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Old 07 January 2012, 12:43   #1
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Advice - best electronic chart options for chart plotter - North of Scotland / Orkney

Hello

I understand there can be quite some variability in the quality of charts supplied with chartplotters, and I'd welcome people's experiences / views for Northern Scotland/Orkney.

In particular, we have some detailed localised paper charts for harbour approaches at around 1:25,000 (eg charts 35 Scapa Flow and 2584 Kirkwall) and so I'm seeking the same level of detail.

I've looked at other threads and some people seem to decide about getting the "best" chart plotter and then buy in extra maps; others look for the chart plotter with the best charts as part of the package.

So - what would people recommend? While as ever I'm keen on price, accuracy of the charts, and durability/robustness of the chart plotter on a RIB are of paramount importance. I'm also keen on being able to route plan on the PC etc.

Many thanks for your help

Steve
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Old 10 January 2012, 11:51   #2
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I see no-one has replied to your post !
Disgraceful.. Come on you lot!

My experience would not suit you. I use Raymarine E120 with one Navionics chip which gives the whole of the UK but in fine detail. And tend to use Navplanner or Raymarine RNS for preplanning on the computer. But the cost............!!!!!!

From the generalsied recommendations on here I would suggest:
a Garmin plotter
get one as large as you can manage/afford
get a colour one
any charts will be as accurate as you need them and make sure they are up to date and that you regularly have them updated (every couple of years or so)
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Old 10 January 2012, 12:41   #3
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IMO Navionics are the best charts, I'm not impressed with what I've seen of Garmin Bluecharts. The Navionics chart of the whole UK was iirc under 200 quid & just like looking at an Admiralty paper chart, and some. The zoom levels & detail are excellent.
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Old 10 January 2012, 15:32   #4
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The Navionics are indeed better in detial than the Garmin offering, and thus given what you want from your plotter I would say NOT Garmin.

Cost no object? Go Raymarine. The new e7 is a good price if you cant stretch to the C90W or C120W, although I'm unconvinced about touchscreens on RIBS.

Simrad is another alternative that I dont see enough of as they make a really nice product, a wee bit cheaper than Raymarine. Their rival to the e7 is the NSS7 7" hybrid touch but you still get buttons too.

Certianly the simrad only comes with "bronze" charts, I am not sure off the top of my head if you get more detial from the "silver" or "gold" versions, need to check. Also worth checking what "level" Raymarine supply included in the price.

Both plotters RRP less than 1500. edit: boat show pricing for Simrad NSS7 999 incl !!, but I just re-read YOUR post and not so sure you're looking for a 1000 plotter, as I happen to be :-(
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Old 10 January 2012, 18:46   #5
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Hello All

Many thanks for your comments... Much appreciated :O)

I did think it was a tad quiet on responses and maybe I'd committed some dreadful faux pas! Glad I haven't....

Amazingly - I coincidentally have a work meeting in London on Friday, and as the Boat Show has a 9pm finish the day before (and cheaper entry after 4pm more to the point!), I'm going to pop along Thursday evening, as I think that will be a good opportunity to compare.

With all the sea we have up here, Orkney and Highlands is all I'll be after for quite a while, as amazing as it is to have all the UK on one chip... But not sure if I can be that selective...?

Any other comments/suggestions welcome.

Best wishes and thanks again.

Steve
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Old 11 January 2012, 03:24   #6
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AFAIK with Navionics, you get the whole of the UK & Ireland + north coast of France. They used to sell individual areas in the days before large storage cards, now they just stick the whole lot on one card & Robert's your mothers brother. I don't think you can choose your areas anymore. The UK gold chart is cheaper than the individual areas used to be.
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Old 15 January 2012, 13:42   #7
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Navionics, they are also accurate enough that I don't mind zooming around Orkney based on what they are telling me.
I have been as far north as North Ronaldsay several times via a nyumber of routes and the plotter is telling me the same as the sounder at all times.
Plus the one card does the whole of the country!
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Old 15 January 2012, 14:12   #8
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A little off topic but might be worth a look, I have the Navionics map of uk and Holland in my android phone, IIRC it cost about 18 to download and is stored on phone, I know this isnt what you are looking for but might be a good way to look at the maps before spending out the money, Im not sure quite how they compare to the ones a plotter...but might be worth a look....Its a possibility they do it for other phones as well....I have no idea ;-)

Nick
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Old 15 January 2012, 14:46   #9
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Hello All

Many thanks for your comments - really helpful.

Was very useful looking around at the London boat show, as I could play with and compare the various chart plotters and see the displays and map detail.

While the phone or PC option is doubtless cheaper, I really feel having a unit on the boat is really what's needed given the likely spray etc.

From looking at them all, I was most taken with the Garmin units, and there seemed to be a feeling on the stands selling many different makes that these were the most robust... But I welcome other experiences on this.

The Garmin units currently come with the UK g2 charts preloaded, which look to be as good as the paper admiralty charts I'm used to - what do others think... Better or worse than Navionics?

For now I'm seriously considering the 551 or 556... and Homeport software. Any experiences good or bad on those. I have a separate fish finder fitted, and like the idea of that being independent, so I can use the full screen on the 'plotter for navigation.

Best wishes and thanks again.

Steve
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Old 03 April 2012, 07:13   #10
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