When the iPad is becoming essential in navigation, it's time to provide it with the right mounting solution.
That's it, your iPad is now ready in its waterproof bag, packed with navigation software and charts, plus all the necessary (and un-necessary) boating apps found on the Appstore. In short you're ready to go.
Well.. Are you sure ? Have you thought about fastening your new companion?
If on a fine day you can place the iPad next to you on the cockpit seat, it is necessary to have a reliable fastening solution as soon as weather conditions get more complicated: sailing upwind in heavy seas, beating across a channel, or doing a jibe in strong winds (although some iPad Cases do float, nobody is really willing to experience the fun of rescuing his iPad in the breeze ...). For motor boats, the problem is the same: how to keep an eye on the iPad while speeding at 30 knots in waves?
Specifications of a good mount
The navigator must be able to view / manipulate the iPad from the helm, but also should not have to worry about it as soon as some maneuver is required.
Hence a good mount should :
- allow to view / manipulate the iPad with one hand from the steering position
- allow to easily grasp the iPad (eg to view a detail on screen, to take it into the cabin for recharge, or simply to remove it when leaving the board)
- if possible, should be movable in order to place the iPad in different locations on the boat: on port and starboard sides of the cockpit for wide boats and catamarans, at the chart table, or why not? next to the bed to watch a movie at anchor ! A repositionable system may also be more easily carried away into another vessel, such as a rental boat or for a regatta.
- and of course, be 100% reliable
- You can place the iPad in a cockpit bag, and grab it when needed. It is safer to add a rear handle and a lanyard. Not totally ideal since you will have to use both hands, but good enough to check the route. This solution is often adopted by lone racers.
- you can carry the iPad on you with a shoulder or neck strap. Allowing full mobility, this is the preferred solution for tacticians in team regatta racing, where a fastening system may hamper the maneuver.
- you can fix the iPad securely in the cockpit, preferably on an articulated arm: this will allow to orientate the iPad to avoid sun reflection, or simply to turn it towards you after tacking.
On the vessel side
The RAM articulated arms are particularly reliable and can be very easily tightened / loosen with a simple turn of knob. The rubber coating of the ball-shaped articulation provides sufficient grip to guarantee the blocking position even with a moderate tightening, providing comfortable use.
They can be attached with several fittings :
- RAM B-202bases with screw attachement : they can be attached to any surface using screws. It is convenient to place these bases in several "strategic" locations of the boat (cockpit port & starboard sides, chart table). It is then easy to detach & re-attach the arm in each location. The main disadvantage is having to drill holes, which of course is not allowed on a rental boat !
- suction cups bases : this is a very reliable solution provided you use quality products (like RAM) and they are placed on a flat and polished surface. Double and triple suction cups sold on this website hold extremely well on any flat gel-coated area, even vertical. This system has the benefits that can be carried around, and removed when leaving the boat.
- V-shape collar clamp for tube or rail attachement : the RAM V-shaped base can be placed on a tubular support (usually a handrail) to attach the arm. This is a configuration often used on a steering wheel console, or on a motorboat.
- special clip : There is a special clip (bracket), which allows to attach and detach instantly the case with one hand, while providing a completely reliable fastening. This is by far the most convenient system.
- It also boasts four threaded inserts on the back, allowing to screw directly an articulated arm. (Note that when detaching the case, you can undo the arm knob, but one of the round bases will remain attached at the back of the iPad Case, so this is less convenient.)
Handstrap for aiShell
Shoulderstrap for aiShell
Double suction cup base with special clip
Getting lost ?
If you are unsure about configuration, we defined value packs composed of a waterproof case and a complete mounting system!