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I already own and use both iSailor and Garmin Blue Chart Mobile. I have the charts for both systems. We are doing a charter in the Carib shortly and I want to carry back up to paper and what the charter boat already has.

Blue Chart Mobile - While this is great for planning it is not a navigation program. I like eh Active Captain part of it too. There is no "go to" feature and I am a point & click user. If the wind changes I prefer to just point and hit "go to" to a new spot.. yes I create routes but rarely if ever use them. I also often switch between North Up and Course Up..

iSailor- This is decent but I really don't like the screen functions and it is awfully "kludgy" to me. I pick a spot on the chart to hit go to now a really small box pops up that is teeny, tiny with a few options. Not well suited IMHO.

I am considering pulling the plug in iNavX, Navionics and others but want to get an idea of how they work in "go to" mode..... I also would like the ability to control the size and color of cookie trail and the ship icon etc. and a lot of them don't allow for that. These latter items are not a priority but a good go to function is...

Before everyone gets their panties in a knot, this is BACK UP and planning (mostly planning). I will have a Garmin HH with me on top of this and an iPhone 6+ and iPad Air both with nav software.

I don't mind spending the money but the reviews of most of these products leave out such things as how the "go to" function actually works, how big the pop up boxes are, general usability etc..

Looking for anyone with good experience with iSailor AND others to compare and contrast...

Oh and before the iPad GPS function debate gets going both my phone and iPad Air have internal GPS and yes it works out of the range of cell towers & wi-fi.........;)
 

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MS. I pursued much the same issue a couple of winters back. While a bit dated, I found my choice limited by which apps had Caribbean chart data.

I only wanted a chart backup and something to measure distance to a waypoint, so I could mentally calculate a rough ETA. Almost never use these for navigation. More to just check current position. Although, I will admit to using them real time for harbor nav. Along with the Mark II eyeballs.

I fully agree that iSailor was bad. I even deleted it from my Ipad.

I ended up with Garmin Blue Chart. Expensive charts, but they worked. Easy to measure distance. Easy to set up a route for multiple waypoints and see entire route length, etc. I Usually find that I'm sailing what the wind allows, rather than a route line anyway. You get the hang of starting a route from the position of your boat on the screen and then tapping the location you are heading to. Your starting point may not be exact, but neither is the wind, current, etc, so I find it close enough for govt work.

Where are you going?
 

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I've been using iNavx quite extensively this past season. It's pretty good, once you figure it all out. Its weakness is perhaps its strength: it has so many options and tools that it was less-than-intuitive all the time. That said, it works very well and seems to accept all manner of charts.

I do like BlueChart, mostly for the Active Captain access. I like it's interface. It is clearer and more intuitive, but its lack of basic go-to feature makes it a no-go for active navigation.

I looked at iSailor, but quickly discarded it.
 

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I keep the Garmin and Navionics apps on my phone and iPad but don't really use either for navigation while on board other than to check position while someone else is at the helm or to check the status of the tide. I think the Garmin's charts are less cluttered but like Navionics shore side info.

If going to the Carribean I'd probably take either my Garmin GPSMap 478 or Oregon 200 with charts for where I was headed (or both). I keep a topo map card on the Oregon in addition to the preloaded marine charts just for hikes or exploring on land.
 

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iNAVx ... Simple, accurate, good features. Price is right also.
 

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For me Paper is the backup. And the iPads and Navionics, if the chart plotter fails, would be my first backup - I know this wasn't your question, but honestly I don't understand all of the objections people make about using tablets.

Yes, the GPS is not perfect in some circumstances, but a paper chart doesn't have a GPS at all, so how is that a point of debate. You would still have the equivalent of a paper chart with the tablet. If the GPS isn't trusted you just need to dead reckon like you would with paper. (OK, so you can't use parallel rulers)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
For me Paper is the backup. And the iPads and Navionics, if the chart plotter fails, would be my first backup - I know this wasn't your question, but honestly I don't understand all of the objections people make about using tablets.

Yes, the GPS is not perfect in some circumstances, but a paper chart doesn't have a GPS at all, so how is that a point of debate. You would still have the equivalent of a paper chart with the tablet. If the GPS isn't trusted you just need to dead reckon like you would with paper. (OK, so you can't use parallel rulers)
My paper charts have never done this:






BTW that spot sounding is not 108 feet deep it is 108 feet TALL!!!

Until I see 100% mistake free e-charting, and I have seen mistakes and omissions for the North East on ALL OF THEM, then yes paper will always be my back up...;)

Watched a boat sail right through an entrance to an anchorage last summer where a giant erratic granite boulder is. Guy must have missed it by inches. On shore, at the island later, I mentioned to him that the way he came in should really be avoided due to the rock.

"What rock, my plotter does not show a rock."

"Check your paper charts and you'll see it."

