Over the years, boating has continued to increase in popularity as a sport, hobby, and activity. Whether for fishing, recreation, or just relaxation – people have enjoyed boating with and without the use of technology for a long time. Of course – in recent years, the mobile revolution has tacked on some pretty useful apps for boating enthusiasts everywhere. These include weather, flashlight, cheap gas finding, and nautical navigation apps. Some of these apps can get pretty expensive, but the app we’re talking about today will give you a well made interface through which to check the tides in your favorite boating locations; for a reasonable price.
There is generally one way to get your boat in the water. Find a boat ramp, and drive the boat in. While many people do this but once a season through utilizing a slip (or permanent location in the water for the season), many people haul their boat home at the end of their boating day. For these people, tides are important. Lowering a boat down a ramp at low tide can be a concern depending on the state of the ramp. Sometimes, the trailer can fall off the edge and create a mess (even a sunken car/truck) for the owner. Tide Graph can (hopefully) prevent you from falling into this mess – literally.
A Little App Background
When launching the app, a location selection screen will display from which you can select your boating location. This is highly important as tides are obviously different throughout the day in different places. On this screen however is an important note which explains that the app only displays tide information for areas monitored by the National Ocean Service. This is a great thing and ensures what you see is a fact, and not Joe Shmoes best guess.
Choosing your Location
Tide Graph makers have improved the method by which a location is chosen over time by allowing the app to find your location, or choosing a state. Pressing Tides from the Location screen will bring you to a selection screen. Selecting your state from the below list will show all waterways monitored by the NOS in that state.
A better bet is to simply press the crosshairs synonymous throughout iOS with ‘Find my Location’ to get a list based on waterways closest to your current location. A word of caution; if you select a different state followed by pressing the crosshairs, the closest waterway in that other state to you will show. This should be obvious though as distance from your location is shown beneath each waterway. The same is the case for currents – though many states seem to be missing in the current category.
Reading the Tide
Once your location is found – simply press Back then Done to see the Tide (or Current) Graph. This dashboard provides many important pieces of information related to the Tide. Included information is:
- Time of Day
- Rising or Falling Indicator
- Water Level
- Rising or Falling Speed
- High and Low Tide Times
- Tide Graph
The Day, Location, and Graph are all interactive. Selecting the + or – next to Day will show you either what the tide was at the current time going backwards or forwards. This is helpful in allowing you to plan a boating outing for an upcoming date. You can also press the date and time to choose a date such as 7/14. Then use the graph to choose a precise time on that day such as 1:30pm. Pressing the location will bring you back to the location selection screen. Pressing the map will show other areas close by the location currently selected. Holding and dragging over the Tide Graph will allow you to finely scrub the time of day and see the metrics related to that time.
The Graph also contains buttons for Details, Tables, and Help. The Details page will show details related to the Moon, Sun, Low, and High Tide. The Tables page will show a report for the current month’s tides. From here, previous and future months are navigable. The Help button will simply display the features of the app.
For $1.99 Tide Graph makes finding tides easy and all in one place. Sure a google search can yield the high and low tide timings, but for the more serious boater, Tide Graph will give an all in one Tide and Current interactive dashboard. I use this app everytime I take my boat out like clockwork. It works well and provides me with important information related to the tide. For its usefulness and features, I give the app a 9/10.