Best Marine-Based Apps for Your New Zealand Summer

Best Marine-Based Apps for Your New Zealand Summer

Boating — the wind, the sea, the elements and yes, your smartphone! While some people revel in escaping loved ones and technology, the truth is, your smartphone is the last family member you should be chucking at the dock. With loads of apps to choose from, we’ve decided to fish out the best marine-based apps for your New Zealand summer!

1. Windguru

First off, you gotta get Windguru. Nothing is more crucial on the water than accurate weather stats. Windguru cleanly summarises weather conditions and gives you up-to-date info on wind speed, wave height, wave period, rain, cloud cover and temperature. The app is totally free and you can even view conditions on their website (, too.

2. Linz Tide Times

Well, technically just a website, Linz Tide Times is definitely worth bookmarking on your smartphone. It gives precise tidal information for everywhere in New Zealand, and makes sure your trip is timed just right.

3. Navionics

Navionics is a highly useful back-up app to your main plotter. It’s also a cheap alternative to any handheld GPS. It doesn’t quite have all the same functionality, though. But it does come with features such as marina phone numbers, tidal height, stream and drift. Conveniently, you don’t need to be in cell range to use it, either. It can also use your on-board GPS to function, and is a useful extra for any trip.

4. Fishcal

This is an interesting fishing app with basic fishing and weather conditions. Could be a fluke, but we actually had a few good days fishing with it! Certainly, worth a try and the few-bucks purchase in our opinion. Would love to hear if it worked for you, too!

5. Flashlight

It doesn’t get any more practical than your phone’s flashlight. If your phone doesn’t already have this functionality, then you need to download this app ASAP. A great little extra to have in your arsenal. And even better, it’s free!

6. Emergency Distress Beacon

Okay, it’s not as good as a faithful EPIRB, but better than nothing! Just click on “Email Location” to snapshot your exact geographical location and email it to anyone. The two drawbacks are: you need to be in cell phone range and your contact needs to check their email more than their social media and cat videos. But hey…it’s free, so why not?

7. Dragging Anchor Alarm

This is no alternative to common sense, good seamanship and getting up to check on things. But anchor alarm is a great gizmo to work in tandem with your GPS system. There are a few versions out there, but we linked to the free one for you to enjoy!

8. Captains Toolbox

After searching loads of nautical and maritime-based boating education apps, this one snagged our eye as the best all rounder. Its free version has a sample of exercises from each learning topic. In-app purchases are required, however, for the full learning content. It’s a pretty good app for general boating education, and covers a wide-range of information.

9. Knots App

No boating app list would be complete without a knots app! And here’s one on steroids! There are so many Knots, it’s knot funny!

10. Metservice Marine

Here’s another weather app you’ll find useful. Metservice Marine gets you recreational and coastal marine forecasts, severe weather information, 3-day rain forecasts, tide conditions, 7.5-minute radar and displays surface pressure maps.

It doesn’t include surf and beach forecasts, though. It also doesn’t work on tablets. Download for Android here, and for Apple here

11. MarineMate

MarineMate won’t replace your buddies’ boating stories but it will get you important info on recreational boating spots in New Zealand. With it, you’ll up-to-date on the latest speed limits, mooring zones, towing access lanes, boat ramp locations, local area notices and tides. Download for Android Here and for Apple Here.

12. Marlborough Sounds Cruise Guide

If you’re looking to explore Marlborough Sounds, then this interactive cruising guide is key. Know available water-side facilities and hazards. You can also see detailed nautical charts for the best moorings and safe anchorages on the water, as well as safe boating tips and up-to-date tide forecasts. This one gets the big tick from us! Download for Android Here, and for Apple Here.

13. 3D Knots

We love this one, too! Be sure knot to miss it, either! 3-D Knots let you view how bowlines and 120 other knots are tied from a 360-degree vantage point. No more tying-the-knot questions. Highly practical for impressing friends and that special someone! Download on Android Here and for Apple Here.

14. Swell Map

Based on the popular website, this app provides the latest marine weather predictions for hundreds of boating and fishing locations across New Zealand. Forecasts are generated using the latest atmospheric and oceanographic numerical models which is updated four times daily. Handy info for in-depth weather watchers, divers, and boaties. Download on Android here, and Apple Here.

15. Fishing Points

This app takes the guess work out of finding the best fishing times and allows you to document your hotspots. See an array of weather forecasts, save GPS locations, and get severe weather warnings all in one app! You can even create a fishing log and share catch photos. Free on Android and IOS.

16. Fish Locator

Fish Locator is fishing with a social edge. You can share and show off photos of fish, give tell-all catch details, pin locations and discover others’ hotspots. This app definitely takes a lot of guess work out and packs a lot of details! Free on Android and IOS.

17. Fishbrain

Fishbrain helps you snag the best fishing spots. It uses meteorological data to predict when and where to catch fish, and also suggests bait to use. It has a large social network for sharing fishing data, too. Free and paid versions available for Android and IOS.

18. NZ Fishing Rules

NZ Fishing Rules keeps you up-to-date with local species, minimum legal sizes, daily limits and area bag limits. You can also see what fish are in season, log catches and share pictures of your catch. Free on Android and IOS.

19. Boating Australia & NZ

This app is a favourite among cruisers, anglers, sailors and divers. It allows you to analyse charts, plan trips and share fishing locations with the community. Navionics new Sonarchart gives incredible bottom contour detail to 0.5 meters, which allows users to find new ground and structure that will hold fish. It costs around $30 and is available on Android and IOS.

20. Fishing Knots

Fishing Knots is a tool that has step-by-step instructions on how to tie the most important fishing knots. Content covers nearly tons of knots, including knots for lures, hooks and more. Free on Android and IOS.

21. FishAngler

Like other fishing social apps, FishAngler helps you capture fishing’s finest moments, explore new waters, catch more fish, and connect with anglers all around the world. Choose from 45 different attributes to record your catch and browse the data of locals and professionals for your next big one! Free on Android and IOS.

Whoa! Those are our picks for the best marine-based apps for your New Zealand summer. We hope you find them as useful as we did! Just don’t forget your phone charger, now, or you’ll be dead in the water. For a collated collection of the New Zealand experts, in Marine Electronics, checkout the relevant category right here:

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