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Old 03 July 2018, 02:17   #1
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You lot always know where the bargain plotters are...

So after about 10 years of good service my Lowrance iFinder GPS (its a handheld GPS with a roughly 1.5Ē black and white plotter screen which I mount on a bracket and connect to power and VHF via an adaptor) has given up on life (will no longer turn on). On investigation it appears some of the plastic around the battery compartment has gone brittle, snapped off and let moisture in which has killed it.

So I obviously need to replace. Tech has moved on, we use it more than I expected, partly because I travel further than expected when I bought it and partly because increasingly the family are helming more and they donít tend to have learned where the submerged rocks are!

I know some of you keep your eyes on the market and know what is a good deal, and when I looked last night realised the pricing is almost as confusing as mobile phone shopping with some including maps (some better than others) some offering sounder capability too (but then not necessarily coming with the transducer) etc...

So here is the spec:

1. Iím brand agnostic. I do like to use Navionics WebApp for home based passage thoughts so if it was easy to export routes from there that would be nice but not essential.
2. I do need NMEA0183 position output for the VHF.
3. A plotter not just a GPS position.
4. Free standing not flush mount as I donít have space for it.
5. Obviously properly waterproof - where it sits it is going to get plenty of spray.
6. Iíve made do with 1.5Ē B&W so can make do with virtually any screen size (especially as they all seem to be colour).
7. I donít currently have a fish finder/ sounder set up. I did experiment with a fish finder but it didnít work if moving at all (perhaps just too close to the engine on a small boat). I can live without one. If I had one it would be used 99% of the time as a sounder only. Even that I have managed without so far.
8. It needs to appeal to my inherently Scottish wallet! Itís going on a 3.9m boat.
9. The iFinder has reasonably detailed charts on a CF card. Even in the unlikely event they worked they are now well out of date in some areas - not least due to the addition of a new bridge across the Forth a few miles from home. Iíd like actual chart level detail with bouys, depths, etc rather than just a coastal outline.

So, what do you suggest/is a good deal at the moment?
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Old 03 July 2018, 03:29   #2
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I'm not up to speed with the market, but a couple of things to remember:

Navionics Silver charts are often bundled in cheap deals. They are "restricted" and only have contour lines out to 10m. Pants IMO.

Wifi is now a thing. A really small screen can be duplicated on a small device such as an old tablet etc. Useful for uploading routes etc on arriving at the boat.

You're a citeog so beware the righty oriented thumb wheel
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Old 03 July 2018, 04:38   #3
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Quote:
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You're a citeog so beware the righty oriented thumb wheel
I had to google it..


'Citeog' is the Irish expression for a leftie. Nobody knows where it first started but its generally an endearing term and not at all offensive ciotůgach = Gaelic ...
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Old 03 July 2018, 05:06   #4
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Navionics Silver charts are often bundled in cheap deals. They are "restricted" and only have contour lines out to 10m. Pants IMO.
is that the only restriction? With a draft of < 1m I'm not too worried about depths > 10m. Having never had a sounder I've never navigated by contour. Am I missing something? Even in my wee boaty?

Quote:
Wifi is now a thing. A really small screen can be duplicated on a small device such as an old tablet etc. Useful for uploading routes etc on arriving at the boat.
I nearly made a comment about that on my "requirements". Given I did Largs, Cumbrae, Tighnabruich, Kyles, Largs on Sunday without sitting in the helm seat once - I could see some advantage in having a waterproof phone holder on the back of the front jockey so I can see a position too. If it let me control their screen too - that would be amazing - but it definitely not essential.
Quote:
You're a citeog so beware the righty oriented thumb wheel
Have I not made clear - I don't get to helm any more... they are all "normal".
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Old 03 July 2018, 05:22   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poly View Post
is that the only restriction? With a draft of < 1m I'm not too worried about depths > 10m. Having never had a sounder I've never navigated by contour. Am I missing something? Even in my wee boaty?



I nearly made a comment about that on my "requirements". Given I did Largs, Cumbrae, Tighnabruich, Kyles, Largs on Sunday without sitting in the helm seat once - I could see some advantage in having a waterproof phone holder on the back of the front jockey so I can see a position too. If it let me control their screen too - that would be amazing - but it definitely not essential.





Have I not made clear - I don't get to helm any more... they are all "normal".


The Lowrance "go free" app allows you to take over the plotter from your phone/tablet. There are some deals on old models at the mo if you hunt around. Depends on how deep the "Scottishness" runs.
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Old 03 July 2018, 07:12   #6
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https://www.force4.co.uk/lowrance-ho...x-n-chart.html

i have this one poly 7 inch screen and love it exactly the same apart from i bought the navionics maps, never had the C maps so can't comment but a good price for the lot including transducer.
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Old 03 July 2018, 07:25   #7
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Take a look at Cactus Nav & Comms (used to be Cactus marine electronics) ............ a helpful bunch and you can usually get a geed deal from them .......... Cactus Navigation and Communication Ltd - Electronics
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Old 03 July 2018, 12:41   #8
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P. I don't fish but contours are useful when considering the effect of tide around submarine terrain. Think the Corry, but elsewhere. May not be an issue for you....
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Old 03 July 2018, 12:52   #9
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The wafi tight wadds are quite into navioncs on a tablet in a waterproof case...

Won't do GPS to DSC... Can be done separately without a display although 12v GPS mice are hard to find these days

Now is your chance to integrate a AIS Transponder ... Chinese import liked by the WaFI world
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Old 03 July 2018, 13:00   #10
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Quote:
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P. I don't fish but contours are useful when considering the effect of tide around submarine terrain. Think the Corry, but elsewhere. May not be an issue for you....

Iíd quite like to see overfalls marked. Iím not sure I need to worry too much about submarine terrain when on the boat as itís the sort of thing I consider in the house but less when actually afloat.
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