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Old 02-12-2014, 15:04   #16
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

If you have a smart phone, use it with the Garmin app
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Old 02-12-2014, 15:19   #17
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

I started my cursing on a 26-footer on the Great Lakes. I used a handheld GPS without chart plotting and drew additional lines on my charter to make it easy to quickly plot my position. However, today, I'd gladly spend the extra money for charting capability.

A handheld is certainly versatile and a bit less expensive. However, I personally find the screen size to be limiting and i've found the 12-volt plug adapters never hold up, but always corrode, meaning I need to use batteries which one can go through quickly. It's also easy much easier to loose a handheld overboard. For those reasons's I'd personally spend the extra money for a hard wired unit with a larger screen.

Last summer, I used the Garmn map app on my iPhone and iPad and have to say for the money, it is a wonderful navigation tool. It would suit my needs as a primary navigation tool if I was not worried about exposing an iPad to conditions it's not intended for. If I had a pilothouse, I'd be happy to use an iPad as my primary navigation system, but not in the cockpit on a pocket cruiser. If I had a previous iPhone or iPad, I didn't mind taking some chances with, I might also be tempted to go that route.

Those are my thoughts for what they are worth...
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Old 02-12-2014, 15:38   #18
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

I have the original IPAD with navitronics charts. My version shows detail on Ottawa river to New Liskeard, how far North do you want to go?
Sorry I am a old sailor I have Richardson charts for back up, 10 year old Garmin 76s always used for route planning and I pad running. When both agree like they always do I am happy.

My IPad with data plan is the key electronic instrument. First weather forecast, detailed wind forecast, and most important is weather radar. I sail lake Erie and always check weather bug Canadian radar. On a small boat a smart phone will also work.

I have a power out let at the helm for both gps and IPad. Internal batteries are just backup. Belts and braces are key for failure mitigation.


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Old 03-12-2014, 06:39   #19
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If you have a smart phone, use it with the Garmin app
Hi:

I have a Motorola Moto G. I could not find any evidence of a Garmin charting app, only a Garmin interface to allow control of a Garmin device remotely.

One the face of it, if I can get past the fact that the screen isn't viewable in the sun nor IPX7 (from memory, whatever is the survive in water spec), my phone has more computing power, memory, and display resolution than any of the Garmin alternatives discussed. I wonder if I can get it to do something for me ...

I did find an Android mapping app "Memory map" that seemed to have some good reviews, but the install has been stuck at "the app needs to find a location and download a map..." for about 12 hours. Then I tried to download the PC based memory map software, but it failed too, probably because the anti virus kicked part of the install to the curb. This is why this former computer guy likes paper charting, when I walk the chart onto the boat the "install" works every time and it does not crash. Well it does, when it slips off the table.

Anyhow, maybe I am doing something wrong. I just got a cell phone a few months ago to use on the boat. There is no cell service where I live so there was never any screaming hurry to get one. I don't pay any attention to it on a day to day basis, so I am fairly ignorant as to its capabilities.

Boulter
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:49   #20
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

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Originally Posted by Sailor Doug View Post
I have the original IPAD with navitronics charts. My version shows detail on Ottawa river to New Liskeard, how far North do you want to go?
Hi Doug:

You are the second guy to disprove my assertion. I guess the Ottawa river is included with the coastal charting not the inland lakes charting. Which is weird because the only way west past downtown Ottawa is by haul out, and there are 4 or 5 segments between Ottawa and Liskheard. New Liskheard is well past where I want to go LOL.

Thanks for your input.

Boulter
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:56   #21
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

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I've had a Lowrance Elite 4 Gold plotter/sounder for several years and I find it more than adequate. Gold = 2 gig map chip that covers all Canada and inland waters.
Well this is the closest to the chosen solution, a Lowrance Elite 5 HDI withn Gold mapping mounted on a RAM RAM-109VU so that it can be swing into view of the cockpit, or back around into the cabin to be locked away/out of the weather.

