No announcement yet.

I can(39)t understand why people rave about Navionics Mobile...!?!?!?!-gctid386909

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • I can(39)t understand why people rave about Navionics Mobile...!?!?!?!-gctid386909

    Can someone please enlighten me as to why so many people are raving and giving such positive praises about the Navionics app's abilities on an iPad or Android tablet and even comparing it to a marine chartplotter?! My intent here is not to start a pi$$ing contest. This is a legitimate question.

    Last weekend, I purchased the Navionics Mobile app for my phone and for my tablet. My intent was and still is to use it as a back-up, should my main chartplotter and back-up chartplotter fail. After installing and using it extensively on Sunday, I was thoroughtly unimpressed.

    If I never owned a marine chartplotter, I would probably be jumping for joy when seeing what this app can do. But comparing it to my Garmin Colorado 400c and Lowrance iFinder H2Oc, the Navionics app is a joke! And keep in mind these chartplotters are not even full scale marine chartplotters. They are handheld units that offer fewer features than do most marine chartplotters that can be purchased for the price of an iPad.

    Here are some important features it lacks:
    • no "Go To" function
    • no ability to position the chart in the direction of travel
    • no ability to easily import and export GPX files...and the plotter sync feature is very limited
    • no ability to back-up tracks and waypoints on PC
    • no ability to combine several routes into a single leg
    • no compass
    • no ability to connect to AIS or DSC
    • no anchor alarm (although there are mobile apps for it)

    These lacking features alone make it unsuitable as a replacement for a marine chartplotter. Add to it the fact that smartphones and tablets aren't exactly IPX 7 or IPX 8 rated for water immersion, it makes its use as a chartplotter less attractive.

    In my opinion, it's great as a downscaled back-up and as something your guests can use to track the direction and location of travel. But as a main source of navigation, I'm guessing those who rely on it might not consider the above listed lacking functions important enough.

    The good news is, I only spent/wasted $20 (bought the app for the phone and the tablet). And to be honest, $20 is not bad price for what it can do. But it is far from what a chart plotter can do.

    Am I overlooking something? Is there a secret code that can enable even a fraction of the above listed features? Inqiring minds want to know...

  • #2
    It's $20. On a smart phone. It gives your position in lat/long. With a little picture of where you may be. It gives you SOG. If you have a real chart, you are golden.

    Other than that, it sucks.


    • #3
      Dunno, guys- I've been using mine all over Puget Sound for over a year as a primary chart plotter and it's worked wonderfully. I drive almost 100% of the time from the flybridge, and have come to rely on the iPad as a valuable tool.

      True, it doesn't have some of the features you mention- not a dealbreaker in my opinion. Most of the things you mention are fluff IMO- great add-ons, but not necessary for safety of navigation. No

      For very little cost, I have a fully functional electronic replacement for paper charts that does everything I need it to do.


      • #4
        What ever happened to chart reading? How many will be totally lost if thier electronics take a dump?


        Ft Myers
        Vic Stewart SN
        Past Commander
        Cape Fear Power Squadron
        Ft Myers Power Squadron
        1998 2859 7.4 L/B2
        Raw water cooled


        • #5
          I can still swing a pair of dividers with the best of them....parallel rulers are my friend


          • #6
            Vic Stewart wrote:
            What ever happened to chart reading? How many will be totally lost if thier electronics take a dump?


            Ft Myers
            There is nothing wrong with paper charts; and I advocate their use. This post was in reference to the virtures of the Navionics Mobile app. I just contend if one makes investment in a chartplotter, they are left with a scaled down feature-lacking product if they choose the Navionics Mobile app.


            • #7
              Is there an iPad chartplotter that has a better range of functions? I'd like to have a "goto" that helps me manage the course I'm running.

              And for what it's worth, for little trips, I'll chart / compass it. I have one of those Chesapeake bay chart books and I know the magnetic deviation for the area so it's a ruler and go via compass. The charts are also nice for guests, I can flip through the book and show them where we are and going to.
              Yep, my 4588 Bayliner IS my happy place :whistle:


              • #8
                Probably because its not an investment. Its a reasonably priced dinner. There is nothing that compares with it for the price. Maybe if the ipad or tablet was purchased as dedicated plotter device tjere would be more of a comparison but I already had my tablet so for $20 more I have a mobile plotter. If I want thesame screen size i'd have to spend thousands on a dedicated device and it would be fixed to one helm. I also assume the software will keep getting better and I'll get automatic updates. None of the features you list matter to me so I'm gladi don't have topay extra for them.
                2000 Bayliner 3988 270hp Cummins 6BTA5.9M1
                1996 Cobalt 252 Mercruiser 383


                • #9
                  My GPS dates to 1996, same age as my boat, and it (the GPS) died last winter. I use Navionics HD on my iPad to chart a route, which I then double-check on a paper chart. I follow the route on the iPad while driving. Works great.

