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Old 23-05-2018, 11:50   #1
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iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

My Disclaimer:
I don't claim any special knowledge of or experience with any brand of chartplotters or apps. I have not invested in them or in any brand of chartplotter, so I have no bias yet due to ownership. However, I am in the market to buy something I can use on my iPad and so am looking and considering what I like best. So far, I have not used all the available apps, though I have looked at several online and considered them.

I have NO connection to the producer of this software. I simply used it successfully, and was impressed by its features, its ease of use, and display.

I used the app on an iPad for 21 days, while on a offshore voyage from Florida to Maine. This included navigating the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and Penobscott Bay (Maine) and into Mystic Connecticut.

I have been reading most of the comments in various threads that relate to how Active Captain will not be integrated into third party (not Garmin) navigation apps in the future (a subject of another thread).
__________

My User Review of SEAiq

I just got off a boat voyage (1200nm) where the captain of the boat used his iPad with SEAiq as his route planning app.

The boat also had a recent, large "hybrid screen" Raymarine Chartplotter system.

While I liked using the Raymarine system, as it had integrated RADAR which I could view side by side with the chart on the plotter, I also used the iPad with SEAiq extensively.

Obviously the Raymarine system has many features, a larger display, and connectivity to many inputs, including the RADAR. It is also much, much more expensive. Since I am not a boat owner, I am looking for a portable device (iPad) solution for me to take with me as I sail on different boats.

While I have read Raymarine manuals, and watched videos on various chartplotters, and have done some reading about various iPad nav apps, I did not have to read anything to quickly learn how to use the SEAiq app. it was very intuitive. I don't claim expertise in it yet, but I was impressed by its ease of use.

I was able to place the iPad next to the Raymarine chartplotter, and compared them as we sailed in close channels and rocky passages between many islands off the coast of Maine. I carefully looked at the chart symbology and how the chart features were displayed. I much preferred the SEAiq display. One aspect of this was how the chart contrast was shown, so that on the SEAiq display lines appeared more contrasted against the background colors on the chart, making it easier to see the faint lines, especially in dim light at night. Both displays were adjusted for night viewing, with lower than normal display brightness.

One feature I liked about the SEAiq display was the choice I could make on how the boat position was shown by a dynamic and helpful symbol on the display. The app allows one to choose a "pointer" that is related to the current boat position and speed and direction. This looks like a circle, indicating the boat position, with an arrow pointing in the direction the boat is going. This pointer can be adjusted to indicate where the boat will be in a few minutes. I liked to set it up for a 12 minute (and 6 minute) pointer. This allowed me (and other crew) to see where the boat would be in 6 or 12 minutes if we stayed on the present heading. This made it easy to estimate when we would pass a bouy or mark or rock or channel etc. How? Without having to touch the screen, I could glance at the display and see the length of the pointer and immediately scan ahead to see if we were headed to something. I could immediately gauge the time to near objects by visually multiplying the pointer length to the objects. This was very intuitive and easy to do. I liked this very much, as the pointer gave a very quick visual indication of where we were going and what we would cross on our current heading. It also adjusted for the SOG, so the pointer length would change automatically (growing longer or shorter) when we encountered strong currents (which we often did in Maine or when entering the Chesapeake). Perhaps other navigation apps also have this or similar feature, but I know I liked it on SEAiq.

I liked some aspects of the SEAiq, and considered its display of chart features superior to the Raymarine chart, and so I took a look at the SEAiq website to learn more.
Features | SEAiq Pilot

Noteworthy is that the SEAiq has a version designed for Recreational Sailing. That app is only about $4.99 for download. The app uses free downloadable NOAA charts, which are regularly and automatically updated by the app.

I asked the owner/captain which he preferred. He said he depended on the SEAiq for planning his route, and he liked it better, as it was more intuitive to view and set up the routes. He also used the iPad in the cockpit when on the helm outside (his boat has a pilot house where the Raymarine was located).
______________

Question: Will SEAiq use Active Captain in the future?

On the SEAiq site I saw this mention of Active Captain (and more).

"New Feature: Waterway Guide
Waterway Guide content is now available as a chart overlay within the SEAiq app. Waterway Guide utilizes their extensive user base, large network of on-the-water editors, and full-time staff to provide up-to-date and accurate content
for safe and informed travel along the waterways. Marinas, anchorages, navigation alerts, bridges and locks for the Eastern U.S., Canada, Bahamas, and Cuba are now available for offline access.

