Windlass Creative recently created the following content regarding the “7 Best Boating Apps” for our advertising partners at  D.F. Dwyer Insurance Agency.

We thought the content was useful, helpful and well… something you should all know, so enjoy! For more great information, advice and helpful resources, visit

7 Best Boating Apps

Today your smart phone or tablet may be as vital on your boat as your compass, chart, VHF, GPS and weather fax combined because there are dozens of handy apps to assist with these functions and hundreds more. Many provide instant access to vast sources of marine-related reference material on navigation, regulations, weather, seamanship, safety, medical, astronomy, and more.

There are nautical apps for every type of boat and sailor from knot tying instruction to signal flag identification, cruising guides and racing rules, tide and star charts to name just a few. We’ve waded through the overwhelming offerings in both the App and GooglePlay stores to compile this short list of top-rated (4+stars), FREE or inexpensive (< $2.99) boating apps for you. For our list we’ve selected only those apps available for both Apple and Android devices, but the US Power Squadron has prepared comprehensive lists for each platform here:

And don’t forget your phone or tablet charger—better yet, have a spare to leave on your boat!

The U.S. Coast Guard app provides 24/7 access to the most commonly requested information and resources for the recreational boater. With this app you can:

  • Identify safety laws, requirements and resources by state
  • Request a vessel safety check from the USCG Auxiliary
  • Determine specific safety equipment required on your vessel
  • File your float plan with a responsible party —if you should go missing, they can provide search and rescue coordinators with important information
  • Review the most commonly sought out navigational “rules of the road”

  • Access weather information from the closest NOAA buoys
  • Report a navigational hazard, suspicious activity or pollution

This App is FREE with a 4.5 (of 5) star rating, download here:

The BoatUS app connects you to the nation’s largest network of on-water towers with more than 300 ports nationwide. With this app you can:

  • Call for a tow and BoatUS will know your location
  • View your latitude & longitude (even out of cell range)
  • Display your Membership card for discounts at marinas
  • View current tide charts and weather forecasts
  • Share your location via Facebook, text or email

This App is FREE with a 4 (of 5) star rating, download here:

First Aid by American Red Cross app puts expert advice for emergencies in your hand with simple step-by-step advice. Preloaded content means you have instant access to all information without reception or an Internet connection.

This App is FREE with a 4.5 (of 5) star rating, download here:

The ColRegs Rules of the Road app provides quick, easy-to-use access to the IRPCS ColRegs Rules of The Road “Steering and Sailing Rules” and “Sound and Light Signals” sections. No Internet connection is required as preloaded content includes illustrations and clear, concise descriptions of all the rules.

This App is $2.99 with a 4 (of 5) star rating, download here:

The Weather Underground App is powered by a network of 180,000+ personal weather stations and provides hyper-local forecasts and current conditions, interactive radar, customizable alerts, and much more to ensure you’re always prepared for whatever the weather brings.

This App is FREE with a 4 (of 5) star rating, download here:

Dag Pike’s Boat Checklists App for skippers of power boats and sailing yachts is packed with checklists – from Passage Planning to Safety Briefing, Navigation to Equipment. This easy-to-use app covers the wide range of things that skippers must consider both in harbor before sailing and once at sea. Work through the items on the lists and you can cast off with confidence.

This App is $1.99 and not yet rated, (previous versions have received high marks) download here:

The DragQueen App is a simple anchor alarm that provides distance and GPS accuracy alarms along with an alarm delay. The app will waken you at night if it detects anchor dragging to your specifications.

This App is FREE with 4 (of 5) star rating, download here:

Before you cast off for your first sail of the season, give D.F. Dwyer a call at 401-846-9629. Let them make sure that you are covered for whatever comes your way on the water. They’re here to help!

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.