So What Is BoatraNet?
BoatraNet is a revolutionary new concept in marine electronics from Digital Yacht. We firmly believe that boat owner’s want to use their consumer electronic devices such as phones, tablets and PCs for on board applications such as charting, electronic navigation, entertainment and communications. And of course, why not? Devices like the Apple iPad offer stunning quality displays, a powerful processor and a compelling pricetag especially when faced with the choice of buying an extra expensive repeater display for the helm or chart table,
But writing apps for all the different platforms would be a crazy task – one program for iPad, a different version for iPhone and then several versions for Android platforms – not to mention Windows Mobile, MAC and PC and Blackberry’s PlayBook
But all these devices have a component in common – a browser. And that’s what BoatraNet does – its an on board web serever that takes your boat’s information and allows you to read it dynamically on any device with a HTML5 browser. We call it e-enabling your boat!
Here’s the hardware – against the background of a great looking Discovery Yacht. BoatraNet is a compact server with dual NMEA inputs as standard. It takes NMEA data from your boat’s system with dual inputs handling 4800 baud standard GPS and instrument data and a 38400 baud input offering a connection to an AIS system. BoatraNet then processes this data in real time and provides vivid graphical displays of your key navigation information to any connected devices.
Connecting to BoatraNet
BoatraNet creates a wifi hotspot on board your boat so any mobile device with a wifi connection can search for the spot and connect. It supports up to 255 users – wow that is a big crew!. Connecting is easy – just have a look at the screen shot below. Here we can see the two BoatraNet systems we have set up on board – just select the BaotraNet SSID, enter the password and connect.
That’s easy, just open your browser and type in boatra.net and you’ll see the home page below
Charting – What’s It All About
Select the chart icon and you’ll transform your browser into a Navionic’s based chart plotter. BoatraNet can ship in 4 variants with embedded charts for Europe, USA, Canada and Rest of World. These embedded SILVER charts have a good level of detail and because they are embedded in the server, you don’t have to download additional charts for each mobile device.
The screen shot above shows how many charts are embedded in the European version to give you an idea of coverage. You can then use the ZOOMIN/OUT slider or keys to zoom right down to port plan info as below.
BoatraNet will show your current boat’s position as well as your next waypoint if you have a route or GOTO set up on your plotter. BoatraNet isn’t designed to replace your plotter so its designed as a simple repeater display but that’s just what your crew and friends want.