Important: ActiveCaptain
We are informed on May 23, 2018 Garmin will make incompatible changes to the ActiveCaptain server. After this date, the current ActiveCaptain data will continue to work in SEAiq. However, no further updates will be available for download. We recommend users sync offline data on their devices before the May 23 cut-off. We are considering updating SEAiq support for ActiveCaptain but do not have definite plans yet."
_______________

Here are some relevant features I found interesting and were seen in my own use of the app.

NOTE! This is copied from the SEAiq page focused on the Recreational Sailor (version of their Software). They have a more robust version that is called the Pilot version and is designed for professional mariners (pilots).

SOURCE: Recreational | SEAiq Pilot

"All our apps provide crisp and clear chart display (see our screen shots). All fonts and symbols are generated specifically for your device so they are clear and easy to read. When specified by the chart, SEAiq uses symbolized lines and area patterns, making the charts easier to ready and giving them a raster-like appearance (SEAiq apps are the only ones to do this).

Other features common to all our apps include:
Fully offline use: there is no need to be connected to the internet
Includes a base chart of the world (not suitable for navigation)
View charts using normal iPad gestures, including pan, zoom, and rotate.
Chart quilting: when viewing areas covered by different charts, SEAiq will quilt them together, selecting the best available chart data for the scale you are viewing at.
Full access to all data in vector charts. You can select any point and access all the data associated with each of the features. Vector charts contain much more information than most mariners realize. I used this.
GPS
Integrated GPS available on most iPads and iPhones to indicate your current location, course, and speed.
External NMEA to get GPS information (and other sensors) from your vessel (requires WiFi enabled NMEA).
GPS sharing. You can access GPS information from another device. This is useful if you have a WiFi-only iPad without integrated GPS support. It can connect wirelessly to an iPhone or iPad with GPS.
AIS. Display AIS targets on your chart display according to their reported location.
Predicted course display including rate-of-turn information, when zoomed in sufficiently.
Textual and visual CPA.
True-scale vessel representation, accounting for location of the GPS antenna.
Requires WiFi enabled AIS/NMEA.
Tracks. See the route your vessel has followed.
Waypoints and routes. Create and edit waypoints and routes directly from the chart display.
Weather. Automatic and manual download of wind and pressure/isobar data.
Active Captain. Download and access the Active Captain interactive cruising guidebook.
Customized display using Shallow, Safety, and Deep Depth Contours you provide. This allows the charts to highlight features that are possible danger.
Day, evening, night color modes are available to help protect your night vision when in low light conditions.
Display in variety of units. You can select the units you want displayed for depths, distances, speed, etc.
True and magnetic north.
Keep awake mode keeps your iPad display from going to sleep." I used this.

Hope this helps.
_______________

Are you a SEAiq user?

If you use SEAiq, feel free to add your own comments or review in this thread. If you have a favorite feature (like I liked the arrow pointer for the boat position) mention that too. If you have any tips or experience using it with AIS or integrated with other inputs like AIS or others, mention that.
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Old 23-05-2018, 12:08   #2
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

I have a successfully used the Garmin GLO 100 GPS antennae with Garmin BlueChart on my iPad. It was great for the east coast of the USA and Bermuda. I also use the Garmin GLO for land nav as well. Iíve used it for almost two years.
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Old 23-05-2018, 18:29   #3
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

SEAiq is the best! I've used it for years. After going back and forth with Garmin BlueChart Mobile, iNavX, Navionics, and others, I settled on SEAiq. Where SEAiq shines is the integration with boat data via wifi, AIS display, and chart formats supported. If you go with SEAiq, there's a separate purchase for the additional features (e.g, NMEA data, other chart formats, various alarms, etc.). All these add-on features are highlighted in magenta, so you can see the value.

The only other navigation program that comes close to SEAiq is iSailor. The problem with iSailor is all the features are add-on subscriptions and will cost a lot more than SEAiq. iSailor's interface is stunning and their charts are gorgeous.

