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Hi Everyone,


I have been looking at added a multifunction chartplotter to my tiki 46 but have come across iNavX for the Ipad. It seems that you can get a  DIGITAL YACHT IAIS WIRELESS AIS RECEIVER to multiplex all of the onboard nmea streams and to broadcast dual channel AIS direct to the ipad. iNavX uses Navionics charts.

I am thinking of going with raymarine instruments such as wind , depth / speed as the iNavX / Digital yacht wifi A.I.S accepts the seatalk interface and as i already have an ipad this setup seems fairly cost effective compared to a standalone chartplotter. Has anyone used this setup?

At some point i would also like to add an autopilot if the budget allows so any recommendations would be appreciated.


The electronic chart market seems quite mind boggling ( navionics, c-map, etc etc) so does anyone have any experience with the different brands, regarding scale,quality of the charts, usability what to avoid etc etc. Our current plan is to sail from cape town to st helena, then onto brasil then on up to Caribbean, so initially my interest is in the quality of charts for these area's.


Any info on real life use / reliability of the various manufacturers of marine instruments would be greatly appreciated.





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Well I downloaded the inavx app and have purchased the Brazilian hydrographic charts that are raster scans of the actual charts and they appear to be of quite good quality with lots of details. There are loads and loads of charts in the pack all at different scales so so far i am impressed especially as the price for the charts was only 10 usd!
I will probably download the navionics chart pack for South and central America soon and will report back.



We opted to go for a laptop as we would be carrying one anyway and do not have a good space for a chart plotter plus were concerned at the lack of screen real estate compared to a laptop.

We are using Seapro with raster and vector charts for the UK, France and Spain.  We have found that the UK charts and French charts are excellent but the Spanish charts are patchy, not all national charts have been fully digitised so with some countries you are better off with paper or using the older digital chart formats such as navionics.

Using a laptop in a Tiki 30 has not proven a problem, we have it on the table in the pod where it is generally shaded and easy to see from the cockpit and once it is up and running you only need to use the mouse.  Admittedly we have not used it in really rough weather, but it would be easy to secure it to the table.

We went for electronic charts to provide us with detailed inshore charting as we do not have the space to carry all the charts we would like to have.  We carry large scale paper charts and almanacs/pilots as our primary navigation tool.  When the electronic charts have really come into their own is when you are tired or navigating through complex channels or in poor visibility where we have found them a brilliant cross check.  Linking in an nmea feed from a Garmin handheld was no problem.

There is a limit to the number of devices that can be connected to an nmea bus.

Getting a feed from an echo sounder and log would be useful as it would be diplayed on the screen but we have not found it something that we really need.

You can run an autopilot without it being linked in to a chart plotter, in my view that would be a good thing as it encourages you to keep checking your course etc.

One advantage of the laptop route is that, at least with Seapro, the licensing is controlled by a transferrabe USB dongle so you can install your charts on any number of machines which means you can carry a hot spare.  Another potential advantage of the PC route is that you can get software that supports different chart formats whereas I believe the chart plotters are generally restricted to one which may be a problem if you would benefit from using charts from a number of different sources for your route (e.g. navionics and noaa).

Where I sail I have iNavx charts and an app called ship finder. Both are loaded on my iPhone which I put in a soft waterproof case. It hangs on a lanyard around my neck so I can pull it out when I need to know what's going on. No depth worries on a tiki 26. ...and just in case there are paper charts and a compass down below in the cabin. Don't find I need to "navigate" the way I did on my monohull. This is like being in a big kayak!

I recently upgraded my cell phone to a Casio Commando, which is an android phone and is waterproof and shock resistant.  There are apps for charts, stand alone gps, marine weather buoys, and tidal information.  We were visiting Lewes, Delaware and had lunch next to the inlet.  We could find out what the tide was doing and look at the local chart of the inlet.  Also on the chart were local businesses.  These are very inexpensive applications but some require a cell signal.  The phone is rugged enough to use on a boat. 

Here's a link to an interesting piece of software, NavMonPC.  http://www.navmonpc.com/UserGuide/NavMonPc-UserGuide.pdf



For our cruise to Indonesia next year I am looking at purchasing a macbook pro with Mac ENC as well as an iPad with Navionics. The Macbook will stay downstairs safe and sound and the iPad in a waterproof housing ("Lifeproof") will live in the enclosed wheelhouse. From my understanding, you can transfer data, routes, waypoints etc to your iPad from the laptop wirelessly. This gives the advantage of the ease-of-use of the iPad with the power and reliability of the Mac running MacENC. If one breaks down they can also work independently. As a back  up, I have a garmin colorado loaded with charts that takes batteries as well as two old and reliable GPS72 units, paper charts a sextant etc. We will mark our position every hour on the paper chart and verify this with landmarks by traditional means.


