Steve Hodges and Sam McClement test the What's Ashore app, which aims to bring together up to date cruising information from locations of dinghy docks to the best bar next to the marina

Product Overview


  • Easy to use


  • Needs more information from cruisers
  • Currently lacking information for the UK


What’s Ashore app: tried and tested

There’s no question that crowd-sourced information (so long as validated) is a sure-fire way of gathering real time, updated and voluminous amounts of information from a mass of sources, quickly, writes Steve Hodges and Sam McClements.

For example, at the end of 2022 the ‘Sat Nav with real time traffic data app’ WAZE had 151 million active users updating real time traffic and road layout change information globally.

On the high seas, Raymarine’s SonarChart solution is constantly monitoring the seabed and sending updated survey information to a cloud data warehouse which, in turn, is used to update chart plotters; something that not that long ago would’ve been an arduous and expensive exercise.

So the concept of the What’s Ashore app is a brilliant one; get the user community to populate a tool which gives you up-to-date information on the services required when going ashore.

A screenshot from the What's Ashore app

The app could prove invaluable once more data becomes available

No more wandering around town in head-to-toe foul weather gear asking locals for a cashpoint, a pub or the nearest chandlery.

The idea is rock solid, and the app is intuitive, clear and has some really handy features such as a quick click location finder, favourites, and a quick access bar at the top showing most likely needed places.

The ‘customs’ button would come in very handy as we have spent too much time wandering around French towns looking for a passport stamp post-Brexit!

The challenge for the app at the moment is a bit of a Catch-22. It lacks virtually any data for the UK.

When sailing separately at the weekend, we visited Chatham, Queenborough and Dover, while passing Ramsgate along the way – there were no usable locations in the app.

Continues below…

As an exercise, we input a bar in Queenborough, the laundry in Dover and the fuel berth at MDL Chatham.

At the time of writing, these are the only three data points in the south-east.

The interface was easy to use and the information it asks for is complete and useful to the next person – but for use right now for the visiting sailor, it is limited due to the lack of data.

So the What’s Ashore app needs to attract a user community of willing participants to fill it with the data it needs.

Once it hits the ‘tipping point’ required, it’ll start to be self-fulfilling as more users will mean more content, which in turn will attract more users.

Once it gets there, What’s Ashore app would be an incredibly powerful tool for any cruising sailor.

Price: Free.

Download What’s Ashore app on the Apple App Store 

Download What’s Ashore app on Google Play.


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Once more cruisers add information and it hits tipping point, the What's Ashore app will be an incredibly powerful tool for any cruising sailor.