Sea Tow Launches Free Tide, Weather, Assistance App
By Gail Kulp on April 12th, 2012
- updated on June 12th, 2012
Sea Tow Services International has announced the launch of the Sea Tow App. Available for free download by iPhone and Android smartphone users (regardless of whether they are Sea Tow Members or not), the app offers a host of useful functions, including fingertip access to up-to-date marine weather forecasts, alerts and radar; tide tables and graphs; GPS location, speed and heading; and a link to 24-hour on-water assistance. The app also boasts an easy-to use graphic interface with Day and Night running modes.
The Sea Tow App’s functions include:
Weather: This multifaceted function provides current conditions including wind speed, direction and gusts; daily marine forecast with visibility, barometric pressure, water temperature and sunrise/sunset; weekend forecast, and 7-day forecast. Users can display this information not only for their present location, but also for up to seven additional locations in the Continental U.S., making it easy to check the forecast in advance for all the stops in a weeklong itinerary. Clicking the “map” button displays a terrestrial weather radar map for a particular location—you can “Tap” for more detail.
Tides: This highly detailed function displays high and low tide tables for up to 8 different locations in both digital and graphic chart format for up to 8 days ahead. The Tides function draws data from 3,800 U.S. tide stations; users can search for their desired locations both by zipcode or by clicking on a map and “pinching in”. When GPS-enabled smartphone users have the phone’s “Follow Me” function turned on, the app automatically will find the tide station closest to their current location.
GPS: This handy function displays the user’s latitude and longitude—which can be shared with other boaters via e-mail if desired—and pinpoints the location on a terrestrial map. The “helm” screen provides a graphic representation of a compass and speedometer that display the user’s True and Magnetic headings, SOG (Speed Over Ground) and COG (Course Over Ground). Designed for coastal and inshore navigation, the GPS function also can be used offshore by satellite-enabled smartphones. The Sea Tow App’s innovative Night mode, which reverses each screen’s light graphics to dark, lets users view its GPS and all other screens in the dark without impairing night vision.
24-Hour Assistance: The Sea Tow App provides a slider bar that can be used to contact Sea Tow’s 24-Hour Call Center. The app supplies the caller’s lat/lon position to the assistance specialists who are standing by 24/7 to get a Sea Tow Captain underway to their location in his familiar yellow boat.
Gail Kulp is the executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation, a non-profit organization working to promote safe boating practices in order to reduce boating-related accidents and fatalities. Before coming to work for the Sea Tow Foundation, Kulp served as the director of education and standards for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, from 2005 to 2010.