Charting Apps – An Informal Review, iNavX (3)

In the last post I provided a short overview of the three apps that I have purchased and used on my iPad (3rd Generation/Wifi+Cellular) for navigating in and around Georgian Bay. In this post I will provide a little more detail about the iNavX app including a short video demonstration of how the app looks and operates.

iNavX Details
Publisher: GPSNavX (
Price: $49.99 for app, $70.00 for electronic charts (Tobermory to Little current). The subscription allows for one year of chart downloads to as many as two separate devices, thereafter updates are $70.00.

I worked with this app for most of last year before discovering the two other apps that are included in this Informal Review. It should be realized that the effective cost to use the iNavX app on the iPad is about $120 plus taxes. The basic app provides no charts as part of the purchase price. The charts are purchased separately from Fugawi X-Traverse (

The video below provides a ‘slice of life’ regarding this app. In general this is not a navigation app that I use despite the relatively high price I paid for it. This of course is a personal opinion and I’ll share my thoughts on what is good and not so good about the iNavX app.

1. Charts basically replicate the paper charts. (Note: we are required to carry, and do carry, paper charts with us.)
2. It does a very good job of identifying the boat’s location and recording a traveled track.
3. It allows for the plotting of a course, but this is not very practical as one needs to determine what chart to load next when plotting a course when in port or at home.

1. The raster graphics are pretty rough to look at. The charts are basically an image of the paper charts. As you zoom in everything gets larger, it’s much like looking at the paper charts with a magnifying glass.
2. The charts are all in separate files/folders, there are about 90 individual charts for Georgian Bay. The labels used for the different charts in some way relate to the labels used with the paper charts, but not exactly, and not intuitively. This can make it tough to figure out what chart you need to look at to see the continuation. For example the edge of one chart may indicate that the continuation is on Chart 2242, but it isn’t included in the package. In other cases the chart may indicate a chart number but it is not the same number as used by the X-Traverse charts.
3. Not all the interesting areas of Georgian Bay are covered by the charts that are provided. For the most part the charts seem to cover the small boat routes. If you want to head out further there are no charts. And further out isn’t that far, for example I can’t easily find a chart that shows the Umbrella Islands, or the Snakes or the Limestone Islands. In most cases the provided charts with iNavX and X-Traverse just show the small boat routes and not all of the islands. You could not use this app to travel directly west across Georgian Bay from Parry Sound to the Bruce Peninsula.
4. The charts don’t scroll as you look at them when you are at home, or in port. To plot out a route or just check on where you might want to go you need to figure out what chart you need and then load it, and then the continuation chart. It really is not very easy. This is a very big issue with me as there are some 90 charts to select from. Once you are traveling and iNavX is plotting your location it will automatically scroll from chart to chart, so this is good news.
5. There doesn’t seem to be any way to set custom depths. In our case we like to have the six foot and less areas highlighted. Others might like the limit set to 8 or 12 feet. The iNavX charts do offer the standard paper chart colouring for shallow areas.
6. At $120 they are the most expensive by far.

Here’s a video that shows the iNavX charts in action (in the office).  I’m not equipped to do an on-board demo.

Note: electronic charts are not a substitute for up-to-date paper charts. You should carry paper charts in addition to electronic charts. Stuff happens and devices can fail when you need them most. Always have a backup.

Links: Post #1 , Post #2