I wouldn't make the decision on whether ActiveCaptain is supported. I used to think AC was important. I'll use AC to check out new areas, etc., but it is not a deal breaker. If you want AC, go online with whatever Garmin offers. It doesn't need to be integral to the chartplotter. Think planning with different tools vs. navigation. SEAiq is good at both.

I'm real happy with SEAiq. Just loaded all the Panama and Jamaica charts I could find. Plan on using as a backup to the ship's navigation, especially in San Blas and around Jamaica.

Go for it!!!
Don
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Old 24-05-2018, 00:24   #4
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixer View Post
I have a successfully used the Garmin GLO 100 GPS antennae with Garmin BlueChart on my iPad. It was great for the east coast of the USA and Bermuda. I also use the Garmin GLO for land nav as well. Iíve used it for almost two years.
Hi.
Thanks for adding your comment.
Last year I had narrowed my search for an app to the Garmin GLO and Garmin BlueChart. They appeared to me to be a good match.

But recently I have read numerous complaints from Garmin users, some seem related to the Bluecharts. I don't recall specifics, but it stuck in my mind that I needed to look for an alternative. As I recall, it had something to do with the the Bluecharts updates, support, or ongoing costs.

Remember, I have not yet bought into one. I hope things continue to go well for you. Garmin should continue to provide quality products.
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Old 24-05-2018, 00:27   #5
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
SEAiq is the best! I've used it for years. After going back and forth with Garmin BlueChart Mobile, iNavX, Navionics, and others, I settled on SEAiq. Where SEAiq shines is the integration with boat data via wifi, AIS display, and chart formats supported. If you go with SEAiq, there's a separate purchase for the additional features (e.g, NMEA data, other chart formats, various alarms, etc.). All these add-on features are highlighted in magenta, so you can see the value.

The only other navigation program that comes close to SEAiq is iSailor. The problem with iSailor is all the features are add-on subscriptions and will cost a lot more than SEAiq. iSailor's interface is stunning and their charts are gorgeous.

I wouldn't make the decision on whether ActiveCaptain is supported. I used to think AC was important. I'll use AC to check out new areas, etc., but it is not a deal breaker. If you want AC, go online with whatever Garmin offers. It doesn't need to be integral to the chartplotter. Think planning with different tools vs. navigation. SEAiq is good at both.

I'm real happy with SEAiq. Just loaded all the Panama and Jamaica charts I could find. Plan on using as a backup to the ship's navigation, especially in San Blas and around Jamaica.

Go for it!!!
Don
Thanks for adding your good comment. I appreciate what you wrote, in details. That was just the type of user feedback I hoped to stimulate.

I have highlighted a few of the points you made that I found especially good.

I like the feature that allows AIS overlay. Unfortunately the boat I was on did not have AIS, so I could not see it used.
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Old 24-05-2018, 07:03   #6
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Here are some screen shots of the SEAiq USA app ($4.99) that uses free NOAA charts or other charts of your choice.

The USA version of the app is only $4.99.
The international version is $49.99

The app can use raster or vector charts, and the developer says it has a superior way of displaying the vector charts.

Notice the second image down. It has a black background. This is intended for use at night, when dim lighting is preferable on the boat, in order to preserve night vision.
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Old 24-05-2018, 07:29   #7
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Re: US version -- I found limiting not being able to install charts outside the USCG ENC/RNC downloads or KAP charts. This is fine for US sailing. As I recall, SEAiq US does support VenturFarther charts, but not a direct KAP chart upload. The International version supports more chart formats and is easier to manage charts. In my case, OpenCPN is the master chart repository, then I can transfer the needed charts into SEAiq. Keep in mind, there's limited storage on the iPad. In my case, it is full of books, podcasts, a few movies,... I have to manage the charts as needed.

One thing that bugs me with SEAiq is the top instrument bar values are fixed and you can not change or rearrange. The left-most is 'ROT', which doesn't really apply. Might be OK for power boaters, though. I'd like to remove and replace with other NMEA data.

I have an older iPad (Gen 3) and I find chart quilting to be a little laggy. Doesn't seem to be a problem, just a little slow.

