Sailing Apps We Love
There are many lists of best sailing apps, or top ten sailing apps, or even apps every sailor cannot live without. The lists go on and on, these are the sailing apps that we use and love on our adventures. Sailing apps or sites listed here do not have any partnership or sponsorship relationship with Charter Rode, except of course our own!
Let's start things off with our list of sailing navigation apps. It is always a good idea to have a backup to your on-board chart plotter, and if your boat doesn't have one, you are not going to get too far (safely) without one of these!
- Boating Marine & Lakes (Navionics) - Detailed Nautical Charts Wherever You Will Go. The Boating App provides nautical charts for cruising, fishing, sailing, diving and all the other activities on the water. The same detailed marine and lake charts and advanced features as on the best GPS plotters.
- i-Boating: Marine Charts & GPS - Marine Chartplotter for your iPhone/iPad. Detailed Marine Charts & Fishing Maps for US, Canada, Europe, and Australasia. Depth contour maps with Aids to Navigation. We really like the easy way to add depth offset for inland lake sailing and in our experience works better than Navionics as a live chart plotter on your phone.
- iNavX: Marine Navigation - iNavX™ is a handheld chartplotter on your phone that delivers charts from your favorite chartproviders. iNavX gives you access to all your favorite charts directly through the app. From C-MAP, Blue Latitude, Explorer, Waterway Guide, Delius Klasing, to a host of other chart providers, to overlays from Theyr and GRIB file weather data - it's all ready for you in your hand.
- OpenCPN - Chart Plotter and Navigational software program for use underway or as a planning tool. Developed by a team of active sailors using real world conditions for program testing and refinement. Great for turning your laptop into a chart plotter, especially if you are on Mac OS or Linux! You will need to be comfortable with technology to navigate and add 3rd party charts. For US users, it is relatively straightforward to add NOAA charts, you may bring your own other digital charts for use in OpenCPN.
Speaking of safety on the water, be a sailor that is a hobbyist meteorologist. These weather apps help you stay up to date with the weather where you sail. Use and check them often!
- Windy.app - Windy.app is a professional weather app, created for water and wind sports: sailing, surfing, fishing, etc. Get detailed weather forecast, live world wind map, and local weather reports. This is our go-to app when we want to know what the wind will be doing in the next few days. Switching between forecast models is easy to triangulate what the wind will likely be like when you are out.
- PredictWind - PredictWind provides the top ranked forecast models globally. These leading models are only available through PredictWind, giving unparalleled weather data. For High Resolution coastal forecasts the PWG & PWE proprietary models offer unparalleled forecast accuracy, complemented by the regional NAM, HRRR, and AROME models. We love PredictWind as the second set of eyes on the wind. Especially helpful are the daily briefings which give you five snapshots of all the important information (including tides) for every day. This is the first thing we check when waking up.
- Wunderground - Weather Underground has challenged the conventions around how weather information is shared with the public since 1993. We're immensely proud of the unique products that our community and meteorologists have created to improve people's access to meaningful weather data from around the globe. We love the accurate prediction of rainfall amounts by hour, so you know when to put on that rain gear!
- WeatherBug - Education and safety have always been on WeatherBug's radar. Established in 1993, the company has focused efforts in educating communities and making sure its users are safe and ready for severe weather. This is our go-to app for lightening strikes. Keep in mind that most weather apps tell you where lightening has struck (in the immediate past) not where it is going to strike! Keep alert out there!
- SailFlow - Multiple Forecasts for all locations worldwide! And- Since 1987, our staff meteorologist-written PRO Forecast discussions are the gold standard: simply the finest in-depth Wind Forecasts available anywhere. SailFlow is great as it shows you near real-time what the wind is blowing at your favorite spots.
- National Hurricane Center (NHC) - the NHC mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards. The NHC vision is to be America's calm, clear, and trusted voice in the eye of the storm and, with its partners, enable communities to be safe from tropical weather threats. Always be alert and check the NHC maps and forecast models for storms and potential hurricanes in your area.
