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Old 12 May 2018, 17:18   #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, 12:04   #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, 17:11   #3
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Cactus nav selling Garmin 7” for less than 65
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Old 15 May 2018, 03:36   #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, 04:33   #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, 05:56   #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, 06:07   #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, 06:24   #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, 14:24   #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, 20:04   #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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Old 16 May 2018, 03:18   #11
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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.


Not sure why you prefer Raster over Vector. Raster is very old (in computer terms) technology. Raster is basically a photocopy of the original, as you zoom in, the detail blurs to a point where it's unusable. Most if not all electronic charts are vector, this allows you to "drill down" through the layers to larger scale charts without losing detail.
Navionics are the closest you're going to get to an Admiralty style chart in a plotter. You can alter the plotter display settings to make the Navionics display virtually as an Admiralty paper chart would.
Re touch / buttons. Like JonP I'm a big fan of Lowrance, I've had Raymarine, Garmin & Lowrance over the years & keep coming back to Lowrance. The HDS gen3 is hybrid with both touch & buttons. We've been out in some pretty rough & wet conditions & never had to switch off the touch screen function. Buttons are easier to use when its lumpy, simply because it's easier to aim at a fixed button.
As an aside, Garmin have bought Navionics, so I'd expect them to drop the "Fisher Price" Garmin G2 charts & start supplying Navionics as standard with their units.
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Old 16 May 2018, 03:56   #12
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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.
I love paper charts and maps in general and will happily while away an hour or two studying them. When it comes to big journey planning there is an advantage to being able to spread them out on a table and see the bigger picture (literally). My "plotter" is a tiny handheld so the chart occasionally comes out on the boat too. For genuine close quarters stuff though I prefer a yacht pilot book. I'm impressed if you manage to control the throttle, the steering, and hold a flappy chart - even more so if you can take a hand bearing at the same time. On boats with a decent sized plotter screen (5"+) I've never felt a desire to open a paper chart for the last mile, although obviously the speed and zoom ranges are set accordingly.

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Re touch / buttons. Like JonP I'm a big fan of Lowrance, I've had Raymarine, Garmin & Lowrance over the years & keep coming back to Lowrance.
None of them are as intuitive as they should be - I often wonder if the person who designed my lowrance user interface had even navigated a boat, certainly whoever wrote the manual was more interested in how to play music on it!
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Old 16 May 2018, 04:40   #13
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>>>love paper charts and maps in general and will happily while away an hour or two studying them.

Yep me too and I use them for planning holiday destinations.

Only a sibber so my range and speed are much less than the RIB boys but I still like to know where I am so have the Echomap 45 which has the same functionality and chartpack pre-loaded as the 65 but with the smaller screen and mine doesn't have Wi-Fi ability of the 65.

Had it a few years now without issues and I find it very usable at sea.... menus and buttons easy to move through etc.

Yes the Garmin plotter charts are a bit simplistic over Admiralty paper versions but as BobG says a few posts up you can't rely on any plotter to give you total accuracy near to hazards... for example the other year I started a thread where in a narrow loch I seemed to be travelling on land according to the Garmin.

I know it's a little different for RIBs vs SIBs but I photograph the paper charts of the various areas I will be operating in at an appropriate scale then print A4 and laminate so I have a wipe clean waterproof reference should my plotter fail.

Just struck really lucky as the guy next door but one has given up liveaboard sailing around the UK and let me have all the charts I wanted from his Admiralty collection.
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Old 16 May 2018, 06:39   #14
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......certainly whoever wrote the manual was more interested in how to play music on it!

Ach! Instructions are just for folks who don't know what they're doing
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Old 16 May 2018, 10:08   #15
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Ach! Instructions are just for folks who don't know what they're doing
I resemble that remark!
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Old 16 May 2018, 10:51   #16
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Instructions? What are they?
Now, why do I have three screws left over...
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Old 17 May 2018, 03:00   #17
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Instructions? What are they?

Now, why do I have three screws left over...


As an apprentice I was taught to call them ‘wee bits’.

As in that’s the noise they made when you tossed them over your shoulder - weeeee.

Good old fashioned ‘British Engineering’
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Old 17 May 2018, 03:19   #18
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Instructions? What are they?

Now, why do I have three screws left over...


As an apprentice I was taught to call them ‘wee bits’.

As in that’s the noise they made when you tossed them over your shoulder - weeeee.

Good old fashioned ‘British Engineering’
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