IPad2 On Board

The IPad brings many new possibilities for information and entertainment aboard our sailboats.

Let me start out by stating that the IPad, like any other form of navigation, should not be our only form of navigation for anything more than line of sight sailing. That being said, I believe it does offer an amazing navigation tool at a very reasonable price. Screen size and quality alone make it a very good alternative.

Actual screen is much clearer than these screenshots

Nice depth contours

One tap and you get satellite views

View of our favorite boat ramp

One tap to get additional info

Navigation buoy text can be smallish

Wouldn't this be nice to check before entering a new area?

I am using iNavX downloaded from the iPad App Store for $50 and two sets of charts downloaded from X-Traverse.  I chose Navionics 1XG USA & Bahamas as well as Navionics Hotmaps USA North.  The Hotmaps give inland lake detail that I couldn't get from the Navionics USA map or the standard NOAA charts that come with iNavX.

The Navionics 1XG charts are sharp and clear and should be fine for my usage.  I am a little disappointed in the Hotmaps lake details.  For example if you tap on a ramp location for additional info it may not even provide the name, let alone any detailed info.  I tap on our favorite ramp on Lake Mendota and all it states is;
"Shoreline construction (ramp)."  Not exactly what I would expect or hope to get for detail.

More to come.

We have ordered a Dual Bluetooth XGPS150 from Amazon which should complete the hardware portion of the project.  I'll still need to figure out how I am going to mount the iPad in the companionway, but that will wait until spring.  The iPad we purchased doesn't come with an internal GPS, but you certainly can purchase one that way.  We chose to go this way as it it cheaper to buy an aftermarket GPS and it should function better being set outside the cabin.  Following is a picture showing the neat rubber mount for the unit which should work perfectly on the boat.  I will still add a tether to it even though it shouldn't move around.   The reviews on Amazon say with the Bluetooth connection it works very well in conjunction with an iPad, so we are anxious for it to arrive for a test run.

Nice rubber mounting pad

Dual Bluetooth XGPS150

Dual Electronics XGPS150 Universal Bluetooth GPS Receiver for iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone and Other Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops