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First String
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I'm going to charter in the BVI in Aprial. They tell me that the Conch charter boats may or may not have a working GPS on board? Is there a way to hook a android tablet to a navigation app that I could use or should I buy a hand-held unit to bring with me?
Any advice on this would be great?
LT,
 

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The BVI is among the easiest place on the planet to navigate. On my first two trips in the 90's we had no GPS; just a two sided chart. Some folks have been known to navigate on a placemat - yes, one exists with a chart of the BVI's.
 

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Your tablet should have GPS built in unless it's an absolute cheapo. There are several good plotter apps available in the play store, I use Marine Navigator Lite on my phone, it works well and uses the official NOAA charts that you download.
 

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Old enough to know better
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Any one with GPS should work, but I would check the APP you want to use, as it may have other limitations such as resolution and what not. You should be able to go to the apps website and if they don't have it listed I would ask there support to see if it would be compatible. Some apps will not load on any device unless certain things meet there requirements, such as screen resolution, processor chip-set, GPS chip-set and what not. But they can tell you, or if you are looking at them in a store just go to the market and see if it will let you see the program in the play store, you should be able to install it.
 

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"Anhinga" St. Augustine
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When I chartered in the BVI-first time there, I was worried about this too. As it turns out, it is quite fun to sit around the saloon table with your crew and spread out the paper charts to make your cruising plans. It is also fun to put into practice the old paralell rules and dividers. It really is the easiest place to get away with going "old school". As the other have said, if you want a chart plotter, an Iphone or Ipad with Nav App will be more than enough.
 

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The singular advantage of a nav app in the BVI is calculating time to station, not navigation. With unfamiliar boats, where we don't even know what to really expect for boat speed, we like to sail along without a care. A couple of anchorages are time critical, if you intend to grab a mooring, so it's nice to see ETA, while underway without much effort. Still, it's easy to do without. Got the Garmin app last time we went. More of a toy than a need.
 

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I'm with jackdale and Capt Alex. The first time I went to the BVI I was all worried about having charts, and how I was going to find my way around, and all that sort of thing. Once I got there I realized how completely silly my worries were. In the BVI a chartplotter is little more than a toy for playing around with things like ETA and speed over the ground.
 
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