OCC Forums

Calling all Cruising Sailors – Do you use an iPad


By DariaBlackwell - 12 Oct 2015

The editors at Yachting World Magazine are interested in finding out how cruising sailors are using their iPads or other tablets/devices.

They are running a feature in the next issue of the magazine on using mobile devices afloat and would like to include views from experienced cruisers.

Do you have an iPad or tablet computer aboard?
If so, what apps or programs do you find most useful and why?

Any cruisers willing to assist Yachting World with information should e-mail Racing & Technical Editor - Matthew Sheahan at matthew@sheahan.co.uk
By yoshi - 12 Oct 2015

Yes I use iPad with iNavX, AyetidesXL and XB-8000 wifi AIS.
I can see all data from Raymarin instrument(NEMA0180), Volvo engine data(NEMA200) and AIS on iNavX.
Very usefull and convinience.
I set iPad by water proof box with charg cable at cockpit.
I can carry out quickly and use everywhere.
By simoncurrin - 13 Oct 2015

Welcome to to the forum. You are, I think, our first Japanese contributor. I hope to cruise your home waters some day.

We use both iPad and iPhone all the time on board. They are loaded with the Navionics Charts as well as Garmin and synchronised with Active Captain to bring in their cruising database. For GRIBS we use PredictWind connecting via Iridium GO which is has a wifi connection to both iPAD and iPhone for both data and voice. In port we use a wireless router to connect all IOS devices to the port 's wifi. We also use a local SIM card in the iPAD to get cheap 3G and 4G coverage in the country we are visiting and use "personal hotspot" to connect other devices if needed.

In fact there is not much don 't do with these devices.

By David.Tyler - 14 Oct 2015

I use my iPad, loaded with Garmin Bluechart, iSailor, Ayetides and Iridium GO mail and messaging software, as my preferred method of navigation and also communication, when out of range of cellphone and wifi coverage. It 's a very useful and adaptable device, and is robust enough for shipboard life, so long as it 's kept in a waterproof bag or container when used outside.
By Hasbun - 16 Oct 2015

We use two iPads and always two different chart apps.

In Canada, we used Garmin Bluechart and MaxSea TZ.

In the U.S., we used Garmin Bluechart and iNavx from Florida to Maine.

In Atlantic Europe, since we started in Ireland we 've been using Garmin Bluechart and Navionics Europe HD.

Each time we enter new ports or anchorages, both iPads are on and each of us is responsible for monitoring one of the two charts.

We got a mygoflight mount to keep the helmsman 's iPad in line of sight.

In addition, the iPads run the standard set of weather and boat integration apps, including PredictWind, Weather4D, B&G GoFree and Fusion Link.

Garmin Bluechart, which had excellent charts in the U.S. and Canada, is pretty substandard in Europe (lack of detail/lack of accuracy), even if not entirely useless. If we find an Mediterranean-wide alternative at a reasonable price, we 'll ditch Garmin as a daily tool.


Santo Amaro docks, Lisbon
By snelem - 20 Oct 2015

We have a chart plotter but still use our iPad extensively. When planning routes, I find the iPad much more versatile for a 1st indication of where to go. Also, the iPad apps give a different map view and combining that with the view of the chart plotter works very well.

On the iPad (and on the iPhone as a backup) we mainly use iSailor. We also have the Navionics app but we do not like the use of that app so much.
For route planning we also use Weather4d pro, as this app can combine grib files and routing to come up with a good routing plan.

I do not trust the iPad enough to use as a main navigational system as in my view it still is less stable and more prone to problems that my chart plotter.
By Hasbun - 12 Nov 2015

Our iPads have proven more stable than our two plotters, which are a B&G Zeus 12 and B&G Zeus2. The plotters are pretty stable, but we find that if left on for days on end (as when one is crossing an ocean), they will at some point crash and reboot themselves. Not a big issue, as these very rare reboots take care of themselves in about 30 to 45 seconds, but certainly an annoyance.

This past week we upgraded to MaxSea on the iPads because Navionics on the iPads did not show the following clearing heights:

1. The bridge at the Guadiana river near its mouth, at Ayamonte.
2. The overhead power cables in the Guadalquivir river below Gelves (near Sevilla)
3. The overhead power cables in the Guadalquivir immediately south of Sevilla

Beware of Navionics on the iPad.

MaxSea, being raster maps, evidently _do_ provide this critical life-or-death information. $50 for the Eastern Med, from the Portuguese border to Italy.


At anchor, El Rompido, near Huelva