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Old 23-02-2021, 10:08   #1
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Advice requested re: navigation apps

Hi everyone.

Talk me out of my preference for iSailGPS, at least in East Coast U.S. waters. Used it from Bar Harbor to Key West.

Everyone here and everywhere says Navionics is the way to go. I found the interface of iSailGPS is easier on my eyes (the charts are identical to the NOAA ones), I like the ease of downloading all NOAA charts on the spot that come free with the $9.95 app, the simplicity of plotting, creating routes, tracking VMG, etc.

What am I missing by not using the industry standard? I'm ready to be persuaded.

Pictured: Chart 13270, Boston Harbor, screenshot.
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We ran aground at 2300. Dad fired off flares all night, to no avail. In the morning, Mom called the Coast Guard and demanded to know why they had not responded. "But ma'm," came the abashed reply. "Yesterday was July 4th!"
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Old 23-02-2021, 10:14   #2
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

not trying to talk you out of...

But for Android, OpenCPN is excellent.
(Of course, OpenCPN is also excellent on laptops.)
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:24   #3
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

I agree with you. I have both on my phone and I prefer iSailGPS GPS too. (I presume we are talking about phones here, OpenCPN is the better move up Id say on a tablet. I just use my phone)
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:36   #4
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

No fan of Navionics.

Have not tried your app. Iphone user here.

AquaMap has good chats in USA and link to Active Captain.

For outside USA I use iNavex and pick the charts best for that area. Explorer in Bahamas and NV (German raster) for Caribbean.
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Old 23-02-2021, 16:29   #5
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I agree with you. I have both on my phone and I prefer iSailGPS GPS too. (I presume we are talking about phones here, OpenCPN is the better move up Id say on a tablet. I just use my phone)
Don, it's just phone, on a grip. In the cockpit, I don't like a big screen distracting me, especially since I a lot of my sailing at night. Though I am an Old, I do everything on my phone, like a Young.

hpeer, this is an iPhone app. I will definitely look into those others, thanks!
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We ran aground at 2300. Dad fired off flares all night, to no avail. In the morning, Mom called the Coast Guard and demanded to know why they had not responded. "But ma'm," came the abashed reply. "Yesterday was July 4th!"
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Old 24-02-2021, 10:30   #6
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Not trying to steal the OPs thread, but what have you guys got against Navionics app? it is very easy to use (intuitive) and you can overlay AIS data on it. Don't have any experience of the other apps so curious to know the answer.
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Old 24-02-2021, 10:48   #7
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Quickly (has been discussed in other threads)...

Here in British Columbia:
- Navionics missing some official tide and current stations, many very important: e.g., no "Malibu Rapids"; no Yacultas (no "Gillard" & "Dent" ... WTF!)
- other tide/current oddities: Navionics thinks Northern BC is on "Alaska Daylight time" (Winter and Summer)... they've been informed, long ago
- in so many places here in BC, Navionics "Sonar Charts" are based on fantasy (interpolated, not real data)
- Navionics chart updates are not clear: I (personally) do not like not knowing specifically which charts and when they were updated, and so do not like depending on Navionics to update at whatever schedule they decide upon. That is, I prefer to do my own updates.
- as with any form of community sourced info, info such as in Active Captain must be taken with a grain of salt
- a personal issue: I am not a fan of Navionics chart display colours, etc.
- I didn't like Navionics doubling the cost of their charts, with no change in quality

Having said the above, I still keep my Android Navionics current. It offers another source of info. I just don't depend on it or use while enroute.
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Old 24-02-2021, 10:50   #8
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martkimwat View Post
Not trying to steal the OPs thread, but what have you guys got against Navionics app? it is very easy to use (intuitive) and you can overlay AIS data on it. Don't have any experience of the other apps so curious to know the answer.
I don't like that you have to zoom in to get more detail in Navionics and vector charts in general. This causes many groundings, like the famous Vestas Wind volvo ocean race crash.

I like raster charts, which looks like what the OP's app uses, since all the data is seen at all zoom levels. It is what I use on OpenCPN, which I run on my laptop and then I use Navionics on the phone as a backup.
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Old 24-02-2021, 10:55   #9
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

^1+

I dislike the vector charts for that reason.

