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Old 20-10-2013, 08:20   #1
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Chartplotter questions

Hello. I am looking into buying my 1st sailboat in December. I think I am getting a Wesco 25. Owner states it is sail ready minus an outboard and it was sailed this summer. It will also need a chartplotter or other navigational means. What should I look for in a chartplotter? The only other item needed is a vhf radio. Handheld or mounted? Is that more of a personal preference?

Thank you for your time;

Bill
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Old 20-10-2013, 08:52   #2
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Re: Chartplotter questions

The chartplotter should include detailed charting for the area where you'll be sailing. I'm partial to Garmin, for their intuitive ease of use.

Your radio may be the most important safety gear on board. Fixed-mount VHF for sure, if you want maximum radio range and thus safety. Also, it runs off the boat's main electrical system, so you don't have to worry about the small batteries in a handheld running out of charge just when you need to use the radio.

You didn't say where you'll be sailing - if in the ocean or a large body of water, or if you do a lot of poking around in a dinghy, I'd suggest having one of each.

I'd make the handheld waterproof and floating. Standard Horizon makes good ones, some with DSC and built-in GPS, and thus the ability to broadcast a mayday signal including your location.
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:01   #3
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Re: Chartplotter questions

I will be sailing in the SC GA FL areas. Mostly gunkholing and limited offshore while I learn to sail and go to school.
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:07   #4
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Re: Chartplotter questions

Also the boat is in Jersey so I will have to sail it down to FL for school.
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:09   #5
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Re: Chartplotter questions

Then I'd definitely recommend having both - small investment for many years of greater safety.
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:23   #6
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Re: Chartplotter questions

I second the Garmin chart plotter. They are very simple to use. They come with all the US charts built in.

You can use Garmin blue charts mobile on your iPad with the same US charts for $30.

Mount a permanent VHF for long range and buy a hand held for a backup.
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Old 20-10-2013, 09:42   #7
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Re: Chartplotter questions

Any specific model of Garmin? Should I get a stand alone or 1 with other features such as depth and fish finders?
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:16   #8
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Re: Chartplotter questions

A depth sounder is a fairly important piece of equipment, especially if you are going to go into a lot of small, probably uncharted anchorages. If the boat does not have one it would probably be a little cheaper to buy a plotter that will display depth from the appropriat transducer rather buying the transducerr and separate display. I think most chartplotters will now do that as we are moving towards one single display showing everything. Another thing to consider for the chart plotter purchase is the cost of charts for that particular plotter. A chart chip for Garmin will not work in someone else's chart plotter so if you changed makes in the future you could end up with a lot of possibly expensive chart chips that are no longer usefull. I'm not picking on Garmin as they are all the same, my Standard Horizon chips don't work in my new Furuno.
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:32   #9
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Re: Chartplotter questions

If you are new to sailing I suggest you try it without a chartplotter to begin with. You will hone your skills much more quickly and learn a lot more without a chartplotter.

Go with a depth sounder and a vhf.
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:37   #10
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Re: Chartplotter questions

wjsobers, I second the advice about having a permanently installed VHF radio with the antenna mounted on top of the mast for range. I personally have both and find that I use my handheld at the helm far more than the installed unit. The installed unit should be able to receive the NWS weather channels.
As for a chart plotter, I second the Garmin units with the models ending in "s" for sounder. These units provide depth information with an installed transducer. I purchased a "used" Garmin 546s on e-Bay for 50% of retail ($500 vs $1000). It is a great unit and will accept SD card chips for specific areas (Caribbean), etc. gts1544 - George
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:41   #11
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Re: Chartplotter questions

Standard Horizon makes a nice chartplotter also (as do others). The CP190i has an internal GPS as well as preloaded with US charts. There is a version that has a built in fish finder / depth sounder.

You can get a stand alone sounder for 1 to 2 hundred dollars. Something like the hummingbird line.

A good VHF radio will be essential. Antenna, cable and radio should all be top notch. A handheld is OK but needs a way to charge.

Good nav lights and good batteries will make life easier. Perhaps a led anchor light for that trip south.

Learning to sail is OK, knowing seamanship and the rules of the road can save your life. Get some paper charts too.

Sounds like quite an adventure. With good preparation you will have a great time with minimal risk of death or bodily harm.

Of yes, what anchors and rode?
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:45   #12
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Re: Chartplotter questions

after many years of having chartplotters on board.. we're making the switch to An I-pad .. the chips for the plotter are expensive, not so much for the upgrade in the I-pad ..
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:56   #13
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Re: Chartplotter questions

Thank you for all the replies. I will purchase both radios and a chartplotter.

The boat is located in Bayville, NJ 08721 on Toms River. How much time should I allow to sail to Daytona FL? I can stop as often as needed along the coast. I have to wait until I am out of the Marine Corps to pick it up.

Thank you;

Bill
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Old 20-10-2013, 10:59   #14
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Re: Chartplotter questions

I am not sure what anchor and rode are included in the sale. What kind are recommended?

Bill
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Old 20-10-2013, 11:36   #15
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Re: Chartplotter questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by wjsobers View Post
I am not sure what anchor and rode are included in the sale. What kind are recommended?

Bill
Now that is a loaded question....

Each anchor maker has a table that sizes their anchors to boat size. Head over to your local West Marine and take a look at the offerings as well as bick up one of their catalogs. The catalogs and website have a wealth of information.

In no specific order take a look at Lewmar Claw, Fortress, Mantus, Delta, Manson Supreme and Rocna anchors.

World cruisers like all chain rodes due to their abrasion resistance. However you can use a rope rode with a length of chain to the anchor.

Rode length is based on water depth. Typical rode length is between 200' and 300'. Scope (depth of water + freeboard to distance to anchor ratio) range from 5:1 to 7:1 for typical overnight anchoring conditions. So if you do 5 to 1 and have 15' of water +3' of freeboard you endup with about (15+3)*5=90' of rode out. At a scope of 7:1 and 35 feet (freeboard + depth) you need about 245' of rode.

There is a lot to anchoring and many differing thoughts on how.

Rode sizing is based on the working load on the rode. You likely could use 3/8" 3 strand rope for your rode. However the feel inthe hand is important too. You will be pulling that line by hand I assume. Thus a larger size has a better 'feel' inthe hand and is easier to grip. Don't go overboard.

There are inexpensive rode packages available from west marine and others.

Oh and use quality shackles (I like Crosby G209a shackles)

Regards
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