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Old 12 May 2018, 16:18   #1
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Plotter advice wanted please

Hello,

Having purchased another RHIB recently, I'm now looking to fit a new plotter.

Is there any recommendations for up to 500 budget? I like the Garmin echoMAP Plus 65CV but how good are the charts when your in close? Does it use vector charts?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 13 May 2018, 11:04   #2
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Never assume charts are accurate close inshore or near obstacles. Their accuracy depends on who surveyed the area and when. Rocks tend to stay still, but gravel or sandy bottoms do move. The entrance to Poole Harbour is one such place. Some of the charts in the Florida Keys area were surveyed over 100 years ago with lead lines
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Old 14 May 2018, 16:11   #3
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Cactus nav selling Garmin 7 for less than 65
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Old 15 May 2018, 02:36   #4
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For close in observation I dont think you can really beat a decent paper chart in your hand, plotters I find usefull for longish journeys plus as a general 'situation' awareness as your out and about, plus good for visual check of the chart and depth when deciding where to anchor in a bay, but if I really want a decent close inspection then I rely on a paper chart.
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Old 15 May 2018, 03:33   #5
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Either way, a paper chart and a chartplotter's data come from the same sources.
If the source is poor, then so is the chart. Both have their strengths and weaknesses as boristhebold explained, but it does depend if you are in an open rib or an enclosed wheelhouse/cablin.
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Old 15 May 2018, 04:56   #6
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As Bobg says, the data comes from the same source. Also, unless you have the luxury of a chart table and instruments you'll never plot your position anywhere near as accurately as a GPS based plotter will do. Personally I use both - paper chart to plan a passage and give a good overall view of things, and the plotter whilst on the move.

I do always carry paper charts on board in case of any issues with the electronics (extremely rare these days), or to cross reference the two.
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Old 15 May 2018, 05:07   #7
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I agree with FoxZulu and BorisTheBold. I am a great fan of Admiralty Charts (raster charts) over the Navionics style (vector charts). I presume you are buying for a RIB, where the plotter will be in the open air and subject to rain and spray. The 'Touch Screen' plotters I have used tend to be rendered useless in rain. These are now the cheaper end of the plotter ranges. I would avoid them for a RIB, going for the 'Lots of Buttons' type. I would be interested in other RIB users comments about this.
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Old 15 May 2018, 05:24   #8
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We have a Garmin GPSMap 750S which is fully touch screen. We've never been out in serious rain but experienced enough spray to fully wet the screen and it didn't seem to affect it at all. My biggest gripe with instruments is a misted up screen on the VHF
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Old 15 May 2018, 13:24   #9
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Thanks for the advice, I had a demonstration on a Garmin echomap yesterday & I'm sold
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Old 15 May 2018, 19:04   #10
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I've won a few garmin plotter Saunders in fishing comps but never kept them as I prefer Lowrance over them. I've also won several handheld Garmin which have had issues ( rhino versions ) where Garmin customers service was very poor this side of the pond and left a bad taste in regards to me doing business with them again ( three failed units ).

Never had any problems with the hds units but in saying that you won't go far wrong with what ever you buy as they are all so competitive in keeping up with technology. I must say I've found that hummingbird high end units are far from intuitive to navigate the menus, which I find frustrating if I drive someone else's boat with one.
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