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Monday, October 25, 2010

Less is More with Latest iPhone Boating Apps

New iPhone Apps Make Boating Safer, Boat Shows More Fun

The latest iPhone apps that we have come across are very narrow in their functionality compared to some of the more comprehensive apps that we reviewed in previous posts such as Boating Suite and BoatLoad. But that laser-like focus on just one function is exactly what makes the more recent apps stand out – and easy to remember what to use them for.

Take BoatSafe for example, which was announced a few weeks ago. BoatSafe is designed with one purpose – to enable users to easily file float plans, which have proven critical in helping rescue boaters that get into trouble. Sharing a float plan was one of the features we liked most in the Boat Load app that we reviewed last month, but if you were hesitant to shell out $4.99 for all the other features included in the Boat Load app, the newer BoatSafe might be right for you at 99 cents (available at iTunes). Either way, you should be filing a float plan every time you embark on even the most routine boat trip. (More about float plans, and an old fashioned printable float plan, are available at our boating safety page)

Similar to BoatSafe in its simplicity is the new iBoatShows app, which is just in time for the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show. iBoatShows is a comprehensive database of boat shows for your iPhone or iPad. The app also provides event details, location details and contact info for each boat show, and is the perfect complement to our own boat show calendar. Unlike some of the other apps we have reviewed, iBoatShows was created by two people with boating industry experience – company founder Nancy Birnbaum is a marine industry writer and offshore cruiser, and the app’s developer, Derek Trauger, previously developed the similarly simple-yet-functional Boat Ramp app for TakeMeFishing.org earlier this year. And, like the Boat Ramp app, the iBoatShows app is available for free at iTunes.

As always, we welcome your feedback - especially if you've tried any of these apps, or similar products.

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