Take your pick for your boat: A mobile, easy to take home or carry around your boat iPad tablet, or a fixed-mount chartplotter. You say you’ll take both? You’re not alone. But each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll probably end up relying on one more than on the other.
An iPad, of course, is a modern platform for navigation, and there are a lot of apps and products available to protect and even mount a tablet on your helm. But how does it compare to a traditional, fixed-mount chartplotter? Both come in various sizes, although chartplotters can be much larger, with a 24” full HD glass display, and they’re designed for high visibility in direct sunlight.
And then there are differences in connectivity. Chartplotters now have standard wireless connectivity to download new maps or software, and they connect with great reliability to GPS and GLONASS. iPads also have receivers that can connect to both GPS and GLONASS, but you may need some type of external receiver, such as Bad Elf, if you’re offshore or in a remote area: For more: