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Old 29 July 2015, 10:28   #1
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Ipad plotter/fishfinder busines????

Having never used anything other than basic fishfinder I am need of some help...

I want to fit a plotter/finder to my SR4 but budget is a bit limited.

I'm looking at the prices of decent ones and it soon adds up when you add decent charts etc. Have been looking at SH ones but its a minefield for a newbie to plotters.

So have been looking with interest at Ipad alternative combined with something like the RAYMARINE WI FISH AND NAVONICS BOATING APP.

People have told me that the iPad route ends up quite pricey. But adding it all up inc purchase of a SH iPad, tough case, cradle, wi fi sonar box etc...it seems like I can create a helluva finder/plotter combo with huge screen and chirp downvision, for the price of a small dedicated unit and a lot less than one with even a 7in screen.

So I'm am curious to know if anybody has a set up incorporating one of these little black box of tricks sonar coupled with Ipad and apps???

I am really wondering about reliability and generally if they work well?

Do you need a data plan on the Ipad or does the GPS work without? Needing yet another device data plan would rule it out immediately!

Also, regards the Ipad thing...power is not an issue as have a few 12v charge sockets on battery box. (Only concern is if outboard is capable of keeping up with additional battery drain?)...is the glare and touchscreen in wet issue, the only argument against? Or are there other factors?

I have been offered a Dragonfly 6 unit fairly cheap SH but am hesitant to go for it until I know more about all this Ipad business, as it seems to be popping up more and more often.

My uses will be inland waterways and coastal. Nothing too far afield.

I'd be interested to get some more user experience from people.
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Old 29 July 2015, 14:07   #2
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"in theory" you could have a nice setup with ipad/navionics app & Sonarphone Tbox. Navionics were giving away the Tboxes at the boat show if you agreed to upload your sonar charts. I got one & it's fitted to the new boat, but I haven't had chance to play with it yet. The sonar box creates its own wifi network that you log your iphone/ipad onto, the sonar is then displayed on your device & recorded for uploading to Navionics when you get back to land & proper internet. The Navionics app & charts are a steal compared to buying a chart on a card for a plotter. It all sounds perfect, BUT, personally I wouldn't want to faff about with cases/chargers/wifi dependency etc for my main navigational aid, Ipads are ok, I'm not a huge fan & I know for certain they don't like seawater. With the best will in the world, it will get wet, sea water gets into everything eventually, even stuff that's designed for the marine environment. IMHO nothing beats having the proper kit for the job, everything else is just gadgetry to play with.
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Old 29 July 2015, 14:58   #3
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Thankyou fir that.

That's what I have been pondering...is this actually the new way to go for small pleasure craft or is it just gimmicks.

The waterproofing issue doesn't concern me at all as I can buy at this very moment a fully submersible (6 ft 45 mins) hard case. And there are very good cradles to fit an Ipad with the case fitted. Proper ones.

Glare and power use don't really concern me either as the solutions are easy.

Its the actual usage is what I was really curious about, ie...does it really all work.

I spotted that unit you mentioned as well.

Must admit though...I am querying it as it just seems via research that every year these app set ups are expanding and evolving at an insane rate.

I'm not a tech geek at all. Admittedly 95% of my buying for pleasure and work is online but all the social and gimmicky stuff doesn't really interest me that much unless its something genuinely useful for everyday life. For example...I use my smartphone for very little except phone, text, email. But do use its sat nav app every single day for work and it hasnt skipped a beat in 3 years all over uk and Ireland. Constant free updates, improvements etc. As a result, I have 2 sat navs lying in drawer that will never see the light of day again. 4 years ago I would never have believed I would be using my phone as my main sat nav.

And that's really what's made me hesitate before spending 5-700 quid for a decent plotter/finder. Especially.when they hardly seem generous with screen size.

The whole Ipad/Tablet scenario also appears infinitely expandable without the need to spend vast sums on new hardware etc.

