It seems as though there’s an app out there to simplify or help with each and every aspect of our day to day lives. It should be of no surprise, that there are apps designed especially for boating, all of which have unique features meant to make boating painless, safe and fun. MPI is a huge fan of boating apps and we know that there are quite a few out there in the app stores, which can make the decision of which to download a bit stressful. Here are MPI’s top 8 boating app picks of 2020, in no particular order.
Windfinder Pro is a unique app designed for surfers, sailors, kite surfers, and windsurfers. It provides users with both wind and weather forecasts for every occasion, ensuring that you never have to miss a windy day or a calm day for that matter. Windfinder is also a great way to check the ocean wave reports to decide if one is going to be going offshore. It offers a global network of 21,000 weather stations, all of which give the current wind direction, air temperature, wind speed, air pressure and other values that can all be viewed in real-time. It also has advanced, animated weather maps, giving users high-level overview of general wind conditions. Windfinder has over 45,00 spots, so it gives downloaders worldwide weather and wind forecasts for spots that are relevant to paragliders, surfers, sailors, windsurfers and kitesurfers. The app can even notify you when the right conditions are expected to come, meaning you don’t have to be constantly checking the wind forecast. The app is simple to use, doesn’t drain your device’s battery and doesn’t eat up at your data all of which give it MPI’s seal of approval and make downloading it a no-brainer.
The Siren Marine App is next on MPI’s list of top boating apps. Siren Marine is a marine technology company dedicated to creating “Connected Boat” technology. The app allows users to track, monitor and control their vessel from any location at the touch of their fingertips. From the app, one can monitor the battery, temperature, engine hours, bilge and a plethora of other information. Additionally, one can control onboard devices—like air conditioning— through the app and even track their boat’s location using GPS, set Geo-Fence boundaries and view a detailed, plotted history of where their boat has been. The app also allows users to secure their boat with alarms, motion sensors and strobes, all of which can be armed or disarmed whenever deemed necessary. There are countless other features of the Siren Marine app that we could go on and on about, but we at MPI feel like it’s best for you to download and experience it for yourself. All you have to do is install the MTC device and sensors and download the app to be able to control, track and monitor your boat.
Navionics is a boating app that provides users with nautical charts for cruising, diving, fishing, sailing and all of the fun activities associated with being on the water. It features the same marine and lake charts as the best GPS plotters, so we had to include on our list of top apps. Navionics is updated daily and allows users to see worldwide updates instantly. The app also offers a lot of advanced features like dock-to-dock autorouting and weather and tide information. The app allows you to plan routes for your next on the water thrill, as well as improve your depth awareness. The app ensures that you can sail with confidence, which is why it has the MPI seal of approval.
The Sonos app is a bit different than the previously mentioned apps because it’s not directly related to the water or weather but still works for one very important thing: on-board entertainment. MPI is a strong believer that no one should be out on the water without being able to listen to their favorite soundtrack, podcast or whatever audio track it is that they desire, and the Sonos app ensures that won’t happen. Setting up the Sonos app is simple, all it takes is to download the actual app, plugging your speaker into the power and then just following the step-by-step instructions in the Sonos app. From the app, users can control all of their onboard speakers, easily search for music and other audio tracks, and group rooms to play in sync. The Sonos app allows you to take advantage of your onboard entertainment system and turn your vessel into a nautical party. MPI is all about making the most of your time on your boat, and the Sonos app ensures that.
The next app on MPI’s list comes from Garmin and it is an all-in-one app designed to turn your device into an onboard crew member. The Garmin ActiveCaptain has multiple features, all of which allow you to control your marine experience from anywhere. The app features OneChart, which allows you to update and access your charts and maps from your device, as well as buy new ones to then use on your chartplotter. OneChart also allows you to view and access charts and maps from anywhere. The app lets you connect to other boaters that are a part of the Active Captain Community so you can get feedback on points of interest, like a marina. You can also make, save and transfer waypoints and routes between the app and chartplotter and share them with fellow boaters. ActiveCaptain can also send you smart notifications, ensuring that you stay connected with the world. The app has tons of other features and to experience them, all you have to do is download it! MPI has recommended it, so it has to be good.
Fusion-Link is another MPI favorite for all of your entertainment needs. The Fusion-Link app acts as an advanced wireless remote control that allows you to control any supported marine entertainment system through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi with a compatible Apple or Android device. It provides users with quick and easy access to the onboard entertainment system and controls everything from volume, all of the entertainment system connected to the same Wi-Fi network and where on the vessel the track is playing. Through the app, you can search through artists, albums and playlists to make sure you find that one song that fits the onboard mood. You can synchronize music throughout the entire vessel through the PartyBus feature on the app to really turn your time on the water into a party, or play the music strictly in one cabin. With Fusion-Link, the party is in your control and that’s why MPI loves it.
VesselView Mobile is the final app on MPI list of top apps. This app gives Mercury Marine SmartCraft engine owners the power to monitor fuel usage, view live engine data, get a comprehensive description when a fault takes place and receive maintenance alerts. So essentially, the app provides users with the most vital information that they would need about their vessel—this is exactly why MPI felt it was necessary to include on this list. When used in conjunction with the Bluetooth Low Energy VesselView Mobile module, you get the app’s full functionality which uses your GPS information to provide information such as local knowledge of ports and fuel access or hazards. The app also keeps track of engine hours, as well as detects what’s needed to be done at the next service interval. The VesselView Mobile app works to make your life easier and at MPI, we’re all for things that simplify life.