Using Navionics Platinum + on your plotter as the primary tool when your out fishing at sea….an how the app works best in planning your trips.

The Navionics boating app is one of the most useful tools anglers, and other boaters, have got sat their disposal – it has brought us all a new level of convenience. However, some of us have been very reliant on what is a very powerful app that is designed to operate on phones and tablets, these devices are not designed for being used at sea where they are extremely susceptible to damage and loss when on board. In addition they are not very user-friendly in a harsh outdoor environment, particularly in bright sunlight or wet conditions. Add to this the short battery life when running GPS with max screen brightness and soon you realise why plotters or MFD’s are still the ‘go-to’ for fishermen, and other boaters.


First and foremost, it’s always important to have a backup with any electronic navigation system. Very few anglers rely entirely on just a phone for navigation, most boats will come with fish finder which double up as plotters in fact nowadays all marine electronics devices come with dual functionality – it’s usually a matter of being able to operate the many functions current chart software contains. Its not wise to go to sea relying on just one method of navigation and the app should be regarded as a backup to your plotter, and a method of enhancing your chart options – particularly when there is only one electronic device fitted onto an angling boat.


Manufacturers of marine electronics have all developed their products to operate reliably in all types of weather and in harsh conditions. Their screens are more glare resistant operating well in bright sunshine meaning you see more of the important detail. Robust housings that have fully waterproof power connectors protect from salt and moisture and this improve reliability, which means phone or tablets can be kept safe away from the worst of the weather.


Fish finder/plotters now have a dedicated waterproof power source from the main battery, wires are well insulated and the vital connections, which used to corrode worrying easily are now much more reliable. Many anglers would take phones or tablets as back-ups, or would even have a second device fitted or available in case of power coupling failure. Boaters can record your tracks and marks and there is no need to worry about phone batteries running flat, or risk having to charge them in wet marine conditions.


Damaging your phone or tablet is hugely costly and inconvenient, even the best phone case in the world doesn’t help if it goes over the side. Having a stand-alone plotter means you can leave your phone in your pocket or safely tucked away and your hands-free for the fish.


The power of having a side-by-side view of both the Fishfinder and bottom information through Relief Shading has given anglers a huge advantage in both identifying new marks and understanding current fishing areas. There are some interesting examples recently of how anglers have used relief shading with their sonar to identify the exact part of a mark to fish using the full suite of features to position the boat to maximum advantage. The angler who masters the art of using Relief Shading with the sonar features on their fish finder masters the art of winning competition and catching more and bigger fish.


If you run Navionics charts on your plotter and have the Navionics Boating App on a handheld device then you can get increased functionality through plotter sync. You can copy tracks, marks, and waypoints between devices and get two screens with all the extra information this will give you.


The one crucial benefit from the app comes when you can use it to plan a trip in advance by sitting in your living room at home checking routes, using Relief Shading to look at a wreck or a mark in detail away from the inevitable rush and tumble out at sea. Check out plan A, B and C so you have options and having working things out you can then sync the app with your electronic device on the boat and save a lot of time.


It’s an easy option to have the app available on your phone but in order to get the best out of Navionics’ charts installing Platinum+ on a plotter is the best way to do this.

…for more on this go to our You Tube Channel to see Will Parkinson explaining how he used Relief Shading to win the Sea Angling Classic.

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You can see this for real at Boat Life 2023 in Birmingham this month for more

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