the app, you can:
- check local fishing rules including legal minimum sizes and maximum catch limits
- find out about areas that are closed to fishing
- check where it’s safe to collect shellfish from
- identify fish species and whether they’re common in your area
- report poachers
You’ll also find videos on how to release undersized fish properly, how to hand measure, and how to find out the sex of crayfish.
If you’re going somewhere without coverage, we recommend that you open the app first. This will also ensure you get the latest updates. The app will work even if there’s no network.
Hopefully you find these apps as useful as we did. Let us know if we have missed any out.
Those are our picks for the best marine-based apps for your New Zealand summer. We hope you find them as useful as we did! Just don’t forget your phone charger.