Apparently ignoring local knowledge and/or a lack of paper charts caused him t-bone the exact rock I told him not to go by the next morning. Sipping coffee and all of a sudden BOOM!!!! Yes he hit the rock and yes it is still there despite it not being on his particular e-charts due to an omission or oversight........;) Guy had plenty of chances but chose to ignore all of them in favor of his plotter....:eek:

Oh and why don't I use my iPad as primary electronic nav. Last summer while entering a very tricky harbor on Muscongus bay my iPad froze on a software update while using it for a secondary e navigation source. Lucky I had my plotter and paper in the cockpit and it was really tertiary...;)

When cartographers stop making data entry omissions and errors then maybe I will consider not having my paper handy...:)
 

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When cartographers stop making data entry omissions and errors then maybe I will consider not having my paper handy...:)
Agreed. But of course, paper charts are ripe with errors and omissions as well ;). Digital charts are based on the same datasets that produce printed. No doubt there are additional errors in some e-charts, but I don't see how they are inherently more error-prone than e-charts.

One of the main strengths of paper charts is that it forces navigators to use their most important tool: their eyes. A chart plotter can seduce us into thinking we know where we are, and what is around (and under) us. We forget that, at best, a plotter is showing us a rough approximation of reality.

I like my digital charts. I mostly use a chart plotter in the cockpit (primary: hand-held Garmin, secondary: iPad with iNavx), but I usually have a paper chart in the cockpit as well (a chart book) and a full-size paper chart laid out on my chart table down below.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MaineSail - you probably know this but for those that come behind, check Panbo and the ActiveCaptain newsletter archive. Lots of good stuff in both places. Both Gizmo and aCappella are homeported in Maine ...
I do... I check Ben's site a few times per week...
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Agreed. But of course, paper charts are ripe with errors and omissions as well ;).
I agree 150% but to then take that level of mediocrity (paper) and make it worse by leaving things out or omitting rocks, ledges or spot soundings is taking the mediocrity to even lower levels...........

NOTE: I say mediocrity because I know both myself and my friends family have reported an uncharted rock multiple times since as far back as the 70's and it has yet to show up on any chart.

In this day and age, when google can map your freaking front door right down to a photo of it, there is no excuse for not having pinpoint accuracy in electronic charting, but we don't, and we still rely on sometimes 70 year old or more data sets to convert from, to digital. The problem goes way deeper than paper vs. electronic but if we can't even get the translation from paper to electronic right, sheesh.....:confused:


Digital charts are based on the same datasets that produce printed.
"Based on" are the key words there.... ;)

No doubt there are additional errors in some e-charts, but I don't see how they are inherently more error-prone than e-charts.
Come sail in Maine the errors and omissions are numerous. There are four pictures directly above this that show exactly how bad they can be.

One of the main strengths of paper charts is that it forces navigators to use their most important tool: their eyes. A chart plotter can seduce us into thinking we know where we are, and what is around (and under) us. We forget that, at best, a plotter is showing us a rough approximation of reality.
Amen!

I like my digital charts. I mostly use a chart plotter in the cockpit (primary: hand-held Garmin, secondary: iPad with iNavx), but I usually have a paper chart in the cockpit as well (a chart book) and a full-size paper chart laid out on my chart table down below.
Then there is no argument. You too are not 100% sold on e-charting either....;)

When the e-chart makers are batting 100% and getting every datum point converted from paper to digital then and only then will I consider relying 100% on electronic... It's been nearly 20 years that I have had plotters, and the charting mistakes are still happening.

While they are amazingly accurate they are also not 100% A to A from paper to electronic in the conversion process and mistakes are made..
 

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Then there is no argument. You too are not 100% sold on e-charting either....;)
+1 :) I like paper. I'm not saying don't have digital (and to stick with the thread, I like iNavX), but treat it as a useful tool, not as something that should be blindly trusted.

Funny, but your rock story is almost exactly what happened to me a couple of seasons ago. There was this un uncharted rock deep in an anchorage we went in (in this case on neither digital, nor paper charts). Fellow passes by me to get in closer, which is right where the rock is. I call across as they pass us in the anchorage to watch out for this uncharted rock. He calls back, saying that it's not problem ... he has a chart plotter. I try again, and he just waves me off... Five minutes later - BANG. The shoal was clearly visible to the eye. If he had been watching the real world, instead of staring at his gizmo, he'd have seen it too.
 

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I already own and use both iSailor and Garmin Blue Chart Mobile. I have the charts for both systems. We are doing a charter in the Carib shortly and I want to carry back up to paper and what the charter boat already has.

