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Old 21-09-2013, 07:01   #31
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
...Edit: Oh... and he also said he had no need (I read desire) to integrate them
You read that loud and clear Boaty. This has been a helpful thread. I'm being lazy about my knowledge base, and it's time to buck up and learn something. I think I'll rescind the offer for a buddy to FL. I prefer to travel solo and the buddy is less agile than I am by far. And he doesn't see as well. I doubt it would be a fun trip for him beyond the scenery.

I'll just mosey on down the old way with the chartbooks I have with a GPS upgrade. I need a HH radio anyway. I might play around with the notice to mariners suggestion. I looked at the Garmin 4". $349 at the moment at WM. But if the 4" is good, well hell, the 7" is easier to read, and the laptop easier yet, and the chartbook moreso.

Thanks again for the many simple solutions. Always hate to display one's ignorance but ...
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Old 21-09-2013, 09:37   #32
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Re: Minimal System?

My paper chart / existing non-chart-plotter gps, back up system. Used for route planning and back up system under way.

Old laptop (Dell Studio 1535) $0.00
8gb usb stick $10.00
GlobalSat BU353-S4 GPS rcvr $45.90 (incl shipping)
Navigatrix Linux based OS $0.00
NOAA Raster charts (all) $0.00

Total cost ~$56.00

How to install.

Connect laptop to internet.
Download NOAA charts and extract to directory you can easily find later. (30 min depending on your internet connection. See Notes below)
Download Navigatrix and follow instructions to install on USB stick as bootable device (15 minutes)
Setup laptop to boot from inserted USB device and reboot using USB stick.
Will not mess with your current OS. (5 min)
Plug in USB gps receiver. (30 sec)
In Navigatrix open Menu > Navigation > GPS-Panel to verify receiver is working
In Navigatrix open Menu > Navigation > OpenCpn
In OpenCpn open Options (Wrench Icon) > Display Make sure Enable Chart Quilting is checked
In OpenCpn Options switch to Charts > Loaded Charts Click on Add directory and maneuver to where you stored the extracted NOAA charts. Click on BSB_ROOT and then hit enter. Make sure "Scan Charts and Update Database is checked, then click apply. When DB is done thrashing around, click on OK.
Restart OpenCpn and click on "auto-follow" (Ship Icon)

You should see your current location on the appropriate chart. Zoom in if need be.

Total time ~ 30 minutes to install the base system.


Notes:

GlobalSat USB GPS Rcvr Great little unit. Cheap and easy, its waterproof (IPV6) but mine works fine below decks on the chart table shooting through the fiberglass overhead. Your mileage may vary

Navigatrix This linux based OS has a great bunch of other apps that ship with it, and is designed as a marine operating system. While you can run it direct off the USB stick as above, it works better installed to the hard drive. Can be installed side by side with your existing OS (Window$) for dual boot. As it is a relatively new distro (based on Ubuntucore and Debian) it has some glitches, but support through the referenced website is good. Crew at Navigatrix is scattered worldwide from Europe to Panama to Fiji to Australia. All cruisers. Any problems or questions you can ask on the forum or PM myself. I probably won't be much help, but I can hook you up with the guru's.

NOAA Raster Charts These are the raster based (look like paper charts) offered by NOAA. On the page referenced in the above link, one of the first links you will see is for "ALL CHARTS" Current size around 2 gig includes all NOAA charts available. Optionally you can download zip files of a single Coast Guard district or a custom package of up to 20 files at a time. I downloaded em all as you never know where you might end up without a proper paper chart. These charts are updated weekly but as I usually rely on paper and the Mark-I eyeball twice a year is enough for me.

OpenCPN Only problem I have with OpenCPN it supports so many options, it can be a bit daunting to figure out. Good news is the primary support for OpenCpn is here on CF so getting help is never a problem. Still learning myself.


Hope this helps someone looking for a minimal navigation system.
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Old 21-09-2013, 09:56   #33
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Outstanding Capt. Thanks. The beerS are on me.
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Old 21-09-2013, 10:05   #34
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Re: Minimal System?

NOAA also offers Booklet Charts. You can check them everyday to find out if your existing paper charts are reasonably up to date.
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Old 21-09-2013, 10:21   #35
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Re: Minimal System?

thank you Stu Jackson! I hadn't seen these: BookletChart
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Old 21-09-2013, 10:22   #36
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Re: Minimal System?

i like my garmin for the coastal and inland rivers. nice detail compared to lorance.
i am about to move it to the sail boat.
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Old 21-09-2013, 10:29   #37
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Re: Minimal System?

