We have a a77 at the nav station & iPad at the helm. Thought long & hard about this but are really happy with the setup. See photos below.
I understand that this is not what others would do but here are our reasons why we did it this way:
1) The iPad is mounted on a Ram mount, which is under our bimini
so there is no problem with daylight viewing.
2) Have only recently installed the a77. We have used the iPad for navigation
since we brought the boat back with it on its initial 350nm delivery
trip some 4.5 years ago. We have found the iPad with Navionics
app to be nothing but accurate around our cruising grounds & easy to use. It has also been updated well over the past 4 years with new features & it is so affordable in comparison. In our opinion the iPad app is so much easier to use as a chart plotter than the a77. NOTE: I just worked out that the Navionics
iPad app gives me much more information about a past "track" than the a77 eg total distance, top speed, average speed, total time etc. On the a77 all I can do is see the old track on the chart, no details.
The Navionics app also supplies Tide & Weather
information when in 3G/4G range, which is most of the time for us.
3) The reason we got the a77 was to integrate the existing ST60+ instruments & Auto Pilot into the same network & be visible & controllable on the one screen
. Also to add a depth
transducer that allowed us to see the bottom better when anchoring
around the Great Barrier Reefs
. As well as to integrate an AIS
transponder into the network & on the a77. And to give us redundancy as a chart plotter.
4) The iPad has a much larger, higher res screen
& is easier to remove from the helm & store for security
than the a77. We have a LifeProof water
proof case & a 12 volt power source there.
5) It is relatively easy to switch between Navionics app & a77 via wifi for checking & redundancy. The Raymarine Remote
Control app allows just about full control of the boat on the iPad at the helm.
1) The need for as powerful as possible 12 volt charger
for the iPad in chart plotter mode. We have found a Belkin 2.4amp charger
does the job.
2) The a77 provides its own wifi connection without the facility to connect to our boats wifi router. So to access the weather
& tide info & internet
from apps in the iPad you need to switch wifi connections. Come on Raymarine!
Hope this helps.