10 Best Marine Weather Apps for Boaters


10 Best Marine Weather Apps for Boaters

There are helpful marine navigation apps that make it easier to get from point A to point B, and there are fishing apps that will boost your catch rate, but another variety of app that all boaters need to know about are marine weather apps.

These can help you avoid rough seas, dodge storms, and choose destinations with favorable winds and calm conditions. Ready to get started? Grab your phone, and check out these 10 top contenders.

Best Boating Apps: Navigation, Fishing, Weather & More

buoyweather app

1. Buoyweather

Buoyweather is a longtime favorite of boaters for its easy navigation, solid accuracy, and map location-based forecasts. Detailed wind and wave forecasting, not available from many apps, is a big plus. It worked just fine for us when we tried it on a Samsung Galaxy S10, but customer reviews do indicate that the current 1.2.3 version works best on Apple products and may crash at times on some older Androids.

Price: You can get two-day forecasts for free but advanced features and long-range forecasting requires a $14.99 premium upgrade.

Click here to download.

fishweather app

2. Fishweather

Anglers may love Fishweather for its onsite fishing reports, but all mariners will love its detailed wind maps showing both wind strength and direction on color-coded wind charts with detailed forecasting out to a week.  Plus, we’ve used Fishweather for years and over time have found that its wind forecasts one to three days out are about as accurate as any get.

Price: Free, but some of the more advanced features (like sea surface current charts and real-time Nowcast observations) require paid upgrades (starting at $3.99); however, even the basic version has a wealth of data.

Click here to download.

NOAA Marine Weather Forecast app

3. NOAA Marine Weather Forecast

If you want an app that covers all of the marine weather bases, NOAA Marine Weather Forecast does the trick. Its comprehensive list of features includes buoy data, six-hour historical wave height trends, tide and current forecasts, National Weather Service marine forecasts, NOAA severe weather reports, NEXRAD radar imagery, and real-time wind, wave and temperature data.

Price: A data download like this doesn’t come free, however, and you’ll have to spend $1.99 to get NOAA Marine Weather Forecast on your phone.

Click here to download.

noaa weather radar live app

4. NOAA Weather Radar & Live Alerts

We find this free app (with ads and in-app purchases) a top pick for its high reliability. Unlike many apps it doesn’t crash, lock up, or fail to deliver the data you want, when you want it. It includes real-time animated weather radar on a background map that’s easy to zoom in and out on, and also includes short and long-term forecasting.

The Live Alerts feature can become annoying at times (who needs their phone to beep a marine weather alarm, when they’re in their car or at the desk?) but is obviously quite valuable when you’re out on the water the forecast you saw earlier in the day turns out to be wrong.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases.

Click here to download.

predictwind app

5. Predictwind

A favorite of serious sailors, Predictwind incorporates live weather observations from over 20,000 live stations, has high-resolution forecast maps, and forecast alerts. It also garners a rather impressive 4.8 out of five stars on the Apple App Store. That matches up with the uber-accurate forecasts we observed while using the app, which nailed wind direction and speed exactly.

Price: Free accounts get lower resolution mapping, and in-app purchases starting at $3.99 let you access better data.

Click here to download.

sailflow-app

6. Sailflow

Sailflow is a global service that taps into 50,000-plus weather stations to develop free wind forecasting. Radar precipitation maps, forecast maps, tide and current data, and nautical charts are also in the mix. This is another app that impressed us with its accuracy, predicting wind speed and direction to a tee.

Price: For sailors it’s another top pick, but getting the detailed data takes a $3.99 (and up) in-app purchase.

Click here to download.

storm shield app

7. Storm Shield

Another app developed for land-based activities but quite useful for those of us enjoying the boating lifestyle, Storm Shield is one you may want to load up and forget about—until it sets off an alert. Unlike many of the county-based weather alerts generated by apps, Storm Shield narrows down to your exact location.

Price: It’s a free service but if you want additional functionality like radar and wind speed forecasts, you’ll have to spring for the $0.99 in-app purchase.

Click here to download.

us coast guard app

8. United States Coast Guard

Yes, the United States Coast Guard has its own app, and while strictly speaking it isn’t 100-percent about marine weather, it has some valuable weather data boaters along any coast will want: free access to the latest weather info coming from the NOAA weather buoy nearest to your location.

Price: Free!

Click here to download.

weather channel app

9. Weather Channel

Much of the information you’ll find on the Weather Channel app is relevant to land and it’ll take a bit of time to figure out how to navigate to the data we boaters care about, but still, this is a great weather app to have at your fingertips thanks to its extremely high reliability (on both Apple and Android platforms), live radar, severe weather alerts, and accurate forecasting. In fact, according to a study compiling seven years of forecasts performed by ForecastWatch, Weather Channel had the best overall accuracy around.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases.

Click here to download.

weatherbug app

10. Weatherbug

Weatherbug has been around for a long time and is packed with data that’s not relevant to boaters (like pollen levels and traffic alerts), but this is another freebie with in-app purchases which places a tremendous amount of weather data at your fingertips. Maps for radar, lightning, wind—18 of them in all—and hourly to 10-day forecasting account for Weatherbug being picked the Best Weather App in 2016 and again in 2019 in the Mediapost Appy Awards.

Price: Free, with in-app purchases.

Click here to download.

So there you have it: 10 best marine weather apps no boater should be without. Now load one or more onto your phone, and you’ll be ready to cast off the lines and enjoy your next day on the water armed with a slew of knowledge about the weather that’s in store.

Read Next: Weather Safety Tips for Boaters

From discoverboating.com


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