A Different Navigation Upgrade

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A Different Navigation Upgrade

Postby dboyes » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:59 am

My vessel has a Garmin 740s chart plotter in the lower helm (installed by previous owner) and also Lowrance X-48 Fishfinders on both helms from original installation. The two Lowrances were not totally reliable and I stopped using them.

I use the Garmain for depth on the lower helm and needed a solution for depth on the upper helm. I did not want to install another Fishfinder and also wanted to clean up the transom which currently has three transducers, one Garmin and two Lowrance.

I use Navionics on my iPad for upper helm navigation and also at the lower helm even though the Garmin is operating.

My research led me to a device called a Sonar Server from Digital Yachts. I bought this out of the UK and it was an easy install. It is essentially a Wifi that transmits NMEA data from the Garmin to other devices.

So now I have depth, speed, location on my iPad Navionics. On an older mini iPad I have a free app called OnSiteWX from Airmar Technology. Essentially you design your own dashboard using data from the Sonar Server.

The other cool thing about this setup is that in Sonar Chart Live mode in Navionics I am charting the seabed as I move along. This shows up on the map in real time and when on a Wifi network Navionics loads this data to their servers for their use.

I guess this is free, clever outsourcing.

The bottom line for me is that this solution is effective, simple and not expensive.

Any questions let me know.
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