What is portable navigation?
At Digital Yacht we define Portable Navigation as being able to use a laptop, tablet, smartphone for navigation and mapping. With the rise of technology, portable navigation is becoming more and more common.
Navigation applications and software are more and more popular and numerous for Android or Apple products and now most of them support NMEA data allowing your tablet, smartphone, laptop to become a complete and trusted navigation system.
By connecting an NMEA to WiFi adaptor or an NMEA to USB adaptor, your navigation software or iOS/Android app will be connected to your navigation system (chart plotter, instruments, autopilot, AIS, etc.). Then, your software or navigation app will display in real time AIS targets, GPS, Wind and all navigation information.
Digital Yacht has also developed innovative, easy to use and powerful apps and navigation software for smartphones, tablets and PCs. However, our NMEA to WiFi adaptors and NMEA to USB connectors are fully compatible with all the popular navigation software and apps
We have developed a list of the best apps for iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android which you can discover here:
Benefits of iPad & Tablet navigation
There are numerous benefits of using an iPad or tablet for navigation. Obviously, the financial aspect is the most important for portable navigation, where a simple system allows you to get all navigation data on your mobile devices. With most people already owning a tablet or smartphone, the user only needs to purchase the product needed to transmit the data to these devices.
Tablet navigation also gives the user the ability to greatly improve their electronic system and utilise a navigation system with unlimited functions. If a chart plotter is already owned, customers can connect their existing plotter system to a product that will broadcast NMEA data wirelessly. This works with all major brands including Raymarine, Navico, Furuno, Garmin, etc.
This means that if the customer already has a tablet or smartphone they will receive the data and be able to use comprehensive and powerful applications or navigation software. For example, the customer will be able to broadcast AIS data on a tablet that they can use cooperatively with their plotter and therefore he will be able to navigate and track a route on the existing plotter and at the same time look at the surrounding AIS targets on the tablet.
In addition to navigation and cartography, having an iPad, Tablet or Smartphone on board allows you to connect to the internet (if you have access) and therefore check your emails, surf the internet, Youtube, Facebook, etc.
Moreover, the portable navigation is a backup solution in case of problems with your main chart plotter. Also if your chart plotter has a small display, portable navigation can be a perfect solution for you. For a minimal cost, you will get all your data on a much larger screen. Chart plotters are limited to navigation, whilst tablets can also display weather data and receive navigation data from the internet too.