Our home area shown using Navionics software on our tablet:

My Hardware and Software: The tablet above I purchased 9 days after joining the Freedom Boat Club. Why so fast? On our first outing as an FBC member we got into shallow water and my wife Judy had Navionics software on her phone that got us out of trouble.

The Hardware: A ZONCO Tablet purchased for less than $100 has served us well for 3 years. The main feature needed is a GPS chip. This works with the Navionics Software to show you your location at all times on the water. The tablet is much better for viewing than the phone.

The Software: Navionics is an awesome software application. First, you see on the map the typical depth for average tide. The lighter the color the deeper the water. Secondly, you see your boat’s location on the water as a result of the GPS. Third, you see the direction you are travelling which you typically want to point to the next marker of safe deep water.

Planning: The hardware and software above I use to study new locations days before we will travel there. Especially great is the ability for the software to automatically plot a safe route from starting location to the destination and the amount of time it will take to get there.

I recommend the hardware/software products that we have been using twice a week for three years. I use it all the time even for areas that I know well.

The tablet we use to run the software: