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Old 25-12-2015, 12:11   #16
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

I'd start with a good hand held GPS and paper charts.
For digital charts Navionics are great and available for all platforms.
Radar would be down on the list depending on your voyaging plans.
Of course you need VHF radio with AIS. Many VHS sets have GPS built in.
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Old 25-12-2015, 12:23   #17
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

Laptop, doesn't have to be the latest, greatest. I've been using a Lenovo W500 on my commercial fishing boat for many years, a different laptop before that. Upgrades only to meet increased software requirements. No reliability problems. Under $150.

OpenCpn - no charge
NOAA charts - no charge
USB GPS or smart GPS antenna - under $100

VHF - you'll need an antenna as well. You can probably get something for $150.

At this point you're $100 under budget, and you can start saving for a radar.
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Old 25-12-2015, 13:09   #18
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

I use an hp elitepad 10" windows tablet mounted on a base station at the chart table. You probably can't still get that one but you can get lots of similar ones on ebay well inside you budget. Works well, faster and much more flexible a chartplotter. The limitation is that, like a laptop, they are not waterproof or very good in bright sunlight. I also have a cheap android tablet that runs Plan2nav as both a backup system and for when I want something in the cockpit, dingy or canoe. Like the ipad they are excellent but not being a full windows OS does make for noticeable software limitations, I would not be happy with this as a main system. I am definitly in the 'radar is essential' camp but would not go for integrating it with a C/P. Things fail and if the radar is a backup
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Old 25-12-2015, 17:39   #19
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

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Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
Hey everyone,

Want to thank everyone for all the help so far!

I'm trying to budget out what is remaining work that needs to be done aboard, and one of the things is navigation. We currently have nothing for navigation.

I'd like to add a chartplotter/gps to the boat, and potentially add to it a radar system down the road.

We are on a budget, so used system is perfectly fine. We'd like to spend at most $500 or so.

Anyone have any recommendations? I was looking at OpenCPN and possibly building out a DC based computer system to run, however a chartplotter such as a garmin would be easier and more "reliable" i'd think.

Any one have any recommendations?
be
Used equipment might of questionable reliability. I have sailed from the BVI's to the Chesapeake using hand held GPS. Chart plotters are nice but we sailed for years without them same for radar. The most important thing is a good background in coastal navigation, the proper charts and compass.
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Old 25-12-2015, 18:25   #20
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

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Originally Posted by wesevans View Post
I have sailed from the BVI's to the Chesapeake using hand held GPS. Chart plotters are nice but we sailed for years without them same for radar. The most important thing is a good background in coastal navigation, the
A handheld GPS with charts, like a Garmin GPSMap 76Cx or similar, is simply a small screened chartplotter.

A Garmin 740 GPS or similar is simply a handheld GPS with a BIGGER screen.

I still wonder why folks seem to differentiate between them. Maybe I need glasses!

Wait, wait, wait!!!

It Christmas, so with the egg nog comes the glasses.

Happy Holidays to all.
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Old 25-12-2015, 18:36   #21
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

I almost never use radar but it is a lifesaver when needed in fog. I would be interested in knowing more about the new wireless radar solutions that seem to go for about 2G's.

We would use an Iphone with a GPS app wired to our big flat screen. Worked great. We had a more expensive system but never used it. Nice to have screen in cockpit at helm. Looking into some solutions for that are wireless.

Of course always have paper charts and know how to use them.
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Old 25-12-2015, 18:56   #22
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

I use MX Mariner on my 8.4 galaxy tablet. The tablet has built in GPS, Seems to be useable in daylight and MX Mariner was like 10 bucks. You have to download the NOAA charts to plug into it. Also have Tactical Nav Compass I can use if I need a compass. Both programs are also loaded and run on my old spare Galaxy S3 phone for a backup and I could load them on my new phone if I needed. Also use a VHF radio I got for a good deal on Ebay. Granted I only navigate the west side of Lake Michigan for now but it seems to work well even for the local coves and channels and the charts seem to be accurate.
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Old 26-12-2015, 05:33   #23
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Pocket sized GPS. Good, used Sextant. Reliable Watch. Hand Bearing Compass. RDF. Paper Charts. Save your change & small bills towards RADAR.
Agree +1.