I plan to get an AIS receiver so that this data is available to both units as well.


I have navionics on my iPhone and have experimented with this several times. For ease of use they are amazing with the touchscreen interface and intuitive design. I imagine the iPad with the larger screen will be even better.


The other advantage of this is that the macbook pro and iPad have many other uses (recording scientific data, emailing integrated tracks, photos and info via Google Earth for the folks back home, plus the other million things that these devices can do!).







What I used 12 years ago with low budget traveling(around 500$ for the el. Navigation - today it would cost less):
 2 second hand Laptops( 1 backup), two Garmin hand held GPS(1 Backup), a self made NMEA connection GPS - Laptop(RS232), two CD Roms(lets say second hand) with CM93 all charts(vector) and the Naviprogram MaxSea. All together gave me a worldwide Plotting system(including charts) for the sea - still can be used today - don't matter whether your in the Med or in Hudson Bay or Red Sea.....
One simple shortwave radio - with the program Jvcomm32 gave me a good weather fax.
The program Wxtide for tide information.

Very effective was the spoken weather forecast: wwv time signal(10,15,20 MHz...)
 With a simple shortwave radio it was possible to listen between time signals the severe weather(Lows, hurricanes) warning for the sea: position, strength(increasing, decreasing), direction moving, moving speed... Every minute another area - repeating every hour. Got at any place the weather situation of the whole sea (Pacific, Atlantic) - 



Marty, I would recommend you a laptop with good software - I'm going to use from this summer Polar View NS with pro charts (I mean S63, which are available for big ship's systems). You have great advantage of being able to use charts for any corner of the world - which one cannot tell about CMap or Navionics (even more restricted in it's coverage than CMap) for a very reasonable price - full pack of charts (which means every single electronic chart available for that region) for Iceland* for one year (updates!) costs 150 euros. But you can use it longer - you simply won't get updates after that period. You can buy also single charts for a minimum period of 3 months updates - they will cost then something around 1.5 euro a piece. With this software you can also use NOAA electronic charts for US waters - which is nice as they are for free :) (they are S57 format).

Below you have a list of all accepted chart formats for Polar View NS (from www.polarnavy.com). Best of all, the software costs only 50 USD - which is quite nice for 5 installations licence :)

In case of CMap or Navionics when you're buying a cartridge for specified region - you will get ALL available charts. That means you will get an overview chart but also detailed approach charts and up to level of harbour plans (roughly 1:10000 to 1:2500 scale). So if you're able to buy a MegaWide cartridge of Navionics - you have onboard hundreds if not thousands of charts. That means they are pretty cheap (imagine buying 100s' of Admiralty charts!) - if you add few paper charts as a backup for an electrics down type of catastrophe - it will be perfect.

Actually, best option in my view, after few years of using CMap, Navionics and laptop (that's the ONLY advantage of using friend's boats - you can compare different systems) - is to put a small chart plotter into cockpit (to be visible for person actually steering a boat) and connect it via NMEA to laptop with charts (they may be usually the same like in plotter with no extra cost, if you have planning software from chart's producer - I know it's possible in case of CMap. If not - you can use here S63 overview chart, which is in a very small scale, but you will get an idea where you are - it will cost you pennies literally) - detailed chart on chart plotter is perfect when you have narrow channel to negotiate and there is usually no time to shout to helmsman :) (learnt it hard way when sailed to Thyboron (Denmark) from inland - narrow deep channel with depths around 1m - my draught was 3m)

*I know exactly price for this region simply because I'm going to sail there - from Spitsbergen to Iceland - later this year. I found Polar View by chance, looking for ANY charts for this region. Actually, I'm going to have on board (not SEA WITCH yet - my friend's Bruce Roberts :( ) also a Lowrance chart plotter with Navionics chart - so I will compare both.

OpenCPN is fine, true. But it will not work with S63 charts.

CM-93 are S57 charts which are actually in offer by Jeppesen, producer of CMap charts.

I would not comment on legality of these available on pirate bay... 

OK, that's fine, I'm using it as well. But this year I will sail in the Arctic and PolarView was a better alternative.

Thanks for great post - nice to see what the difference is between chart and reality... 

isabelle & hans "wakataitea" T46 said:

thanks to the creators of this  nice software...

open CP 2.5

(...)and all for free and legal...

cheers hans

On the chart Satawal I. seems to be a difference in the horizontal date of GPS and chart.

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