Boat US has launched an iPhone and Android app for sending out your position, contacting Vessel Assist for a tow and browsing the Boat US directory. Panbo has a good write-up on the Vessel Assist part.
When you start the app you’re required to fill in all the settings which includes among other details about you and your boat an email and phone number for both you and an emergency contact.
The Share Your Location feature is pretty cool it builds up an SMS or Email message with a Google Maps Link and sends that to you and your emergency contact. On the iPhone it used the standard iPhone email and SMS forms so you can add and remove additional people from the message if you choose.
Couple of suggestions:
- I’d like to see this natively tied into Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare as well, but I was able to “hack” around that by setting the phone number of my emergency contact to Twitter’s number and it worked fine. I could also just add that to the TO: in the message but it’s not as elegant.
- Picking an Emergency contact should be something you do by browsing to the contact and picking them, not typing in their information. Who even knows anyone’s phone number anymore.
The BoatUS Directly was really just a link to a set of links that open up the web browser. I was kinda hoping for BoatUS Deals nearby (like Foursquare) but for guest moorage at marinas, deals at West Marines, nearby services, etc… THAT would be useful and awesome!
Obviously this requires you to be near land AND a cell phone tower, but for a lot people that covers all the boating they do. It’s a great start and I’m look forward to seeing their improvements over time.