iPad as a Boat GPS / Chart-plotter, Sounder & Radar – Part 1

/ / Tablet Mounts
Haines 560F Electronics Close up

Using an iPad as a Boat GPS / Chart-plotter, Sounder & Radar

Off-Road & Marine Tablet MountA boat owner typically spends thousands of dollars purchasing a GPS / Chart-plotter, Sounder & Radar. Furthermore, boat owners must drill holes in their boat in order to mount each device. Also if different brand GPS / Chart-plotters, Depth Sounders and Radars are installed the boat owner must learn to use the functions on each device.

What if there was a better way? Imagine using an iPad as a Boat GPS / Chart-plotter, Sounder & Radar that doesn’t require drilling holes. Furthermore, the same software platform is used across all functions. And finally, what if this solution costs a fraction of the price of a full electronics suite. 

Navionics HD & the SeaSucker Heavy-Duty Off-Road & Marine Tablet Mount

Over the Christmas break, the team at Gear Campus tested the Navionics HD software package using an Apple iPad. We purchased the software through the App Store and used the SeaSucker Heavy-Duty Off-Road & Marine Tablet Mount. This product was recently upgraded from the RAM Mount 1″ Ball & Claw to the 1.5″ Ball & Claw. This further reduces screen vibration whilst maintaining maximum adjustability. It also eliminates the need to drill holes in your boat.

The Gear Campus Haines Hunter 560F Demo Boat

Haines Hunter 560F Electronics Suite We tested this setup on board the Gear Campus demo boat, the Haines Hunter 560F. First, we identified a suitable mounting location. Next, we discovered that the SeaSucker 114 mm Vacuum Mount would not work in some places. This is due to the hairline cracks on the surface. The cracks are visible and are due to the age of the boat, it is 26 years old. The SeaSucker 114 mm Vacuum Mount generates significant negative pressure enabling it to suck air through the cracks.

We chose two mounting locations for this exercise as shown in the photos. The above photo has the iPad next to the Lowrance GPS / Chart-plotter. The second photo has the iPad located next to the Furuno Depth Sounder.

This is a multi-part post. In Part 2 we will test the Navionics HD as a GPS Chart-plotter and will address the issue of keeping the iPad waterproof. Part 3 will include the Navionics Wireless Transducer. Meanwhile, if you have any queries please feel free to contribute to this post.

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