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post #69 of Old 02-22-2013
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

I had only a few minutes last night to try things out again. I actually spent most of the time using Garmin's iPad app to try to remember why I did not really get to like it when we were in BVI. I already mentioned that the routes and tracks can't be shared with any other devices unless you buy one of the Garmin chartplotters and their Garmin Network device. But I was also very unhappy with the poor accuracy of using a finger to plot routes. Their waypoint circle icons were way too big and were the width of the whole Delaware River! If I zoom in enough to see whether the waypoint is in the channel or on shore , then I can't see enough length of the river to do much of a route.

Obviously most of my plotting is going to be in more open waters, but I used this as an example of the problems with the program. I just prefer to use a mouse to plot routes because it is much more precise (down to the pixel) and using OpenCPN (or even HomePort) it is very easy to adjust the location of a waypoint if you're not happy with where you clicked.

If I had not purchased a Garmin Oregon 400c three years ago, I might be tempted to use the iPad instead (although the Oregon is fully waterproof, a big advantage in the cockpit). The Oregon is even worse than iPad for plotting routes because of its small screen and low resolution of tapping with your finger (same problem as iPad). But I don't even try to create routes on the Oregon - I just create routes on my computer and transfer them to the Oregon. Unfortunately that option is not possible with the iPad using the Garmin software. Maybe it is possible with other programs.

I can understand the attractiveness of using the iPad's touch features, and its intuitive ease of use. I just want the greater precision of using a mouse to create routes. Hopefully some better software will appear on Android tablets, since they give you the choice of tapping with your finger or plugging a mouse into the USB port. There you can have the best of both worlds. (Very dumb of Apple to leave a USB port off their iPads.)

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, 50 Ton Master and OUPV
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106

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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
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