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Old 22 January 2018, 02:47   #1
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Handheld Device Advice

Hi, Iíve just bought my first sib and Iím about to start exploring. Iím going to stick to familiar waters to start with but obviously will want to venture further afield. I want to buy a handheld device to help me, nothing too technical, ideally an arrow to follow and perhaps showing depths also. Sorry if this is vague but I literally have no knowledge on this, I havenít googled anything yet I just thought Iíd ask people in the know for advice before I give myself information overload! Sort of like asking someone in the pub!
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Old 22 January 2018, 03:20   #2
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The GPS devices with marine mapping to my mind are a massive advance in useful tech for smallcraft where a mahogany chart table and rack of paper charts is out of the question. The only proviso is not to use them without the backup of understanding basic navigation and what to do if the GPS fails. I print out and laminate charts in A4 size for areas I will be visiting and carry a decent compass as my backup but these never really come out of the bag from year to year.

Have a look at this thread of mine from 2015 when I upgraded from a handheld to a larger screen demountable unit that fixes to the seat...

Garmin 45DV chartplotter & transducer fit to SIB (Aerotec)

The handheld had served me well for many years but the 45DV has proved even better.

You mention depth, the handhelds of course show the expected depth on the maps but the larger unit has a transom mounted transducer hence shows actual depth under the boat.

On a smallcraft it isn't essential to have real time depths shown but I come from a background of larger craft (i.e. sleep aboard types) where the depth sounder was a useful navigation (and keel saving) aid so I do feel reassured to have that facility now.

Here is the current version of mine... Chartplotters: Garmin Echomap CHIRP 45cv (dv) Excluding Transducer (010-01565-10)

Note it comes without a depth transducer which is about £60 extra but the charts for all of UK are included so it's ready to go as a mapping GPS unit.

I run mine from a 7AH battery.

If you do decide on a handheld then this Garmin with charts included is something of a bargain at £215... http://www.marinesuperstore.com/gps-...d-bluechart-g2

Beware if buying a handheld without mapping pre-loaded as the Garmin Bluechart software for the UK is about £200. That's why the Garmin 45 is such good value as with the charts free the unit is effectively only £50. There are of course ways round the cost of genuine charts but that is a personal decision.
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Old 22 January 2018, 03:26   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to write such an in depth reply, so if I buy a hand held I then need to buy the Bluechart software? I’m not very tech minded so trying to download free stuff from the net is a no go for me!
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Old 22 January 2018, 03:30   #4
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Just re-read my post as I was adding an edit at the same time you posted to show a handheld with mapping.
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Old 22 January 2018, 03:42   #5
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Thatís brilliant thanks
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Old 22 January 2018, 03:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie_B View Post
Hi, I’ve just bought my first sib and I’m about to start exploring......but I literally have no knowledge on this.
Well worth spending the money on doing the PB2 if new to boating and then just get the charts for local areas - sometimes the old ways are the best!
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Old 22 January 2018, 03:56   #7
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sound advice from fenlander those little gramin are the business for a small boat they are as technical as you want them to be the beauty is for exploring its showing whats in front of you and when you return you have a track to follow back you can zoom in and out for more detail.also look at lowrance stuff as an alternative or comparison.
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Old 22 January 2018, 05:15   #8
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If you have an iPhone or similar I donít think you can go wrong downloading the Navionics app. Itís a great app.
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Old 22 January 2018, 07:12   #9
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If you are choosing handheld and on a small budget then there is some merit in the Navionics app but there is nothing better than the purpose built rugged, waterproof and floating standalone device running on standard AA batteries such as the Garmin GPSmap 78. Then the iPhone can be left fully charged in a rugged floating box in the grab bag for possible communication use in an emergency.
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Old 22 January 2018, 08:10   #10
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Congrats on your new boat.

I think you're going down the right road with a handheld device.
Good advice above, dedicated rugged unit like the garmin, with a map rather than basic gps position type, garmin can be bought with pre-loaded charts.

It's very important that you are up to speed on how to navigate with it, just on a basic level, so that when you need to use it "in anger" it will be useful to you and not a further stressor.

Navionics app is very good but I'd still buy a dedicated unit.

I'd also echo the advice about doing PB2 course. It's a great starting point and you can approach your days out with a bit more knowledge and confidence. Also an enjoyable outing in it's own right.
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Old 22 January 2018, 11:31   #11
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If you have an iPhone or similar I donít think you can go wrong downloading the Navionics app. Itís a great app.
Do you know if the gps any more accurate in a handheld device than in an iphone?
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Old 22 January 2018, 12:01   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie_B View Post
Do you know if the gps any more accurate in a handheld device than in an iphone?


In the Round The Island race last year we used a mixture of iPad, iPhone and raymarine instruments and all appeared to be extremely accurate. The recorded track through the wreck and rock at the Needles was amazingly accurate to within a meter on all 3 devices!
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