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Old 13-02-2018, 11:28   #31
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I meant to add that I use a ScanStrut Rokk mount on the compass guard at the helm to hold the iPad.

Also that a friend just bought a Raymarine Axiom 7 for under $800 Cdn at a boat shown my 9 was just over a boat buck. I realize that wasnít the original question, but thought the fact that marine-grade, water resistant daylight-viewable internal-GPS plotters are is priced similarly to high-end iThings is... interesting.
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Old 13-02-2018, 11:31   #32
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

steady
Though I have several Nav apps on my old iPad (non-gps model using BT GPS) including iNavx, iSailor, USEast, Skipper, Garmin Bluechart and PolarVewMX.
PolarView MX has always been my "go to" app for the iPad, but now since Jeff sold Active Captain to Garmin I can no longer get Active Captain to update on the iPad and I see that PolarView is no longer available at the Apple app store.
Garmin Bluechart works well, but does not use NOAA charts like PolarView and the Active Captain interface is quite "clunky" in my (not so) humble opinion, but it seems like now that Garmin owns Active Captain that their Bluechart program is the only app that I can find that supports it.
Hope that this is helpful.

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Old 13-02-2018, 11:31   #33
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Iíve never had my iPad shutdown due to heat. I use it mostly under the shade of my Bimini. I have had my iPhone shutdown due to heating from sunlight so I believe the concern is real.
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Old 13-02-2018, 11:44   #34
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Jaqun said: I use the charts and tides app on my I-pad as a back-up chart plotter. It shows the Active captain info.

Jaqun
Thanks for that. I also have Charts & Tides on my iPad, but haven't used it much. I just opened it on my antique iPad and found that it is the only other app that I have except for Garmin Bluechart that has Active Captain that will actually let me update the Active Captain database.

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Old 13-02-2018, 11:49   #35
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Hi Steady,

Good questions. We have been using iPads in many ways for years, and recently bought a new 10.5" Pro model to supplement our collection.

We maintain some pages with regard to this topic, so I will ultimately refer you there, but first some overview info:

We use multiple navigation programs [more later...] with at the least all charts of Alaska [for reference, SE Alaska alone has more coastline than the entire continental US, HI and territories...] With 200+ apps on each iPad, I found 256GB is a comfortable sweet spot for storage. [We only use 1/2 of that on all our pads... [We don't keep a lot of photos, nor any music or videos on our iPads...]

All our legacy iPads have the cell chip, so therefore built-in GPS. That requires full time charging. I experimented with our go to navigation program on the iPads, SEAiq Open [Raster and Vector charts, Active Captain, etc.] and it accepts external GPS [conveyed via WiFi from our Vesper Watchmate Vision- which is on our WiFi hub onboard...] Therefore we ordered the iPad Pro without the cell card. The goals being to save $ up front, and save battery life since a GPS won't be running full time in the background. We haven't used the iPad Pro extensively for navigation yet, but will this spring/summer...

Overheating of our legacy iPads has been an issue even in these higher latitudes. [55-62įN] It happens for us when an iPad is in direct sun for a brief period. My hypothesis is the waterproof cases reduce the heat sink capability of the iPad case. To test this, we ran tests in 2016; The iPad in the case overheated sooner, but the naked one also overheated 15-20 minutes later... We have not tested the newer iPad Pro in this regard.

The above are items not included in our maintained pages on this topic. [Note to self: add this info...]

Now to send you to information on our blog. [Don't worry; no ads, no begging for beer $...]

iPads on our boat

Computers, devices, and applications [where we list the primary apps we use for boating...]

In hopes some of this may prove useful...

Best wishes with your quest!

Cheers! Bill
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Old 13-02-2018, 12:01   #36
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

In case nobody has mentioned it best power solution if you run on batteries is to add a power bank (should be room in a soft waterproof case for one). I generally like to have units plugged in and the batt power reserved for emergencies or if I need to use it away from its normal station such as when entering habour.
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Old 13-02-2018, 12:24   #37
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

iPads have become the primary means of navigation for us in coastal sailing. A 12.9" model replaces the old outdated plotter inside. In the cockpit the 9.7" models rule (the screen is big enough). There's no permanent holder for the iPads in the cockpit, but there is a USB socket to provide power. No weather protection. If weather is not nice, iPads will be put under the sprayhood. The 12.9" model is a bit clumsy to be used outside in hand, and it has anyway a permanent place inside (moved elsewhere only to watch TV or to do something else with the big screen).

