iPad Navigation

By: Owen Hurst

The ability to accurately navigate is essential for any hardened mariner or recreational boater.  Once that meant mastering instruments like a mariner’s compass, astrolabe or sextant. Thankfully the days of manual navigation are long behind us, replaced by electronic equipment designed to make navigation easier and more accurate. We are now witnessing yet another progression in the technology for marine navigation.

Our question:

The time had come for the reader to upgrade his aging chartplotter and he was curious about the advantages and disadvantages of using a tablet for marine navigation.

Our answer:

There is still a good deal of hesitancy and lack of understanding as to whether a tablet can fully replace existing navigation equipment. Quite simply put the answer is yes!

But we are still left with questions of which tablet to use; what apps are best; how accurate are they; how do they connect to GPS when out on the water; can they stand up to the elements; do they have the same features as standard navigation equipment (AIS, chart updates. . .); can they work with autopilot systems; and what are the costs of the tablet and required apps in comparison to standard equipment? we will address all these concerns over the next few months.

Which is the better for navigation purposes, iPad or Android? Having looked at both, and the navigation apps available for them, the clear winner is iPad!  First, iPad has a simple and direct user-friendly interface and the broadest functionality in terms of use beyond navigation. Second, of the numerous navigation apps available iNavX, available for iPad but not Android devices, is far superior when compared to alternative navigation apps. But that is a topic for future discussions!

Note that all iPads are not the same. Google ‘iPad GPS connectivity’ to be flooded with debates on their GPS capabilities. I called Apple to get to information straight from the source. After an hour on the phone I still don’t have a definitive answer, but was given suggestions about using an iPad for offshore marine navigation.

iPad Navigation

Although there are several models, we can group them into iPads that have wi-fi connectivity only and those that have cellular connectivity. If you want to go buy an iPad today, download iNavX and be on the water in the afternoon you will need to get the latter, with either a 3G or 4G connection. Although cellular service ends not far offshore, cellular packages mean better GPS connectivity always. However, Apple was very careful when I asked about this, saying that they recognize the further offshore one goes the less reliable GPS may become. They specifically said it should work. I came back with should work or will work? They stuck with should

Apple did however provide a solution to this issue. It was recommended that I purchase a wi-fi only iPad and attach a third-party adapter that either plugs directly into your iPad or connects via Bluetooth, such as a Bad Elf GPS for lighting connector or a Dual XGPS170. With an external GPS connector Apple confirmed that an iPad’s GPS would be far more accurate and functional anywhere! This obviously is an additional cost, but does save on paying for a monthly cellular package, and guarantees connectivity.

Next month: why iNavX is the best app for marine navigation. We will consider cost, a full overview of the app’s capabilities, and user experiences. If you have any questions, opinions or experiences with the use of this app let us know. And remember to enjoy watching the horizon while on the water, let your equipment worry about what’s beyond it!!

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Destinations

  • Prev
The Moorings has just announced the launch of its newest Caribbean destination, Antigua. 
Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
Just before the weekly party at Shirley HeightsSunsail staffer Chris Donahue conducts our chart ...
Chartering in the Caribbean conjures up images of turquoise sea, palm fringed beaches and great ...
Since anyone who opens an independent bookstore is at least as brave as a small boat shop owner, I ...
You’re on your way east to the 1000 Islands or the Trent-Severn. By entering north of Prince ...
I have lived in Ontario my whole life but have only recently had the pleasure of visiting the City ...
My trip to the Northwest Passage started long before I boarded the flight to Kangerlussaq with ...
During the summer of 2016, my wife and I cruised through the North Channel in Lake Huron on our ...
It’s like we’ve waved a magic wand and disappeared into a picture perfect painting, our ...

The Middens of Galiano Island

By Catherine Dook

We motored our way into Montague Harbour along a twisted channel with our engine muffled by the leaning trees.

“This is peaceful,” I told my husband, John.

“Look,” I pointed to an eagle sitting on the top of a tree overlooking the channel entrance like a sentinel giving permission for us to pass. Dignified, unruffled, his impassioned gaze noted and then dismissed us, as uninteresting and perhaps unworthy. I was tired. We’d pulled up anchor at Portland Island that morning, and the grind of the diesel engine had worn me down.

Read More of the Middens of Galiano Island.....

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
In the world of yachting, it is increasingly becoming the case that Canada is no longer the small ...
Ho-ho-ho. Our Photo of the week comes from Sunday’s Santa Parade. Clowning around was Paul ...
This Photo of the Week sequence from Chris Chahley and Kathy Coyle explains the whole boat thing. ...
The off season is suddenly upon us. Yikes! We need your photos more than ever to keep us thinking ...
One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...
Checking back into the US was quick and painless. We made the call to Customs but we needed to ...
Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) ...
This time our photos come from Gimli where Katie Coleman Nicoll was on the scene. She’s an ...
Recently we celebrated our country’s 150th anniversary, and in true form thousands of ...
   We left off Part 1 at the year 1914, and will here pick it back up, running through ...

This brief history of the early days of the LaHave River Yacht Club (LRYC) gives an idea of the DIY enthusiasm of the club’s founders and the unpretentious love of boating motivated them.

The LaHave River Yacht Club is located on the West side of the LaHave River, 12 kilometers south of the town of Bridgewater. Founded with 50 members who held their early get-togethers at the old Drill Hall in Bridgewater, since many of them were also in the Reserves. The first slate of officers was: Commodore - Ed Goudey, Vice Commodore - Fred Surbeck, Rear Commodore - Captain Malcolm Wilkie, Treasurer - Macgregor Miller, Secretary - Victor Killam.

Read More about LaHave River Yacht Club...

 

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
Cruisers Yachts debuts the all-new 42 Cantius. The sporty, luxury cruiser will make its first ...
Once again, the designers at Jeanneau have outdone themselves with the innovative new Leader 10.5 ...
The introduction of X-Yachts’Xc range in 2008 has proven itself to be something of a game changer ...
Hull #1 ZINNIA, the all-new, twin outboard MJM 35z left Boston BoatWorks on July 5 for Newport and ...
Following a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching ...
According to the folks at Fraser Yacht Sales, you couldn't ask for more - the new Azimut Atlantis ...
During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun ...
The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
It's rare for Canadian Yachting magazine to report on the same boat twice, but that is how ...

 

Covey Island Boatworks

Covey Island Boatworks It could be said that Covey Island Boatworks put Canada on the map during the early days of wood/epoxy composite boatbuilding. Today the company has diversified into fiberglass commercial fishing vessels, selling inflatable boats and hybrid and electric propulsion systems from facilities in Lunenburg, Riverport and Liverpool. Things were pretty basic back in 1979 when the yard was established on Covey Island, one of the LaHave Islands in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, by John Steele and two partners.

Read More about Covey Island Boatworks....

 

 

 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Out here on the West Coast with boats in the water year-round, there is one constant activity and ...
As I sit looking out my window at the snow that is slowly piling up it is easy to be downtrodden by ...
In the last edition of this column we took a close look at iRegatta and the advantages it can bring ...
With all the devastation in the eastern Caribbean a natural question to ask is ‘is our boat in that ...
During the heat of summer, many boat owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable ...
A milestone has been reached. The new D13-1000 sees Volvo Penta move into the 1000hp marine leisure ...
  Still looking for the perfect slip for your boat? Look no further!    
Canadian Yachting traveled to Newport to review and sea trial the new MJM 35z.     ...
Erik Pawson Of Watertight Boatworks here in North Vancouver, BC, is really passionate about the ...
Hydro Clean Hull Wash is Canada's first automatic, mechanical hull wash system and the company has ...