It’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t all have a phone in our pockets. Although they can occasionally be annoying, there’s little doubt that our devices are incredibly useful in most areas of our lives - and that includes when we’re out on the water!


We’ve pulled together our top 5 sailing apps that have been game-changers for us out on the water.


From weather to navigation and beyond, we’re sure that every sailor will benefit from having these apps on their phone...


1) Navionics


As part of the Garmin brand, the Navionics Boating App is everything you’d expect - clear, easy to use and ultimately, the go-to chart system for quality and portability.


You’ll find charts for a wide range of activities, from cruising and fishing to sailing, diving and beyond. It’s affordable and integrates well with other apps and technology, plus it has a wealth of advanced features such as dock-to-dock autorouting, AIS and ability to connect with fellow app users.

Find out more at


2) Open Canal Map

If you’re a canal user, Open Canal Map is a great way to plan your time on the water, and contribute to the community.

There are 3 versions, an app for iPhone/iPad and Android, and a Google Maps overlay. Use it to find locks and facilities such as cafes and launderettes. Plus, users can add stops and points of interest to the app, which is a great way to share your finds with other water users.

Visit for more details.


3) Boat Beacon

Boat Beacon provides an affordable and reliable AIS-based collision detection system, and was designed and developed after a near miss at sea.

It’s a paid app, but it’s worth it as it’s packed full of features, including a real-time map view of your boat and boats within 30NM of you, over-the-horizon collision avoidance and alarm using Closest Point of Approach (CPA) and man-overboard tracking (iOS only at present).

See more at


4) Boat Master

If you’re looking to brush up on your marina berthing skills, you’ll love Boat Master.

It’s a simulation mobile game where players have to berth a variety of different boats in different conditions. It’s been carefully designed to replicate the handling of a real boat as closely as possible - will you get a high score?

Get all the details at


5) Marine Traffic

MarineTraffic displays near real-time positions of ships and yachts worldwide. It uses the largest network of land-based AIS receivers, covering most major ports and shipping routes.

There is a free and a paid version - just a note that the free version doesn’t always give the latest information (although it is still really useful).

Download at