The brightness of the iPad screen is not quite enough for viewing them in direct sunlight. This is one reason for not having any permanent stand for them. You can always change the position of your head and your iPad to see better. In direct sunlight iPads may also sometimes get too hot.

Usually all our iPads have their own SIM (that's cheap enough), but it is also possible to share the internet access of one iPad to other iPads and to the laptop (WLAN, Bluetooth). Most of our navigation tools work offline (downloadable charts), and therefore no cellular connection is needed. That is our preferred approach since losing connection just when you need to navigate and access he charts would make the reliability of the system much worse. We also emphasise delay free action of the apps (also important from reliability and safety point of view).

The SIMs are there also for better accuracy of the iPad's assisted GPS. I haven't really checked how much accuracy we would lose if we didn't have them. For this use I guess the cheapest subscriptions would be enough (but we use cellular data for many other reasons too).

The most used navigation related apps include iSailor, Navionics, free Finnish charts by Sailmate (also some other maps), and Marinetraffic (as a kind of AIS). In other countries other apps may offer the best charts. In addition to that we use multiple weather apps and web pages, and also some marina and anchorage information related stuff.

The iPads that we use in the cockpit are our personal tablets, and in that sense they don't cost us anything (we would have them anyway for other reasons).

In general we are very happy with the system. Having multiple iPads (and paper charts and laptop) gives us sufficient redundancy.

> 1. Is the internal GPS of some of the cellular chip iPads suffcient

Good with SIM. Maybe the cheapest SIM subscription would work if you don't want to use your iPad for other communication. I'm not sure how well GPS / assisted GPS would work with a non active SIM. (Maybe I'll try to check.)

> 2. Would it be better (instead of buying a iPad with internal GPS chip) to use a GPS dongle or Bluetooth GPS device

Not for us since we move the iPads around a lot (also on land, using the same apps).

The accuracy of the assisted GPS seems to be quite enough for us for navigation purposes. We are maybe more worried about the accuracy of the charts (and mapping to GPS coordinates). I.e. never trust them completely, but assisted GPS is clearly accurate enough (don't know about other countries).

> 4. Has anyone used the iPad Pro 12.9" model on a sailboat

Yes, see above.

> 7. IF you use an iPad Pro 12.9" on your boat:
> Have you used the 12.9 in the cockpit?

Movable 9.7" iPads are more practical there.

> Have you used it in a waterproof case of some type? Which?

No. For us the protection provided by the sprayhood (in bad weather) or pilothouse is enough for all our iPads.

> Have you mounted it to the deck, bulkhead of cockpit, or pedestal? If so, how?

No. Worse performance in direct sunlight is maybe the top reason why not. Having them lying somewhere on the benches is not always an ideal solution, but having an extra stand in the cockpit would probably be no better.

> 8. If you use an iPad 9.7 or 10.5 in the cockpit:
> Have you used it in a waterproof case of some type? Which?
> Have you mounted it to the deck, bulkhead of cockpit, or pedestal? If so, how?

No. Same reasons as above.

> 9. Have you used different navigation apps and if so, which one have you found the best and why?

I mentioned (international apps) iSailor and Navionics above. Both are efficient and reliable apps with offline charts. We do not like monthly or yearly payments too much. Those both were one time purchases. Some minor problems with details in both charts.
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Old 13-02-2018, 13:23   #38
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

FYI: this is the USB port I bought to install at the helm. You can google it or look it up on defender or West Marine.

Poly-Planar USB-PM Marine Waterproof Dual-Port USB Charger
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Old 13-02-2018, 13:31   #39
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I have flipped from Garmin Blue chart Mobile on my Ipads and Iphones to Aqua Map. It also had Active Captain built in. I use it at the helm besides the main Garmin 7212 chartplotter. I can do research up ahead or on anchorages or marinas without disturbing the chartplotter and autopilot (if running). Screen brightness is a bit of a problem but not a stopper. And the GPS built in is fine off shore as well, in my experience out in the Gulf.
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Old 13-02-2018, 13:41   #40
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I forgot to add USB charging port info to my initial post in this thread.

Remember that you need 2+ amps [5VDC] to maintain a charge on iPads when using GPS and navigation. Anything less than 2 amps will result in a net charge loss over time used.

