Much of boating is understanding how to use that which is outside of your little boat to your advantage, to ensure the safest possible boating experience. The wind, the waves, and the traffic can all be understood and studied, yet at the end of the day, you chose to either work with or against them – the latter being the most dangerous.
Having said, having the right tool kit as well as knowing how to use it is critical.
Both for my own personal tool kit as well as what I would recommend to new boaters, the following is a basic array of apps that I recommend every boater be familiar with:
My Radar – for weather prediction
Windy – for wind reading
Local Weather Service – **NOAA website 1 to bookmark**
Local Marine Weather – **NOAA website 2 to bookmark**
My Lightning Tracker – Real-Time Lightning Strike Tracker
Navionics – navigational + tidal information for mobile device
Marine Traffic – for real-time AIS traffic map (knowing where the big boats are)
Safe boating all comes down to being able to predict and forecast – what the boater ahead of you may do, what the currents will be doing to affect docking when you head back to port, what the wind will be doing once down off the Greenwich coast – things that haven’t yet happened (and may not,) but if they do, you’ll want to be best prepared with options to handle the situation.
Knowing how to forecast and read the weather is probably the most important skill to master in the boating world. Please reach out directly to learn more.