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Old 12-10-2007, 06:36   #16
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Technology is changing very fast.

I think I'm good to go until we have a good web based collision avoidance and instantaneous POI and chart updates.

Isn't that ultimately where information is going... all resident outside your interface and you just connect to it all?

This means local data transducers (on board) but all the rest will be supplied via wireless.

We can dream no?

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Old 12-12-2007, 08:54   #17
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Hi, I am new to this forum and don't really know if this is the right place to post a question. I have a laptop on board and have been given a couple of copies of the c-maps programs which work well and I have linked up my gps. I was thinking of buying a chart plotter to have in my cockpit, but i don't fancy paying 150 for a card that only gives me a small crusing area. Does anyone know if I can either; link a chart plotter to my laptop, so I could send the charts from the laptop to the chart plotter and thus have the worlds charts for nothing (which I'm guessing is wishful thinking), or is there an adapter available whereby i could save the charts to a memory card (say like the one I have in my digital camera) and slot it into the chart plotter again saving me money (if you havent noticed, there's a theme running here)?

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Old 12-12-2007, 23:10   #18
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There are a variety of ways to have a Chartplotter depending on what you want from it. You can use your PC with a free plotter program like PC Plotter and use free charts to help you get around. Linked to a GPS you can use this with some limitations. There are interfaces out there to connect this with your autopilot if you want to go that route. Some people just want the plotter to plan and follow their progress allowing them to make corrections in navigation either by manual intervention or autopilot correction. You can pay a little and get a few more bells and whistles. You can also go to a Company software that supports their charts, like Garmin nRoute with Blue charts. Or you can go more costs get a dedicated Plotter with a big screen, share it with a sounder and radar, use high quality company charts, tie it to you GPS reciever, Autopilot, AIS reciever and a variety of other things. Set your course, trim your sails and have more time for watching the scenery. The availble choices are determined by the depth of ones pocketbook, individual preferences and life style. I have a card reader /writer which plugs into the USB terminal on my laptop for changing mapsets on the plotter card, but it is a Garmin proprietory piece of equipment. You can use your laptop as a chartplotter, you can send charts to your plotter. The for nothing"" may get complicated. This is a boat .
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Old 13-12-2007, 08:22   #19
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This thread has been very informative as I am just beginning to look into this same situation.
So here is what I have decided based on this thread and my own preferences:
A laptop with a gps connected and downloaded charts / plotter program.
Next question: (Unless it would be better to move this to a different thread so I don't hijack this one) Is there any general preference of a brand/model of GPS for this use and what program would be suitable? I have messed with Seaclear a little, but have no GPS hooked up so I really don't even know if that works or not.

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Old 13-12-2007, 08:49   #20
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There are no hand held GPS units that display the same level of detail that one sees on a paper chart. There is chart software for computers that does exactly duplicate what is seen on a paper chart. The difference in the level of detail is what matters most for me since I use the boat for research. Others may not need the same level of detail as a paper chart and therefore can get away with a hand held GPS or one of the cheaper plotters. Vector charts have different levels of detail..depending on who you go with. Rasterscan charts are exact duplicates "pictures" of the original chart...the downside is they take a lot of memory and are impossible to make chart corrections. Good chart software has the option of showing either rasterscan or vector but the cheaper hand held GPS units and the cheaper plotters only have vector charts. The level of detail with vector charts varies radically. You basically get what you pay for when it comes to detail.

What I prefer using are very detailed vector charts on electronic software. (computer generated). I don't feel like I am losing any important details. I intentionally go aground sometimes and I need as much detail as possible for doing this. For my purposes, most chart plotters cut out too much detail. You might do fine with less detail and save yourself some money.

I don't think you are hijacking the thread, its been inactive for a little while and you are asking a related question.


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Old 13-12-2007, 08:54   #21
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We have a Standard Horizon CP1000C Chartplotter mounted in the cockpit under the dodger. We've had it for over 3 years and it's performed flawlessly.

We have a C-Map Max Superwide NA-M034 chip installed see: C-MAP Chart Catalogue - NT MAX Chartlisting
This is the area that we're cruising in, so one chip does it for us. These chips are $299 (retail).

It wasn't all that expensive and we joined "Club C-Map" to get yearly updates for a pretty reasonable price (around $80 for membership, the update is free)

If we had it to do all over again, we'd get one of their new models. They have a variety of screen sizes (at a range of prices), some have built-in GPS antennas for easier installation if you have a clear shot of the sky. The GPS signal will go through most dodgers just fine so that is a good option if that's where you're putting it. see:
Welcome to

We also have our AIS receiver feeding into the Chartplotter and have the Chartplotter wired to our NMEA system. This lets us feed GPS signals to the rest of our gear and upload/download routes, waypoints, tracks, etc. to/from our computer.

We also use Nobeltec and Passport Charts on our Computer, but we only use that for planning purposes.

Before we left to go cruising in 2004, I wanted to get a remote display for the cockpit as the computer is kept safely below. At that time I could buy the Standard Horizon WITH CHARTS for less than the price of a good quality water resistant computer display for the cockpit. AND it gave us backup (always good).

Bottom line, we think that this is a great way to go if you can spare a few bucks.

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Old 13-12-2007, 13:55   #22
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For what it is worth, a bit of a search on eBay and google for on-line vendors can drastically reduce the cost of the chart chips for your plotter.

I recently installed a nice Navman colour chart plotter, that I purchased, new in the box, on eBay, for less than 50% of the price quoted by my local chandleries. I then found an on-line store that sold me a brand new C-Map Max chip for the whole of Australia for about 40% of the price quoted to me by the local chandleries. I am all for supporting the local retailer, but at that sort oof price difference, I just can't.
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Old 15-12-2007, 06:53   #23
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I have a garmin 2010 which accepts the Garmin Blue Charts via programmable chips. A Garmin 60cs which gives you the same detail as the plotter and is also loaded with the same Blue Charts from my laptop, where I can either use Mapsource or nRoute also using the Blue Charts. I find the Garmin Blue Charts to have much better detail than the NOAA free charts, which are needed for coastal cruising. I can hook up the 60CS to the laptop to provide it with the GPS info for nRoute to navigate if my other plotter goes south on me. I could use a stand alone GPS reciever ( the size of a small cell phone) which plugs directly into the USB port on the laptop. You can also use that with the better Google earth for relative navigation. ( you won't have depths shown.)
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Old 17-12-2007, 15:55   #24
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High Cotton has the RAYMARINE E80 which will do everything I need..... still don't know how to use 100% of the available info..... but it will display RADAR, XM Weather, tides, water temp, wave height, depth, all weather gauge info, including engine gauges, all marinas and ports with satellite photos, all marina services, addresses and phone numbers which are really handy and it's connected to the wheel so it will take me wherever without touching the wheel (once the waypoints are punched in) and you can hook-up DIRECT-TV to view on the screen........
very nice system.... really the "GPS/Chartplotter For DUMMIES"!
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Old 17-12-2007, 17:11   #25
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Re David M's reply, I have a Lowrance hand held H2Oc that has excellent detail using Navionics software, It can even give me the state of the tide current direction and speed of the flow. It will also interface with a laptop to give you a larger screen for route planning etc. etc.

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