Many cruising sailors have PC's installed onboard, running navigation applications such as Fugawi, C.Map, MaxSea, OpenCPN or other programs. Then along came the iPad and muddied the waters somewhat.... well quite a lot actually !
The iPad is great for reading e-books, handling email, web viewing, skype calling, music listening, video replay and a million other tasks. It connects simply to our PC and has changed the way we communicate with others.
Like many other sailors, we use the excellent Navionics HD charting application on our iPad - it's a great tool. Intuitive and simple to use, it keeps getting better with every upgrade. I understand that Navionics sales via the Apple iTunes store are enormous. Of course with the Navionics app the iPad is not linked to the boat's instrument systems, so it won't display ARPA or AIS targets, wind, depth or any of the other NMEA data relating to the boat or its environment. But the mobility of the device is attractive - we can use it anywhere on board, subject to prevailing weather.
However there is a simple way to have the best of both worlds - the mobility and convenience of the iPad and the complete suite of information that is already displayed on your PC screen. You have two options ........