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Old 31 December 2010, 07:54   #1
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Chartplotter familiarisation

Is there a way of learning how to use a Garmin chartplotter outside of being on the boat?

On the new Rib, I am having a Garmin 556 built into the console, but have not used one before.

She will be kept c. 2 hours away from home, so nipping down just to play with the plotter is not really on.

When I am on board I usually have Mrs T and the puppies with me (even more so on the new one), so not a good learning environment!

It's a good piece of kit & I need to learn how to use it effectively.

Is there a CD or something available?

I can navigate the "old fashioned way" with paper pencil & parallel thingys, so don't really want to do / spend hard earned cash on a navigation / plotting course.

How did others learn to use their plotters / other fitted electronics?

LT
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Old 31 December 2010, 08:51   #2
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I think you would be best to go out on your own for a day or with a mate without the wife and kids and practice usuing it, tehre is no practicle alternative than doing it on in real time. Another option would be to book yourself on a GPS/Nav course at one of the training centres
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Old 31 December 2010, 09:36   #3
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Just get out and give it a go as said . Maybe even have a read and re-read the manual first as I found this very useful (after 5 years of owning the thing...)

I dont think the course will help if you have the understanding of how they work and the concept of what they can do as they all have subtle differances between models anyway..
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Old 31 December 2010, 13:00   #4
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Just getting out and playing with it for a day should be sufficient to get you up to speed - I find Garmin plotters pretty intuitive normally.

It isn't your model, but if you go to this link:

http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/us/onthewater/

There is a simulator you can try on line about mid page. It seems similar to my 551 series Garmin in many respects - hope this helps??

Regards

Mike
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Old 31 December 2010, 18:28   #5
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I have a 556s and just played around with it for a couple of hours outside the house in which time I figured out 90% of what it did, though it is better if you can do it in a marine environment simply because looking at a chart when you are somewhere inland isn't very informative
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Old 01 January 2011, 11:50   #6
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Thanks for the advice so far. I've downloaded the user manual today from the Garmin website,so a good read of that should give me an idea before I try to play with it on the water. An hour or so sitting in the boat on the drive in simulator mode should also help - apart from the highly ammusing comments I'll get from the neighbours about sitting in a boat on dry land!
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Old 02 January 2011, 06:20   #7
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Get yourself a spare cable and rig it to a 12v suplly at home, helps a great deal. I believe it has a built in antenna so you may need to sit outside to use all functions.
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Old 02 January 2011, 14:14   #8
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Get yourself a spare cable and rig it to a 12v suplly at home, helps a great deal. I believe it has a built in antenna so you may need to sit outside to use all functions.
Problem is that if it is bonded into the console like mine is, removal is not straightforward.
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Old 02 January 2011, 14:30   #9
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Problem is that if it is bonded into the console like mine is, removal is not straightforward.
Agreed, but probably quicker to whip it out than take a 2 hour drive, especially seeing as it will only need to be done the once I would have thought...
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