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Old 15 April 2013, 02:28   #1
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Using an iPad as a Chart Plotter

Hi,

Are any of you successfully using an iPad as a chart plotter on an open RIB?

It has come time fore me to invest in a chart plotter and my decision lies between a purpose built (like Garmin, etc.) device at ~400 or a waterproof case and mount systems for my iPad ~150 + 35 software.

The iPad initially seems like a good idea as I am getting a 10" screen for the less than half the price I would pay for a 5" purpose built unit but, my concerns are over battery life and screen visibility. So, if anyone has tried it, successfully or not, it would be good to hear from you.

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 15 April 2013, 03:31   #2
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Originally Posted by totallydave View Post
Are any of you successfully using an iPad as a chart plotter on an open RIB?
Do a search on here and you'll find lots of comment.

There seems to be two big issues, which for me rule it out on an open boat:
* difficulty/expense of a reliable, robust mount
* can't be read in bright sunlight

Some use them as backup
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Old 15 April 2013, 04:04   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leapy View Post

Do a search on here and you'll find lots of comment.

There seems to be two big issues, which for me rule it out on an open boat:
* difficulty/expense of a reliable, robust mount
* can't be read in bright sunlight

Some use them as backup
Thanks, I think the mount is probably OK (ram-mount.co.uk have some pretty solid looking solutions). If it can't be read in sunlight, this is obviously a major issue.
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Old 15 April 2013, 04:31   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totallydave View Post
If it can't be read in sunlight, this is obviously a major issue.
Why don't you switch on your iPad GPS chip, load up Google Maps/Navionics, go out into bright sunlight and run a test for a few hours. Then come back and tell us how it went!
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Old 15 April 2013, 04:47   #5
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Reliability and robustness would be my concern. I use chart software on a PC (belfield) and iPad (navionics) for planning trips at home and for that use it is fantastic. I'm not convinced I would want to rely on an iPad when it's all going a bit pear shaped and I need to know where I am quickly.
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Old 15 April 2013, 04:49   #6
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I think (having used this technique with an ipad) that battery life would be more of an issue.
What would you do then? I know what I would do.
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Old 15 April 2013, 05:01   #7
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Not too good on a RIB, but I have used my ipad on a yacht extensively, including a 1400 mile trip back from the med. Was really handy for single handed watches as you could have it in the cockpit (plugged into a 12v supply) without needing to pop downstairs.
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Old 15 April 2013, 06:06   #8
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Why don't you switch on your iPad GPS chip, load up Google Maps/Navionics, go out into bright sunlight and run a test for a few hours. Then come back and tell us how it went!
He'll probably not be able to get home - as the battery is dead

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Not too good on a RIB, but I have used my ipad on a yacht extensively, including a 1400 mile trip back from the med. Was really handy for single handed watches as you could have it in the cockpit (plugged into a 12v supply) without needing to pop downstairs.
If you can get power and keep it out the sun (e.g. a nice wheelhouse rib) then it could be a nice approach - but for open rib use I think it is not going to work reliably.
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Old 15 April 2013, 07:02   #9
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Originally Posted by totallydave View Post

Thanks, I think the mount is probably OK (ram-mount.co.uk have some pretty solid looking solutions).
I've used ram-mounts successfully for lots of stuff but not stuff that is iPad size or weight. Or, that is attached something like a RIB that can pass serious shocks.
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Old 16 April 2013, 14:11   #10
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I have an iPad mounted to my centre console in a Lifedge waterproof case. It's not a cheap case but you can get mounting brackets which holds it well. I find its visibility to be fairly good on the iPad's brightest setting unless its a really sunny day. A fully charged battery would last all day. To be honest the iPad is a bit big for my set up. A mini iPad would be ideal but I don't think Lifedge do a case for that yet. If you already have an iPad and the space to fit it I think it's a reasonable compromise for some Nav capability (I use Navionics). If you can afford it I would imagine a proper chartplotter is best though.
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