Nav Station to Go Page 2 - Sail Magazine

Nav Station to Go Page 2

Perhaps you like to plan your passages when you’re away from your boat. Maybe you spend a lot of time sailing on other people’s boats. Maybe you just like to take your nav gear home at the end of the day, or you like having a backup in a bag. Whatever the reason, there’s a lot to be said for being able to tote along your own tried and proven gear.My own experiences on any number of
Author:
Publish date:
AppsPhoto1

If you’re looking to assemble a portable nav kit, an iPad or Android tablet is very tempting. These are turning into powerful navigation tools. Almost before the beta testing is completed, new software options are reaching users. New industry alliances are taking shape, and sailors will see more and more synergies between dedicated plotters and handheld devices.

This trend would be easy for a traditionalist to resist if the gadgets weren’t so handy, streamlined to use and genuinely useful as aids to navigation. These tablets aren’t waterproof, marinized or ready to absorb the blow of an errant winch handle, but when they’re looked after and kept dry, they pack a lot of digital charting power in a compact, cost-effective and power-efficient package.

The iPad and iPad 2 work well with Navionics Mobile Aps and iNavX software, and the symbiosis between hardware and app delivers a lot of navigation input for a modest investment in dollars. Many first-time users find iNavX an ideal introductory app. It delivers crisp NOAA RNC cartography, GPS positioning and finger-touch route planning for about $50. The iPad or Android tablet provide cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity that allows access to real-time weather analysis and forecast information. users can also share navigation details with others, both afloat and ashore.

Navionics, the dominant player in the nav-apps realm, offers a wide range of cartography that runs on both the iPad and Android platform. The more options added, the more dollars you spend. But in comparison to dedicated plotters with the same screen size, resolution and features, the prices are attractive. Navionics software also works with iNavX and offers a wide range of vector cartography, as well as pictures, detailed benthic contours and even 3D chart manipulation.

AppsPhoto2

Fugawi/Northport Systems has an oar in the digital waters and offers X-Traverse, a web service that expedites downloading charts in a variety of formats. Users can also upload GRIB data, e-mail waypoints and interface with Google Earth. Those cruising Canadian waters will exceed the range of NOAA RNC free downloads and will find the cartographic slack picked up by Fugawi and its cousin companies.

There’s a wide array of apps options that will appeal to some and not others. I find Windbuoy ($4) a big help when it comes to instantly checking NOAA and other near real-time buoy data. Earth NC is another well tested software navigation program for iPads and Androids and retails for about $50. If you want to monitor world fish catch records, map your friend’s location or have a digital inclinometer to let you know the angle of heel, there’s an app for that, too. The good news is there’s no need to clutter up your hardware with features you don’t need.

New apps-afloat seem to be appearing on a weekly basis. More and more target Android users as well as dominant Apple products. Today, the market share belongs to Apple, but growth among competitors looks good. What is important to keep in mind is that despite the seeming graphic certainty of a cursor marching across a digital chart, these products are aids to navigation, that should be used in concert with other methods.

Related

SouthernOcean

The 50th Anniversary of the Golden Globe

Here we go! The 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe, the first singlehanded nonstop round-the-world race, is upon us. On July 1 one tribute event, the Golden Globe Race 2018, will start out of Les Sables d’Olonne, France, with a fleet of 19 amateur skippers setting out in ...read more

180621-X01-Landing-Page

Volvo Ocean Race Cliffhanger

After racing over 44,000 miles round the world and battling their way past the world’s great capes, including the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, it’s all come down to the final 700-mile leg from Gothenburg, Sweden, to the Hague. Brunel, Mapfre, Dongfeng: going into the ...read more

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozens of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more