FIRST! BUY A WATERPROOF SLEEVE FOR THE IPAD REI stores have them for $20 bucks. A gallon size zip lock bag will also work. Put 1 tsp of rice wrapped in an empty tea-bag (or a desiccant pouch if you have one around) in with the ipad or you will corrode the plugs and switches very quickly. (my son repairs
ipads so we rescued mine - but you should be careful with salt
I have INavX
on my ipad. It has gps installed.
You download the charts you need while connected to wifi
and then they are available while offline. We tested it against the RayMoron chart plotter on Ceil and it works great. I downloaded charts for St Maarten and Barts last year before I left Calif on vacation
and the charts were really nice to have (you pay for non-usa charts of course).
Nice thing is you can carry the ipad anywhere on the boat
and still see your boat/course, yes even in the loo.
The instrument view on iNavX
is better than the $700 extension display we installed last year...
Building a course is easy, you can set anchor
and proximity alarms as well. If you use the ipad for music
while sailing and have anchor alarm
or proximity alarms you can't help but hear it on your stereo speakers.
I use a separate app for ais
which of course requires at least a wifi connection (if out of cell range) to an ais
receiver (we use an vhf/ais dongle to the laptop
(displays on openCPN) and then hook the iPad over bluetooth/wifi to the ais signal). This is a much better display than the ais display on the raymarine
as it displays the ship data much more quickly (and it's touch sensitive so selecting a vessel is much faster and easier.
We sail primarily west coast
and San Diego
and also SF Bay
traffic is a critical issue at all times - ais is killer (though we are in fog
much of the time here so we also keep radar
on - you wouldn't believe how fast and quiet a container ship moves in the fog).
One other thing that is very cool is if you download grib files for your sailing area you can overlay the wind
data on your chart screen
. the gribs of course are time sensitive but will usually have 5 days of forecasts included. You can page through the grib display in 3 hour 'pages' (while showing your chart at same time) so you can at least get a heads up on where the wind
might be changing speed and direction.
Grib files are available from grib.us for free.
fyi - you can do all this stuff on the iphone
as well-and you only pay for the app once - they share the app license