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Old 16-05-2022, 05:19   #1
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Best iPad chart/navigation app

I'm going to update my iPad navigation software. It's used as a backup to my primary Garmin chartplotters.

And yes, I know... it's been discussed a lot. Please don't tell me to search. Given that they keep changing, I'm interested in hearing what apps people are using now.

For reference, I've had iNavx for years. I might renew with them, but I'm not fully satisfied with this app.
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Old 16-05-2022, 05:33   #2
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

For iProducts in Canada I use iNavex CHS raster charts. But AquaMaps has some very endearing qualities also. I would use both.

Now if you were talking Android then I would use OCPN with CHS raster charts and AquaMaps.

There is a LOT of user preference here. Android is the cheaper hardware platform. Like $300 US for a very good refurbished unit.

For various reasons I have ended up with both types of systems and if starting from scratch would be hard pressed to choose one over the other.

I have been able to easily integrate AIS and instruments into both platforms using a wireless converter.

Lots of good choices.
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Old 16-05-2022, 06:19   #3
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

I use iNavX because it's the best combination of app and charts for me.

My preferred app is actually iSailor, but the charts available for Canada aren't great IMO.
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Old 16-05-2022, 06:43   #4
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

Maybe a slight side-track...

I've read a few threads about navigation apps and no experienced boaters ever seem to recommend Navionics. Since I'm not very experienced and do use Navionics, I am worried that I am making the wrong (or not optimal) choice.

Is it something location specific, personal choice, or is there an issue that I should be aware of?

Thanks, Andy
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Old 16-05-2022, 06:49   #5
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

I sailor does not support the newer ANdroid 11 platform. They have informed me that there are no plans for support in the future.
I liked their program but they are abandoning me. I cannot use my newer hardware.
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Old 16-05-2022, 07:04   #6
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

In order of recommendation, high to low.

Aqua Map (paid master w/ USCoE surveys) Best 'updated' information available when using the USCG update feature which 'tracks/plots/presents info' from LNMs. Waterway Guide and Active Captain 'built in'

Navionics (sonar charts in heavily traveled areas)

OpenCPN - ok on a tablet, but I really only use it for voyage planning on a PC.
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Old 16-05-2022, 07:12   #7
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

I've used Navionics on my iPhone and iPad almost exclusively for the past 8 years. I keep NavX charts as back up and of course paper charts as the ultimate back up.
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Old 16-05-2022, 07:24   #8
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

Thanks folks. I should have added that I'm cruising east coast Canada, so looking for the best tool to access CHS charts. Although I may be venturing down the US east coast at some point.

I keep hearing good things about AquaMap. I still have iNavx, and could update my charts there. It's been pretty good, although I've suffered from disappearing charts a few times, and the interface has always seemed clunky to me.
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Old 16-05-2022, 07:30   #9
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

I used to be iNavX, but I never fully liked it.

Next I got iSailor and like it.

I just tried AquaMaps and seems nice, I especially like the chart/satellite slider. In chart mode you see the chart (aptly named, yes?), and the slider gradually superimposes the satellite view over the chart. Very nice. For example, chart mode only shows lines in the marina, give it some satellite, and you see the actual docks.
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Old 16-05-2022, 08:04   #10
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

There is one app I just learned about! NMEA remote, which could be used in a split-screen mode with a separate chart app, as described at https://forums.ybw.com/index.php?thr...-chart.505161/

Otherwise, no real changes on my end, still use SEAiq for most things, and may refer to others (iSailor/Navionics) should occasion demand.

I've played briefly with Aqua Map and iNavX but the UI just didn't work for me. I keep OpenCPN around for chart comparison and to keep aware of features, but find it a bit fiddly for "production" use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
I've read a few threads about navigation apps and no experienced boaters ever seem to recommend Navionics. Since I'm not very experienced and do use Navionics, I am worried that I am making the wrong (or not optimal) choice.

Is it something location specific, personal choice, or is there an issue that I should be aware of?
All of the above?

Location specific: For inland lakes and rivers, Navionics might be the only inexpensive source of charts. (I believe you can subscribe to Navionics charts using iNavX though, and Aqua Map also indicates they have merged inland lake data.)

Personal preference: Different apps have different ways of creating routes, changing between charts, etc, and you might find one more intuitive (or annoying) than another.

Functionality: Navionics is a perfectly cromulent chart viewer that also has routing capability and a decent display of tides and currents. It also has basic AIS functionality with course vectors (but apparently no CPA?! info). Some of the features that are lacking (and that I actually use) include:
  • Being able to plot traditional fixes (visual/radar/etc)
  • Being able to mark out boundaries (e.g. no-go-areas) and add notes from LMNs
  • Being able to add clearing bearings, etc
  • Having access to all chart information, e.g. data quality and survey dates
  • Ability to use magnetic north (this I don't use much)
  • Integration and display for boat instruments (wind speed/direction, heading, speed, etc)
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Old 16-05-2022, 13:31   #11
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

I recently spent 4 weeks in the Bahamas
TZiBoat with the Explorer charts
Performance was fantastic
Cheers
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Old 16-05-2022, 14:24   #12
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Thanks folks. I should have added that I'm cruising east coast Canada, so looking for the best tool to access CHS charts. Although I may be venturing down the US east coast at some point.

I keep hearing good things about AquaMap. I still have iNavx, and could update my charts there. It's been pretty good, although I've suffered from disappearing charts a few times, and the interface has always seemed clunky to me.
Mike - thinking about this again - I believe that iSailor charts are based on CHS. That's been one of my problems with them on Lake Ontario: they haven't necessarily been updated recently (Trent Port Marina doesn't exist) but they might work for you.
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Old 16-05-2022, 14:28   #13
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

And I just went back and looked and they've now updated to show Trent Port ... maybe I should give them another try!

Thanks for triggering the thought process - it gets slower with age.
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Old 16-05-2022, 14:46   #14
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I'll definitely be looking at iSailor and TZiBoat.
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Old 16-05-2022, 22:56   #15
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Re: Best iPad chart/navigation app

I used to use iNavX however in the last 6 months have switched to Navionics, which is a lot better app for half the price. Best endorsement was to give my ipad to my wife with no instructions and within 2 minutes was able work out how to determine distance, bearings etc. With iNavX we were constantly in the manual trying to work out how to use. A real useful function is the Sonarchart, which we have found very handy for figuring out how close we can anchor to shore, dodging shallows, etc.

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