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Old 04 October 2003, 10:43   #1
Country: UK - England
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Make: Picton Cobra
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Engine: Merc 150 OPTI
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GPS, VHF questions

Has anyone any views on 'built-in' GPS chartplotter vs. removable ?

I'm hoping to get the garmin 188C as recommended by a lot of you, plus I was impressed with it at the boat show. I would ideally like to remove it when away from the boat as I don't fancy leaving this sort of kit under cover in a boat yard, however, it would be much handier if I could leave it there knowing it was secure. I guess the options are to mount it on a removeable bracket or cut a hole for it, bolt it in and take my chances?

Also, how easy are these to install? How easy is it to route the depthfinder cable under the floor of the rib? Previous discussions have suggested putting the antenna by the console, so I guess this and power would be local to the unit in the console.

If I get a VHF with DSC capability, is it necessary or optional to wire in my GPS to it, ie. does the VHF unit have a basic gps installed already in it to provide the DSC info? What are the benefits to having a 'built-in' VHF vs. a bracket mounted handheld (if such a thing exists!)

Thanks for any advice

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Old 04 October 2003, 11:15   #2
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I will try to give you some answers.

I would have the unit flush mounted myself (cut hole and "bolt" in-to use your phrase). Why? 1. It is more stable when the boat is bouncing around. Trust me that can be a real pain. 2. Consider whether someone will bother to try and remove just it (rather than the engine/the whole boat and trailer)? 3. Anyway, you are insured arent you?
One reason for taking it home is if you plan to do some route planning with the unit at home. That is the only reason I can think of to bracket mount it.

I cannot comment on how easy they are to instal and the hows and wheres. I always get a professional to do that sort of thing (Ok so I am a useless pillock!)?

You MUST wire your GPS to the DSC part of the radio. No it doesnt have a built in antenna. And do get a radio with DSC............. pretty much because we are being forced too.

I dont know too many h/h VHF DSC sets either. Maybe there are some now, but the fixed set is supposed to be much more powerful (25 versus 5watts-someone?), and to have the advantage of a larger, higher ariel giving better range.
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Old 04 October 2003, 11:19   #3
Country: UK - England
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I have a hand held gps which goes into a bracket on the consol. Not only is it out of harms way when I am not on the boat but it also means that you can plan your trips in the comfort and safety of your living room with all the charts spread out and put the waypoints into your gps.

There are also a lot of chart navigation systems that you can run on a computer and download waypoints onto a gps. I have a Garmin 48 which is a bit long in the tooth. I hear good things about the Garmin 76 which is waterproof and floats and the GPSM76 comes with an outline map of Europe.
Geoff Campbell
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Old 04 October 2003, 12:29   #4
Country: Sweden
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Garmin 76

76S..that's the unit I use.
Albeit a great unit for the money...
it does not update fast enough to be useful when things are bumpy and you don't want to (or have the time) to wait for a screen-redraw.
But it will be a _great_ backup unit with it's basic chartplotting features..when I have my 188 (or whatever new thingamajig is available at the time) installed..
and I have to say for cruising, surely taking the GPS with you to do the planning is essential?
FWIW, dos centavos
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Old 04 October 2003, 13:36   #5
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Sorry to disagree Brian, but...

Originally posted by Brian
One reason for taking it home is if you plan to do some route planning with the unit at home.
Which, in my opinion, is reason why it should ONLY be a removable object. I've never had any problem with units trying to jump ship and i've been in some rough stuff in quite a small boat.

VHF in-dash / flush / bolt-in what-ever you want to call it mounted yes, depthsounder (if seperate) also but i prefer to plan my routes at home everytime.
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Old 05 October 2003, 04:43   #6
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I was using Wavehumper's Scorpion yesterday, and he's fitted a Garmin 176c, which is a baby chart plotter with a colour screen. Despite it's small screen I was really impressed with it.

It's basically a handheld, so you can enter the waypoints in the comfort of your front room/pub etc, but it has a decent mounting bracket which seems to be able to survive life on a RIB. The only real drawback is that detailed route planning using the on screen maps would be difficult due to the small screen, but then I'm not convinced that a screen two or even three times bigger would be much better.

It's built to Garmin's normal high standard, and eas easy enough to use that I entered waypoints an navigated a route without any need for a manual. Best of all it's available for around 500 which is half the price I've seen for a 188c. And you can use it in your car too . . .

Not sure if this helps your decision making though!

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