Weather screen shot from Panbo
So what does this mean?
- The basic app is free
- You get the digital copy of the Explorer Charts for $30 and coastal US.
- Your iOS6 machine (except iPad 1) can show your position on these charts.
- Active Captain is overlaid!
- Weather is overlaid, another $4
- If you spent a crap load of money on a new Garmin it will net work if you spend another $200.
The bad? It is not a chartplotter! You have to look at the little red line you drew and follow it. It can not draw the little red line for you or tell you which way to turn or how much longer till you get there.
I recently had the chance to zoom in on a brand new Lowrance touch screen chartplotter to compare it to a Blue Chart system. If you are going across the Gulf Stream there is still only one system to buy. But if you are like us and have an older system from Lowrance or someone else this is a great way to supplemental the chartplotter with more accurate charts. I am using the below screen captures from the current Active Captain newsletter to show the difference between Blue Charts (left) and Navionics (right) the Lowrance 38c charts are even less detail and further off.
In closing if you expect to get an $1800 or higher chart plotter for $30 you will be disappointed If you expect to get a digital copy of the Explorer Charts that your device (3g & 4g) will show your position on you will get what you expected for $30. There are a few other pluses too but this is our point of view.
Activecaptain screen shot from Panbo
We have installed it on our iPhone and will on our "hopefully soon to have" iPad. (The 7.5 pound toughbook is getting heavy! But it survived over the last year.)
And here is a big bonus
(Q) If I also have an iPhone, do I need to purchase BCM twice?
(A) Absolutely not. Download the app for free and click on Restore Purchasesin the BlueChart Maps page. That'll make everything available on your iPhone too.
But that's not all. If your spouse has an iPhone or iPad, you can load thesingle purchased copy on their devices too. Just have them log into your iTunesaccount before launching BCM. Once they do that, Restore Purchases will allowthe charts to run for multiple people. That's how we use it ourselves.
Full reviews here:
PS You should still have a set of paper Explorer Charts on board!