There are several boating apps that may be of interest to casual and avid boaters. Below are a few:
iFlashlight & Morse
For the iPhone, iPad, or IPod touch, this free app installs the ability to communicate in Morse Code. Of more use, however, is the 1 click S. O. S. feature. Use of a smartphone S. O. S. has been credited by the Coast Guard as critical in at least one boating accident rescue.
As you might imagine, the lightning finder identifies and locates lightning strikes near your location in real time. It also provides you feedback about how long ago prior strikes occurred, and how far you are from recent nearby strikes. If you are so inclined, you can request text alerts when lightning strikes occur within a predefined area. This app offers a seven-day free trial, then $5.99 per year.
TrackaShip allows you to find information about a ship near your location. This information includes the size course, destination, speed of the ship, and more. The app also allows you to measure the distance between your position and a ship you can see, or the distance between two other ships. The app also includes a built-in compass and a direction vector to allow the user to determine the direction of ships and vessels observed. There is a free version of the app, which allows the user to determine whether their area is covered by the app (Trackaship Superlite). Note: This app is not a substitute for proper maritime instruments.
Boat Ramps is an app created by takemefishing.org. This app has a database of 35,000 boat ramps across the United States. Using the app, the user can locate ramps either close to their current location, or near another location based on city or zip code. Boat Ramps also provides directions from your location to the selected boat ramp.
Colregs: Nav Lights & Shapes
Colregs: Nav Lights & Shapes is an app designed to provide boaters with a tool to help identify boats near them and determine what they are doing. The app does this at night or in poor visibility based on the boat’s nav lights configuration. In daylight, it will help boaters quickly identify a vessel based on its shape.
This app has four sections. The first is Nav Lights. This provides users visuals and language describing the lights that different boats display in poor visibility or darkness. The second section is Day Shapes. This provides users visuals and language describing the shapes of boats in daylight. The third section is Test Yourself. This is a series of multiple choice questions to check a user’s knowledge of shapes and light configurations. The final section is ColRegs. This section contains the complete International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) Part C: Lights and Shapes rules.
Colregs: Rules of the Road
Colregs: Rules of the Road is an app designed to be a quick reference tool with visuals to help boaters identify boats and what the boat is doing based on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS). It helps users determine who has the right of way and how to best prevent a collision.
This app has four sections. The first is Navigation Rules. This section provides graphics for most of the “Steering and Sailing Rules.” The second section is Signals. This section provides graphics explaining “Sound and Light Signals.” The third section is ColRegs. This provides a complete copy of the Steering and Sailing Rules, Part D: Sound and Light Signals, as well as Annex IV Distress Signals. The final section is Test Yourself. This section consists of multiple choice questions allowing you to check your knowledge.
The Knot Bible
The Knot Bible app shows users how to tie the 50 best nautical knots. For each of the 50 knots it provides a brief description of how to use each knot and how to tie each knot with step-by-step pictures.
Some highlights of the Knot Bible include:
- The Top 10 Knots, which describes the most useful knots.
- Loops, which describes new loops for ropes.
- Bends, which describes bend knots beyond the sheet knot, including rigger’s bend and the carrick bend.
- Hitches, which describes the over 30 ways to secure a rope to a stationary object.
- Knot Scores, which gives knots a score from one to five based on ease of tying, strength, ease of untying, security, and usefulness.
First Aid at Sea
This app is designed to provide boaters emergency first aid advice when on the water. It was written by doctors who are also boaters. The app provides a guide for dealing with emergencies in a boat on the water. A range of topics is covered, including broken bones, cuts, CPR, poisoning, and other injuries. It also includes how to provide detailed information over emergency communications.
The primary goals of the First Aid at Sea app include preserving life, relieving suffering and pain, preventing any further harm, and getting the injured individual back to land.
This app provides information on how to stay safe at sea. It covers a wide variety of topics and is available for free.
- Equipment necessary on your boat. This includes a tool kit, anchor, equipment checklists, first aid kit, a life raft, flares and life jackets.
- Preparation for your boating trip. This includes checking the weather and tides, conducting a safety briefing and training, an engine check and passage planning.
- Preparation for emergencies on the water. This can include abandoning ship, distress signals, a hole in the hull, fighting a fire, a medical emergency or an engine failure.
- This app features over 75 sections and subsections.
How to Pass the International Certificate of Competence Test
Many European countries require captains of visiting vessels to hold an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). This app is designed to help users pass this tests. Topics include what regulations you never really knew, how much users have forgotten and what topics are on the test.
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