7 Best Marine Navigation Apps in Australia

If you’re planning to go out on the water, a high-quality marine navigation app is the ideal way to keep your bearings and stay safe.

Whether you’re looking for a new app to replace an outdated one. Or you’re brand-new to boating, we’ve got you covered with some of the highest-rated options on the market. Here are a few you might want to try out for yourself:

1. C-MAP

$29.99 annually / available on iOS & Android

With a four-and-a-half star rating, C-MAP tops the charts on many people’s lists for GPS boating navigation. An intuitive and easy to use UI makes this app functional for everyone. With downloadable offline charts to ensure you’re never left in the dark when your 4G fails.

Notable features include the ability to stream and download charts, auto-routing to find the best way to go. And the inclusion of AIS data to see all the vessels nearby for quick and easy navigation. You can also get all the weather information you need directly within C-MAP for ease of use.

2. i-Boating

Up to $24.99 for in-app purchases / available on iOS & Android

As a GPS nautical chart app with universal usage, i-Boating offers plenty of options for sailing, yachting, and even kayaking from numerous locations around the globe.

Australia is included on that impressive list. Making this app ideal for those who enjoy boating out in the world and close to home. Voice navigation is a convenient feature for marine navigation and is included as standard.

Other highlights for i-Boating include offline accessibility, the inclusion of visual maritime aids and the ability to create your own route and waypoints. As well as using pre-existing ones based on tides and currents. For an all-in-one global service, i-Boating is a good fit.

3. Deckee

Free To Use / Available On iOS & Android

While many of the apps on this list were developed internationally, the Deckee app was developed right here in Australia. Outside of Australia, the app is also available in the US with plans for further expansion.

Remember Jessica Watson, the Australian sailor who made history by sailing the world at just 16 years old? Even she is an ambassador for the Deckee app!

This app will help you stay safe out on the waters by providing you with safety information and alters from Australia’s maritime agencies. It will alert you of hazards and any incidents that have occurred near you. Deckee aims to be the one single app you need on the water.

Some of our favourite features on Deckee include the ability to log your trips and get trip reports, which can be shared with your friends and family. The map includes updates and points of interest added by other users of the app and you can edit the app yourself to help other sailors. New features under development include charts, depths and float plans.

The app is 100% free to use and includes no subscriptions or in-app purchases.

4. Navionics

Up to $28.99 for in-app purchases / available on iOS & Android

A popular name in ‘top boating apps’ lists, Navionics offers a slick and enjoyable navigational experience. Multiple different chart overlays provide a wealth of information.

At the same time, a community profile allows you to connect with fellow boaters. And auto-routing gets you where you need to go quickly and effectively. With plenty of information on weather and tides, plus the ability to look at timelines of past trips, this innovative navigation tool has worldwide functionality. It is ideal whether you’re diving, cruising or fishing on lakes or in the sea itself.

5. Garmin ActiveCaptain

Up to $349.99 for in-app purchases / available on iOS & Android

While it’s not a service in its own right, ActiveCaptain is a useful app add-on for the Garmin Chartplotter. It allows you to control and view everything directly from your smartphone.

With the option to connect to communities local to you and receive notifications on calls and texts, this hybrid app bridges the gap between Garmin tech and modern apps. Also included is the ability to create, save and transfer routes. Providing full control to get where you’re going on one simple device.

So, whether you’re planning a trip or are looking to streamline the whole process, Garmin’s ActiveCaptain app can help, using modern technology that’s designed for modern boaters.

6. KnowWake

Free to use / available on iOS & Android

This app is instantly recognisable from its bright orange branding. KnowWake offers the ideal way to find different points of interest waterside in a wide range of locations – Australia included.

If you’re more concerned about navigating to marinas and fuel docks, this app is a good pick for you. Wake zones with simple colour-coding make it easy to see changes at a glance. While easy routing makes getting from A to B effortless. Offline accessibility means you can use KnowWake just about anywhere. While location sharing is ideal for group travel or meeting up with friends.

7. MarineTraffic

Up to $95.99 annually / available on iOS & Android

A global app with a focus on live reporting. MarineTraffic provides up-to-date information on vessels around you. As well as helpful features such as wind forecasts, vessel identification and advanced weather maps.

So, if you’re keen on joining a community of boaters, this easy-to-use app ticks many of the boxes you’re looking for. Upgrade to pro, and you get even more to use. From nautical charts to density maps and SAT-AIS data to make your next trip as easy as possible. If you’re after simplicity and community, MarineTraffic does everything it says on the tin.

Bonus: Savvy Navvy

Up to $69.99 annually / available on iOS & Android

A relative newcomer to marine navigation, Savvy Navvy provides detailed charts around much of Australia, and is always looking to grow and improve its global reach. All the expected features are included, from GPS tracking to marina information to make boating an enjoyable experience for all.

Other features included with Savvy Navvy are auto-routing, route exporting and plenty of information on weather and wind. With plenty of five-star reviews in 2021, Savvy Navvy is well worth checking out for anyone after something fresh and new in the marine navigation world.

New marine navigation apps are regularly launching for both iOS and Android. So it’s well worth checking back regularly to find new options in 2021 to discover something that works for you.

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