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Navionics on iPad (or Droid)
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South of Heaven



Joined: 15 Aug 2015
Posts: 950
City/Region: Stoughton
State or Province: MA
Photos: Blue Water
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Navionics on iPad (or Droid) Reply with quote

I noticed there were several older threads on here about the Navionics app and devices and I browsed some of them. There was good info there but I figured it would better to start a new a thread.

I'm thinking about buying an iPad to use as a supplemental aid on my 19. The boat came with an older Garmin GPS and an even older Garmin FF. They are both working and I'll keep them on board but I wanted something newer and with a bigger display.

Here are some basic questions:
1. If I buy an iPad with cellular/internal GPS can I just use the Navionics app alone without using data? Or do I have to make my phone a hotspot and then connect the iPad to that?

2. Battery life- I've been reading that while using the app the battery can drain quickly, like in an hour or two. Is that accurate?

3. What kind of iPad are you guys using? Mini, Air 2, Pro etc ? I definitely want a good size display but not too big where it looks awkward. CD's are small boats to begin with. I'm leaning towards the Air 2. Thoughts?

4. Mounting- Where are most of you guys mounting them? I have the GPS and FF right in front on the edge of the dash. I'm thinking I can mount the iPad behind that in the center? Some of the mounts I saw will raise the unit a few inches from the surface; that should give me clearance over my other devices. BUT will then that be too high and affect my field of vision in driving the boat? Lol. Or can I mount it on the center portion above the cuddy door? Or even mounting it up high and out of the way? Like above the top of the glass.

5. Longevity- Are you folks keeping them on the boat for extended periods of time? I will be almost exclusively on salt water for my boating. Could I just cover it when not using or should I take it out of the boat when not in use? If the latter then that could kinda be a chore...

I'm also not against buying a Droid device but I figured that since I have already have an iPhone that it would be easier in many respects to have another Apple product...
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Larry H



Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Posts: 1985
City/Region: Tulalip,
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 1991
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Photos: Nancy H
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some answers,

1. A cell/wifi iPad with Navionics does not need a cell data plan to work. You need to get the cell/wifi pad, not just the wifi pad. The GPS receiver is in the cell chip in the pad. You will have to download the charts for the area you need using wifi or a data plan. After you download the charts, the app works without connecting to a cell network. The pad also need to connect to wifi or data to update the charts.

2. I haven't used the app for extended periods yet, but you can get a 12v car adapter to plug in the pad when you are using it on your boat.

3. I have an iPad Air 2.

4, 5. With a case like this: http://www.lifeproof.com/en-us/ipad-air-2/nuud-for-ipad-air-2-case/lpnu-apl-ipdair2.html , the iPad is waterproof and can still be recharged in the case. They also have mounts for the iPad when in the case.

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Larry H

A C-Brat since Nov 1, 2003
Ranger Tug 27 'Jacari Maru'
Puget Trawler 37 ex 'Jacari Maru' 2006-2017
1991 22' Cruiser, 'Nancy H'--1991-2006
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JamesTXSD



Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 6897
City/Region: Tropical Tip of Texas
State or Province: TX
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: "Wild Blue" (sold 9/14)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We found we would get 3 to 4 hours on the iPad's battery while using the Navionics app, iPad not plugged in. We had a 12v socket on the panel, and generally kept it plugged in, so time while cruising was not an issue.

I used an original iPad at the helm, then went to the iPad Mini when it came out. I preferred the Mini at the helm, and had it (temporarily) mounted with a suction RAM mount beside the fixed chartplotter. It was nice to have one screen (chartplotter) zoomed in, and the other (iPad) on a wider view. For some perspective, the Navionics app on the iPad was every bit as accurate (and faster to use) than the chartplotter... but, the plotter had built-in depth, radar, water temp, speed through the water (vs speed over the water), and the link with the VHF.

We have used iPads on the boat for a full season at a time with no issue. Our daughter bought us a waterproof sleeve for it, but we found it really wasn't necessary on the C-Dory. It is no problem to put the iPad in a backpack and take it with you when off the boat - have used it to Skype when using wifi away from the boat in Canada. They are versatile units.

