Can Your Smart Phone Make You a Better Boater?

Back in January we introduced you to towing app developed by BoatUS.  Unless you have been living under a rock you should be aware that smart phones have many applications that can make your life easier.

Marine related apps  are popping up daily and in the next few days we will be introducing you to a few that I personally find fascinating. That said, do not rely solely on your smart phone for navigation and communications. You should continue to use your GPS along with actually hand charting using a recent and updated chart of the area and VHF radio for your primary communications. Cell/smart phones can and do fail but if you just like to play with apps we will be reporting on some of the latest.

“The BoatUS App” – BoatUS has come up with an app to make your life at sea both safer and easier, whether you carry an iPhone or an Android. The BoatUS App has three components: “Call For A Tow,” “Share Your Location,” and “BoatUS Directory.”

“Call For A Tow” is the best app feature you’ll hope you never have to use. If you break down on the water and need assistance, however, activate this app and our crew will have your critical information (including contact info, boat type and size, location, and whether you have a working VHF onboard), automatically. That can shorten the time it takes to get help, and eliminate the opportunity for errors.

“Share Your Location” will come in handy when there’s no emergency, but you want to let your friends know where you are. You want to call your buddy in to a hot fishing spot? Invite him or her to raft up for the evening? With our app you’ll be able to send a private text message or e-mail with your latitude, longitude, and a Google Maps link included. Plus, when you activate the app, your lat/long will be displayed at the top of the phone’s screen, so you’ll always know exactly where you are.

“The BoatUS Directory” will come in handy whenever you need to find out what services are available to members — getting a quote or filing a claim for BoatUS Insurance, contacting the BoatUS Foundation, or even checking the latest BoatUS news are all handy features. Cost: Free; www.BoatUS.com/towing/app

“Boat Ramps” – Trailer boaters, this one’s for you. It’s a free app for both i’s and ‘droids, from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. It gives you the locations of and directions to more than 35,000 boat ramps nationwide. You can search by zip code, city, or current location. Price: Free; http://www.takemefishing.org/

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Filed under Boat Operation, Boating News, Boating Safety, Fishing News, Lake Boating, Navigation, Sailing News

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