iPad for navagation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kevin Kidd, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. Kevin Kidd

    Kevin Kidd Member

    Oct 16, 2017
    California Delta
    270 Sundancer 2000
    7.4 Mercruiser w/ Bravo 3 outdrive
    I have a question for the members,
    Who use's an iPad for navigation, do you like it and what App. are you using? We boat on the California Delta, so I need it more for getting around, not real worried about sand bars and reefs. Things can get confusing with all the cuts and sloughs.
    Thanks in advance for any input.
  2. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    Kevin, there is lots of good software out there. iNavX and Garmin's ActiveCaptain. Among them. The problem is sunlight. iPads are very difficult to see in direct sun. I use my iPad as a planning / backup nav device but rely on my Chart plotter for general use.

    If you have one of the latest Garmin EchoMap units, you can sync your iPad to them and transfer maps, waypoints, routes, etc. You can even mirror your MFD to the iPad and control it from there. I just wouldn't rely solely on an iPad.

    Bonus points: Active Captain has quite a bit of community data for here in the Delta.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  3. DanW

    DanW Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2013
    Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Isleton, CA
    1988 340 Sundancer - "Nautical Smiles"
    1998 Regal 2100 LSR
    Sea Ray - Mercruiser 454
    Regal - Volvo 5.0Gi w/ Volvo-Penta outdrive
    I use Navionics app on my iPad in the delta. It seems to work well and has a lot of good information. As bobeast said, because of the heat and sun, I only use it for planning and backup. I use a garmin as my main chart plotter.

    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  4. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I use an iPad Air 2 as backup navigation. I use navionics app and it works well. I have a life proof nuud case with a ram mount.

    FYI. The iPad Air 2 has a anti glare screen. Apple removed this on the newer models so maybe look for a refurb air 2.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  5. HUMPH

    HUMPH Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    2003 410DA,
    2004 C14 Caribe
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/
    50HP Honda
    Like Dan, I also use Navionics on the Delta on my iPad Pro. I will say that there is nothing better than experience when boating on the Delta though. Check us out sometime at SRBCNC.org
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  6. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I use an iPad with Garmin as my primary chartplotter/nav aide. I don't go far from home port and I'd prefer invest my money in gas/beer than a "real" marine grade MFD.

    I think use case is worth considering. If I were traversing Lake Michigan or going into unfamiliar waters with any regularity I'd consider a marine-grade setup an important piece of equipment. For the way I use my boat (casual weekender) navigation is more of a nice-to-have than a requirement.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  7. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  8. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    My primary chart plotters are Garmin.

    I use the iPad continually looking at progress/heading in open water. When on the ICW or a river, I use the iPad for Active Captain information.

    In confined space, such as canals, rivers where there are banks on each side, I have seen positional errors for the boat location.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  9. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    If you need a navigation GPS, then you should probably have a real one, and use the iPad as backup or as a second screen. I have a Raymarine C80 that is a dinosaur, but reliable and marine grade (plus radar). But I do have my iPad Air 2 set up when navigating as well. Different views give me the advantage of two screens and the iPad redraws much faster. Best of both worlds.

    As others have said, the iPad screen is hard to see in bright sunlight with sunglasses on. the Air 2 anti-glare is OK, but I always add a glass screen protector on my devices so its a mute point. They don't like heat either and will shut down if they are in the direct sun and get too hot. I use the Navionics software. Works well and the C80 uses the same Navionics charts so the look and feel is the same.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  10. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    I use this:

    With Navionics HD and it's perfect. Does not seem to be as sensitive to heat like my iPad was. With a folio case it fits into a ram mount iPad mount pretty well. It is easy to see in the sun and with sunglasses on. Built in GPS gets a fix quickly too.

    Garmin's iPad BlueChart app is no longer supported. The new app requires you own a Garmin GPS or buy a chart package for several hundred dollars to use. The Active Captain data is still free.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  11. Phasma

    Phasma Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 17, 2016
    West Michigan
    2003 360 Sundancer
    Mercruiser 8.1s Horizon
    I updated my nav electronics last year to a Raymarine system. I use an iPad Pro that links into it by wifi that I have mounted on my helm. It mirrors the Raymarine screen with the Ray Control app. The raymarine screen is too low and not easily viewed while standing at the helm. It seems to work for me.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  12. Kevin Kidd

    Kevin Kidd Member

    Oct 16, 2017
    California Delta
    270 Sundancer 2000
    7.4 Mercruiser w/ Bravo 3 outdrive
    Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions. We just purchased our 270, October 2017, it doesn't have any navigation systems on her, so the iPad is just a start until I purchase something.
    HUMPH likes this.
  13. potis

    potis Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    San Ramon, CA
    2000 340 DA Sundancer
    "Soggy Dollar"
    7.4L V-Drives
    Another vote for Navionics for Delta boating. I'm another Delta boater and use Navionics on my iPad. Very good info, including tides and currents. Tracking and auto or manual routing also good features. While I do use it for navigation, I use more for planning and for fun, and flagging areas to avoid. You can go anywhere on the delta with a good paper chart and a compass, but theNavions (or any chart plotter) is nice to have, primarily for avoiding shallow areas on the delta, marking nice anchorages, fishing holes, etc.
    Kevin Kidd and HUMPH like this.
  14. Ctsearay

    Ctsearay Member

    Apr 19, 2009
    Milford Ct
    2002 360 Sundancer Twin 8.1's Tender
    10ft Hardbottom Walker Bay Genesis with Johnson 15 Hp
    Twin Pleasure Bringing, Fire Breathing Mercruiser 8.1 HO's
    I use Garmin on the ipad but only for off boat navigation, then upload it to my 8200 series. Even using the Kindle app on the ipad is almost a waste on the boat be cause of the sun and heat.
    Kevin Kidd likes this.
  15. TitanTn

    TitanTn Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 12, 2015
    Chattanooga, TN
    1986 Saltare, 1998 400 Express
    454 direct drive; twin 3116TA
    If you have adequate sun and water protection, then an ipad is just fine for navigation. If those conditions don't exist then you'll really need to use a marine specific GPS and use the ipad as a backup.

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