                  If I had a larger boat and if I spent lots more time on the water going to strange new places I would have a true chartplotter and the iPad would be a backup. For my personal use it is an economical solution that will save me from spending about a grand on a new marine chartplotter for Miss Maui.

                  I hope the Navionics people keep improving the app, but it works well for me as-is.



                  • #10
                    I paid like 9 bucks for my phone and it works fine for me. Not like I expected much.


                    • #11
                      A bottom of the line chartplotter like a Lowrance 43303 runs around $250.00 or so and thats all it is, a chartplotter/fishfinder. A new generation ipad comes in at $499.00 there about and add in the cost of any navigation app of your choice. In my opinion the ipad/iphone will give you much more in the way of overall functionality on the boat over the chartplotter. I think the reason many people like the Navionics app is because it provides very basic, good enough chartplotting functions for many people for a very low cost if they already own an i phone/ipad. The fact that they can use their iphone/ipad for other uses on the boat along with using it as a basic chartplotter makes the app more appealing because they have one device that can take the place of several. So the app is good enough for some people but others may have more of a need for the other features included in a dedicated chartplotter.



                      • #12
               "Go To" function

                        You can create a set of waypoints, which it will connect with a line automatically. Then use the red course line from your position to follow it. I use it at night all the time.

               ability to position the chart in the direction of travel

                        Correct, which is good for some of us, not for others. I prefere North up myself.

               ability to back-up tracks and waypoints on PC

                        This data is backed up when you back up the iDevice automatically.

               ability to combine several routes into a single leg

                        Not sure what that means.


                        You don't have a compass????

               ability to connect to AIS or DSC

                        Sure, that's a known limitation. Well, it's not "no ability," it just takes additional interface devices that aren't cheap.

               anchor alarm (although there are mobile apps for it)

                        I use Boat Monitor, which is highly featured and works great.


                        • #13
                          Course up is featured on the iPhone app, see here 12th answer down.
                          Cheers, Hans
                          2007 Carver 41 CMY
                          Twin Volvo D6-370
                          Montreal, Canada
                          Midnight Sun I Photos


                          • #14
                            There are maybe a half dozen chartplotter apps available for iOS. I have four or five and keep three on my iPad. Each does a a couple things better than the others. Each has a feature or two that the others don't. Some of them are more reliable or easier to use. They are all pretty much interchangeable.

                            At the breakfast table, reading BOC, my wife wants to talk about where we're going today, it is

                            immenseley convienient to start one of these apps, pinch and zoom around to see where we are and where we could go, check the tides, see what others think (ActiveCaptain or similar), and check the distance. Paper charts would do some of this but not everything and I'd still have to get up and go to the pilothouse to get them.

                            For the price of a large Garmin plotter you could get two iPads and install at least one of these apps on each one. With the app the charts would get updated automatically but you couldn't see them very well in the sun. With the Garmin you could connect it to all sorts of other devices on your boat but the user interface isn't as good. Whatever.

                            These are tools. Make do with what you have.


                            • #15
                              I just used my iPad and navionics this past weekend for my first real test of the season. I went from the ct river to plum gut, to shelter island. I friggin LOVED navionics. I have my garmin 441s also, and I found myself rarely looking at it. I used the iPad and navionics to get me there.

                              The 2 biggest pluses that make it so cool for me are:

                              1. Screen size. I'd have to remortgage my house to buy a "real chartplotter" that has an equivalent screen size.

                              2. Touch screen. It was just so easy to scroll around and zoom in/out with a swipe or a pinch. The lack of touch screen on my garmin is a real downer. It's too cumbersome to move around from one screen to the next. The iPad and navionics is just way more user friendly.

                              Ok, 1 more, 3. The fact that I can plot a course and plan a trip from my couch, at home, on some random weeknight when the admiral is monopolizing the TV by watching "the good wife" is worth the $35 app fee in itself.

                              2003 Bayliner 305 - SOLD!
                              Twin 5.7L, Carb'd, 445 hours
                              Bravo II drives