These sailing apps and sites are useful resources when you are on extended trips at sea either cruising on your own boat or a bareboat charter anywhere in the world.
- U.S. Coast Pilot® - The United States Coast Pilot® consists of a series of nautical books that cover a variety of information important to navigators of coastal and intracoastal waters and the Great Lakes. Issued in ten volumes, they contain supplemental information that is difficult to portray on a nautical chart.
- Noonsite - Over the past two decades, Noonsite has been the cruising yachtsman’s primary source of worldwide cruising information, including a wealth of up-to-date information on practically every country of interest. Detailed information on country formalities and what to expect when you first arrive in a foreign port, plus port and marina information, a wealth of reports from cruisers and the latest cruising news.
- Cruising Guides - Always refer to your favorite cruising guides for local in-depth knowledge about your cruising grounds. Like any travel book or resource, you will want to research and find authors that not only have great and recent local knowledge, but also that you make a connection with and enjoy reading. YouTube videos and channels, and a Google search are all great resources when planning and exploring trips to new destinations.
- MarineTraffic - MarineTraffic is the world’s leading provider of ship tracking and maritime intelligence. We are dedicated to making actionable information easily accessible. Monitoring vessel movements is at the core of what we do. Building on a base of data gathered from our network of coastal AIS-receiving stations, supplemented by satellite receivers, we apply algorithms and integrate complementary data sources to provide the shipping, trade and logistics industries with actionable insights into shipping activity.
- Navily - On Navily, more than 350,000 users share their experience on their favourite marinas and anchorages. Read their reviews, browse their photos and get first-hand experience by joining the community!
- NordVPN - NordVPN takes its inspiration from the Nordic ideals of confidence, trust, and innovation. We value our customers’ freedom of choice and strive to be innovative with our technology. This is a must-have for anyone cruising about the world. Instantly transport yourself (digitally) back to your home country to shop online, download movies, or access sites and services that may not be available in your current cruising grounds.
- Ocean Cruising Club - The Ocean Cruising Club exists to encourage long-distance sailing in small boats and is the true 'Home Port' for the ocean-going sailor. Members understand what it means to be at sea, to be completely reliant on our own skills, to be subject to the whims of Mother Nature, to be humbled and empowered at one and the same time. This is what sets us apart from other organisations, even as it draws us together as a group.
- Salty Dawg Sailing Association - The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) is a volunteer based nonprofit educational and charitable organization that conducts online webinars, live seminars, rallies and rendezvous to help sailors realize their long-distance cruising dreams. The Association strives to transfer knowledge and skills from veteran “Salty Dawgs” to less experienced cruisers, enabling independent decision-making and offshore confidence. The SDSA is a flexible close-knit collection of like-minded people with a passion for ocean sailing and the camaraderie of cruising life.
- Seven Seas Cruising Association - The Seven Seas Cruising Association is the oldest and largest worldwide organization supporting the liveaboard cruising lifestyle. Founded in 1952 by six liveaboard couples in California and now with members worldwide, today’s SSCA remains true to the traditions of its original members—sharing cruising information, fostering camaraderie, and leaving a clean wake.
No list of sailing apps would be complete without a hodge-podge list of sailing apps that don't necessarily fit into a category. Here's our list that includes the obligatory plug for our own app, Charter Rode!
- Charter Rode - Build Your Trusted Sailing Resume. Is your unorganized sailing resume preventing you from achieving your sailing dreams? Elevate your sailing resume with the confidence of blockchain. Join sailors around the world who enjoy the freedom to weigh anchor and explore the world!
- Boat Trader - Boat Trader is America’s largest online boating marketplace for buying and selling boats, engines and personal watercraft. Admit it, it is just fun to daydream about those yachts that are in your future!
- Knots 3D - learn how to tie over 150 knots! The unique ability to rotate a knot to see the front, back and everything in-between sets Knots 3D apart from other knot websites and provides interactivity you can't get from a knot book.
- YachtWorld - YachtWorld contains the largest photo and video database of boats and yachts for sale. Yes, we love daydreaming about those yachts that are in our future!