Reasons...

The cell phone approach sounds promising, but doesn't seem to be there quite yet on Android as opposed to Apple. As mentioned, I tried Memory Map, but since I could not get the PC software to load, I gave up. It is not even clear if I needed to get the PC app working, but the first thing I wanted to do was see a real nautical chart somewhere, somehow, and it was all just too hard. All other Android solutions had fairly poor reviews.

My wife wants to fish, so it can't hurt to get a fish finder in the process.

Wanted to avoid the bright sun and weather issues of phone/iPad solutions.

Wasn't keen on having to babysit batteries on a daily basis with a handheld or iPad solution.

Also the handheld solution wasn't materially less money than what I went with and I get a larger screen and fish finder.

The iPad solution is very tempting with the full computing platform one gets, but then one needs to sort out how it mounts or otherwise doesn't crash all over the cabin. And the weatherproofing covers. I am sure this stuff exists
just fine, but would take more time for me to investigate. If I lived in a city such that I could see things at a retail location life would be much easier and other possibilities would have had better chances. Frankly I get enough internet time at home, so when I am in the boat, it is nice to avoid the electronic toys and get back to that good old stack of magazines that was piling up unread at home.

Seems to be more charting from Navionics than Garmin, plus One can pay for upgrade as opposed to completely new every upgrade cycle. It was also never entirely clear to me if Garmin LakeVU HD included the Great Lakes or not. Navionics has a web based simulation such that you can see the chart and thus check various bodies of water and know what you are getting.

To be honest, the process just has to terminate at some point, and when I got fed up, the Lowrance solution happened to be on top.

Thanks to all for their comments.

Boulter
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:10   #22
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

Considering all you have said, I would get a mounted Garmin combination chart and fish finder. It's bright enough for day use, is waterproof, you won't drop it, it won't get banged around and costs under $500. Mount it where you can see it from the helm but is still out of the way of lines, crew etc.

Get a group 24 deep cycle battery and mount it inside of your boat in a battery box well secured with straps. Buy a small charger to keep it topped up when it is on the trailer or at the dock. Maybe even get a small solar charger so it can keep the battery topped off without having to connect it to a shore based battery charger. A group 24 battery will keep your plotter/sounder powered all day.

I have had Lowrance sounders at work on our fleet of trailer boats used for research and they have had numerous problems compared to our Garmin units. I don't recommend a Lowrance unit.

Amazon.com : Garmin Echo Map 50Dv Us Lakes with Transducer : Boating Equipment : Electronics
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:20   #23
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

I like the idea of a dedicated instrument hard-wired to the boat's electrical panel. A combination chart plotter/fish finder makes sense for your size boat. Though I would look for a Garmin, rather than a Lowrance, for Garmin's quality and GPS interface.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:29   #24
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

For the last 4 years I've been sailing in an area where the marine charts are extremely inaccurate (based on an 1800' survey), The best solution for me was to use a handheld GPS with downloaded satellite imagery (either a garmin or a magellan). You can buy an annual subscription that allow you to download unlimited imagery fro one year for about $30. If you combine this with a used GPS off of ebay (like a garmin colorado) you'll have everything you need for under $150.

One unexpected advantage of the satellite imagery is I that it actually allows me to see through the water at depths up to 30' or so. It's surprisingly easy to see obstacles (like rocks) and even determine the bottom type (sand vs. mud vs. rock) with a little practice.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:33   #25
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

The downside to something like Google Earth is that it is not going to show any of the aids to navigation such as buoys, channels, hazards, anchorages etc.
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Old 13-12-2014, 06:33   #26
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Re: GPS solution on small boat, often inland waters

Hi Boulter,

I sailed a 1700 nm delivery with my iPad and Navionics charts. Keep the Pad dry and charge it once in a while and Bob's your uncle...

I also use 2 X Yoobao 15600 charger units to top up the battery. Brilliant kit!

Fair winds
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