Many USB chargers have one 2.2 amp outlet, and one 1 amp outlet.

I used these waterproof USB outlets by Scanstrut with 4.2 amps total output. They are very robust.

In case this is of interest.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 13-02-2018, 13:49   #41
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

This is the mount I used. https://www.amazon.com/iPADKET-DURAB...+iPad4+1+2+3+4

It has screw holes that I used to mount it where my deceased GPS lived. I used Navionics and if it rains, a gallon ziplock bag works fine.
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Old 13-02-2018, 13:53   #42
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

My ipad is my backup nav system, beside a Garmin plotter at the helm.

I am running the new Garmin ActiveCaptain app to access the ActiveCaptain database.
It provides a base map good enough to identify an area and read related ActiveCaptain entries. However the map is no good for navigation.

If you have a recent Garmin plotter with integrated wifi, maps running on your Garmin can be also xfer to the ipad Garmin ActiveCaptain app. Now, you have a good navigation app with ActiveCaptain data. The procedure is a bit cumbersome, but it works ok.

If you do not have any Garmin plotter, then you will need to purchase the garmin maps on the ipad, and this is very expensive. Forget to use older navionics maps or bluecharts, as this is now discontinued by Garmin.

The other 2 main nav app I am using are:

Weather4D: it is a great GRIB viewer, allowing route planning and optimization with boat polar. It supports a couple of GRIB source, such as GFS, NAM, GEM, ARPEGE, AROME... Weather4D also provides a way to view raster charts so it can be use as a navigation app. Europe area is well cover using official map from country national mapping institute. NOAA charts are for instance available. it includes a tools for optimizing GRIB download offshore via sat phone.

iSailor: I like this one for vector charts. Purchase once, unlimited free chart update, world wide coverage. As iSailor is own by Transas, provider of ENC charts for most commercial vessel, it has a great backbone. This will not belli-up like like navionics or other chart app where you had spent significant money to buy charts that are now no longer available.
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Old 13-02-2018, 14:12   #43
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

Howdy
My wife purchased an iPad for my birthday not long after the launch of iPad. My initial thought was this is just a big mobile phone. What would I do with it?
Within a few days I had my emails setup and then found Navionics for Asia & Africa. I think that cost around $50. I loaded the program and put the iPad in my backpack and set of for a day's racing on Pittwater/Broken Bay. When I got on the boat I fiddled a bit setup the Navionics set it on "Track", put it back in my backpack and forgot all about it. On arriving home I remembered, dragged it out and had a look to see where I had been. Amazing it had tracked everything even the trip home on the expressway from the boot of my car.
Since I've used it extensively on the East Coast of Australia and also Tasmania. As Far East as Lord Howe Is. We still use and plot on paper charts for security but find the iPad excellent. Also used it exclusively on a Mediterranean cruise.
I find the compass heading a bit dodgy and wouldn't rely on that for squeezing through a passage in the reef at night. I use the Garmin GPS for anything requiring accuracy.
Though it is unbelievably good I still will be plotting on paper.
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Old 13-02-2018, 14:53   #44
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I recently spent some time on my GFís aunt & uncleís boat going down the west coast of FL. They had two iPads; one with the Bluecharts for the active captain, the other for Navionics (for accuracy). I had brought along my 12.9 pro, and tried to get Bluecharts, but the App Store said it was unavailable... Has anyone been able to download that app recently?

I already had iSailor and used that, but the problem Iíve found is that I canít manually rotate the screen. But the charts are free, and I like that it will stitch them together automatically so that I donít have to go searching for the next chart...
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Old 13-02-2018, 15:25   #45
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Re: IPad for Navigation FAQ 2018

I use basically my IPad Pro 9.7 cellular model and waterproof case from lifeprof
https://www.lifeproof.com/en-us/appl.../77-53719.html
I have Navionics ,Garmin BlueChart and new ActiveCaptain application installed.
If you have model with cellular support -you have built GPS ,also I use Personal Hotspot like Internet source for laptop and other devices!
My Garmin chartploater from previous boat had WiFi and I used my IPad as Chart Plotter mirror with Garmin Helm program
I have also big IPad Pro 12 , but don’t use it for boat because it’s difficult to find good waterproof case for this size and very long time battery charge!
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