I've been offered a Dragonfly 6 very cheaply but although the screen is lovely and vivid, it looks very small for squashing so much info onto. And doesn't seem to offer routing (unless I'm mistaken) which is definitely something Id be keen on.

Dunno...I'm not experienced enough to challenge anybody's opinion. Research just seemed to constantly hint that it may be becoming a genuinely viable option coupled with a big saving, which is why getting some advice and opinions from you more experienced users is like gold dust to a novice like myself.

I wouldn't have been so intrigued if it weren't for the addition of things like the wi fish sons etc. Raymarine assured me their version was the real deal, no faffing but then they would say that!
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Old 29 July 2015, 17:12   #4
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I have an iPad with the navionics app (no sounder) and its ace being able to lie in bed and see where I am going etc but is a faff getting out when using the boat. (26ft cuddy with large dash not small rib) I am now looking for a better chartplotter and sounder to put in the boat as the current one is crap so don't have to worry about the iPad. It's good as a backup but pain as a main plotter.

Mine is the wifi only model so I had to buy a Bluetooth gps for it to find me but works ace
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Old 29 July 2015, 17:15   #5
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Originally Posted by davidni View Post
Thankyou fir that.

That's what I have been pondering...is this actually the new way to go for small pleasure craft or is it just gimmicks.

The waterproofing issue doesn't concern me at all as I can buy at this very moment a fully submersible (6 ft 45 mins) hard case. And there are very good cradles to fit an Ipad with the case fitted. Proper ones.

Glare and power use don't really concern me either as the solutions are easy.

Its the actual usage is what I was really curious about, ie...does it really all work.

I spotted that unit you mentioned as well.

Must admit though...I am querying it as it just seems via research that every year these app set ups are expanding and evolving at an insane rate.

I'm not a tech geek at all. Admittedly 95% of my buying for pleasure and work is online but all the social and gimmicky stuff doesn't really interest me that much unless its something genuinely useful for everyday life. For example...I use my smartphone for very little except phone, text, email. But do use its sat nav app every single day for work and it hasnt skipped a beat in 3 years all over uk and Ireland. Constant free updates, improvements etc. As a result, I have 2 sat navs lying in drawer that will never see the light of day again. 4 years ago I would never have believed I would be using my phone as my main sat nav.

And that's really what's made me hesitate before spending 5-700 quid for a decent plotter/finder. Especially.when they hardly seem generous with screen size.

The whole Ipad/Tablet scenario also appears infinitely expandable without the need to spend vast sums on new hardware etc.

I've been offered a Dragonfly 6 very cheaply but although the screen is lovely and vivid, it looks very small for squashing so much info onto. And doesn't seem to offer routing (unless I'm mistaken) which is definitely something Id be keen on.

Dunno...I'm not experienced enough to challenge anybody's opinion. Research just seemed to constantly hint that it may be becoming a genuinely viable option coupled with a big saving, which is why getting some advice and opinions from you more experienced users is like gold dust to a novice like myself.

I wouldn't have been so intrigued if it weren't for the addition of things like the wi fish sons etc. Raymarine assured me their version was the real deal, no faffing but then they would say that!
I cant see why this setup would not work? the cost of the UK Navioics chart is a fraction of that of a local one on a mem card (I think about 40). Once you sort the waterproof bit out my only concern would be power, Although my ipad will last all day I have not used it for navigating and the GPS may drain it faster. As for charging it takes more amps than an iphone and wont charge from 12V USB socket. I would suggest mabey a mini ipad as you would still have a good screen size and these do charge from 12V sockets.
Cheers.
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Old 29 July 2015, 17:18   #6
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How are you going to charge it IN a case? Have you used an Ipad outdoors in bright sunlight.

There is a stepping stone to what you talk about... At least one manufacturer will let you do all your route planning etc on the Ipad and send the data to the plotter.

