Boat Beacon is an AIS receiver for your iPhone and iPad. It is the only AIS ship tracking app to provide Collision Warnings, share your boat’s position and use real-time AIS data.

Connected to the largest network of AIS shore receivers world-wide covering most major ports, harbours and popular coastal areas.

“An outstanding app, with great potential. Both interesting to use and very user friendly. This could be a life saver and especially of interest to small boat users. Everyone who goes on the water should have this on and use it!” ***** Sun Dream, App Store Review

Boat Beacon is specifically designed for boaters and is the only app that provides continuous Bearing, Range and Closest Point of Approach (CPA) calculations and alarms in addition to standard AIS information.

Boat Beacon continuously monitors CPA, notifying if potential collisions are detected even when the app is running in the background as you use your iPhone or iPad for other tasks. Boat Beacon does not require any external AIS transponder or receiver equipment.

Key Features
Over-the-horizon collision avoidance (30 miles radius) using continuous CPA calculations - highlights boats that are on a potential collision course and alerts you with an alarm.

Continually transmits and receives position information and calculates and alarms CPA even when the app is in the background.

Shares your position with Internet AIS Systems and other Boat Beacon users in real time.

Real time Ship Map view with North up and Heading up modes so you can look in the direction of the ships on the map to locate them.

HUD showing own boat's speed, course, heading and position.

Man Overboard tracking, SART Alarm, Anchor watch and Theft alarms.

Live Augmented Reality Camera View with ships, compass and horizon overlaid (IAP required) also now with FLIR ONE Infra-red camera support - see ships and people in the dark through fog.

Free Apple Watch companion app

Boat-to-Boat and Boat to Group Instant Messaging.

Local AIS and GPS via Wifi.

NOAA US and UKHO UK and IE Marine Charts (IAP required).

Let Friends and Family see where you are and where you're headed to with our free Boat Watch app or on web-based AIS systems like Marine Traffic 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 on the water and back in the club house.

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

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

Boat Beacon requires internet access to work. Most popular coastal areas have cellular data access extending 12 or more miles out to sea. AIS Ship data is provided by a world-wide network of AIS shore based stations and our coastal coverage is amongst the best in the industry and constantly improving. Some areas may not have AIS coverage.

N.B. Boat Beacon is not an AIS transponder. You will not be visible to other ships on their VHF AIS systems.

iPhone or iPad with Compass and GPS.
Internet connection.

Real-time navigation requires a GPS location. iPhone devices and iPads with a cellular modem already have built-in GPS, even if they do not have an active service plan.

You do not need an MMSI number to use Boat Beacon and you can be seen on Boat Beacon by other Boat Beacon users without one. To be seen on Global AIS systems like MarineTraffic you will need one. In the US you can obtain a free one by visiting In the UK visit or email us for an internet MMSI number.

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

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.

What's New

Version 4.3

Battery reminder on each 20% drop in charge and once every 30 minutes when running in background and not connected to a charger
Anchor drop and raise improvement in settings.

Ratings and Reviews


Bummed 1

When I first purchased this app, it included charts. The charts were later removed and the company wants to sell the NOAA charts to me again for me to have access. I emailed them to ask if it was a mistake and they didn’t respond. I don’t trust these guys and there are plenty of other good apps available.

Developer Response


We have replied via our support channel and offered you a complimentary copy of the NOAA charts. Could you please let us know if you have not received our reply or email us again at


Boat Beacon


Works best on iPad 3 with cellular/wifi as this iPad 3G has a GPS assisted capability whether connected or not to a cellular network.

IPad 2 wifi (no cellular) dees NOT have a GPS Satellite Receiver in them so you would need to add a GPS receiver to an iPad 2. I tried using a Verizon Hot Spot Cellular with iPad 2 and neither worked, nor did Apple Maps or Google Maps.

There are no cellular towers in the middle of Lake Michigan, so the triangulated cellular cannot function on a iPad 2. You end up sliding along the shoreline and never go out into the Lake. The same problem happens with Apple Maps and Google on an iPad 2 with wifi. Apple Tech Support acknowledges that they are having problems with Apple Maps and today acknowledged issues reported with SeaNav and BoatBeacon, both sold through their AppStore because of the lack of a GPS receiver in the iPad.

I took back my iPad2 wifi and picked up a iPad 3G which allows SeaNav & Boat Beacon to work out on the water. The Technical Support and Management at SeaNav/Boat Beacon provided excellent support and personal attention to my concerns and answered all my help requests. A+

Works as advertized

Virgo Tech

When I look at the features of Boat Beacon I can verify it is working as advertized. While other boats around you will not see you transmitting unless they are connected to the Ship Finder or Marine Traffic web sites, this should help you being seen to Vessel Traffic which is great. The ability to see other traffic around you and get CPA information without going below and looking at your dedicated AIS receiver is also a plus.

Note:This is a correction to my Feb 18 review that I mistakenly posted for Boat Beacon instead of the offending app.


Pocket Mariner Ltd.
85.5 MB
Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
This app may use your location even when it isn't open, which can decrease battery life.
© Electric Pocket Ltd
In-App Purchases
  1. Live View Upgrade $4.99
  2. NOAA US Marine Charts $9.99
  3. UK & IE Marine Charts $12.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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