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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

I know... "another dern iPad thread". :eek: Here's the deal: I am an iPad owner. :) I like the thing. I have a first generation, wife has a second generation and we like and use them alot. I have a handheld GPS (Garmin, which I endorse), and it serves it's purpose. I am a "chart" guy, have and use all the old school tools. That being said... I, like most of you other 50 something year olds :eek: have been here through the entire "information age" revolution and do use it.

An iPad size portable device is what I want to add to my tools for navigation. I am going to get a new iPad Air next week. For those of you that use the iPad, what nav software do you recommend? I've been reading up on the iNavX.

For those asking why I don't just go to a plotter... my boat's cockpit setup and cost (but yes, I'd love to have a big plotter, radar, etc). I need 2 new sails before I need a gozillian dollars worth of electronics.

Dave
 

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Hi Dave. We use Navionics on our iPad (as well as our non "i" toys like our tablet and android phones). The navionics app is free and comes with free government maps. They offer in-app purchases for Navionics maps and sonar maps which are more detailed and well worth the money if you ask me.

One of my favorite parts of the Navionics app is the "Community Edits". I can add to the map and it is uploaded for everyone to use! We can all learn from each other.

Here are some screenshots I took to show you the difference in the government map, Navionics map and sonar chart:



Have fun and fair winds to you!
 

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I use my iPad (mini) at the helm for several functions; this is a fully loaded iPad with GPS and w/ Cell Tower connectivity.

Backup navigation/charting - iNavx (raster charting)
Local weather - SailFlow.com, AccuWeather, RadarWeather (App for thunderstorms) - cell tower connect.
Connect to 'Weather Router' (CaribWx/Chris Parker, etc.) via email - cell tower connect.
Navigation/Piloting info - Active Captain (Companion) - cell tower connect.

Mirroring of MacBook navigation programs (MacENC, etc.) from chart table and TO iPad display AT helm via 'ad hoc' WiFi network. iPad App= "AirDisplay"

Ability to create 'WiFi hotspot' for MacBook via cell tower connect, when long distance amplified WiFi antenna (ubiquiti 'bullet') is ineffective.
 

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Hi All,

I know... "another dern iPad thread". :eek: Here's the deal: I am an iPad owner. :) I like the thing. I have a first generation, wife has a second generation and we like and use them alot. I have a handheld GPS (Garmin, which I endorse), and it serves it's purpose. I am a "chart" guy, have and use all the old school tools. That being said... I, like most of you other 50 something year olds :eek: have been here through the entire "information age" revolution and do use it.

An iPad size portable device is what I want to add to my tools for navigation. I am going to get a new iPad Air next week. For those of you that use the iPad, what nav software do you recommend? I've been reading up on the iNavX.

For those asking why I don't just go to a plotter... my boat's cockpit setup and cost (but yes, I'd love to have a big plotter, radar, etc). I need 2 new sails before I need a gozillian dollars worth of electronics.

Dave
I use an iPad Air 4G model so I don't have to have an external GPS. It is an adjunct to a real plotter and I often have it running under the dodger.. For the 32GB 4G model is was actually more expensive than a 5" Garmin plotter, but can do more when not using it for navigating.....

I use and like iSailor and the Garmin Blue Chart app. I use the Garmin app most.

Why is it an adjunct tool for us?

Just a few weeks ago while entering a nasty harbor I glanced over at the iPad and it was frozen on some "urgent update" that was needed. I assume because we were bordering on wifi/no-wifi/3G/no-3G the screen froze and would not allow me to do anything else. Tap, tap, tap = NOTHING. Hit the home button, nope.. Press and hold to shut down, yep... Reboot, wait, reopen Garmin Blue Chart in a few minutes update message reappears... Doh'....

By now we are already beyond the tricky entrance which our primary plotter guided us through with zero hiccups.. ;) Sure glad I had my Garmin...

I love my iPads (we have three on-board G2, G4 & Air) but they are iToys, IMHO... YMMV of course but here in Maine, as my primary electronic aid, no way....

Other issues to be considered:

*In bright day light, the iPad Air is NOT SAFELY VISIBLE when compared to my Garmin or other plotters I use...... This past weekend I was using it on my brothers power boat, with enclosed helm station, and it was still just barely visible. More of a pain and highly distracting to try and decipher than I consider safe. His Garmin and Raymarine screens were both perfectly bright and very easy to decipher in a quick glance..

