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Old 24 July 2016, 06:48   #1
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Digital hand held compass and speedo

Hi, I have just treated myself to a new SIB. I only stick to coastal waters where I live. I'd like to know my speed, so a digital speedo would be useful, if it has a digital compass, even better, not sure I will ever need GPS as I use local charts.

Any suggestions on a good hand held device up to about 100, or can you recommend a decent phone app?
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Old 24 July 2016, 07:07   #2
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There's loads of phone apps will tell you how fast for no cost.

I wouldn't buy a digital compass for a sib. I would get a real compass, as with your charts you will then be able to work out where you are, regardless of any equipment failure etc.

That said in big waves on a small boat position fixing (especially in poor weather) will leave you struggling. Id consider a GPS or a phone with some sort of case and reserve battery a fairly essential item unless you know the waters well enough to navigate by eye (no chart). If the faeces hits the fan a GPS fix is going to give the fastest, clearest, least ambiguous position report to the CG.
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Old 24 July 2016, 09:24   #3
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You can get a hand-held Garmin Etrex (which can also be mounted) for under 100. Yes it's a GPS, but that said you can put down way-points, has speed setting, digital compass, etc. More robust than a mobile phone, in my opinion! Agree with Poly regards getting a compass though.

I'm not doubting you can use local charts, but I've seen fog banks roll in from no-where, especially at this time of year. Very disorientating and once you're in the pea soup it's like driving blind. Stick on the Etrex and select 'go to' to return to port.
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Old 24 July 2016, 09:26   #4
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For 100 quid you can buy a Garmin hand held that will do all you want + much more, including chart plotter. 100 will buy you a brand new basic handheld, second hand will get you charting.


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Old 24 July 2016, 10:19   #5
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I'd agree - a hand held Garmin will do what you need, especially when coupled with a hand held compass and spare batteries...................
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Old 24 July 2016, 10:47   #6
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Agree with the general opinion above.

Buy a proper compass as the ultimate simple backup... and a GPS which you will find so useful. Get a proper waterproof stand alone GPS not a phone app. Our Garmin Etrex has been bashed about and soaked for years now and it still performs perfectly
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Old 24 July 2016, 12:56   #7
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I got an etrex e10 for 65 ish, the e20 is about 100 and worth the extra I think.
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Old 24 July 2016, 13:09   #8
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Save up and get a proper little chart plotter with sounder hand held compass as back up or go flea bay secondhand.

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Old 24 July 2016, 13:23   #9
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>>>get a proper little chart plotter with sounder hand held compass as back up

Well yes Jeff that is the ultimate for smallcraft. I must admit I think gps plotting is one of the biggest advances in my smallcraft boating of the past 25yrs.
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Old 26 September 2016, 13:35   #10
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I had exact same need as you but also wantws a handheld VHF. After much research I opted for Standard Horizon HX870 handheld VHF on my SIB. This has GPS, compass and speed. Waterproof. Floats. Recommended.
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