Sunday, October 9, 2011

Navtech iPlotter Solent HD

Application: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Function: Marine passage planner and charting
Cost: $7.99

Navtech has put together a nice app for passage planning and viewing those routes on maps. The passage planner uses a Solent marker and buoy database. Waypoints are selected from the database to built a route. Stream direction and flow can be input to calculate the course to steer.

The app has two main sections. The first is the Passage Planner which allows the user to create routes using waypoints and sectors. Waypoints can be added to the database manually by tapping and holding your finger on the map.

The second section is the Map-Nav section which allows the viewing of the routes and realtime tracking.

  • Passage planning using a database of markers and buoys.
  • Solent marker and buoy database.
  • Calculation of of course using tidal stream flow and direction
  • Simulator mode to play route.
  • Nav mode to show vectored display of the passage plan and waypoints
  • Map mode displays the passage plan and waypoints overlayed on a map.
  • Internet connection required for display of maps.
  • The GPS mode allows real time updates of boat position on the map. Device must have GPS capability

This display allows the user to select different markers and buoys to build a passage. The course, heading, distance and time are displayed for each section of the passage.

Sectors can be edited by changing the direction and speed of the tidal stream.

In the Nav mode you can view the passage route along with estimated time (ETE), Distance (DTK), Crosstrack Error (XTE) and Speed Over Ground (SOG)

In Simulator mode you can run the route and view a simulated boat as it traverses the route.

The map view can be changed between locator modes of simulator or GPS navigation mode.

The Map mode allows displays of standard map, satellite and hybrid maps.

I thinks this app would be useful for planning but there are other real time marine charting apps that do a better job of the real time tracking.  It would be nice to have nautical charts instead of the basic maps used by iPlotter.  The maps are only available if the device is connected to the Internet.  Offline use of the maps would be more useful when an Internet connection is not available.

The price point of the app is $7.99. This is reasonable but there are many other apps at that price point that have nautical charts and routing capability. See the rest of my blog for other options. See you on the water! 

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