So, I definitely missed the boat on this one (pun intended), but apparently last month NOAA updated their Whale Alert App. The app uses GPS, wireless internet and nautical chart information to help mariners see where the whales in their vicinity are in order to avoid them. Depending on where you sail, this app might be just as important for your navigation as an actual GPS unit, as hitting a whale not only harms these endangered creatures, but can also be dangerous for your boat and anyone on it. read more
When looking to purchase a GPS unit for your boating activities, it can be a little difficult to decide what kind of device is best for you. With a plethora of sizes, types and features—not to mention prices—it can quickly become overwhelming. So here is a basic overview of the different types of marine GPS units to get you started:
Navionics has announced that it’s award-winning SonarCharts is now compatible with Garmin, Hummingbird, Lowrance, Raymarine, Simrad and B&G units. This cutting edge software empowers individual users to easily improve the accuracy of their charts by uploading sonar logs and downloading updated charts as necessary. Navionics then processes and integrates your data quickly, giving more detail on critical areas, as well as continuous changes in sea, lake and river bottoms. read more
Hands on review of the Garmin GPSMAP 741xs
The Garmin GPSMAP 741xs is an all new marine chartplotter from Garmin. The GPSMAP 741xs has a 7″ diagonal color screen and an all new look. In the past, Garmin has used silver bars at the top and bottom of the case. These have been removed and replaced with an all black look that is similar to the ultra high end 8000 series.
The Garmin BlueChart Mobile iOS app is now available for download from the App Store. This new app will allow your iPhone / iPad to function as a chartplotter using Garmin BlueChart maps. The app is free, while charts are available as an in-app purchase. read more
Garmin has announced new models in their marine line of chartplotters and combination chartplotter/sounders. Features and capabilities have been upgraded and enhanced at many different levels.
Hands on with the Garmin GPSMAP 541s
The Garmin GPSMAP 541s Chartplotter is an incremental upgrade to the discontinued GPSMAP 540s. The GPSMAP 541s has a 5″ diagonal color screen and the same Garmin appearance is maintained with the silver bars at the top and bottom of the case. The major upgrade is the ability to interface with NMEA 2000 networks for engine diagnostics, weather instruments and additional uses. The GPSMAP 541s comes pre-loaded with United States Coastal Charts and also has a SD card slot for additional charts. The SD card can also be used for transferring waypoints, routes and tracks. The GPSMAP 541s includes a built in sounder module, that allows direct connection to a transducer for depth and fish finder functions. read more
The Garmin GPSMAP 78 brought a major update to the GPSMAP 76 handheld line. Garmin had a huge hit with the 60/76 series, and instead of messing with a winner, they turned their attention to new interfaces, which were introduced on the Colorado series, followed by the touch screen Oregon line. These new units brought the ability to add custom maps and aerial imagery, paperless geocaching, and high-resolution screens, but the latter made them less than bright (although later models like the Oregon 450 have largely solved this problem).
Hands on Review of iNavX Marine Navigation for iOS
The iNavX marine charting app is targeted for recreational boaters. This app allows navigation using NOAA raster charts and a few other proprietary vector and raster chart formats. Users can create waypoints & routes and also record tracks. read more
Looks like Magellan is trying to carve out a new niche with boaters. Following Monday’s announcement of two Angler editions of the eXplorist line, they’ve now announced the Magellan eXplorist 510 Marine Edition, which includes U.S. coastal coverage up to two miles offshore, with data on 5-foot contours, tides, currents, wrecks, port plans, marsh areas, and marine services. And just in case you spend time both offshore and on inland waters, 12,000 US lakes are charted for you too.