The other day I got an email from my neighbor Bill Demo, to tell me know about an app the the USCG has just published. It looks really useful and you can learn more about it lower in this post. I thought folks might appreciate knowing some useful apps to have on their phone or tablets. The following are the fishing and boating apps I have on my phone.
One of my favorite fishing and boating apps is the Windfinder app. The guy who told me about this app was a blow boater (aka sail boater) who cruised by himself. I figured that in itself was a pretty good recommendation for the app.
With Windfinder, you can save locations and get forecast and wind predictions for you favorite places. I have Carl Grey Park, the airport, St. Andrew State Park and the DuPont Bridge saved in mine. The most important part of the app for me is the screen or tab named Superforecast. For our area it is REALLY accurate. On one screen you have hour of day, wind direction, wind speed, gust speed, temperature, percent chance of precip, wave height, tide, tide ranges by hour of day, tide high and low by hour of day. For me, this app is way more consistently accurate than the NOAA’s marine forecast.
Another nice feature is a map tab that shows the wind direction across the water, overlayed so you can see the land features as well. That screen can be very helpful to inshore, near shore and off shore fisherman.
I like it so well I bought the pro version for a whopping $2.00. 🙂
The following are the details of the USCG app that they just released. I REALLY like that is has buoy data! 🙂 It also has the Rules of the Road. Hopefully some folks will READ them! 😉
The official U.S. Coast Guard app gives you 24/7 access to the most commonly requested information and resources for the recreational boating public. http://www.uscg.mil/mobile
With the U.S. Coast Guard app, you can:
– Identify the boating safety laws, requirements and resources available in your home state, the state where you keep your vessel or the state where you are planning to operate.
– Request a vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
– Determine what safety equipment you are required to carry by law based on the size and type of vessel you are operating. The app also recommends additional safety equipment you might want to consider.
– File a float plan with up to three friends, loved ones or other responsible parties. While you cannot file a float plan directly with the Coast Guard, the app helps you develop a float plan that will allow your responsible party to provide search and rescue coordinators with important information they can use to facilitate a missing or overdue boater case.
– Review the most commonly sought out navigational “rules of the road.”
– Access weather information from the closest NOAA buoy to your current location.
– Report a navigational hazard to the Coast Guard – this could be a buoy or marker out of place, a sunken vessel or some other obstacle obstructing safe passage of a Federal waterway.
– Report pollution to the Coast Guard – from a minor oil sheen at the dock to a major pollution event, you can help protect our marine environment.
– Report suspicious activity to the Coast Guard – if you see something, say something! We all have a shared responsibility for homeland security.
While the U.S. Coast Guard app will help you better prepare for your time on the water and may help you contact the Coast Guard in an emergency, it is not a replacement for a VHF-FM marine radio, EPIRB, safe boating classes and common sense.
Learn more about being a responsible boater at http://www.uscgboating.org/.
The U.S. Coast Guard app is a self-contained mobile application that resides solely on your mobile device. Information about yourself, your vessel and your current or past locations is only shared with the Coast Guard when you choose to do so.
For notifying my Vivian of my location on the water, I use my BoatUS app who also happens to be my towing vendor of choice. It allows me to text or email my latitude and longitude coordinates, which I do when I arrive at my destination or if I change locations. Pretty handy!
I don’t have a compass on my boat so I have a handy dandy one on my phone that is fast and accurate. My phone is waterproof so if I got in a bind on the bay this app might be useful. The name of the app is Compass. 😉
For additional tide information, I use Tides Near Me because it gives me sunrise, sunset AND moon rise or moon set for multiple locations. Tide range during the day I do not need because I have it on my watch!
And lastly, many local fisherman may find it helpful to have on their phone, the FWC’s app named Fish|Hunt FL.
This interactive app gives you easy access to purchasing any recreational fishing or hunting license offered by the FWC, and you can also store a copy of your license on your phone, check out recent FWC news, look at the current sunrise/sunset time for your area, check the coastal waters forecasts and look up hunting and fishing regulations.
Hope you find this information useful and if you have some favorite fishing and boating apps please let me know and I will share them!
Thanks and we hope you have a GREAT day on the water!
Capt. Mike and Vivian Foate