I tried temporarily mounting mine at the top of the window - didn't care for that location. Setting it right on the top of the helm area was most comfortable for me.

As Larry told you, you don't have to be hooked to data for the iPad to be functional as a nav device. You DO have to be hooked to wifi to download the chart area (a one time thing) before heading out. If you search around, you will get a lot of mis-information about this. Even when we first started using the iPad for navigation, we were told by many sources that "it isn't possible." Even the "geniuses" in the Apple Store. Yes, it works. To reiterate: you do NOT need a data connection while using the cellular capable iPad for navigation.

Have fun with the new boat!
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South of Heaven



Joined: 15 Aug 2015
Posts: 950
City/Region: Stoughton
State or Province: MA
Photos: Blue Water
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Larry, I appreciate it. I was always curious about the data aspect of it. I'm definitely leaning towards the Air 2.

Do you still have other traditional elec's on board? Like GPS and FF? Or just using the navionics app?

I was blown away last summer when I saw the Navionics app on my buddy's boat and how effective it was. He has a 36 ft Formula cabin cruiser with all the best BIG MONEY navigation aids and he said his iPad with Navionics was his favorite unit and most functional! I never forgot that......Although I know it's not radar. Lol
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South of Heaven



Joined: 15 Aug 2015
Posts: 950
City/Region: Stoughton
State or Province: MA
Photos: Blue Water
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great info James. You downsized to the Mini, huh? The mini is about an 8 inch display right? Did you notice the difference after coming from a bigger one?

So, would you recommend that I go the "Apple" route? and buy one?
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Larry Patrick



Joined: 03 Dec 2011
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City/Region: Dallas
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C-Dory Model: 23 Venture
Vessel Name: Sea -Jo
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We bought an I-Pad air we installed navionics and Active Captain along with weather apps wind finder ,tide apps ect. Nice to have something independent from built in electronics incase. Wife watches that, I look at the Garmin . She just has it on table quite a few mounts for different situations I think one is called a gimble mount some have suction cups others mount on rails hand grabs ect,but would be leary of it dropping from window mounts.
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Salmon Fisher



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great information, I was thinking of doing the same.
Thanks everyone!

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Larry H



Joined: 01 Nov 2003
Posts: 1985
City/Region: Tulalip,
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 1991
C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Photos: Nancy H
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

South of Heaven wrote
Quote:
Thanks Larry, I appreciate it. I was always curious about the data aspect of it. I'm definitely leaning towards the Air 2.

Do you still have other traditional elec's on board? Like GPS and FF? Or just using the navionics app?


I purchased the iPad to use in my skiff (14ft Livingston) and I have not yet used it on the water. On my trawler, I have Coastal Explorer on a laptop, wired to a Furuno GPS, and radar.

The new iPad has a feature where you can sign up for a data plan directly from the iPad. If you find that you need data somewhere (world-wide) you can get it right away.
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Gene Morris



Joined: 28 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have navionics on our Samsung tablet. The tablet is in an Otter case. We have a Ram mount that is made for the Otter case. The mount is attached in front of Margaret's seat. I installed a designated dual USB port for the tablet and cell phone just below the mount.

Photos in our album.

We like having a redundant navigation program and Margaret likes telling me where to go (with accuracy).

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JamesTXSD



Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 6897
City/Region: Tropical Tip of Texas
State or Province: TX
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: "Wild Blue" (sold 9/14)
Photos: Wild Blue
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

South of Heaven wrote:
Great info James. You downsized to the Mini, huh? The mini is about an 8 inch display right? Did you notice the difference after coming from a bigger one?

So, would you recommend that I go the "Apple" route? and buy one?


We're a 3 iPad couple. Well, we still have the old original one that is long in the tooth. but my wife keeps them in different places.

