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Old 25 July 2016, 07:04   #1
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Chartplotter?

We are fairly new to all this and have just upgraded from a SIB to a RIB. We are going up to the west coast of Scotland shortly and someone advised that we would need to purchase a Chartplotter. At the moment we have a Garmin Echo 201 Fishfinder, which does display the depths. We are not intending to travel too far afield, it will be used more for leisure and fishing locally. Do we really need a Chartplotter ? and if so any recommendations? Apologies if this sounds a dumb question but as I said we are newbies really
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Old 25 July 2016, 07:09   #2
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Budget will determine this - charts are useful and you might push to explore - just fitted Garmin 557xs wasn't cheap but now don't leave home without it for charts tide froth etc etc
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Old 25 July 2016, 07:12   #3
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I've been more than happy with my Lowrance hds units in several boats for about the last 8 years. Plotters are much cheaper than full radar and can be invaluable if trying to head home in fog or the dark etc.

Leaving a track on the screen means you can just follow the same track back to where you came from ( just need to watch and listen out for other boats).

The charts which can be used with them are also handy for viewing depths as well as cardinal markers etc.

Jon
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Old 25 July 2016, 07:17   #4
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Thanks for both your replies. Think maybe we should get one, but don't want to be spending too much more at the moment, with all the other bits and bobs we have had to buy. Will do some shopping around :-)
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Old 25 July 2016, 07:32   #5
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If you have an ipad with GPS then just get the Navionics app and a waterproof case.
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Old 25 July 2016, 07:54   #6
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Thank you but have considered this but none of our IPads have GPS sadly and think our phones screens may be too small?
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Old 25 July 2016, 09:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracey64 View Post
Thank you but have considered this but none of our IPads have GPS sadly and think our phones screens may be too small?
Shame. Phones are good as a back up, but maybe not as primary. You could buy a second-hand nexus 7. They all have GPS. The battery goes down quickly though so you may need to rig up power to it.
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Old 25 July 2016, 09:53   #8
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I sailed out from Dartmouth yesterday for a quick trip round the bay. After about an hour low heading out cloud/mist came over from Start Point and the shore disappeared from view. I was watching this develop so I took a back-bearing on the compass to give me a course to steer. However, it was very much easier just to turn on the chart plotter and head happily home with absolutely no concerns. The chart plotter is not strictly necessary but it does make life very much easier even when you are not expecting to use it.
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Old 25 July 2016, 10:01   #9
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>>> very much easier just to turn on the chart plotter and head happily home with absolutely no concerns. The chart plotter is not strictly necessary but it does make life very much easier even when you are not expecting to use it.

Very much agree... I've said elsewhere recently one of the greatest safety/convenience devices introduced over my lifetime of smallcraft boating.

I'd try and stretch to one if you can.
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Old 25 July 2016, 10:30   #10
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Garmin do some very good budget ones with all uk water maps loaded I have a 451s that is spot on does sonar as well as a plotter .mine has been superseded by an even cheaper one that does side scan on the sonar. Like has been said its very easy to lose your bearings if the weather changes and you lose visibility. And even if it doesn't often one bit of shore looks just like the next if there's no towns ect to head to .I always have a good look at the coastline that I have left from after a few hundred yards out and pick a landmark that I can remember to head back to
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