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Old 02-05-2015, 13:46   #1
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Navigating by cell phone

so... how much more navigation equipment do i need cruising the ICW besides my cell phone and charts
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Old 02-05-2015, 13:47   #2
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Re: navigating by cell phone

and what is the app to use ..?
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Old 02-05-2015, 14:08   #3
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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so... how much more navigation equipment do i need cruising the ICW besides my cell phone and charts
1. Standing at the helm of your boat on a normal day how well can you read a cell phone screen while keepi0ng the boat on course.
2. Same question when blowing15-25 kts and raining....

3. Is your cell set up to charge while exposed to the elements?

To me the answers to those three questions refine the real utility of a handheld on board. Read at night: yes /read wet: probably no/ read reliably in sunlight: no /charge while cockpit getting soaked? Special bag and or no.
Is that "tool" still wonderful and utilitarian or? Distracting and overtime...fatiguing.
When cells have daylight screens 5" or more it will be better. Till then android or i phone it's really a novelty thats my read on it....



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Old 02-05-2015, 14:13   #4
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Re: navigating by cell phone

keep the boat on the line right? i went to Alaska on a primitive battery Garmin handheld- seemed to work pretty well
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Old 02-05-2015, 20:05   #5
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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keep the boat on the line right? i went to Alaska on a primitive battery Garmin handheld- seemed to work pretty well
Yup. Magic box and extra batteries...keep it secure and dry.

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Old 03-05-2015, 04:50   #6
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Re: navigating by cell phone

The OP was asking about the ICW. If that means mostly traveling in daylight and good conditions, I think an app like MX Mariner would be sufficient on a 5" Android, or better yet, a 7" tablet, provided you have a shaded helm station. I've used both to test my backup capabilities. I also frequently keep a nav app open my phone when someone else is at the helm, so I can keep an eye on things without interfering.

You will need the ability to charge underway, and a good waterproof case or bag. Depending on your paper navigation skills, how far you plan to go, and in what weather, a second cell phone or tablet as a backup would probably make sense.

That said, a dedicated chartplotter is still far superior, and well worth the price, even if they do seem to charge a significant markup just because it's for a boat.
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:57   #7
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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so... how much more navigation equipment do i need cruising the ICW besides my cell phone and charts
Chart, Mk1 eyeball, and post-it arrow flag to record marker just passed.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:42   #8
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Re: navigating by cell phone

Here's some: Hand bearing compass to establish accurate LOP's/course headings. Binoculars to identify markers at a distance, especially in shoal waters. Parallel rules to establish LOP's/course headings on chart in confusing areas. Spotlight for markers near dawn/dusk. In areas of strong cross current, how do you establish your EP when the markers are not visible? Just a few thoughts . . . however, I had a friend with a diving rod . . . Good luck and good sailing. . . divining? https://youtu.be/W95J85E7DNU
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:51   #9
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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keep the boat on the line right? ............................
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.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:59   #10
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Re: navigating by cell phone

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Chart, Mk1 eyeball, and post-it arrow flag to record marker just passed.

I'm with this I'm primitive, I just circle the marker with pencil, but the phone with Garmin Bluecharts is excellent, has Active Captn integrated in with the Blue charts, so you get all that info plus the nav info, and for not much money.
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Old 05-05-2015, 21:07   #11
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

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.


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Old 06-05-2015, 05:29   #12
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

While less convienent, as long as you have a protected helm and ability to keep it charged under way, it will do the trick. It's not what I would recommend.

We have a laptop at the helm that acts as a chart plotter but it's well protected from the weather.

I would suggest a depth sounder for the ICW as you are in lots of shallow water and often the channel is narrow.

I would also suggest a cheap table or other device as a backup.
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:44   #13
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

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.
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:26   #14
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

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so... how much more navigation equipment do i need cruising the ICW besides my cell phone and charts

Garmin Blue Charts and a depth sounder is all you need. Just keep it between the reds and greens, it's really not a big deal. Although most people like to over complicate things.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:20   #15
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Re: Navigating by cell phone

A depthsounder can be usefull while navigating the ICW, but depths can change very quickly. Seeing the depth decreasing is not very meaningful on the ICW. Afterall, if you are on the best track the sounder will show a decreasing depth exactly half of the time.

We've made 25 transits of the US East Coast with much run on the ICW. One consistant quality of the ICW, especially near inlets and intersections of rivers, is CHANGE! Because of this, stored information on chart data, Google Earth and chart plotters can't be trusted! These devices are great for seeing what is expected and understanding potential trouble spots, but better tools are those that come with directly viewing the real world and not the charts and screens.

The use of parallax, watching the relative movement of marker positions compared to more distant features is a major tool used to judge your position and leeway.

Watching the current lines and changes in the water surface ripples near shoals and turning points.

Being aware of, and honoring, the presence of frequently moved nuns and cans.

Recognizing that, though traveling at high tide allows greater depths, the chanel may be less defined and this is the worst time for grounding.

Don't make the mistake of using the markers as destinations. Navigation aids are no more indicating points to arrive at than points to avoid. Strive to follow the "best fit curve".

Use the VHF to interact with other cruisers and to inquire about trouble spots.

Make a "securite call" on the VHF at those points like Elliott Cut (at Charleston) or the "Rock Pile" at Myrtle Beach where meeting large commercial traffic can be hazardous.

We enjoy the many friendly ports and wilderness anchorages on the ICW. Also, the gunkholing and even the sailing opportunities that are too often overlooked by those that are trying to hold to a schedule. One of our best tools for success on the ICW is not having time constraints!
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