I need an app - why is this so hard!?


So I'm putting a racing boat together, that will mainly do windward/leewards, with some round the cans. All within the Solent. We are not putting in a fixed chartplotter. I had intended on a tablet based chartplotter, but it seems surprisingly difficult to find one that fits the bill:
  1. Android based - I want to use the Sailproof tablet, not too keen on trying to keep an ipad waterproofed
  2. Chartplotter - happy to buy subscription charts
  3. Receive NMEA over Wifi, and would be nice if it sent waypoint info back to instruments
  4. Route builder from list of published and imported marks - this is the tricky bit. Loads of apps available where you can build from the chart, but I want to sit infront of a list when the course is announced over the radio. It's not going to work trying to find the marks on a chart.
The nearest I've found is iNavX, but it's ipad and not android, and seems to have issues going forward with charts.
iRegatta seems incredibly buggy and difficult to navigate around, and get solent marks imported, and they seem to have split the android and ios license to 2 different companies, and have now introduced iregatta2 for ios only!!!!!
SailGrib, C-maps, Navionics seem to lack the route builder. I had a look at the Orca, but same lack of route builder.

If I can't find android, anyone know of any good waterproof ipad cases? Lifeproof Nuud doesn;t seem to be available anymore.

Any ideas?


Super Anarchist
Ya been using Sailgrib for a while for longer races mostly, like Newport to Bermuda.
I have a Samsung Galaxy TabActive2- water resistant and shock resistant.

Sailgrib does not easily work with a list of marks as far as I can tell. It does have some communication with instruments, I have not used that functionality with it yet, although I am installing equipment to get that working.
The only app I know of with all the functionality sought is Expedition, especially for short course racing. I have used Expedition on short and long course races as nav/tactition. Expedition is great if you have the time to learn it and keep up on all its capabilities, and have the instrument setup to make use of all those features. But for short course racing, you then need a dedicated tactician and navigator; one guy to read the Expedition screen and stay up on it during the race, and feed info to the tactician who calls tacks. I did some stints as the Expedition guy, and was interesting but also frustrating as you pretty much have to stare at the screen for the whole race, especially when on a big/fast new generation type boat.

Sailgrib is a lot of bang for the buck for doing longer races, but not tailored to close round the buoys stuff.


New member
OpenCPN might be an option.

It runs on android (though the version that is kept up to date has a one off payment).

Official charts are available for it via o-chart.org and possibly elsewhere depending on region.

It can receive NMEA data via wifi and can output various other data back to the network - it has a variety of plugins which extend the functionality of the app, so if the core program doesn't have what you need there may be one which adds it.

It has a route editor and can import/export marks and routes to and from gpx files.

You could try it on PC to get a feel for how it works if you aren't familiar with it, as the functionality is the same as on android. You might find that it's a bit clunky for what you need when used on a tablet, as thought there are some adaptations for the touch screen interface the underlying software is still obviously the same as the desktop version.


Good suggestions. I’ll give open cpn a go. I really don’t want to go expedition. I’ve used it in the past, it’s great, but it’s a beast, plus the tablet is going to be less robust/more complex.


Super Anarchist
For short course racing you might be better off with a handheld GPS rather than a "poor man’s chart plotter" tablet. Don’t worry about setting routes (although you could), just put the marks in as waypoints and it’s usually easy enough to manually cycle to the next mark. All you’re really looking for is turn angle & maybe distance to the mark.

There are apps (I use EasyGPS) that allow you to build .GPX files with marks & routes that can be uploaded to a GPS unit so you don’t have to poke everything in through the handheld interface.

I suspect interfacing with the boat instruments will be a difficult ask without a chart plotter.


Super Anarchist
I suspect interfacing with the boat instruments will be a difficult ask without a chart plotter.
Actually if you have a NMEA2000 instrument system it is easy. This clever device sends it all over Wi-Fi. I’ve used it with iNavX with success.


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