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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Boat Load of an iPhone App

There’s a new iPhone app available for boaters, and its developers say it is far more comprehensive than any other boating app out there.

Oneupweb, the agency that released Boat Load, say it was designed to help any and all boaters on the water. The app is essentially a nicely packaged bundle of several boating features found in numerous other boating apps, but that bundling is also what makes it so useful. From one place on your iPhone you now have access to several important tools, including weather forecasts and data and tide tables, integrated GPS and mapping for marinas, point-of-interest (POI) trip planning tools and shopping and maintenance notes.

There are also several features on the Boat Load app that can help make boating safer. The app makes real-time float plans easy to create and share. Anything that makes it easier to remember to use a float plan is worth five bucks in our book. Also, the app’s two-tap SOS button activates and confirms an emergency 911 call. This is great when close to shore, and as a back-up to a VHF radio, but never depend solely on a phone for boating safety. The company also claims you can file instant insurance claims with this app, but we didn’t want to have to put ourselves in a position to test this "claim" (ha ha).

Oneupweb has created other mobile apps, but the Boat Load app was born out of the company’s connection with and passion for the water. Their Traverse City offices overlook beautiful Traverse Bay, many of Oneupweb’s employees are avid boating enthusiasts, and the company’s CEO, Lisa Wehr, can be found on her pontoon boat all summer long.

The Boat Load app is currently only available for the iPhone, with no set plans to port it to the Droid or Blackberry. You can get it in the iTunes store for a one-time download fee of $4.99.

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