Originally Posted by simonafloat
The main things I wanted to use a plotter for was following the deep water channel in our estuary and as a safety feature when we are coast hopping and the fog rolls in.
If you have a map app, then you could do a version of what I did with Google satellite:
- Build yourself a set of waypoints for the channel.
I took this bit to the extreme as I found a Garmin GPS12 cheap back in the day , but any handheld will do - older Gen Etrex £50 odd - even a basic new one is about £70-90 depending where you shop) - many old Garmin GPS<number> can be picked up very cheap too with cables etc
Then you upload (or maually load if you got a MK1 Etrex or didn't get one with the data lead in the box") the waypoints, create a route & save it. Then put it on "road" view mode and set the course error bars to half the narrowest width of your channel & follow the big arrow!
I have waypoint files covering the entire Clyde and the west coast from MoK to Ardnamurchan in the handheld. - the battery lasts >24 hrs, so I carry it as a backup to the (relatively new to me) plotter. No, they may not be the shortest routes but they do allow me to get home in the dark / fog without meeting the shore if the main plotter dies.
I guess you could also add a set of waypoints along the coast to show where you do don't want to come too close, then use a diferent symbol for harbour entrances etc.
The toher thig is the suoper cheap ones (i.e very old) donlt have WAAS built in, but my reckoning goes along the lines of if I need that much accuracy to stop me running aground I'll have my crew over the bow prodding the bottom with the paddle handle!
I too have been thinking of this for my "new" toy (Avon S340) and I keep coming back to "bracket for the Garmin handheld"....