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Old 12-08-2012
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BVI chart/nav app

I checked Charts&Tides and could not find a coverage area that applied to the BVIs. On my East Coast edition, all the Active Captain icons show up when I move the location there, but no navigation or chart data.

Is there an app that covers BVI?
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Old 12-08-2012
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

I have iNautical's Waterproof Chart app on my iPad with a BVI chart and used it this summer while chartering. Pretty no-frills, but it's a decent chart with adequate detail.
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Old 12-08-2012
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

2 years ago I bought a waterproof Garmin Oregon handheld chartplotter along with a chart chip for the eastern Caribbean. This was in preparation for a bareboat charter that included the Spanish Virgins. I also bought waterproof charts and a Seaworthy guide to all of the Virgin Islands so I could lay my hands on the navigation data and just in case the electronics crapped out.

An app might be nice, but if you want something you can rely on under wet conditions a small handheld is the way to go when you are the skipper on someone else's boat. You can set up waypoints and routes ahead of time and familiarize yourself with electronics that you'll be able to use when/if panic sets in. If your charter boat has a chartplotter, at least you'll have a backup that may be more user friendly (if you've done the drill). One advantage of the Oregon--and similar sized Garmin units--is that they fit into a drink holder by the helm.

The higher end Garmin handhelds are not cheap, but they have more pixels (higher resolution) than the cheaper Garmin handheld chart plotters and they obviously are a lot more rugged than a cell phone or tablet. Think of it as insurance--as part of a layered approach to assuring your safety. The only drawback is that they don't float.

I rationalized the purchase as a backup for my own boat's installed chartplotter/GPS which would fail in the next lightning strike. (After losing all my electronics twice to lightning, this is more than a hypothetical situation for me.) The advantage of handheld electronics is that you can protect them by putting them in your oven or wrapping them in aluminum foil when lightning threatens.

That said, I am trying to figure out what charting and weather apps to acquire for my iPhone (and maybe an iPad in the future) and hope to get some suggestions from this blog.
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Old 12-09-2012
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did not require much nav aids

We were in the bvi's for 2 weeks and found that everything was on board our charter that we needed. Doyles guide is all you really need. Line of sight sailing down there
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I checked Charts&Tides and could not find a coverage area that applied to the BVIs. On my East Coast edition, all the Active Captain icons show up when I move the location there, but no navigation or chart data.

Is there an app that covers BVI?
AC only have the free NOAA charts. Any other commercial chart product has to be purchased on your own running on your own lap top or ipad like Polar Navy etc.

You an get from here
ChartWorld Digital Products and Services

Make sure you have your own account from Chartworld, or you can't download charts from them.
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

"Line of sight" sailing generally applies in the BVI, but not if you are going to Anegada. Coming back from Anegada is a different matter.

I've also been caught in the Drake Channel in an intense rain event where the visibility was down to a quarter mile. These events don't last long, thankfully, so we recovered visual landmarks after a while. I didn't have GPS then, but it would have been nice.

The GPS allows you to navigate precisely to a harbor entrance that otherwise blends into the background. It's true that visual navigation will usually keep you out of trouble, but GPS can be a convenience.

Then there are those of us who are used to dead reckoning in areas that have tidal currents and are quite capable of navigating with a compass and a paper chart, but still want to know precisely where we and the waypoint are at all times.
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Re: did not require much nav aids

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Originally Posted by sunnybraerick View Post
We were in the bvi's for 2 weeks and found that everything was on board our charter that we needed. Doyles guide is all you really need. Line of sight sailing down there
Thanks, but, I'm quite familiar. We've done this before and I don't have a concern for finding my way around.

However, I have been aboard where the bareboat's charts were missing or managed to get lost. I would rather not pack my own, as we'll be strictly carrying on. I will have my iPad, so it would be the best option.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

I downloaded the Imray app and bought the Eastern Caribbean charts. Good vacation toy, but looks a bit more cumbersome than it should be. It seems you need to continually reselect the chart you want, rather than it just knitting them all together.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

I use a Garmin GPSMAP 478 as my primary on my own boat and backup on chartered boats. It's small enought to fit in my carry on luggage and very reliable. Every charter boat I've used in the past 10 years has had a GPS chart plotter built in but it is nice to set up potential routes on my computer at home before I get there. I then run my Garmin along side the charter boats GPS (which will have a bigger screen). It is great to have both maps (2 sets of data on 2 different GPS devices) to refer to and to compare.
That said, since you have an iPad, I really like the iSailor app.
You can download it for free from the iTunes store. It comes with one free map so you can get a feel to see if you like it. Then, IIRC, you can download the entire caribbean set of maps for $25. Pretty good deal.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: BVI chart/nav app

I've been to the BVI's for the last 4 years and will be there again mid Jan.
I use iNavX and their Carribean and Ct America chart. In fact it's the reason I bought the iPad in the first place. Great app with more features than you need.
I've also got iSailor, but I don't think it's as good.

The guy I sail with takes a handheld Garmin ( not sure which one)

Both these are not cheep. iNavX is $50 and the chart was $30 I think.
But peace of mind has got to be worth something.
sam :-)
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