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Old 12-06-2012, 09:09   #31
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Re: smart phones used as stand alone GPS

Originally Posted by four winds View Post
I guess I'll never be a real sailor. But I'm sure having a lot of fun pretending to be.

The back up to my plotter at the helm, laptop, handheld gps, and paper, is a no contract Go-Phone from wal mart. An Andriod Fusion smart phone.

The gps works independent of the cell system, is accurate as well. Charts are downloaded free from NOAA since I'm Gulf Coast based.

Pretty handy for me as a phone, fm radio, wifi web browser, chart plotter, and nav aid on land as well. Not bad for $125 no contract.

Actually, even without a phone sim installed it's worth that for the other functions.
......that is exactly what I was looking for.....tnx fourwinds and to all tha answered.....I ended up getting a GoPhone Fusion and the Gps does work independently .....It amazed that Walmart and even BestBuy sale reps told me that they do not .....I have to go back up to BestBUY to look for a case for the phone and I will "shed some light" into their expertise...... far as "The Real Sailor Thing".......that is funny......we should start a thread will be full of replies and controversy.....I think I will subscribe to it....

.......Cheers ........Constantin

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:40   #32
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Re: smart phones used as stand alone GPS

I dont know about real sailors or not but I have already had to take measures to avoid three collisions this summer that were the result of boaters looking at their smart phones instead of their heading. Im certain no on on the Cruisers Forum would ever engage in such behavior but I must warn you there are plenty out there who do. Not any differnt than texting while driving a car so please be careful folks.

That being said I find Navionix on the iPhone works ok no better then my old garmin handheld color though. My biggest complaints are the terrible daylight visibility on most smartphones and tablets and the horrible battery life. I find its okay to every so often fire up the app to have a peek but to use for any period of time was more of a PITA than it was worth. That and the things are so fragile that I cant imagine using it in any sort of a seaway. Its basically just a toy to me not anything I would consider a real navigation tool.

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Old 12-06-2012, 10:52   #33
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As I don't own a boat, and am forced to charter, I found using my iPhone and Transas's iSailor app very handy. I found a neat little mount online that attaches the phone to any binnacle. I'm able to look at the charts and plot routes and waypoints at home before we leave for the charter. I haven't used this set up in a driving rain storm, so I can't speak to that point.
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Old 12-06-2012, 19:44   #34
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Re: smart phones used as stand alone GPS

the main differences between a phone and a real plotter are: (please correct/append)

A: the phone needs to be recharged/plugged in. The plotter runs of ships power and can't be 'recharged'.
B: the phone maps cost appx: $20 where a plotter map may coast above $150
c: a plotter is fully waterproof, a phone is not. but, a phone can be put into a waterproof case (better than a ziplock bag) for about $20.
D: A plotter might have a few more features (pre-planning functions), but who the hell even uses those features anyway?
E: loose the phone, get a new one for $200 (or less) and keep the same apps/maps.
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Old 12-06-2012, 21:25   #35
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Re: smart phones used as stand alone GPS

If I understand the OP right, he wants to use the Ipad, phone etc as his primary navigation tool.I think that anyone who uses electronics as primary in navigation is crazy, and I got stuck "in the channel" two weeks ago while doing just that at 0200 in the morning in a new to me area. Had to pull myself away from the chartplotter, take a look around, do some bearings and then unstick myself. Once I paid attention to the visual markers, life went smooth.
Oh, but I would never do that- you say. And then you watch the chartplotter above all else....
I see people buried in their electronics all the time when I am sailing. Very bad habit, and they are often off course. (which makes them a danger of course)
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Old 12-06-2012, 21:31   #36
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Re: smart phones used as stand alone GPS

Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I see people buried in their electronics all the time when I am sailing.
When I get students in that mode, I turn off the chartplotter.
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Old 12-06-2012, 21:51   #37
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Re: smart phones used as stand alone GPS

For an upcoming cruise, cost is a big issue. I've had good luck with EarthNC on my iPhone which allows real-time downloads over 3G/wifi, or offline downloads (based off NOAA rasters).

I plan on using the iPhone for tight quarters and coasts since I keep it in a waterproof case with extended battery and it straps right onto the tiller. Inside the cabin, it's a linux laptop with PolarNavy and a GPS puck along with paper charts and a sextant.

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