Superyacht Sonar Server – Build Your Own Bathy Charting

Running aground while trying to edge into a shallow water anchorage must be high up the list of “DON’T DOs” for any Superyacht Captain.  With owners and guests increasingly wanting that really special anchorage or close to beach location, relying on traditional (and maybe out of date) chart depth data and a sounder could spell disaster and embarrassment.


Digital Yacht’s Sonar Server working with Navionic’s Sonar Charts Live app for iPad and Android devices is a great solution to this problem.

Chances are the yacht tender is equipped with a small fishfinder, depth sounder or multi function plotter-sounder.  Sonar Server ($129.95) connects to the NMEA output from this device and creates a wireless feed to an iPad or Android tablet on board the tender.

It interfaces direct with Navionic’s low cost boating app which is popular among millions of users with detailed charts and global coverage.  Sonar Server feeds live depth data to the application which then redraws the bathymetry in real time allowing you to effectively build your own depth charts like in the picture below.  As you travel, the chart gets redrawn with new depth data/

sonar server screen shot


The tender can then return to the main yacht with a detailed local chart and the tablet used for real time navigation on the mother ship.  While no internet connection is required for the system to function, the next time the tablet has a connection, the collected data will be uploaded anonymously to Navionics who then validate the data and include on their next chart updates – so data gets better and better thanks to community data sourcing.  You can also build your own database too with local “depth tracks” stored on your device.

Find out more at

PS For those that say it never happens, here’s proof or have a read here about an incident only this week in Miami ––25993

superyacht agroind


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Comments 2
  1. I plan to use your WLN 10 HS with the Ray DSM300 depth Sounder, but it occurred to me that the functionality of this application would increase of it could be used with data from a Forward Looking Sonar. I have such a unit, the ECHOPILOT Silver FLS. Do you know if SonarCharts could use data from this unit?

    1. Hi Peter,
      Sorry for the delay in reply but I wanted to contact Echopilot to make sure of my facts before replying. It would appear that only their Gold FLS and the latest Platinum FLS have an NMEA output that could drive our WLN10, to collect data for the Navionics SonarCharts Live. So I think the best solution is to use your DSM300 as planned.
      Best regards
      PAUL DY

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