How many different screens do you look at during the course of a normal day? How many do you have on your boat (and know what they all do!)?
Multi use devices, such as the iPad, have been finding new and better uses given more and more specialized apps. Navionics Charts has been out for the iPhone, and is now out for the iPad (the larger screen real estate is really a selling point for charts for me). Add in a data plan, and matching cords for your stereo, and you have weather, charts, quasi-GPS, and music all on one device (and easy to use!). If you do not need a dedicated display for everything, this is a great way to have one less screen to fit in the dash and taking up space. For $499 it is a great multi-use electronic gadget to have, and considering it can be used off the boat, it might be worth taking the plunge if you were already sitting on the fence.
The Navionics apps (there are 29 to choose from) will run you about $19.99 and you can choose marine charts from around the world and lake maps of the United States and Canada. You can build routes, set waypoints, and share them on Facebook or see them on Google Earth. In addition, you'll get tide and current data as well as moon-phase information. If you have a Wi-Fi-model iPad, you can also get your GPS position.
(HT:Power & Motoryacht)