New boat computer: iPad

I admit it, I like gadgets. I like gizmos. I like cool little useful toys. I recently picked up what I think will be just that. After wanting one for quite some time, I picked up an iPad 2.

I've used an iPhone for a few years now, and have since wondered how I got by without such a device. So now I have an iPad, I am left thinking this little gizmo can replace my laptop computer for a vast majority of what I use it for: Internet, email, social networking. Heck, I'm using it to write this update…

I anticipate the iPad will be a great little boat computer. The model I purchased is a 32 gigabyte wifi + Verizon 3G. The 3G versions have built in gps, which turn the iPad into a nice little chart plotter.

Right out of the box I was downloading apps, looking for the best marine charting programs. I actually downloaded both iNavx and Navionics HD, because they both appear to have useful features. After using both under way, they both work well and have their own advantages.20110618-022133.jpg

Recently, the FAA began allowing pilots to use the iPad as a replacement for paper charts. I'm not going to be taking my charts off the boat anytime soon, but I can see how this device will be a great tool, and the paper charts may get a little dusty.

The iPad rests securely in a RAM mount near the helm for easy viewing and access. Not only is it a handy aid for navigation, but it also connects to the boat's stereo system via Bluetooth for music and movies!

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