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Old 04 May 2005, 08:13   #1
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Paper V electronic charts

While fighting with a paper chart on Sunday in the Solent I thought a chart plotter might be a good investment . As I have spent the last year doing up and kitting out our RIB the funds are a bit low so the question is. Budget plotters for RIBs any feedback? I am going to try and get to the show in Southampton this weekend and see if there are any on show but its nice to have a head start. I am not bothered about the latest model. I was advised against second hand but is there a know dealer who does pre owned kit any views on this.
As always thanks for any comments.
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Old 04 May 2005, 16:32   #2
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my view is that all electronics are going to fail , it's just a matter of when!
the envoirenment we ask the kit to work in is fairly harsh so the kit will fail quicker than on other boats coupled to this electronics are costly to repair.

I'd go new unless you knew the electronics came off a boat that's seen very little use on the water!

Laminted paper charts are a real good back up in case you plotter fails by the way, but they are a pain inn the arse to use on a rib. Admiralty charts come in a nifty A2 pack thats close to convenient and easier to laminate!
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Old 04 May 2005, 16:38   #3
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Neal, whatever you decide it's handy to take the paper charts too.
(Just saw Stu's edit so I'm seconding his opinion !)

Back-up is invaluable.

missus
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Old 04 May 2005, 18:02   #4
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Thanks Missus and Mr Wave should have said paper & electronic good points. I have got a Sandford paper book type that comes in plastic cover thats fine for planing at home however if you need or want to change route while out and about it can be fun but they do tend to live on board.
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Old 04 May 2005, 18:15   #5
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Neal, you cannot resist going electronic for high speed navigation!

Unless you've got a cabin, or a large covered chart table/holder on the console, then paper charts are a struggle as you've found out. I wouldn't ever be without them, both for planning and in case of electronic failure. And in case George W switches his toys off as well! But for convenience and accuracy at speed it's difficult to argue against a chart plotter.

It's difficult to recommend secondhand as these gadgets will be subject to moisture and vibration which is likely to lead to their ultimate demise. That said, our MLR and Raymarine units which were purchased by the previous owners of our RIB in 2000 and 2002 respectively are still working well, albeit with a little sign of misting to the screens (grasping for something wooden to touch!)

New monochrome plotters seem to start at about 350 - have a look at MES (mesltd.co.uk) and other online retailers who offer deals from time to time. Might also be worth checking out what stevetheboat can do.

I like the Stanfords charts too - I haven't bought an Admiralty chart since I've had RIB or SIB.
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Old 05 May 2005, 03:50   #6
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We always use a sketch of our passage plan in a poly pocket for naving at high speed , we also have our bolt holes planned on this sketch as well. Paper charts Imray or Stanfords as waterproof ish and tear resistant . We always carry the charts on board along with a plotter ( Sailing Today Bretton Type only 11 squid) Electronic plotters go for the biggest screen size you can afford , we have a black and white Garmin/Sonar very user friendly loads of information pages . For high seed nav work the Plotters are fantastic rolling road is great to use when in rough weather and have to drive around big waves so you know how far off course you are going . I would always take a sketch of your passage plan with you along with your charts , even if you go electronic its worth having these as back up.
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Old 05 May 2005, 04:13   #7
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I rely exclusively on the plotter for all normal navigation but every time we visit a new area I colour copy and shrink in size the relevant part of the Admiralty chart and laminate it. These live in the front of the console and over time a large number covering all our cruising areas has built up.
In the result of failure I can always take the chart and compass out and get home if I don't already know the way anyway. As far as passage planning on paper is concerned, we are small enough to be able to rely on pilotage rather than navigation 99% of the time (we don't get so far from land very often at 5m) so know which way is home even without a chart.
As far as the difference between them.........plotters are the business, now I can't imagine being without one again
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Old 05 May 2005, 04:15   #8
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I would go electronics anyday- but be sure to have back up.
Just try and follow a paper chart when you are doing 40+ knots in a force 5.

- ( if you dont have a cabin)
- the paper chart will probably fly away
- 0r become waterlogged pulp.

DON"T BUY SECOND HAND ELECTROINICS- there is always a reason why its been sold.
I had a fight with my instructor on level 2 concerning paper charts- he was right if your environment suits it. The best way is to prepare your journey well in advance and use the chart plotter with the papaer chart- but it is pretty useless to take the paper chart with you
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Old 05 May 2005, 04:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim griffin
Paper charts Imray or Stanfords as waterproof ish and tear resistant .
Whilst the Imray charts are waterproof-ish, the Stanfords charts are in a different league -- they are actually printed on plastic and are completely waterproof.

The Stanfords cartography is excellent, and corrections are provided free of charge on the web site. Any other paper chart is second best!

They don't cover the whole of the UK, but they do cover a substantail area -- from Suffolk southwards, all the way to Cork. The passage planning charts also cover the whole Channel from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Brest in France.

More details on their web site www.allweathercharts.co.uk

John
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Old 05 May 2005, 09:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eupa
DON"T BUY SECOND HAND ELECTROINICS- there is always a reason why its been sold.
Although I would be cautious, you may find that if you take note of the serial number then a 'phone call to the manufacturers may tell you if the prospective purchase item is still under warranty and if they will honour the warranty to a second owner.
Quote:
it is pretty useless to take the paper chart with you
Only if you have a photographic memory. As a mere mortal I would always take the chart in case of electronic failure.
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