I used the US version for a few years. As my sailing locations have broadened, I finally bought the International version.
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Old 24-05-2018, 07:47   #8
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
Re: US version -- I found limiting not being able to install charts outside the USCG ENC/RNC downloads or KAP charts. This is fine for US sailing. As I recall, SEAiq US does support VenturFarther charts, but not a direct KAP chart upload. The International version supports more chart formats and is easier to manage charts. In my case, OpenCPN is the master chart repository, then I can transfer the needed charts into SEAiq. Keep in mind, there's limited storage on the iPad. In my case, it is full of books, podcasts, a few movies,... I have to manage the charts as needed.

One thing that bugs me with SEAiq is the top instrument bar values are fixed and you can not change or rearrange. The left-most is 'ROT', which doesn't really apply. Might be OK for power boaters, though. I'd like to remove and replace with other NMEA data.

I have an older iPad (Gen 3) and I find chart quilting to be a little laggy. Doesn't seem to be a problem, just a little slow.

I used the US version for a few years. As my sailing locations have broadened, I finally bought the International version.
Good to know. Thanks for adding more details on how you use it.
Since this thread may be read by sailors of varying experience, details are good.
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Old 24-05-2018, 09:48   #9
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

It's $49.99 at Google Play.

I've been toying around with Seapilot. It's free and seems very functional for US coastal sailing.
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Old 24-05-2018, 09:55   #10
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

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It's $49.99 at Google Play.

I've been toying around with Seapilot. It's free and seems very functional for US coastal sailing.
There are several versions.

The Recreational "USA Waters" version is only $4.99 on Apple Store. My understanding is that it is restricted to use of only the NOAA charts (which are free to download).

There is a Recreational International Waters version which is $49.99 (and allows more charts to be used).

There is also a Professional Pilot version, intended for use by professsional pilots, and it is more expensive (as I recall $399).
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Old 24-05-2018, 13:49   #11
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

I have had terrible experience with Garmins Blue Charts accuracy. From French Polynesia on west to New Zealand. Almost ran over a reef that the Garmin chart showed was covered with ten fathoms at low water. The farther west I got the worse the accuracy was. Open CPN especially used in conjunction with the Goggle Earth charts is actually the best and only truly accurate system in places like Fiji where there has been no new charts made for over a hundred years. The price is very good as well. Freeeee.At the helm on my boat is Navionics
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Old 24-05-2018, 13:51   #12
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

For some reason the USA Waters version isn't available on Android.
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Old 24-05-2018, 14:49   #13
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Maybe I am missing something.

I don't understand all the iPad/tablet or phone use of electronics? I guess it depends on the boat, but in our boat, we don't have a fully enclosed cockpit. None of these are viable options. Rain would ruin them. We have a real chartplotter at the helm.

I have downloaded various charts on my tablet (navionics or nv, depending on the area) and find it quite fun to compare to the Garmin Bluecharts at the helm. Plus, I can see where we're going if I'm down below. But that's about all we're using it for (at this time). Perhaps I need to try the SEAiq app.
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Old 24-05-2018, 15:07   #14
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

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Maybe I am missing something.

I don't understand all the iPad/tablet or phone use of electronics? I guess it depends on the boat, but in our boat, we don't have a fully enclosed cockpit. None of these are viable options. Rain would ruin them. We have a real chartplotter at the helm.

I have downloaded various charts on my tablet (navionics or nv, depending on the area) and find it quite fun to compare to the Garmin Bluecharts at the helm. Plus, I can see where we're going if I'm down below. But that's about all we're using it for (at this time). Perhaps I need to try the SEAiq app.
Some reasons why some sailors want their charts on a mobile device (phone, tablet, iPad):

1. They do not have a chartplotter (in cockpit or below)

2. They have an old chartplotter, that may be hard to view or use.

3. They want a larger display and intuitive controls

4. They like having a device they can use on boat or on land (planning) and anywhere on boat

5. They sail on multiple boats as a delivery captain or as crew (as I do) or as charters

6. They want a device that uses free, up to date charts, and don't want to be locked into a proprietary chart from a chartplotter maker.

7. They want redundancy.

That is how I see it. Hope that helps.
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Old 24-05-2018, 16:00   #15
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Re: iPad Navigation Using SEAiq App (User Reviews)

Be aware that SEAiq needs iOS 10 to run. My old iPad 4 runs on iOS 9.3.5 and is 'up to date' which suggests that SEAiq may only run on newer iPads.

Can anyone advise otherwise?
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