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INAVX MOBILE CHART PLOTTING APP

The iNavX is a low-cost way to enter the sophisticated world of GPS chartplotting.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
For more information:
View Website INAVX
 

I had a chance to experience the nuances and features of the iNavX chartplotter experience firsthand at this past Miami Boat show where Fisherman Publisher Mike Caruso and I were able to hook up with iNavX’s founder Shaun Steingold. When we met, Shaun pulled a smartphone out of his pocket and succinctly stated that, "These things control our lives. So why not take a chartplotter and put it in the palm of your hand? For only $25, it's a complete navigation system in your pocket."

iNavX works seamlessly with either your Android device (5.0 or later) or iPhone/iPad (iOS 7 and above). The $24.99 charge is a one-time fee to download the app (from the Apple App Store). iNavX is a universal app and will be made available to all devices with the same iTunes Account. Alternatively, when you sync any device with your PC or Mac, all apps purchased from the iTunes app store will be installed. This means you purchase an app once and install on all your devices. Once the iNavX app is purchased, users receive a complimentary copy of high-resolution NOAA charts for the entire country. Other charts, which include Fugawi, Navionics, Explorer and others covering the entire planet, can be purchased from the iNavX in-app chart store ala cart. The amount of device storage space that is required will vary, but individual charts and maps can be deleted. According to Steingold, a typical chart or map takes under 1 MB of storage. Currently the iNavX app supports 15 different chart types, but check on their website for the latest updated list.

The iNavX app essentially gives boaters the power of a color chartplotter for a fraction of the cost. Boaters can experience real-time navigation on marine charts, including positioning, velocity vectors, tracks history and waypoints. Another desirable feature is waypoint selection, creation and editing, which offers easy navigation to any waypoint, plus you can import and export waypoints. Real-time instruments include speed, course, bearing to waypoint, distance to waypoint, time to waypoint, plus a compass card that indicates course and the direction to turn to get to your destination. The iNavX app supports NMEA data, and your preferred marine charts can be displayed based on position, or by search criteria such as name or chart number. The route editing feature includes comprehensive route creation and navigation. Users can easily add, delete and insert waypoints and see total or leg segment distance and bearing. A Track log history is maintained and plotted on the chart. The Track history can also be exported for display in Google Earth and other charting or mapping software. The anchor alarm features will alert boaters that their vessel is losing its hold on the bottom with both an audio and a visual alert if the anchor drags more than a pre-selected distance. The marina and navaid search function can find the place, specific buoy or other navaid quickly and users can see it right on the chart.

One of the latest features to be recently added to iNavX is the AIS Live function that connects a user’s mobile device to the AIS Live global network of antennas. Real-time ship movements are broadcast to the iNavX app and overlaid directly on the chart. Offering boaters peace of mind, AIS Live provides instant access to AIS data; making ships in the immediate vicinity visible without the need for a radar or AIS transponder.
iNavX also offers a high, medium or low tracking function to better manage your device’s memory and battery usage. If you have a kayak or small skiff, it’s possible to use the iNavX as a low-cost primary chartplotting system. The only limitations will be your device’s screen resolution and visibility in direct sunlight and its ability to shed water and spray. The iNavX works nicely in low light conditions and is a cost-effective back-up navigator to your vessel’s primary GPS/Chart Plotter. It can also connect to your boat’s instrumentation array via a NMEA2000 connection, plus it’s Bluetooth compatible. A visit to the iNavX website will allow you to get a lot more info via a Q&A section, a user’s guide, tutorial and a user forum.

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