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post #21 of 104 Old 01-02-2011
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So there is some historical reason for confusion here. Many devices in the past have been described as having GPS when they weren't actually communicating with the GPS satellite systems. And many devices can provide location information without it - for example the original iPhone.

But, as of today, nearly every cell phone and smart phone has a true, satelite based GPS chip, including the current iPhones and iPad...

...So what you'll see with an iPhone or iPad in the middle of the ocean is a device that's not exactly designed to be there. I suspect it's algorithms are optimized to leverage wireless data and will be surprised to fine none. The iPad will absolutely lock your location, it will just do it slowly.
You seem to be saying that all models of iPad, including the WiFi-only versions, have a GPS satellite chip in them. Can you confirm that this is true? If I get one, this fact will greatly affect which model I select.


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post #22 of 104 Old 01-02-2011
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You seem to be saying that all models of iPad, including the WiFi-only versions, have a GPS satellite chip in them. Can you confirm that this is true? If I get one, this fact will greatly affect which model I select.
That was my mistake, I should have distinguished between the iPad's but got carried away going into the details.

As others have said, only iPad 3G's have "real" satellite based GPS. I edited the post to reflect that.
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post #23 of 104 Old 01-02-2011
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I took my iPad with iNavX to the San Juans in late Sept and to the BVI's in late Nov.
As a Canadian, my provider package gives me cell coverage anywhere in Canada, but I get roaming charges anywhere outside the country. So I turn it off outside Canada. In the middle of Bellingham Bay or Drake Channel, BVI's there is no Wi-Fi either.
The iPad worked great. Seemed fast too! ...And it does have course up!

I wouldn't mount it at the wheel - not too good in bright sunlight and not waterproof. But as a secondary system, real usefull. As skipper of a chartered C&C 115 in Bellingham, I used it to confirm for myself that we were where we should have been, without continually looking over the helmsman's shoulder.

...and I get e-mail and Internet too when we dock.

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post #24 of 104 Old 01-02-2011
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I actively cruised with my iPad. It turned out to be a true lifesaver. When I came into areas that I did not have a chip for it was able to let me know what exactly was below me at all times. At the time I only had the WiFi version but I was using the Sprint Overdrive which does have a GPS chip in it and the iPad was getting its numbers from there.

If you are planning on getting an iPad for Cruising, I recommend you get the 3g version. You do not have to pay for AT&Ts service to use all of the features you will need for iNavX or Navionics.

Throughout all of the storms my boat, me and my iPad survived the iPad never once faltered. I did take care to stow it when it was not in use and a if the weather turned bad. My iPad did take the occasional splash and spray but it never was submerged. While yes it is fragile, I do believe you will find it much more robust than you think.

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post #25 of 104 Old 01-02-2011
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If you want an Ipad get a Ipad. They are pretty cool but they are not a GPS that can get banged around, get wet, get dropped on deck andx steped on, etc. The handheld Garmins are pretty sturdy and a good value with preloaded charts. If all your sailing is on one lakem a base model with the purchase of the charts you need might be a better value unless you may move on to the great blue ocean in the future.
Well said. My Garmin has served us very well.

Also, while iPads are impressive, I don't think that they can interface with other electronics that use the NMMEA protocol. Even my handheld Garmin will interface with the autohelm. Many of the larger chartplotters can also interface with radar.

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post #26 of 104 Old 01-03-2011
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Well said. My Garmin has served us very well.

Also, while iPads are impressive, I don't think that they can interface with other electronics that use the NMMEA protocol. Even my handheld Garmin will interface with the autohelm. Many of the larger chartplotters can also interface with radar.
Actually with some of the new devices coming out you can interface it with other devices on board. The technology is coming around.

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post #27 of 104 Old 01-04-2011
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We use our ipad all of the time for this. We have a Garmin plotter as well, but sailing up into Canada this summer it lacked cartography. I would recommend it to anyone as a backup, or if you are taking a trip somewhere where you don't yet have charts. The Navionics apps are cheap and the iphone versions will run (and are even cheaper, though lower resolution). iNavX has it's problems and I can't recommend it. I really wish I could get a refund, both for the app and the international charts from Fugawi. The charts are essentially rentals with a time out on the time you can download them, so if you ever need to restore your ipad later you are SOL.
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post #28 of 104 Old 01-05-2011 Thread Starter
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What a great site! I appreciate all the help! The day after I posted the question, I saw on the national news that commercial pilots are now allowed to use the ipad for navigation. (provided they also have paper charts).
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post #29 of 104 Old 02-15-2011
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iNavX on iPhone.Itouch and iPad is great and Anchor alarm its number 1
I like my ipad better than my paper charts, easier to read (more current)!
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post #30 of 104 Old 03-09-2011
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alright how about an ipad 2 ?

Thinking of getting an ipad 2... (non-3g) will it function any better than a first generation ipad as far as being a chart plotter?

Also, those who use their ipads for Nav/Chart plotting -- what kind of battery life do you get?

I have a droid phone with the Navionics app and it works great for chartplotting but the GPS use eats battery so I rarely use it. I run my depthfinder off a 12V car jump starter so I don't have limitless power. (and no car charger for the droid, so I can't even charge that on the boat)

Or should I get a used ipad when the 2nd one comes out and everyone unloads their old ones cheap?

Would be nice to have the camera aspect of the new one (not necessarily for sailing, but for other things)

I'm sure I could come up with some sort of holder for it so it would stay attached to the boat, maybe on a swing-out mount in the companionway so it's shielded from direct sun and not likely to get splashed, but can be moved inside in case of rain (I can sit inside the boat and watch movies, I suppose)

Thanks!

Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

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