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Old 06 October 2015, 12:39   #11
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Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
Ha ha I was sort of leaning towards that thought until I found they were virtually giving them away with this 45V!

The nuisance for me in the past has been we SIB in SE England and West Scotland so need quite a few charts. My handheld came with large areas... more than the UK... so I reckon someone had be contributing big time!
VEU706L Whole of UK/Ireland/Northern France/Netherlands
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Old 06 October 2015, 16:31   #12
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Thanks chaps! I will do some hunting around... All food for thought. I quite like the idea of carrying a sealed battery onboard anyway as we are planning a few boat cruising /camping trips and having a power pack for phones/music/lights could be handy.
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Old 07 October 2015, 06:19   #13
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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"....
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Old 07 October 2015, 09:46   #14
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What would you recommend as a budget GPS chartplotter, I just want to see where I am on a chart and plan waypoints.
Planning in the comfort of your home / pub and execution on a small SIB are two quite different tasks for chart plotters. Getting one tool that does both reasonably well pushes the price up. For planning a big screen and easy zoom and scroll are highly desirable. A user interface that lets your type not enter text with a joystick is also much more pleasant for entering other people's waypoints or giving waypoints readable names etc.
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I downloaded the Navionics Boating HD app onto my android tablet and free trialled it the other week, it worked well and I am wondering why spend the extra on a purpose made unit?
The big differences are: waterproofing (although some tablets are now available that are water proof), battery life and the ease of running on external power or spare AA batteries, daylight visibility of the screen and touch screen v's buttons (touch screens and spray can be a PITA)

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Is the GPS fix more reliable on them?
probably not, in fact in terms of time to get a fix you may find the tablet is faster. But the risk, especially on a very small wet boat with no console on board is that the whole device gets killed.

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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.
I'm going to sound like a grumpy old git, but there is a lot to be said for old fashioned pilotage and a compass in both those situations, GPS add convenience but they can go wrong. Something feels wrong to me about using a tablet on a SIB as the fall back navigation tool. If I has a water proof tablet I might use it afloat if I had a reliable, even basic, alternative. If I had limited budget I would spend it on a tool designed for the job rather than ruggedising an "App" solution. There have been threads here in the past on this issue and not everyone agrees.
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Old 07 October 2015, 14:43   #15
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Planning in the comfort of your home / pub and execution on a small SIB are two quite different tasks for chart plotters. Getting one tool that does both reasonably well pushes the price up. For planning a big screen and easy zoom and scroll are highly desirable. A user interface that lets your type not enter text with a joystick is also much more pleasant for entering other people's waypoints or giving waypoints readable names etc.
The big differences are: waterproofing (although some tablets are now available that are water proof), battery life and the ease of running on external power or spare AA batteries, daylight visibility of the screen and touch screen v's buttons (touch screens and spray can be a PITA)

probably not, in fact in terms of time to get a fix you may find the tablet is faster. But the risk, especially on a very small wet boat with no console on board is that the whole device gets killed.

I'm going to sound like a grumpy old git, but there is a lot to be said for old fashioned pilotage and a compass in both those situations, GPS add convenience but they can go wrong. Something feels wrong to me about using a tablet on a SIB as the fall back navigation tool. If I has a water proof tablet I might use it afloat if I had a reliable, even basic, alternative. If I had limited budget I would spend it on a tool designed for the job rather than ruggedising an "App" solution. There have been threads here in the past on this issue and not everyone agrees.

I am brushing up on the traditional methods, believe me! I worked as a pipeline surveyor in the days before gps and am very adept at using maps compasses and charts. Currently learning about tides and how to calculate courses to steer . all good fun. I have the imray chart for my coast and would have no problem triangulating my position the traditional way. In actual fact if I got it laminated then there's no fundamental reason to use a chart plotter, just a gps would be handy as a previous poster suggested.handy for quick checks on position but also handy for monitoring your speed, which is difficult to estimate/maintain in a small tiller steered inflatable. Without a fair idea of speed it's difficult to calculate a course to steer with a strong cross tidal flow.
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Old 07 October 2015, 16:16   #16
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here....

I've used a spare Android phone and the Navionics App to do the job you have in mind AND also to navigate in a RIB offshore in fog when no other systems remained available. Wrapped up well in a phone case or simply a ziplock with a battery charger attached, this combo is as cheap as chips and actually functions very well. Sunlight viewing is an issue, so I built a box for mine.....
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Old 07 October 2015, 17:28   #17
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Must agree with Wilk. I use iPhone with Flytome apps and are quite adequate.


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Old 08 October 2015, 05:01   #18
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One thing nobody has mentioned is screen size.......

At speed even a 5" screen can be difficult to read. My 5" screen plotter came form a guy who had it on a very fast hard boat. He couldnlt read it at speed. Even I need to slow down occasionally to read detail.

I bought a Garmin V to replace my Garmin 12 back in the day....because the V did maps.....
Couldn't read them without coming to a total stop, and very quickly found the big compass arrow on the 12 was a LOT easier to read on the move.

On the Rib I now use the 12 as a "trip computer" (as well as backup GPS in case something happens to the plotter / antenna pod / NMEA cabling etc) - that way I can keep the screen of the plotter clear and showing nowt but the speed, depth & the two Engine data channels - Coolant pressure & head temp (those 2 in small print with alarms)

Garmin 12 - likely under 50, >24 hr battery, waterproof, bounce proof, and toddler proof! (don't ask how I found that out....... )
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Old 08 October 2015, 05:26   #19
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>>>At speed even a 5" screen can be difficult to read.

Having used a small screen unit for many years I'd say yes and no to this. Of course a laptop size screen would be great for ease of viewing but on a SIB there is a limit.

I've happily managed for almost 10yrs with my tiny screen Garmin Etrex... with its mapping I've rated it as one of the best safety/convenience items ever in my 50+yrs boating.

I would mostly have it round my neck... or perhaps tied within easy reach on the SIB... and being so small would need to pick it up to view. This was far better than not having one but not always easy if you were in bumpy waters at speed.

Hence my upgrade to the 45DV fixed unit... albeit with only a 4.25" screen but which I can see more easily at a glance in its position fixed to the seat... is a big step forward.
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