The iPad Mini is a 7.9" diagonal screen. I use my laptop for almost all my computing needs, the iPad Mini for entertainment. My wife rarely uses her laptop (we both have MacBook Pros), instead relying on the iPad for almost all of her computing needs. If you are only going to have one tablet around, I'd suggest the regular size iPad (9.7" screen).

There are plenty of options out there for Android tablets. I have tried them, but find the iPads fit our use. Of course, we feel the same way about our phones, computers... and watches, too. If you decide to go with an Android tablet, you'll find some here who use them - a better source of info, since I don't have any extended time with one.

We bought that first iPad as soon as they came out with the cellular capable version - seems like decades ago, but it was 2010. In my opinion, it completely changed marine navigation options and forced the chartplotter manufacturers to get more "connected." The more you use one, the more uses you find for it.

As far as "going Apple." There are plenty of apps available for both operating systems. I bought the Droid phone the day it came out - the smart phones (Apple vs Android) are more alike than they are different. I feel pretty much the same about tablets, except the Apple "universe" just works. The apps are designed to work with Apple devices; with Android, you have different manufacturers, different layouts, even different screen ratios. I admit I have a bias towards the usability of the Apple products, and how well they work together.

If you want to try the Navionics app, you can get it for your iPhone. Smaller, but just as functional as that on the iPad. For navigating, bigger is better, to a point.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Thisaway
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I have android tablets and Windows computer, (not 10), I have almost exclusively gone to apple, because of ease of inter phasing between the pad, phone and computers.

We used the I pad (both 1 and air, all day, as long as it is plugged into the 2.5 amp USB output port. This is important. It will not charge adequately with the 1 amp port.

We have Navionics, Garmin Blue charts and 3 other chart program. Navionics has changed their pricing, so basically you "rent" it for the hear I prefer the older Navionics, so I have not 'upgraded so far it is working, but I have had some minor glitches--may be me, or may be the program...

I also download on WI Fi the most recent changes to Active captain with the Garmin Blue charts, to get the most recent data. I think that Jeff said that they get over 1000 new posts a day currently...All of these are filtered thru his team, to be sure that they seem to be credible.

Although we have utilized the I pad fully on some occasions --for instance when I moved the C Dory25 last summer, there was no chip for Lake Powell--on our own boat I prefer the chart plotter (but it is 10"). I keep AIS on a separate screen.

One issue would be in an open boat--often the I pad may not seem bright enough. I have not used a life box for the I pad, but do for the I phone. I carry the back up charts etc on the i phone.

I love the i pad for planning--You can way points and put routes into them. Many of the chart plotters now allow you to duplicate what is on their screen. Some allow limited control of the MfD also.

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Bob Austin
Thataway
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
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Hunkydory



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have now used our IPad 2 for the last 6 boating seasons, which included three long cruises in SE Alaska & one in the San Juan & Gulf Islands. All six years the IPad was used in conjunction with my two Garmin chart plotters a 276C & a 545. The first three years, I couldn't trust it for accuracy, for in many instances it would not show our position on the chart accurately especially in the more remote areas. For our last two Alaska cruises & especially last year it matched or exceeded my Garmin's & are now my primary unit used for not only navigation, but also route planning & tide & current information & the Garmin's are the back ups & set to get varying views. One for the bigger picture & the other for the close up view. During our cruise to Victoria & Nanaimo following the Friday Harbor Gathering in 2014, we used the IPad exclusively for navigation, as we didn't have the Canadian charts for the Garmin units with the IPad on its own working out well. In 2017 we are planning on doing the entire Inland Passage & many other areas off the main routes & while in Canada we will be using my present IPad if it's still usable along with a new one that will be purchased sometime before this cruise & they will be used Exclusively while in Canadian waters.

We use a 400 watt inverter for powering the IPad, charging video camera, Delorme Inreach & VHF hand held radio's.

I have both the Navionics & Garmin blue chart maps on the IPad, but prefer the Navionics due mainly to it's better course up view, the tide & current icons on the chart making for a very quick access to tide & current information ahead on a planned route & a very easy to use auto route set up for a desired destination.

