I have been upgrading my nav equipment
since LoranC and now have a few GPS
plotters. Recently...a year ago I purchase
IQue which can do many things as these PDA are known to do.
I have found the maps useful for driving. I see no need for a paper map anymore. And the route
planning is a cool feature too.
But the interesting thing about the IQue is it can hold the Blue Charts
and displays them quite legibly to my surprise.
When I first took the little guy on board I realized pretty quick that the batteries won't cut it and so it is tethered to a cockpit
12v cig plug
and lives under the dodger
there is little to write about in terms of features... like waypoints and so forth. It DOES provide a heading vector and will display in nautical units.
I find it very handy (pun intended) when sailing close to shore, making landfalls etc... being able to be in the cockpit and see a real time graphic of the boat on a chart. When I turn my helm
I can see exactly where I am heading the boat... if over hazards or if the heading will make a distant mark. It is handy to see the depths in the surrounding area as opposed to JUST where your depth sounder
I used to be going up and down the companionway
to check the chart, or the chartplotter
, but now I do it much less with the little IQue. I like that it is NOT a fixed mount and I can untether it if I want to hand steer and still have this "viewable"... or that I can take it to whichever side I want to be.
And of course you can take this little guy in the dink.. and then use it ashore on or off road through forests etc. I recall
hiking through Monhegan Island and losing my bearings without view of the sun... Boy that would have been handy. Oh it does keep a breadcrumb track too.
Considering it offers blue charts
(extra cost)... roads and all sorts of data about locations and phone
numbers and so forth... Need a Chinese restaurant in Newport
? It keeps your address book and calendar, can record
MP3s and store photos... this is one versatile little device for a boat at less than $500. You of course hot sync it with a PC to transfer data... and memory is stored on smart cards.
What's not to like?