Personally I don't think Ipads are ready for boats! If you were looking at one of the almost waterproof tablets like an experia then if you had a cabin or canopy rib it might be OK, but on a SR it's still a no. Of course you could go old school... And use a chart.
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Old 29 July 2015, 17:41   #7
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Originally Posted by Poly View Post
How are you going to charge it IN a case? Have you used an Ipad outdoors in bright sunlight.

There is a stepping stone to what you talk about... At least one manufacturer will let you do all your route planning etc on the Ipad and send the data to the plotter.

Personally I don't think Ipads are ready for boats! If you were looking at one of the almost waterproof tablets like an experia then if you had a cabin or canopy rib it might be OK, but on a SR it's still a no. Of course you could go old school... And use a chart.
I charge mine on the boat, and on the Motorbike in a waterproof case and have done for 2 years. including 2 trips to belgium on the bike. I have had no issues with water ingress or vibration issues, so i think its safe to say they are ready for boats.

I use Isailor and navionics, though i haven't used the sonar gadget yet.
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Old 29 July 2015, 19:02   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
How are you going to charge it IN a case? Have you used an Ipad outdoors in bright sunlight.

There is a stepping stone to what you talk about... At least one manufacturer will let you do all your route planning etc on the Ipad and send the data to the plotter.

Personally I don't think Ipads are ready for boats! If you were looking at one of the almost waterproof tablets like an experia then if you had a cabin or canopy rib it might be OK, but on a SR it's still a no. Of course you could go old school... And use a chart.
Thanks for your input.

There are proper submersible hard cases available with heavy duty cradles to fit them specifically, that allow access to ports. My friend has one that he uses for work. Ipad is out in all weather, left lying in the rain on numerous occassions etc. He has dropped it numerous times in the case and it is going strong without a mark on the tablet itself.

I actually rang him this evening to enquire more about it.

I have also seen the difference the anti glare covers make to tablets and its impressive. My wife even got a few for my kids tablets and they are extremely effective, even in full bright sun.

Waterproofing, securing, glare and power are things I dont see as an issue at all as the solutions are there and already priced up and factored into my sums when I was totalling it up against the price and a plotter/finder with a decent sized screen.

My main queries were regarding the actual usability and reliability of it all. I mean the actual working of the system. I just want one single set-up. And just cant ignore the fact that, with the addition of these wi fi sonar boxes...the whole thing starts to look very very appealing.

I should also mention...I'm saying IPAD as thats just the one that comes to mind and referred to most online but frankly I would be happy with any decent Android tablet as long as all the apps/software required are available for it.

Its definitely interesting to hear peoples differing opinions already.

Really would be great to hear some user feedback from somebody who has set up this system. I have come across a bit of chatter that has been positive but would love to know if anybody on here has tried it.

Definitely not going to be too hasty to rule the tablet, box and app route out as almost all of the negative things I've read and been told have referred to some of the things that I don't see as an issue at all, rather than negativity about the actual operation of such a set up.

As I mentioned...I'm just trying to get a feel for what people that have/are using them think about the actual functionality.
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Old 29 July 2015, 19:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1eyedjim View Post
I have an iPad with the navionics app (no sounder) and its ace being able to lie in bed and see where I am going etc but is a faff getting out when using the boat. (26ft cuddy with large dash not small rib) I am now looking for a better chartplotter and sounder to put in the boat as the current one is crap so don't have to worry about the iPad. It's good as a backup but pain as a main plotter.

Mine is the wifi only model so I had to buy a Bluetooth gps for it to find me but works ace
Jim when you say its a pain what do you mean exactly?
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Old 29 July 2015, 19:10   #10
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I have a Garmin plotter on my boat, but the display is small and I hate the Garmin charts. I had an old Nexus 7 so I bought a rubber buffer type case, and some big Velcro. I now velcro the Nexus in the dash and power it of the socket on the boat. The Navionics software is great, although touch screens at speed are not easy to use! It is not full waterproof, but being behind a windscreen the worst of the water is kept off. And in any case a Nexus 7 is cheaper than an iPad. Click image for larger version

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