The first few minutes of this video pretty well shows how the IPad is mounted & used with our other Garmin plotters. There are other videos, I've posted in the Grand Adventure forum that also show the IPad in use.
http://youtu.be/6KaBwdRgnsA

Jay

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South of Heaven



Joined: 15 Aug 2015
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City/Region: Stoughton
State or Province: MA
Photos: Blue Water
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hunkydory wrote:
We have now used our IPad 2 for the last 6 boating seasons, which included three long cruises in SE Alaska & one in the San Juan & Gulf Islands. All six years the IPad was used in conjunction with my two Garmin chart plotters a 276C & a 545. The first three years, I couldn't trust it for accuracy, for in many instances it would not show our position on the chart accurately especially in the more remote areas. For our last two Alaska cruises & especially last year it matched or exceeded my Garmin's & are now my primary unit used for not only navigation, but also route planning & tide & current information & the Garmin's are the back ups & set to get varying views. One for the bigger picture & the other for the close up view. During our cruise to Victoria & Nanaimo following the Friday Harbor Gathering in 2014, we used the IPad exclusively for navigation, as we didn't have the Canadian charts for the Garmin units with the IPad on its own working out well. In 2017 we are planning on doing the entire Inland Passage & many other areas off the main routes & while in Canada we will be using my present IPad if it's still usable along with a new one that will be purchased sometime before this cruise & they will be used Exclusively while in Canadian waters.

We use a 400 watt inverter for powering the IPad, charging video camera, Delorme Inreach & VHF hand held radio's.

I have both the Navionics & Garmin blue chart maps on the IPad, but prefer the Navionics due mainly to it's better course up view, the tide & current icons on the chart making for a very quick access to tide & current information ahead on a planned route & a very easy to use auto route set up for a desired destination.

The first few minutes of this video pretty well shows how the IPad is mounted & used with our other Garmin plotters. There are other videos, I've posted in the Grand Adventure forum that also show the IPad in use.
http://youtu.be/6KaBwdRgnsA

Jay


Oh, my gosh. That is simply an amazing video Jay. I can't imagine being that close to a whale on a C Dory. Simply breathtaking. What an experience......
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob said:

Quote:
“Navionics has changed their pricing, so basically you "rent" it for the hear I prefer the older Navionics, so I have not 'upgraded so far it is working, but I have had some minor glitches--may be me, or may be the program...”

I was looking to download Navionics to my Samsung tablet and saw something about the price. I believe it was ~$50 and something about a year. Does that sound right? I would like to put that and Active Captain on but almost seemed like I didn’t have the right Navionics.

And I enjoyed that video too. Especially the emerging in the fog.

Harvey
SleepyCMoon


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Hunkydory



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harvey, we have the original Navionics US & Canada app, which was purchased several years ago & I can't remember it's price then, but I do remember adding the upgrades of auto routing, advanced map options & Nav Module, which were an extra $5 per each extra. I don't know if these extras are still available & are permanent on a presently purchased app. Mine are & though I can for $27.99 renew the Navionics plus prescription I can't see where I would gain over what I have now have other then possibly the updates & if I needed to add more map area. This is what is stated in the Navionics + subscription renewal section.

"Navionics+ allows unlimited downloads & updates of your chosen coverage area that permanently reside on your mobile device. At the end of one year you can choose to renew your subscription at deeply discounted prices or continue to use the charts you previously downloaded along with the permanent features of the app."

If I needed more maps downloaded or felt the updates worth it, then the reduced $27.99 would be ok.

It's now $54.99 to purchase the Navionics + US & Canada app, but I don't know what they now mean by "the permanent features of the app" that you would keep & if they are good enough like mine to not need the subscription renewed or if one chooses to renew, the cost would be $27.99 like it would for me or $54.99 each year. They do quote "greatly reduced so perhaps the $27.99 is standard, but I can't find that in writing anywhere other than for me on my app as a choice to now renew the subscription.

It's good to see both you & South of Heaven enjoyed the video.

Jay
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