*Also in the cockpit - NOT WATERPROOF. For what you would spend on a good waterproof case you can buy a genuine small hand held chart plotter....

*My Air battery life is half or less when running GPS and a navigation app... This means about 3-4 hours of use then a recharge.

I have no issues using the iPad for adjunct navigation, but as a primary tool for electronic navigation, simply not something I would do, not yet.
 

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My ipad has saved my bacon, when my plotter went belly up. Was in a shallow back cove with no nav aids and actually underway.

I use Charts & Tides. However, only as backup to paper and plotter.
 

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Just a few weeks ago while entering a nasty harbor I glanced over at the iPad and it was frozen on some "urgent update" that was needed. I assume because we were bordering on wifi/no-wifi/3G/no-3G the screen froze and would not allow me to do anything else. Tap, tap, tap = NOTHING. Hit the home button, nope.. Press and hold to shut down, yep... Reboot, wait, reopen Garmin Blue Chart in a few minutes update message reappears... Doh'....
Think that's exactly what happened to that blind guy off Kauai a few weeks ago. Yikes.
 

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I'm not in my 50s, but I use my iPad 1 for navigation too. Remember you need the 3G version (cell version) to have the GPS. I use and recommend BOTH iNavX and Garmin's BlueChart because I like having both raster and vector charts. I'll use ActiveCaptain for planning, but I find if I try to use it when actually underway I get crashes.

At the risk of being keel-hauled, I also use it as my electronic log, maintenance log, punch list, and it carries ALL of my navigation pubs (available as PDFs from NOAA, so I have the Light List, List of Lights, Bowditch, Coast Pilots, etc on there as well - probably about 50-75 lbs worth of books) and technical pubs (engine manual, etc). The PDF Viewer app was a free download, and does a really good job. Everything backs up to my computer.

The backup to this is my iPhone. Whatever works on my iPad also works on my iPhone. Tertiary goes to a handheld GPS, then finally I'm on to my charts. And I carry a computer on real passages.

I have also used this system underway during my day job on big ships. I like to be able to perform an early crosscheck of our electronic navigation system. Trust but verify.
 

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I use Navionics and Garmin apps on my iPad2 with cell service and internal GPS. Did you know that the Navionics app only shows True North? Don't know about the Garmin app, but assume it is the same. So if you create a route on your iPad app, it is degrees True. You will need to apply the correction for Variation if you want to use your boats compass. On the other hand, if you create a route on the iPad app and follow the route only using your app, you will be ok because no variation is needed.
 

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Untrue. I just solo'd around Delmarva with my iPad Gen2 plugged in the entire time, sharing the 12v adapter with my Dual XGPS150 puck.

Just ensure that your 12v adapter can pass the needed current to the iPad. Also, dimming the display at night greatly reduces the power draw.

Regarding iPads freezing up while looking for updates and attempting shore connections:

I'm not 100% certain yet, but I think the best way to avoid this is to use an external, Bluetooth GPS puck like the Dual XGPS150 or 160, and DISABLE Wi-Fi and 3G/4G connectivity. If the iPad is cut off from Wi-Fi and cell networks, it will not be attempting to download updates, and it will not experience intermittent network connectivity that leads to slow performance and system hang-ups.

I realize that some of you like to access email, weather websites and AIS websites when near shore, but I would not enable 3G/4G or Wi-Fi unless you're running a backup navigator as Maine Sail does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I realize that some of you like to access email, weather websites and AIS websites when near shore, but I would not enable 3G/4G or Wi-Fi unless you're running a backup navigator as Maine Sail does.
When we have the need to be connected, the wife turns on the "hot spot" on her phone. I just had no need to purchase a data plan for the iPad. ;)
 

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I use the Navionics package and like it a lot. I've had it for about three years or so. On the old boat, we didn't have a chartplotter in the cockpit. With our new boat, we have a Raymarine e127 in the cockpit but I still use the iPad for the quick 'what-if' plotting of routes. Also, Raymarine provides apps that either allow me to view only or view and control the chartplotter from the iPad (including the autopilot). So I didn't need to put a display down below. I can just use my iPad to look at radar/wind if we are anchored and bad weather is coming.

I also have Seasonality Go which provides a number of useful graphs (like predicted winds/precipitation/...)
 
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