Boat Beacon - AIS Navigation

Boat Beacon - AIS Navigation

5,000 - 10,000 downloads

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See and be seen on your boat in Coastal and Inland waters using just your Android phone or tablet - Boat Beacon is the only Marine AIS ship plotting app to share your boat’s position, provide Collision Detection and use real-time data.

Specifically designed for use on the water, BoatBeacon uniquely provides Bearing, Range and Closest Point of Approach (CPA) calculations in addition to AIS ship information. Uses up-to-the-second AIS feeds unlike other apps which can be a minute or more behind real time. Transmits as well as receives AIS and is the only app that continuously monitors CPA, notifying if potential collisions are detected even when the app is in the background.

Outstanding ★★★★★

“An outstanding app, with great potential. Both interesting to use and very user friendly. This could be a life saver. Everyone who goes on the water should have this on and use it!” Sundream

Key Features
Receives AIS ship data in real-time. No VHF AIS receiver, transponder or aerial required.

Over the horizon Collision, SART and MoB detection (30 miles radius) using continuous Closest Point of Approach (CPA) calculations - highlights boats that are on a potential collision course and alarms.

Provides Bearing and Distance information to other boats in addition to AIS information like speed, course, location, name, length etc.

Continually calculates and alarms CPA even when the app is in the background.

Option to Transmit your boats position, speed and heading to Global AIS Systems and other Boat Beacon users. Transmit also works continuously in the background too when enabled.

Live Map view with compass overlay which rotates with you so you can look in the direction of the ships on the map to locate them.

Extensive details on other ships - including Photos.

Search for boats or places nearby or worldwide by name or MMSI.

Share your track and position with friends and family instantly and in real time via email, Twitter and Facebook etc.

People can also follow you on Boat Beacon and leading AIS systems like Ship Finder, MarineTraffic and AIS Hub which have free web viewers available.

Arm all the crews in a race with Boat Beacon and have real time updates on the race positions - inland or at sea - and have the Club-house watch too on a large screen with Boat Beacon's TV/Video Out support

Keep a watch and in touch with other boats in your flotilla when sailing in a group.

Ideal for busy and popular harbours, ports and coastal areas upto 15 miles out to sea.

Boat Beacon requires internet access to work. Most popular coastal areas in the US have cellular data access extending 12 or more miles out to sea. The UK has nearly complete coastal coverage out to 12 miles. AIS Ship data is provided by a network of voluntary AIS shore based stations. Some areas may not have AIS coverage.

N.B. This is not an AIS transponder. You will not be visible to other ships on their AIS systems unless they also use data from the same land based AIS networks.

Android Smartphone or Tablet with GPS.
Internet connection.

You do not need an MMSI to use Boat Beacon and you can be seen on Boat Beacon by other Boat Beacon users without having one. However if you want to be seen on Global AIS systems like Marine Traffic, ShipFinder and AIS Hub, etc. then you will need to have and use an MMSI number. If you don't have an MMSI for your boat you can normally get one for free. In the US you can obtain a free one in a few minutes by visiting (the USCG approved agent) and using their online form. In the UK visit

Please note that continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.


This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful. Boat Beacon should only be used for basic navigation reference and should not be solely relied upon to determine precise locations, proximity, distance, or direction.

Tags: boat beacon, ais navigation, mais boat, mais boat track, boat beacon-ais marine navigation, sart ais, ais ship widget, boat navigation software, ais.

Recently changed in this version

Added USB support for McMurdo and Digital Yacht AIS receivers.
Fixed layout for ships with long names
Fixed intermittent licensing issue

Ruler for distance and bearings.
Ship Speed and Course Vector length extended to 3 minutes out position.
AIS input via Wifi or USB from Simrad, Lowrance and B&G "GoFree™ and other AIS NMEA devices.
CPA Relative Bearing added (degrees to port or starboard)
CPA Distance and Time alarm now variable between 0.1-3NM and 10-30 min.
CPA watch out to 30NM.

Comments and ratings for Boat Beacon - AIS Navigation
  • (67 stars)

    by Phil Day on 07/04/2014

    Simply put, this app shows few boats/ships that are out there and uses a lot of your data. Thanks for your reply. I was in Georgetown SC. The only vessels showing were large ships, tugboats and occasionally a sailboat up and down the coast. I was under

  • (67 stars)

    by Carl Mayhugh on 29/03/2014

    I emailed the other address you gave me...still no reply. This app has some good qualities, but I have emailed for help several times and haven't received a reply. The feature to share my vessel position is great except I should be able to turn off

  • (67 stars)

    by John Mutz on 01/03/2014

    This app is useless to just locate a vessel, much less to get alerts. I work on the mississippi, and it cant find the vessel i am working on when i am standing on it

  • (67 stars)

    by Michael wright on 03/02/2014

    Only worked on the odd occasion, I live near a coal shipping port & it didn't see any ships?

  • (67 stars)

    by Jack Barnes on 30/01/2014

    Works Ok except for touch screen viewing in bright daylight.

  • (67 stars)

    by Nigel Heaton on 10/01/2014

    Definitely a "Must have " app for sailors. Amazing value.

  • (67 stars)

    by Fletcher Grizwald on 05/01/2014

    Nice simple app.