I have been a member for a while and finally planning a Kimberley trip next year. One question that I wanted to pursue for some time is a back-up system to the existing electronics. I have a 70′ power boat with up to date electronics, plotter, sounder, SAT phone (Inmarsat FleetBroadband). I was hoping to get a Laptop backup system with external plug in GPS receiver. I have an IPad and IPhone with Navionics but assume the internal GPS on the IPad and IPhone is rudimentary. I have heard of OpenCPN as one option and would be interested in sailors thoughts.
My backup is a separate chart plotter with it’s own dedicated radar and sounder. I run Navionics charts on the main system and C Map charts on the back up system. A lightning strike will probably take out both systems at the same time, leaving me with my Navionics apps on the phones and tablet. If we sail near lightning, we put the phones and tablet in the microwave oven, Apparently the steel casing in the microwave protects the electronics from lightning. (I’v yet to test this theory). But I know of a few vessels in Darwin that have sailed home on a iPhone Navionics app after lightning has wiped out the electrics and electronics on board.
I have OpenCPN on my laptop, but tend not to use it, because I’v had no issues using iPad Navionics outside mobile coverage. OpenCPN works fine and its free.