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guests increasingly wanting that really special anchorage or close to beach location, relying on traditional (and maybe out of date) chart depth data and a sounder could spell disaster and embarrassment.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/
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 www.sonarserver.com
PS For those that say it never happens, here’s proof or have a read here about an incident only this week in Miami – http://www.boatinternational.com/yachts/news/58m-superyacht-unbridled-runs-aground-off-of-miami–25993