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Old 06-09-2016, 20:54   #1
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Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

I recently purchased my first boat (2015 Jeanneau 409) and I am looking for advice on the best guides, and apps that I can use to navigate the ICW all the way from the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis... to the Florida keys.

I am aware of "Active Captain" and I am most definitely going to take advantage of the knowledge on that app. Any other recommendations would be fantastic.

My boat is equipped with B&G ForwardScan sonar so that should help to prevent me from running aground if I keep a close eye on it.

I also have BoatUS just in case something happens and I need a tow.
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Old 06-09-2016, 22:08   #2
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

In addition to Active Captain I also use the Waterway Guide and the BBA Chart Kits.
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Old 06-09-2016, 22:10   #3
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

OpenCpn and a USB/bluetooth GPS, and/or Navionics on an Iphone/Android.
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:57   #4
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
OpenCpn and a USB/bluetooth GPS, and/or Navionics on an Iphone/Android.
Excellent.

I was not aware that the GPS on my iPad Air would not work without cellular data.

I did a little digging and found the Garmin GLO. Any good?

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod109827.html
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:38   #5
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

You might want to look at the "Cruising Tips" on Fleetwing's "Blog". The Sherer's have been doing the waterway from NY to KW annually for several years and have a wealth on information on their site.

FWIW...
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:42   #6
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by epiic View Post
Excellent.

I was not aware that the GPS on my iPad Air would not work without cellular data.

I did a little digging and found the Garmin GLO. Any good?

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod109827.html
I use a Garmin Glo for my iPad and am happy with it
I use it as a back up to my main plotter
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:48   #7
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
In addition to Active Captain I also use the Waterway Guide and the BBA Chart Kits.
The Waterway Guides are good, especially for planning trips and deciding what towns and cities you might want to visit along the way.

Chesapeake Bay Magazine also publishes a guide to the Chesapeake Bay in addition to their magazine.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:18   #8
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

Any of the print guides are good if recently published. Things change so do not use an old one. For navigation use SeaClear II and NOAA charts on yor computer or pad. Both are free.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:54   #9
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

Just did this from Long Island Sound To Fort Myers Beach via the Keys on a Hunter 34. I second the recommendations for OpenCPn and Navionics on a tablet for navigation. Way better than a dedicated GPS chartplotter. I would add the Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook by Kettlewell as a must have for planning and as a backup to GPS. Active Capt and Waterway are also a must but, you need to be connected to internet to use. I would add paper cruising guides such as the Maptech series as a planning tool and backup to the online guides for marina and other contact info. Btw, you will run aground in the ICW. Just follow the general rule of slowing down where it is really uncertain. Go like a blind man tapping a cane and you will be fine. It's a great trip.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:09   #10
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

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Originally Posted by epiic View Post
Excellent.

I was not aware that the GPS on my iPad Air would not work without cellular data.

I did a little digging and found the Garmin GLO. Any good?

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/prod109827.html
I am very pleased with my Garmin Glo and my iphoe5s and older Ipad work great with the Blue Charts from Garmin...!!!
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Old 07-09-2016, 13:24   #11
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

I am a great fan of "Garmin Blue Chart Mobile" on both my iPhone and my iPad Mini.

With a few minor complaints, the graphics and data are great
It has Active Captain built in
You do not need a separate GPS antenna
All the data is resident on the device, so you do not need an Internet/wifi connection to navigate or access Active Captain

The ICW mile markers are shown, but not always clearly or easy to access. I started at Norfolk and created waypoints every 10 miles, all the way to Miami, each numbered with the correct mileage. That made it very easy to figure out how far I wanted to go each day and identify appropriate places to stop.

I used this as a daily planning device, and also as a very useful supplement to my chart plotter.
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Old 07-09-2016, 14:06   #12
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

Active Captain is a must to find the shallows and marks to favor. That being the case go to their website and select a nav program that supports AC. I use polar navy for that reason on my laptops and it works great at a very low price.

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Old 07-09-2016, 14:10   #13
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

I found this site very useful for info on problem stretches in the ICW

Cruisers' Net | Cruisers Helping Cruisers

I checked out this and active captain before each day's run. Underway I used the standard navionics chip on the plotter and kettlewell's chartbook.

Have fun!
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Old 07-09-2016, 15:04   #14
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

I agree with Garmin Blue Chart Mobile. I have it on my Iphone and also on my Ipad mini which is always on with me at the Flybridge. While I also have it on my Garmin 7212 (running G2 Blue chart vision card, I like being able to look ahead with the Ipad mini to research anchorages, etc, without having to pan out on my main system which is usually running a combo screen of sonar and radar overlay charts. Very few problems and auto-updates Active Captain in the background.
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Old 07-09-2016, 15:14   #15
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Re: Best guides/apps for navigating the ICW

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Originally Posted by epiic View Post
Excellent.

I was not aware that the GPS on my iPad Air would not work without cellular data.
If your iPad is a model that has both wifi and cellular data capabilities, it WILL work anywhere in the world, without wifi or cellular connection. If it has only wifi, then it does not have a true GPS builit into it, and it will work only by triangulating off cell towers. But if you are going down the ICW, that should not be a problem. We have picked up celluar connections many miles offshore.
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