Super Web page.. I just received a MUX because my old B&G repeater does not read the NMEA
output of the Raymarine
C80. Wout programmed it.. I will wire it up and take for a test drive this weekend.
Last weekend I installed the upgraded V3,18 software
for the C series. Its a vast improvement in capabilities for the C80. The C80 now accepts AIS input and will display the data on the radar
or the chart... or both.
I am NOT using a laptop
and I am not very techie.. being more a plug
and play electronics
person. I do find the C series very awkward and not intuitive to use. Way to much focus on waypoints and routes... and reversing routes and creating routs from tracks and and moving waypoints and so on.
My approach has always been to program a few waypoints in advance ... even underway and set the auto pilot to one at a time and adjust the heading to compensate for the set of the current
and leeway. I can't imagine a sailboat "following" a route
... what with all the wind
shifts, and sail trim required. All this waypoint "libraries" and routes are definitely aimed at the stinkpots and nerds who plan complex trips and sit at the top of the towers smoking cigars as the instruments drive them from dock
and hopefully all vessels move aside as they come. I know I usually AVOID power vessels at all cost.
The NASA AIS does seem like a good value for the safety
it provides. I imagine in the not too distant future all vessels including yachts over say 30' will have AIS transmit capability at a reasonable cost and then things could get very clutter on your screen! Imagine sorting out all that data!
Which brings me back to standing watch and carefully observing the vessels and LIGHTS they are showing to know where they are going (or not). This means WATCHING from above deck
and NOT a screen
on an instrument in you Nav Station. Since I sail with myself or my wife, I can't be spending too much time playing with instruments below decks... and when I do..I have to pop up and scan the horizon FREQUENTLY to make sure everything IS okay... INCLUDING sail trim.
What I have found quite useful in my little Garmin
IQue which is a palm device which has BlueCharts and is a WAAS receiver. All it displays is the ship's position, heading line, speed and coarse (SOG and COG)... no waypoints! This little chartplotter
is often all I need to confirm what my eyes are telling me... or even remind me to look a bit harder to see something like a buoy which has not yet made its appearance.
As I don't sit behind the helm
... the below decks auto pilot steers... I usually am positioned at the forward end of the cockpit
under the dodger
... where the instruments are arrayed in a "dash" console over the companionway
. Keeps me out of the sun... and closer to the radar and plotter in the nav station which I CAN see from the companionway
Until I got a chartplotter
in '01 I ran my fixes on paper charts
, transferred from a Loran
at first and then a GPS
. The two plotters I have are super... a Horizon CP170 an the C80. Offshore
passages I always run a plot on paper with fixes ploted each hr.
Lately most of my sailing is in familair waters and navigation is mostly about collision
avoidance than it is about figuring our where I am.
I rarely use the radar, except in the evening and in fog
which is rare in Long Island
... But the new MARPA feature looks interesting... and waypoints are usually "hazards" to keep to one side or the other... since getting there is tacking and gybing... Who ever sails
a rhumb line these days? hahaha.