View Full Version : marine naviagtion apps

isail smith
01-07-2012, 07:57 AM
hi there,

i've been hearing about people using GPS systems on there cel phones?

i'm not too sure how good these are ? but would you trust a marine navigation app on your smart phone ?

01-07-2012, 08:01 AM
I like to have two systems, and a smartphone can be one of them. Battery life is a huge issue however.

Dale Genther
01-07-2012, 08:36 AM
The Navionics app on my iPhone works just fine. As Gareth mentioned battery life is a problem, so it is best as a backup. To use it as a primary you'd need to keep it plugged into a power source and provide protection from moisture.

01-07-2012, 10:01 AM
You should move your thread to the right section, you will have better answer. The Product/Research one is more suited for it... Except if you want to build your GPS/Battery out of wood ;)

01-07-2012, 10:05 AM
Agreed - the Navionics as a backup... as well as a handy planning/dreaming tool when you're not actually on the boat.

We flew down to the Caribbean a few months ago, and I found it was good for identifying the islands along the way.

01-07-2012, 04:02 PM
Last summer we took the boat into a new port looking for a specific restaurant for lunch. As I was orienting myself in the harbor, trying to figure out which street I was looking at, my son pulled out his iphone, pulled up a map with the restaurant location marked, and called the restaurant by pushing one or two buttons. The map showed Bay Lady's position in the harbor pretty accurately, and it wasn't even a marine navigation app.

I'd say they're pretty handy as a backup. I wouldn't replace either my paper charts or e-charts with one though.


01-07-2012, 04:55 PM
I have the Jeppesen Plan2Nav on my iPhone. It keeps right up with the built-in chartplotter on my boat. Three issues.

As already stated:battery life and water protection: I carry a 12-volt adapter and have a water-resistant case I bought at Radio Shack.

Third is visibility. Cellphone/PDA screens are not great in bright sun. I often have to crouch over the thing to see the chart, depending on where the sun is.

A nice feature, if you have it, is an app with bluetooth capability. Coupled with one of the newer chartplotters, you can do your trip planning and waypoint entry on your phone at home, work wherever. Then when you get to the boat, the phone app and the built-in will talk to each other, and update each other. Also nice for "taking your trips home with you."