Boating with Weather Apps for Smart Phones

Eight of us are on  board, sailing on Narraganset Bay, RI, when a tremendous thunderclap gets our attention. A wicked looking massive black cloud arcing bolts of lightning is descending from the northern end of the bay. “Quick,” says the skipper, “who has a smart phone with a radar app?”

smartphone weather apps

Five people start scrambling for their phones. They independently track the path of the oncoming storm and concur it will pass just north of us.

I’m used to looking at the local weather forecast online before I go boating. I routinely compare various websites such as the Weather Channel , Weather Underground  and AccuWeather  for hourly conditions prior to leaving the house, but I’ve never seen such a wide array of phones and apps on board as this.  Weather updates from all the major brands had us comparing apps long after returning safely to the mooring.

WeatherBug radar overlay

WeatherBug’s map interface with a radar-loop overlay. The user can drop pins on the map to mark places and waypoints.

I haven’t had enough exposure to all these apps yet, and since lots of other people study this, I’ve added some helpful links to get you started. What I do know is, smartphone weather apps saved our bacon on the bay that day!

Marine Weather Apps for Your Smartphone (

Best Weather Apps: 10 we recommend (

Review of Marine Weather Apps for Apple and Android (

Weather Apps for Iphone (Weather Channel)

Weather Apps for Android (

Top 5 Free Weather Apps for Android (Samsung Center blog)

Give us your opinion and comments on the best weather apps for boating.

For more about wind and weather, read these articles: