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Old 12-26-2016, 09:14 PM   #1
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Which ipad for Garmin Bluecharts Mobile

I have Garmin Bluecharts on my iphone. Which cost effective ipad should I get and what features do I need. My Garmin 740 chartplotter doesn't show Canadian charts but Bluecharts does. Refurb, used, or back level isn't an issue just so the app will run.
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Old 12-26-2016, 09:59 PM   #2
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Just make sure the iPad is cellular ready. No need to pay for cell service, but the GPS chip is on the same chip. I use wifi to update ActiveCaptain.

I also read this Forum on my iPad, not sure the model but was not top of the line 2 years ago, works great.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:00 PM   #3
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Just make sure that any model you have is cell phone capable so that it has built in gps.

Ipads are pretty bullet proof. I have an old IPad II dedicated fir blue charts and active captain.

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Old 12-27-2016, 02:06 AM   #4
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I use a iPad Pro, but I think any recent iPad will do. Yes it needs to have the cellular chip, which the wifi only model will not have.
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Old 12-27-2016, 06:49 AM   #5
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We're currently using our Iphone @ the lower helm with the Garmin Helm app to stream & control charts, sounder ,radar ,etc from the Garmin 741XS on the bridge. That works great as long as the 741 is on. When we're just below, We have Garmin bluecharts/active captain downloaded to use as a stand alone unit (there's a small digital unit in the dash for depth). We're going to buy an I-pad off of e-bay because I do like the Bluetooth feature & the phone is rather small but I was under the impression that if I didn't get the cellular version with the embedded GPS that we could add an external GPS via the lightning port, such as Bad Elf, & it would work that way. Isn't this correct or am I mistaken?
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:10 AM   #6
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I dont know about adding an external gps. I tried linking my iPhone with a Wi-Fi only iPad, but the GPS position did nor transfer. My advice its to pay the couple dollars now and get the cell phone version.

I think any iPad will work.

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Old 12-27-2016, 07:17 AM   #7
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" small but I was under the impression that if I didn't get the cellular version with the embedded GPS that we could add an external GPS via the lightning port, such as Bad Elf, & it would work that way. Isn't this correct or am I mistaken?"

Yes, Bad Elf is an great option in you already own an iPad. The cost to purchase an New or older, used or remanufactured iPad with cellular might be the same or less. Downsides to a separate GPS cost, the increased battery usage and something else to carry.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian View Post
I have Garmin Bluecharts on my iphone. Which cost effective ipad should I get and what features do I need. My Garmin 740 chartplotter doesn't show Canadian charts but Bluecharts does. Refurb, used, or back level isn't an issue just so the app will run.
You'll need a cellular enabled iPad unless you want to have cables to an external GPS or to rely on a Bluetooth GPS dongle. External GPS units have caused a lot frustrations for my customers over the last few years. In one IOS update they could not pair or be recognized. The internal GPS cellular models worked fine.

Also keep in mind that Garmin Blue chart is a planning app only. What I mean by this is that you can just hit "go to" or use it to really navigate like you can with a Garmin plotter.. Sure, it will show you where you are but it does not do the same stuff as their plotters.

A great iPad app, that is far too frequently overlooked, is iSailor. Transas, the parent company, is no stranger to navigation as they are a huge player large shipping navigation market.

The iSailor charts are among the best I've used...

FWIW I have almost every navigation app on my iPad so my customers can try them and get a feel for what they like. 8X out of 10 they go with iSailor.

If you plan to be using the iPad outdoors the iPad-Pro is really the only one with a daylight quasi readable screen. I have the Pro and an Air 2 and there is no comparison in regards to daylight visibility. The Pro is still not a plotter, in terms of screen vis, but significantly better than the older model iPads....
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:28 AM   #9
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My ipad mini with Lifeproof case and ram mount is mounted at the helm. Another ram mount at the bridge so I can move it. It's loaded with Navionics, Bluecharts, several weather apps, etc. Readability is OK. Garmin is my primary navigation device but I prefer ipad for going into harbors. Easy to change route, pan, expand view, etc.

BadElf is a good product if you don't have cell enabled ipad.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
We're currently using our Iphone @ the lower helm with the Garmin Helm app to stream & control charts, sounder ,radar ,etc from the Garmin 741XS on the bridge. That works great as long as the 741 is on. When we're just below, We have Garmin bluecharts/active captain downloaded to use as a stand alone unit (there's a small digital unit in the dash for depth). We're going to buy an I-pad off of e-bay because I do like the Bluetooth feature & the phone is rather small but I was under the impression that if I didn't get the cellular version with the embedded GPS that we could add an external GPS via the lightning port, such as Bad Elf, & it would work that way. Isn't this correct or am I mistaken?


I think you're right but what a pain when the built in GPS works so well on cellular iPads.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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Which ipad for Garmin Bluecharts Mobile

Because of the iOS upgrades that frequently come along, I recommend going with the most recent model available, not just one that will do the job. These iOS revisions progressively slow down the unit, such that older models become very sluggish. We waited for the iPad Pro 9.7" before we upgraded, limping along with the iPad-2 until these were available.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:14 AM   #12
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^^^^
A valid point but in our case we would only use the Ipad for a navigation app so, as long as it's working ,IOS upgrades wouldn't be imperative.
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capecodder View Post
" small but I was under the impression that if I didn't get the cellular version with the embedded GPS that we could add an external GPS via the lightning port, such as Bad Elf, & it would work that way. Isn't this correct or am I mistaken?"

Yes, Bad Elf is an great option in you already own an iPad. The cost to purchase an New or older, used or remanufactured iPad with cellular might be the same or less. Downsides to a separate GPS cost, the increased battery usage and something else to carry.
I have been using the Bad Elf with my non-cellular iPad. It works fine. I don't keep the ipad on the boat but take it back and forth with me (I don't want to buy a separate iPad for only the boat). I keep the Bad Elf in a drawer in the PH.
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Old 12-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #14
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^^^^
A valid point but in our case we would only use the Ipad for a navigation app so, as long as it's working ,IOS upgrades wouldn't be imperative.

Perhaps not, but...unless you already have an earlier model, with an earlier iOS and an earlier version of a Nav app, you might be out of luck. Newer versions of a Nav app may be unstable on an earlier iOS and vice versa. And you cannot go backwards to an earlier version. I resisted upgrading the iOS on my old IPad II and found eventually that updated apps crashed. It became a real PITA.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:31 AM   #15
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Thank you for all the information. I purchased an ipad Air in excellent condition for $200 on ebay.
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