by Emile du Toit
I have been looking for a way not to buy a decicated chart plotter and
finally started investigating software options for the iPad. I tried and
like two of them.
1) iNavx available for iPad and iPhone has some
nice features for integrating data from your instruments if that is desired.
It mainly uses NOAA RNC raster United States waters marine charts. Although
these are free, I dont like them much as primary source since they are not
auto quilting, meaning as you move off of one, you manually have to choose
the next appropriate chart. Personally I don't like that. iNavx has a nice
feature where it shows you your VN=Vesseal name, SOG=Speed over ground, VAR, HPE, LAT, LON, and VPE in real time.
2)NAVIONICS makes a great iPad navigation app called Marine&Lakes USA HD version 2.5.1 that does not require internet access for the navigation part of the the program and it uses electronic charts that are seemless ie auto-quilting meaning it appears to the user as one continues chart. It also has some features that add additional value like Magazines and Cruising Guides (requires internet access for downloading) , wind and tides and lots of customization features including the ability to overlay google, bing or general terrain maps. It even as a community layer that shows custom objects/information provided by the user community.
We have successfully used both of these program around the Fort Myers area and both are very accurate. If found that the RAM mount I show in the pictures is the ideal solution for the Catalac. It is spring loaded to easily remove the iPad and allows for portrait or landscape orientation. It is designed to fit any of the 3 iPad models
So since already had the iPad, all we needed was the software and the mount to provide us a super cool chart plotter for a fraction of the cost. Just remember...it is not waterproof, but a freezer zip lock bag works well if you dont have any other options.
I would be glad to provide more information or answer any questions if anyone wants to do the same for their boats. One last note, the iPAD models with 3G is best, even if you do not use the 3G for data, it has the GPS component which provides more accurate positions.