Typical Radar ReflectorI first learned about radar reflectors when I read the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (a part of the Canada Shipping Act) some 20 years ago.

iRegatta

 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and accessories for your iPad, including numerous marine navigation apps like iNavX and Navionics as well as a number of other marine related apps and accessories. One feature we have not yet considered is the use of apps for racing. Whether you race professionally or for fun there are apps that help take your racing to the next level.

 

 

Navionics

Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine navigation instrument. We have discussed its functionality, available apps, relevant hardware and compared it to traditional charplotters. This focus on iPad led one of our readers to an interesting question that we have yet to address.

Question: Why has the focus been solely on the use of iPads for marine navigation rather than Android devices?

 

iPad or Chartplotter

 

In Going iPad with Marine Navigation we concluded that iPads provide a modern platform for marine navigation. No we shall explore how functional an iPad is in comparison to standard chartplotters.

 

 

iPad Navigation

Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation.

Answer: Yes, but it often requires some creative thinking and typically purchasing separate accessories for each duty.

 

 

Not many of us need to stay connected to our global business empire while cruising (the 0.01 %?), but a pretty sizeable percentage of boat owners do need to keep in contact whether for business or family reasons.

iPad Navigation

 

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

 

 

Pinging the unknown - RadarSunshine flooded the waters separating California’s Catalina Island from Channel Islands Harbor, and Capt. Tom Petersen, skipper of the well-equipped Sea Ray 55 Sundancer Valkyrie, was leading a small flotilla when an unexpected fog bank quashed visibility. While Valkyrie carries the latest Raymarine kit (Petersen is a Raymarine Pro Ambassador), including a 12 kW, six-foot, open-array high-definition radar, Petersen’s companions weren’t electronically fortified.  “I sat behind the other boats, watching them on my radar and maintaining radio contact,” said Petersen. 

 

Boaters who prefer to be on the hook, such as ourselves in our Islander 36 sailboat Holole’a, greatly extend their cruising experience. There are many more bays and nooks and crannies available when using the anchor. And it is free! However, the one big issue is electrical power. The boat has to be self-contained for storing electrical power (batteries), recharging the batteries, and providing 120 Volt electrical power (main engine with alternator or dedicated genset). Solar panels can help recharge batteries also.

Most boats use deep-cycle batteries for the house battery system. These are batteries that can tolerate hundreds of cycles of a 50% discharge. Without getting too technical, they are generally robust batteries of lead-acid, gel-cell, or AGM (absorbed glass matt) construction. The common physical sizes for 12 volt systems can vary from Group 24 (common car size), to golf-cart 6 volt batteries (connect 2 in series for 12 volts) up to massive and very heavy 4D and 8D. Battery banks can be added in parallel for more capacity.

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