Ask PYS: Navigation

Larry – Linking iPad to Autohelm, on Oct 26, 2014 asked:

As you know I have a Catalina 36 and PYS updated my entire electrical system with proper fusing and wiring. Now I have an old Raymarine system with chartplotter, radar, autohelm etc. It is an RL70 and has an ST600R remote controller. Now the readout on this unit is black and white—probably 1998 vintage. I have been using the Navionics Charts app on my iPhone and find it easier to see where I am going than the big pedestal unit. I now have an iPad with a Navionics app for charts and tides with GPS and it is even easier to see and work with. I would like to know if it is possible to communicate the autohelm with the iPad Navionics where I can put in routes etc. If possible, what else do I need to purchase to achieve this?

Unfortunately there is no way to integrate the routing from iPad directly with an autopilot system in real time. Some chartplotters will allow an iPad to push routes to them. But this a new feature that only works with the latest chartplotters. In turn the chartplotters send the route info to the autopilot.