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Old 11-09-2019, 02:38   #16
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Re: Best tablet for offshore navigation

Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
My wife's new iPad 12.9" Pro (2018) model has much improved screen with great daylight visibility.
This is the one if you're looking for "best". Mine has a lightweight tpu case on the back, and is clipped on to the back of the helm console. In a real bash, spray comes over the bow and gets exactly the right angle to come around the side of the sprayhood but under the bimini at a certain angle once in a blue moon, but even when it does it hits the helm console first so only the spray that bounces off the helmsman can hit the iPad. It can cope with a little spray anyway. If we capsize I'm guessing we might have a problem, but I think we'll have bigger ones. It is infinitely better at night than a mfd. In the daytime is about the same brightness but obviously no comparison when it comes to speed, resolution, ease of use etc.

Talking about screens breaking and displays getting wet implies to me that it's not being used as a primary navigation system, just having an iPad lying around in the cockpit somewhere. That's a different situation.

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Old 11-09-2019, 05:47   #17
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Re: Best tablet for offshore navigation

We're beating up on tablets a bit, me included. It's worth backing up a step and looking at the bigger picture. In the context of "can you use a tablet for offshore navigation" (yes) the question "what is the best tablet for offshore navigation" is a reasonable question. Is it the best primary navigation? No.

Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Offshore on long passages I turn off the MFDs and plot on paper every 3-4 hours- I can get a location from inReach, my phone (blue toothed to the inReach for messages) or I can turn stuff on.
I don't bother plotting. I just record latitude and longitude in a scratch log at change of watch. With a complete and total electronics failure I can build a DR plot. I don't need a chart, just graph paper. The chances of needing to do that--other than as an exercise--are low. On delivery, we have the electronics on the boat, my go-kit (Win 7 Pro, OpenCPN, GPS, AIS), and my phone (AquaMap). I have long range cellular data on my laptop so once I'm inside the two-bar line (tm) we're connected. My laptop also has Airmail in case we have HF/SSB/Pactor or a sat phone aboard. I have a shortwave receiver for weather fax. I see a lot of Iridium GO! so I have the apps for that on my phone. The chances of losing ship's systems, my laptop, and my phone are pretty small.

Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thread drift, but I always run my plotters offshore.
Me too. The biggest power consumer is the display so dimming that is helpful to power consumption.

My crews sail with me for a variety of reasons but "graduate school for cruising" is a common one. Radar imagery interpretation (thank you US taxpayer) is a frequent request so that is up and running, usually on the 10ish minute periodic scan.

Routing, navigation, and piloting are also of interest and since electronics are ubiquitous that is the focus.

We even have PowerPoint sessions. *grin*

Many people end up with logistics and housekeeping questions as well. I digress.

For laptops, tablets, and phones, keeping them charged reduces power consumption. My particular laptop which powers the cell, GPS, and AIS draws about 1A plugged into 12VDC with full batteries. Most phones and tablets with GPS on draw about 1/2A at 12VDC through a USB converter. Put your phone in airplane mode once you lose cell signal to reduce power consumption. GPS still works on all the devices I have worked with (really old iPhones excepted).

For me, there are too many functions I use regularly that need the laptop. I have to carry a phone. A tablet just doesn't fit much of a role with value-added beyond a larger screen than my phone. I do have an Amazon Fire 8 (a somewhat crippled Android tablet) I use for books and movies. It often doesn't make the cut on trips.

Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...and I run the generator once or twice a day to keep the batteries full of the power they need, which however, is a drop in the bucket compared to the refrigeration.
Agreed. Fridge, freezer, autopilot are the big consumers. That isn't to say one should not pay attention to little loads that add up. We should.

Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Talking about screens breaking and displays getting wet implies to me that it's not being used as a primary navigation system, just having an iPad lying around in the cockpit somewhere. That's a different situation.
I agree with your premise but not your conclusion. Tablets are more fragile than MFDs, and there are more failure modes.

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