Also the raster charts were prepared to a uniform standard, I want to knkw what the standards of display are not have to guess or adjust.
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Old 24-02-2021, 11:25   #10
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martkimwat View Post
Not trying to steal the OPs thread, but what have you guys got against Navionics app? it is very easy to use (intuitive) and you can overlay AIS data on it. Don't have any experience of the other apps so curious to know the answer.
You're not really stealing my thread, since my question was asking you to tell me what you like about Navionics that I'm missing.

Having spent my entire life navigating with NOAA raster charts—I still have the marked up ones we used in the early 1970s, no longer useful for careful navigation, but fun for memories—I'm aware of their limitations when you zoom in on an app. It's like using a magnifying glass on the paper one.
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We ran aground at 2300. Dad fired off flares all night, to no avail. In the morning, Mom called the Coast Guard and demanded to know why they had not responded. "But ma'm," came the abashed reply. "Yesterday was July 4th!"
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Old 24-02-2021, 11:30   #11
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

I use Navionics around the local area and consider it really a chart display app. Navionics' Active Captain integration is very handy.

I use SeaIQ on passages and occasionally in the local area. I like the AIS and plotting functions. It is more of a true chartplotter. I don't think SeaIQ does a very good job with ENC display but it has NOAA raster charts which I like for all the reasons provided by others.

And, when I was in the Bahamas I used Aquamap for the Explorer Charts on an ipad.
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Old 24-02-2021, 11:52   #12
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
I use Navionics around the local area and consider it really a chart display app. Navionics' Active Captain integration is very handy.

I use SeaIQ on passages and occasionally in the local area. I like the AIS and plotting functions. It is more of a true chartplotter. I don't think SeaIQ does a very good job with ENC display but it has NOAA raster charts which I like for all the reasons provided by others.

And, when I was in the Bahamas I used Aquamap for the Explorer Charts on an ipad.
Thanks, I'll look up SeaIQ. If there's an integrated AIS function, that'd be cool, because as it stands, I have to switch apps.
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We ran aground at 2300. Dad fired off flares all night, to no avail. In the morning, Mom called the Coast Guard and demanded to know why they had not responded. "But ma'm," came the abashed reply. "Yesterday was July 4th!"
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Old 24-02-2021, 12:04   #13
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

I bought Navionics for the tablet to get Canadian charts. Then they closed the border so I can't go there anyway. Also not a fan of the app, the autoroute feature would be nice if it worked better, but I've tried to use exiting a tight anchorage, it didn't know how and started the route out in open water. It also routes too close to hazards for my liking. Also the online PC version is for route planning only, it doesn't have position input to use live.
I prefer OpenCPN for PC or tablet. Uses the official raster and vector charts. I'm more used to the raster so I use those mostly. Free app, free US charts. Canadian charts are not free and I had trouble even finding a source. Probably easier in Canada though.
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Old 24-02-2021, 12:14   #14
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Another thing about Navionics is the sounding data appears to be much more detailed than the official charts. Where did they get that more detailed info that as far as I know doesn't exist? I don't think they went out and resurveyed the world. I don't trust it.
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Old 24-02-2021, 12:45   #15
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Re: Advice requested re: navigation apps

Quote:
Originally Posted by capt jgw View Post
I prefer OpenCPN for PC or tablet. Uses the official raster and vector charts. I'm more used to the raster so I use those mostly. Free app, free US charts. Canadian charts are not free and I had trouble even finding a source. Probably easier in Canada though.
Official Canadian raster charts are indeed not free... a different system up here. But they are my preferred chart. Availability: the main Canadian online marine stores sell them (well, access to them) at a fixed price, you then go to CHS Data Portal and enter key and download. you can update for 24 mos, effectively giving you updates for 3 cruising seasons (if started in May). After then, tgey remain available but not updatable (except by your own hand).

CHS Dealer webpage:
http://www.charts.gc.ca/charts-carte...taire-eng.html

For example:
https://www.marineoutfitters.ca/mobi...oduct=60511072

If you are using OpenCPN, you can get equivalent of CHS vector charts for a very reasonable annual fee. They're good, but I prefer (and pay for) the raster charts:
https://www.o-charts.org/
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