I sailed for years with a garmin etrex (yellow) and paper charts. Before that, a garmin 45, the handheld that changed navigation. Before that, binoculars, fixes, and dead reckoning. My most recent boat came with a chartplotter, and I instantly began forgetting how to navigate any other way.

Garmin etrex 10 is about $100 new at walmart (or canadian tire).
I use a decade old etrex yellow which costs about $20 used. I also carry a spare, but have never needed it. Also, dividers, parallel rulers, pencil, and a good oil filled handbearing compass. I use a plastimo which costs about $100, but will last your lifetime, and needs no batteries. For me, it has prevented more collisions than AIS ever will, by simply taking a bearing of the approaching vessel.

OK..enough preaching, chartplotters are cool. If you are on a budget, just keep your eyes open for a used one. The bigger the screen the better. But maybe get a used etrex as well...just in case.
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Old 26-12-2015, 06:41   #24
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

Three assets not available to the skippers of the 100+ ton Thames sailing barges sailing between London, The Wash and Dunkirk until the late sixties!
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Old 26-12-2015, 06:58   #25
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

All the advice is good here...

Very cheap with the tablet or laptop you already own...

If you want fixed stuff.... Previous gen Ray can be found cheap enough...
$500 for MFD, and add a radome down the line for 2/3/400...

Raymarine C70 Multi Function Display Clean | eBay

Raymarine Radar 24" 4KW Product Code M92652 | eBay
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Old 26-12-2015, 07:00   #26
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

Another vote for a netbook/laptop (can get for under $300), a hockey puck GPS receiver (about $35) and OpenCPN with US charts (both free).

If you already have a tablet or smartphone either Navioncs (Android) or INax are both good.

Handheld GPS units seem to me to be passe. They are relatively expensive and do less than a smartphone with software.

I also don't understand anyone buying a dedicated plotter today. Limited use item with expensive/hard to replace components. Obviously some advantages with integration of radar, etc. but OpenCPN now does a lot of that.

Another great, free, app for smartphones/tablets is GPS Essentials. Can set up your own dashboard with your choice of some 20 or 30 items.

Guess a lot depends on where you are using it. After being robbed of our nave computer we navigated up the mainland west coast of Mexico using a smartphone and Google Earth. Worked fine.

Bill
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Old 26-12-2015, 08:51   #27
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

I like polar navy vs open cpm, and have both loaded on my laptop, which is our primary navigation system. Polar navy is 50 bucks for 5 licenses, so you can move it to multiple devices. The biggest advantage is you can overlay Active Captain onto the charts for fantastic warning/shoaling and point of interest information. For a gps puck, eBay for 'sirfstar 4' - 35 bucks. Buy two, though I've never needed my backup. Buy used laptops, have a backup fully loaded stored away. Prudent.

Been using this setup for several years and it's fantastic.

Also have mx mariner on my phone as 3rd back up. It too runs active captain as overlay.

If only I could find a similar cheap solution for canada.
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Old 26-12-2015, 09:16   #28
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

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Originally Posted by CaptBobGilliam View Post
I use a laptop, free software, and cheap GPS. You will need a laptop with daylight viewable screen.

I have a spare Dell ATG D630, loaded and ready to go. If someone needs one, I'd let it go for $150.

Bob
Finding light enough screen seems to be to prob. Which laptops or smaller are shiny enough to give you a peek in sunlight?
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Old 26-12-2015, 09:39   #29
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

I have a system that we recently removed from the boat to upgrade, It was working fine when removed. It fits right into your budget. Raymarine SL72 Chartplotter, Radar, GPS.
PM me for details
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Old 26-12-2015, 10:42   #30
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Re: Budget navigation - Chartplotter/GPS/Radar

In addition to paper charts, I've been using an iPad with Navionics using the iNavX app as the viewing platform for several years and the same on my iPhone as back up. I also use an AIS app on my iPhone which is very helpful.

While a little more than you have budgeted, Furuno has come out with a wireless radar system that might be worth checking out as they refine the technology.
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