Blue Chart Mobile - While this is great for planning it is not a navigation program. I like eh Active Captain part of it too. There is no "go to" feature and I am a point & click user. If the wind changes I prefer to just point and hit "go to" to a new spot.. yes I create routes but rarely if ever use them. I also often switch between North Up and Course Up..

iSailor- This is decent but I really don't like the screen functions and it is awfully "kludgy" to me. I pick a spot on the chart to hit go to now a really small box pops up that is teeny, tiny with a few options. Not well suited IMHO.

I am considering pulling the plug in iNavX, Navionics and others but want to get an idea of how they work in "go to" mode..... I also would like the ability to control the size and color of cookie trail and the ship icon etc. and a lot of them don't allow for that. These latter items are not a priority but a good go to function is...

Before everyone gets their panties in a knot, this is BACK UP and planning (mostly planning). I will have a Garmin HH with me on top of this and an iPhone 6+ and iPad Air both with nav software.

I don't mind spending the money but the reviews of most of these products leave out such things as how the "go to" function actually works, how big the pop up boxes are, general usability etc..

Looking for anyone with good experience with iSailor AND others to compare and contrast...

Oh and before the iPad GPS function debate gets going both my phone and iPad Air have internal GPS and yes it works out of the range of cell towers & wi-fi.........;)
I do mind having to spend $$$ and time to trial these apps.

What I want out of these planning apps is full function waypoint and route management (chart OR pick list), with ability to move that data back and forth on SD card to the onboard nav unit IN A STANDARD FILE FORMAT (aka GPX).

I found BCM waypoint and route management excruciating and Garmin unresponsive to change requests.

iSailGPS was better, but still a pain to move data (each route has to be exported individually). And they too unresponsive to change requests.

Navico's InSight planner, I'll let you know when I can get it to stop crashing/hanging.

Three strikes ... that's it for me.
 

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...When the e-chart makers are batting 100% and getting every datum point converted from paper to digital then and only then will I consider relying 100% on electronic....
What about e-charting products that use NOAA's electronic raster charts direct from NOAA's website? Those are 100% accurate, exact reproductions of the printed versions. While there's a potential for errors on NOAA's printed charts too, at least you have 100% exact agreement between digital and paper, which meets the threshold that you stated.

Sadly, there's not an iOS product that I'm aware of that displays NOAA RNC charts. But there are products on Android and Win8 tablets that do. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of OpenCPN, and this is one of the reasons.
...What I want out of these planning apps is full function waypoint and route management (chart OR pick list), with ability to move that data back and forth on SD card to the onboard nav unit IN A STANDARD FILE FORMAT (aka GPX)...
One of the things I dislike about iOS is how Apple takes too much control of data transfers, so SD cards and file sharing are much less easy. Once again, Android and Win8 tablets are much more open, and thus moving data back and forth are much easier. And OpenCPN saves routes, waypoints, and tracks in gpx format. I routinely move them back and forth between my Win8 tablet and my Garmin handheld. I never plot routes or waypoints in the handheld - I always create them in OpenCPN, and transfer them over to the handheld. But the handheld's just a backup for wet weather - OpenCPN on the tablet has become my main navigation tool in dry conditions.

I'm waiting for iOS to catch up in improving their data tranasfer (gpx, etc.), but it just doesn't seem to be happening. While I wait, my wife is happy using our iPad for other things.
 

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I was really happy with Navionics on my Droid 1. It showed me my true course, and displayed where I am and what's ahead. And it fit in my pocket, so I could casually glance at it when I wanted. Not sure why the need for waypoints, maybe someone can explain to me what I'm missing.

Now with a replacement Droid 1, I can't download Navionics from the store anymore. The newer programs require the newer phones, and there's no place to get the old version of Navionics (that I know of).

Watching this thread to see what's best for an iPad 2, for next season.

I have paper charts (Chartbooks) for Norfolk to Canada, which is much more range than my current sailing. I buy them used off eBay when I see one that isn't too old. And I leave the the correct chart out and opened-up when sailing. Browsing throught charts is a good activity while on watch, too.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Agreed. But of course, paper charts are ripe with errors and omissions as well ;).
I must say, I've never seen an omission like this on a paper chart :)

No further zooming would pull up the requisite detail, for what happens to be a very hazardous spot:





One good thing about paper, I've yet to see one that could be "over-zoomed", perhaps the most common misuse of e-charts today...

For the umpteenth time, I'll link to this one from Nigel Calder :)

How accurate are our charts? - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2003

For a more recent example, see the grounding of the Navy minesweeper GUARDIAN on a reef in the Phillipines... Probably would not have occurred, had they been navigating "the Old-Fashioned Way"... :))

On 26 July 2013 it was reported that a chart produced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency was inaccurate by up to 8 nautical miles. This chart was used by the crew of the Guardian, and played a significant role in the grounding. However, significant errors by the crew and commanding officers were also reported, including that they should have noted the inaccuracies in comparison to other charts.

USS Guardian (MCM-5) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
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