iPad with GPS to run Navionics in remote Pilbara

G'Day crew. With my recent boat purchase I got a Garmin sounder/gps with the BlueChart g2 and it's just not the same or as detailed as my old Lowrance running Navionics.

As an addition to my Garmin,I'm looking at getting an iPad with Wifi+Cellular as they have GPS and works well with Navionics. However, I've been told once you loose cellular reception you loose GPS, rendering Navionics useless out there.

I'd like to purchase a new Lowrance HDS Carbon instead but I'm trying to keep the cost down while still having the big screen (and keeping the mrs too).

If I was staying local I wouldn't think twice about it, but since I'm heading 100+klms off shore (And in the Pilbara so it's remote) I don't know if the above information is correct or not.

Has anyone got Navionics on an iPad they use in areas that does not have cellular reception? Or has anyone done similar with any advice?

Cheers, Mike


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dmck's picture

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Tue, 2019-05-14 13:17

 I think this is a question for APPLE to answer.  Its their product and operating systems.

dmck's picture

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looks like your safe...

Tue, 2019-05-14 13:22

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Date Joined: 17/01/19


Tue, 2019-05-14 13:38

Gold info thanks. Days of researching and i couldn't see that for looking.

I did call Apple, went through to an overseas call center. They couldn't understand what I was trying to ask......


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scotto's picture

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all good

Tue, 2019-05-14 14:08

from my experience, the gps will still work, but you lose data, which is your maps downloading.

the new version of the navionics allows you to get around this by downloading the maps on the app prior to going to an area, and saving them. it takes up memory, but if its a dedicated plotter iPad, then it shouldn't be a problem.

Browndog's picture

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What Scotto said

Tue, 2019-05-14 17:55

Scotto is spot on - the GPS will still work outside of mobile coverage, however you lose the ability to download or update the base map. Provided you have the map downloaded before you leave, and don't use the iPad for any other applications, you SHOULD be ok, but it's not soemthing I'd want to be depending on.

It does work good as a backup, I have Navionics & Garmin on iPads and phone which work well as long as I remember to download the map before I head out.




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 Something to keep in mind is

Tue, 2019-05-14 15:11

 Something to keep in mind is iPads smash the battery if you keep them running the whole time. They also really dislike salt water anywhere near any charging port. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Francis's picture

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Also consider the max

Wed, 2019-05-15 06:23

Also consider the max operating temp of the iPad when in the Pilbara. I think it’s pretty low. We went thru a similar excercise at work and landed on the smaller Samsung tabs - fit nicely in the hand but big enough, and have a operating temp of about 90c.


Some other factors to consider for the Pilbara are getting a glare reducing screen protector (we found this vital for up in Newman) and also a ruggardised case - perhaps with a battery extender if possible.

sunshine's picture

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Spot on Francis

Thu, 2019-05-16 15:29

 A major issue with iPads and iPhones is their lack of ability to operate in temperature extremes, both hot and cold and bluntly hot by our standards means they become inoperable. We experiences the same in Finland in winter, anything colder than minus 15C and the iPhones and pads completely died whereas samsungs continued to work perfectly up to Minus 43C, sure the batteries flattened quicker but at least they worked.  Go Samsung in my view !

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Another option is to consider

Wed, 2019-05-15 08:43

Another option is to consider upgrading to Garmin’s G2 HD maps. https://buy.garmin.com/en-AU/AU/p/9847 whih, depending on your sounder/gps may bring other features as well. It appears Garmin have also launched a G3 map overseas that also overlays navionics data.

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Bluechart Vision

Wed, 2019-05-15 13:47

Thanks for that. The vision only really comes with extra aerial photo's, some 3d graphics and so on. Or so I've been told. But it has the same bathymetric contours though.


Worst thing i find about Garmin Vs Navionics - not working together, is Garmin bought Navionics. Go figure. Navionics is now called "Navionics a Garmin Company".


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Stevo81's picture

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 Navionics data is being

Wed, 2019-05-15 21:33

 Navionics data is being intergrated into the new Garmin (G3) charts in the US. G3 hasent been released in Aus yet but I will be updating when it does. Will be interesting to see how much more detail we end up getting 


                                   ••••••••  Electrical Contractor NOR  ••••••••

Robpado's picture

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 I use and have done for

Thu, 2019-05-16 15:55

 I use and have done for years an ipad with Navionics on my boat, as long as you dowload the maps beforehand your good to go with no service and will always have GPS.

Mine has never overheated fished Exmouth alot in Feb which is about as hot as it gets, they are a really good option to have a seperate screen and you can also use then as a mirror of your sounder with some units. 



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Thanks everyone

Fri, 2019-05-17 04:19

Some really good info has come forward. Cheers


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