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  #1  
Old 02-03-2011
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iPhone navigation apps.

I'm getting an iPhone now that they have them from Verizon. Does anyone have experience with their navigation apps? I sail out of Raritan Bay in NJ up and down the East Coast, Maine to the Chesapeake. I would appreciate any recommendations and advice. How do they compare in usefulness to a chartplotter? Do you need a phone signal or can they work on gps alone?
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Old 02-03-2011
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The Navionics App is pretty decent and doesn't require a cellular connection to operate. However, I wouldn't recommend using this as a primary navigation information source. And if you are going to use it on your iPhone on the boat a lot, get a waterproof housing for the phone.
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Old 02-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordo View Post
I'm getting an iPhone now that they have them from Verizon. Does anyone have experience with their navigation apps? I sail out of Raritan Bay in NJ up and down the East Coast, Maine to the Chesapeake. I would appreciate any recommendations and advice. How do they compare in usefulness to a chartplotter? Do you need a phone signal or can they work on gps alone?
I am using an Android with Navionics charts.

Some aids to navigation are labelled incorrectly.
Marina services are incomplete as are many of the other searchable services.

It will not replace a a chartplotter which has an antennae external to the cabin. It will also not replaced paper charts and "real" navigation.

Other tools that might useful:

Passage weather
Buoy weather

Internet access to NOAA, etc..
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Old 02-03-2011
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You should try Geowake and EarthNC Lite....both are free. I use them on my Android phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I am using an Android with Navionics charts.

Some aids to navigation are labelled incorrectly.
Marina services are incomplete as are many of the other searchable services.

It will not replace a a chartplotter which has an antennae external to the cabin. It will also not replaced paper charts and "real" navigation.

Other tools that might useful:

Passage weather
Buoy weather

Internet access to NOAA, etc..
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 02-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Other tools that might useful:

Passage weather
Buoy weather

Internet access to NOAA, etc..
Jack...Buoy Weather...interesting service.
This link here???
British Columbia Marine Weather Forecast | BUOYWEATHER.COM
I'm confused Where did these buoy's come from? For example, the west coast of the Charlottes is showing 13 weather buoys complete with forecasts. The only ones I have been familliar with are Bowie seamount, West Dixon Entrance, West Morseby and South Morseby. None of these 13 show on my charts and I have never heard of any others on the radio or anywhere else. West Vancouver Island is similar with 12 buoys and I only know of three.
Am I missing something here? Do you know of these buoys?
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Old 02-04-2011
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Just got an iPhone, and those who know me know I like lots of redundancy and such.

I echo what has been said, as a primary source for navigation, no! As an additional source of information and entertainment - yes.

Here's what I have so far:
  • KnotsGuide - interesting / entertainment
  • Windfinder - interesting / entertainment - might become more useful, might not
  • KG Free - interesting / entertainment
  • Windspeedconverter - - interesting / entertainment
  • Cruisers - forum list - interesting
  • Boating Suite - paid app -very useful, printable log, maintenance, to do list etc.
  • Charts&Tides East Coast US w/ Active Captain - paid app - excellent
  • DayTides - interesting, redundant tide information
  • Radar - paid app - real time weather radar
  • RadarCanada - paid app - real time weather radar - very specific to me

And, I am sure I will find more and others will also have suggestions.

Rik
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Old 02-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordo View Post
I'm getting an iPhone now that they have them from Verizon. Does anyone have experience with their navigation apps? I sail out of Raritan Bay in NJ up and down the East Coast, Maine to the Chesapeake. I would appreciate any recommendations and advice. How do they compare in usefulness to a chartplotter? Do you need a phone signal or can they work on gps alone?
My experience is with an AT&T iPhone. All currently available information is that the Verizon iPhone will operate the same. It is certainly in the realm of possibility that there will be some differences.

On the AT&T iPhone without a cell signal the phone hits the battery pretty hard looking for a signal. Putting the phone in airplane mode is the obvious response. Unfortunately the phone GPS won't acquire a signal in airplane mode. There is no error message - it just sits there and hunts.

I've been very happy with Charts & Tides, including the excellent ActiveCaptain information. Offshore away from cell signals I keep the phone in airplane mode except for when I'm explicitly looking at Charts & Tides or one of my other GPS/navigation applications. That seems to be a reasonable approach.

I'm hoping that some future upgrade to iOS will give us a way to turn the GPS back on in airplane mode, just as we can currently choose to turn wifi back on in airplane mode.

My partner ordered a Verizon iPhone yesterday - we're looking forward to side-by-side comparisons.
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Old 02-04-2011
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I use Navionics on a jailbroken 1G iPod Touch. Operation on an iPhone should be similar.

I am not a big fan of the Navionics package. It's ok wrt position on the chart, but the speedleader jumps all over, indicating wildly different courses. I don't think that this is related to the 3rd party GPS antenna that I use, but is possible in theory. The chart is small and requires a lot of zooming in and out - taking eyes off the water.

Regardless, I agree with SVAuspicious and rikhall in that bettery usage is heavy and that this app should not be used as a primary source of Nav. I use it when entering/exiting complicated or unknown harbors. My primary source of electronic Nav is a Mac running GPSNavX, which I consider an awesome value.... but that's a different thread.

Don't use an iPod or iPhone as primary Nav; you're better off with a paper chart and DR.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I've been very happy with Charts & Tides, including the excellent ActiveCaptain information. Offshore away from cell signals I keep the phone in airplane mode except for when I'm explicitly looking at Charts & Tides or one of my other GPS/navigation applications. That seems to be a reasonable approach.

I'm hoping that some future upgrade to iOS will give us a way to turn the GPS back on in airplane mode, just as we can currently choose to turn wifi back on in airplane mode.
Dave,
Is the ActiveCaptain info in the Charts &Tides app loaded or does it require cell connection/ wifi to retrieve info? How precise is the GPS without cell/wifi service?
Thanks, Bernd
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I have iNavX, which is great so far, although I've only scratched the surface of using it. If you've got MacENC for your computer you can use the GPS from your iPhone via wifi. Might also work with other plotter programs that can get NMEA over wifi. I think it works both ways, too, if there's an AIS or something putting out a NMEA wifi signal, the iNavX app can use it.

I also have the app Cruiser's Nav which has a lot of great info about clearing customs/paperwork and good cruising spots, mostly for Caribbean.
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