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Old 06-05-2015, 07:38   #16
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
This plan may be doomed to fail depending on what this "line" is that you plan to keep the boat on.

If you speaking of the magenta line that is printed on most ICW charts indicating the prefered route, then you're in for a big disappointment. This line is often offset from real word data with many instances of the electronic interpretation of the magenta line running across the land near the ICW. The view of the water and navigation aids seen from the cockpit trump everything on the GPS, chartplotter, and cell phone.
I would second all this and highly recommend you take this to heart. Hudson Force has probably made more trips end to end of the ICW than anyone on this forum except for a few commercial captains.

If you are planning the ICW all the way to FL you would do well to check one of the online forums that focus on the ICW, latest shoaling reports, new marker locations, etc.

www.waterwayguide.com and Cruisers' Net | Cruisers Helping Cruisers both have online charts with flags showing problem areas.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:04   #17
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

Did NJ to NC on the ICW and I'd want a bigger screen then a cell phone.
In certain areas it's important to stay in the channel,
Like Norfork VA, if you stray too far you will be greeted by
Armed Navy ribs and buzzed by helicopter gunships
I saw it happen
Big Navy base and they are watching, for sure
But as others have said keep in radio contact with other boats
for updates about shoals and out of place markers.
Depth gauge is needed
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:07   #18
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

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Originally Posted by KeepInTune View Post
Time on the ICW needs a large size and updated chart plotter at the helm. If not you will go off channel and run aground.
Except I traveled the ICW for 30 years with nothing but paper charts and a compass and managed to avoid running aground except when I was intentionally working my way into shallow anchorages or someone (never me of course ) was asleep at the wheel (rhetorically speaking).



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Originally Posted by KeepInTune View Post
Time on the ICW needs a large size and updated chart plotter at the helm. If not you will go off channel and run aground.

It's really as easy as that. Been there...done that.
You can also easily run aground with a chart plotter, no matter how recent the charts. Happens all the time. Some sections of the ICW change faster than the charts can be updated. Either need to follow the weekly Notice to Mariners or log onto one of the ICW web sites to check out the problem spots.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:08   #19
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

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I just returned from a trip that was on the ICW a good bit of the time. In addition to two chartplotters and two depth finders, I found the google maps app on my smartphone to be really helpful. Especially for finding things on land like stores, good beaches, etc.

And, in places with pretty clear water, it's amazing how much you can tell about depths from those satellite photos.
This method is also good for identifying areas that are clogged with shoaling, where you don't really want to trust the chart depths much at all. I actually just recently made a tool to look at the satellite images and the charts at the same time, and fade back and forth between the two: try it out
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:24   #20
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

I'll second the comment about "Mk 1 eyeball, compass and charts" and not bother with the cell phone.

Add in a hand held GPS (with WAAS) and a VHF and you'll be fine to navigate everywhere from pole to pole and all corners in between.

Let's be honest cell phones have a nasty habit of dying just when you really need them and even the largest "phablet" phones have a pathetically small screen for navigation purposes. Can't imagine all the zooming in and out you'd need to do.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:27   #21
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

I do love Google Earth and the satillite views. I would depend on them in places like Maine where those rocks are staying put in one place, but I can't see any reason to rely on these images in areas of shoaling. I notice when I look at marinas that I'm familiar with on the Google satillite images there are often changes in the docks and the vessels. Within towns there are bulidings that have been demolished an new ones bulit. It's my understanding that the Google map updates average one to three years.

I will not rely on the position of shifting mud or sand shoals as presented on google map views. Of course, this doesn't mean that I don't appreciate looking at them in order to see what may have been the condition at one time or what might be present now.

We've seen many people run aground with their heads in cyber-space!
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Old 29-05-2015, 17:16   #22
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

Im also inclined to apply healthy scepticism regarding the images available on Google earth as far as navigation goes. Ive yet to see any means to reliably differentiate shoal bottoms where grass or mud come into play. The relative transparency/translucency shown in the images can be rendered identically by a variety of bottom conditions and or depth. Then yes the actual date of the overflights varies too. There are other scans available commercially which could be of better use but they involve more than a simple visual image. Id love to get access to the really cool stuff with infrared layers and resonance scans but Google aint giving that away nor are the other satellite data sources.
In my south shore suffolk county ny world, pilotage and local knowledge, good sounder readings and seasonal waypoints all play a part in getting around; That is unlikely to change very soon with the current offerings. Truth is working through tricky spots with sounder and or pole is often better and faster than much of the gizmo-itus that prevails. However aftetwards the data can be entered andverified over time ...

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Old 30-05-2015, 05:54   #23
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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Originally Posted by kim r View Post
and what is the app to use ..?

If Android, try MX Mariner (raster charts) and Plan2Nav (C-Map vector charts).

The latter is also available for iThings. Can't remember if MX Mariner has an iThing version...

FWIW, I find the small phone screens too small to display a good right combination of context and detail at the same time... and our 10" tablet is better than our 7" tablet in that regard.


Daylight (full sun) viewing is problematic on both of our phones and both of our tablets.

-Chris
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