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View Poll Results: What nav software do you use? And please share why.
iNavX 7 3.93%
Navionics 50 28.09%
Aqua Maps 5 2.81%
OpenCPN 25 14.04%
SEAiq 2 1.12%
i-Boating 0 0%
C-MAP 5 2.81%
I use boat's chart plotter 48 26.97%
I use paper charts 22 12.36%
Other (please let us know what it is) 14 7.87%
Voters: 178. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22-09-2021, 19:41   #1
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What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Hi all, Im just now getting into sailing and do not have a boat. I am however going to be chartering some boats through my Yacht Club. Since these arent my boats I am not sure about the state of their navigational equipment (from ability to function to age of maps). So I am looking into various portable solutions for navigation.

I understand that OpenCPN is extremely popular; however there are a lot of other options out there and I am curious what everyone is using. Please also mention what device you use to run the software on. And what region you mostly sail in (as charts good in one locale may not be as good in another).

This is a little spreadsheet I made for my own notes as I am researching these:

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Old 22-09-2021, 19:50   #2
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

MXMariner on Android and iSailor on IOS. I prefer MX Mariner because it just seems simpler to me and iSailor because it's relatively cheap (and so am I).
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Old 22-09-2021, 20:30   #3
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Too bad you didn't set up the poll so multiple answers can be given. I think you'll find that most cruisers have at least two different nav tools. In my case, I have three on board (four or five if you include iPhone plotter software).

My current big three are:
• A Garmin handheld with their standard chartset (forget the name). This we use for most active navigation while underway. It stays in the cockpit at the helm.

• A fixed-mounted Garmin plotter at the nav station down below running a slightly different Garmin chartset. This we use for routing and detailed planning. This can be mirrored via iPad to the cockpit (or wherever).

iNavX on an ipad running Navionics charts.
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Old 22-09-2021, 20:41   #4
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Too bad you didn't set up the poll so multiple answers can be given. I think you'll find that most cruisers have at least two different nav tools. In my case, I have three on board (four or five if you include iPhone plotter software).

My current big three are:
• A Garmin handheld with their standard chartset (forget the name). This we use for most active navigation while underway. It stays in the cockpit at the helm.

• A fixed-mounted Garmin plotter at the nav station down below running a slightly different Garmin chartset. This we use for routing and detailed planning. This can be mirrored via iPad to the cockpit (or wherever).

iNavX on an ipad running Navionics charts.
I considered allowing multiple answers, but I feel like that would muddy the waters a bit. Even with multiple tools everyone got to have a favorite?

And if not, then I think the way you did it is for the best (with explanation).

Garmin is Navionics these days right? So essentially you are choosing the same set of charts for all 3 (all being Navionics). Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 22-09-2021, 20:45   #5
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Navionics (nautical chart layer) on cockpit plotter, Navionics (sonar chart layer) on iPhone and iPad.
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Old 22-09-2021, 20:53   #6
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Navionics, Explorer charts on the MFDs. Time Zero, Aqua Map, I Nav X, Navionics on iPad Pro
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Old 22-09-2021, 20:57   #7
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duxa View Post
I considered allowing multiple answers, but I feel like that would muddy the waters a bit. Even with multiple tools everyone got to have a favorite?
In my case, I use each one slightly differently, so it's not really a case of having a favourite. They each fulfill slight different needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duxa View Post
Garmin is Navionics these days right? So essentially you are choosing the same set of charts for all 3 (all being Navionics). Please correct me if I am wrong.
Yes, I think you're right. Garmin took over Navionics. My chartsets predate this change (hmmm, maybe it's time to update ).
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Old 22-09-2021, 23:14   #8
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

I don’t have a dedicated chart plotter on my boat, so I use my iPad. I go back-and-forth between a iNavX and Navionics. I would love to stick with just one (Navionics) but they don’t have all of the features that iNavX does. Namely the ability to show more instruments than depth and AIS, and ability to send my route info to my auto helm as a series of NMEA 0183 RMB sentences.
Last trip I used Navionics’ smart routing feature to create a route, then exported it to iNavX to run the Autohelm.
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Old 22-09-2021, 23:29   #9
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Opencpn & navionics
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Old 22-09-2021, 23:34   #10
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duxa View Post
Hi all, Im just now getting into sailing and do not have a boat. I am however going to be chartering some boats through my Yacht Club. Since these arent my boats I am not sure about the state of their navigational equipment (from ability to function to age of maps). So I am looking into various portable solutions for navigation.

I understand that OpenCPN is extremely popular; however there are a lot of other options out there and I am curious what everyone is using. Please also mention what device you use to run the software on. And what region you mostly sail in (as charts good in one locale may not be as good in another).

This is a little spreadsheet I made for my own notes as I am researching these:

Hi Duxa,
Since you are just getting in to this, let me explain that if you were being asked that question by a marine examiner for a commercial license ....
...the correct answer is NONE!

You never rely on a primary nav-aid for navigation.. but continually cross check with other methods like radar and transits, soundings and vectors, to confirm your position.

GPS and electronic charts are not the holy grail of navigation as they can also steer you wrong
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Old 23-09-2021, 00:01   #11
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

^^^^^
Huzza and well done Pelagic! great post and a good object lesson for the OP.

following the magenta line, no matter what particular system you are using, needs to be heavily salted with eyeballs, radar when appropriate and (god willing) common sense.

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Old 23-09-2021, 01:43   #12
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Hi Duxa,
Since you are just getting in to this, let me explain that if you were being asked that question by a marine examiner for a commercial license ....
...the correct answer is NONE!

You never rely on a primary nav-aid for navigation.. but continually cross check with other methods like radar and transits, soundings and vectors, to confirm your position.

GPS and electronic charts are not the holy grail of navigation as they can also steer you wrong
Yeah, although early on this journey I have already learned that some of the depth soundings can be as old as several hundred years. So yep, definitely cant rely on them alone.

But need to choose an aid, with so many out there its so hard to know which one to choose without getting all of them and trying them all.
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Old 23-09-2021, 01:56   #13
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

1. Fixed (boats) Raymarine plotter with Navionics charts.
2. Handheld plotter with the same charts.
3. PC with OpenCPN, different types of charts.
4. Ipad with Navionics.
Few more, but these are the main ones.
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Old 23-09-2021, 02:21   #14
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Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

My eye balls are primary navigation aid.

For chart plotter on tablets, if you have iOS, the iSailor app is hard to beat. Link your nmea network with wifi and it’s fully functional.
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Old 23-09-2021, 02:41   #15
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Talking Re: What is your primary means of navigation (poll)

[ahem] I uh ... see you like spreadsheets.
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