An iPad with iNavX is all you need. If you already have an ipad with a built in gps antenna, then for about $59 for the ipad INavX ap, you'll have all the charts you need... plus it'll be your touchscreen chartplotter, play music and take pictures as you travel about. Grip weather files can also be downloaded. The iPad is what we use 95% of the time... couldn't be any easier.
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Old 21-09-2013, 12:35   #38
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Re: Minimal System?

I traveled solo from Houston to NYC, having 30 years old charts,basic handheld GPS and Reed atlas for inlet's info. US coast is so well marked that one can travel with a road atlas.
I mean, there are always navigational aids within a sight. One can just go from one buoy to another and read the numbers.
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Old 21-09-2013, 12:50   #39
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Re: Minimal System?

Crabby, are you travelling at night? If you are, I would add a little to the minimalist system here. Fog/night with big boats travelling rapidly in the other direction always make me careful.
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Old 21-09-2013, 14:14   #40
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Re: Minimal System?

The first piece of electronics I would add to my chart-and-DR minimalist array of tools would be a radar. Radar will see things that you can't, especially when you are tired. GPS or any other forms of electronic navigation would be further down on my list.
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Old 21-09-2013, 14:35   #41
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Re: Minimal System?

When my old Garmin handheld which had NMEA output interfaced to my autopilot died, I found that a small chartplotter wasn't much more expensive than a replacement handheld with NMEA interface. So I ended up buying a chartplotter/fishfinder and a transducer that gives me depth, speed through the water, and water temperature. I'm a coastal single-hander and this gives me everything I need right in front of me in the cockpit.

I tried OpenCPN and liked it, but couldn't put it in the cockpit where I needed it. I still rely on paper charts and a vigilant lookout. With the chartplotter, details only appear when you zoom in so there's a danger of planning a route at the macro level and missing something shallow and hard along the way. And I have tracks that show my boat traversing an island! Still, I was very happy to have it last month when caught in fog in an area of islands, reefs, and current.
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Old 21-09-2013, 18:11   #42
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

All suggestions appreciated.

Newt, I'm not planning to travel at night. My derring-do days are done. If it's foggy in the mornings, I'll wait on the hook, shiverin' me timbers behind my radar reflector. If there's an offshore trip ahead, and I doubt it, I'll rethink my electronic needs.

I have boxes of instruments left over from my last boat but it's all old stuff that I don't want to invest any time/money in. My buddy with the 80 fter has a bridge full of instruments but all he uses is an IPad Ap as suggested earlier.

I bought the Waterway Guide today which appears to be pretty complete. While browsing, I looked at a very cool chart book by our own Capt Kettlewell. It's just for the ICW, a very nice format, and $75. As noted tho, I have all the chart kits already and know how to get the free ones.

I've been in the Gulf waterway aplenty so I'm not as clueless as I may sound, and I have a much more capable boat this time. Plus cold beer 24/7. And a brand spanking new Rocna. (MaineSail feels the Rocna is more rugged than the MS. Good enough for me.) And I'm as American as apple pie so you know I'm packin' heat. Towboats are of concern but its them good ol' boys I watch out for.
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Old 26-09-2013, 07:40   #43
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Your "outdated" paper charts are probably fine. Rock a handheld GPS for positions. Use manual tools to plot (triangle protractor, dividers, pencil, roller ruler).
I no more than tried to order a Garmin Gizmo last night but found I'd missed the sale period. I told the nice lady, "No, ma'm, you've missed the sale." Period.

I then sat down with my friend Bud, and opened a chart book. Then the Waterway Guide. Hell, the Waterway Guide has all the charts one needs. And lotsa hints for along the way. A blind guy could do it! So, I'm back to sticking with the old ways. I'll have plenty of time ahead to do the due diligence required as I'm grinding down the ditch. I wasn't worried about my actual GPS position in the waterway, obviously. And I'm sure you're right about the charts. With the way the sandbars move around these inlets, any chart would soon be out of date.

I think I'm being a wimp about going inside anyway. Once I know the new boat better I'll rethink that. Might make more sense to hit the wild blue, yonder. Be quieter anyway.
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Old 26-09-2013, 10:56   #44
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Re: Minimal System?

Hand held GPS + Tracing Paper

Use tracing paper to copy maps.
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:08   #45
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Re: Minimal System?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
An iPad with iNavX is all you need. If you already have an ipad with a built in gps antenna, then for about $59 for the ipad INavX ap, you'll have all the charts you need... plus it'll be your touchscreen chartplotter, play music and take pictures as you travel about. Grip weather files can also be downloaded. The iPad is what we use 95% of the time... couldn't be any easier.

Or if Blue Crab hangs the android direction, a Nexus or equivalent -- with built-in GPS (which is not dependent on WiFi or cellular access) -- with Jeppesen's Plan2Nav app (C-Map vector charts).

Depth finder, compass, tablet app, VHF -- plus paper charts and maybe a cruising guide -- pretty minimal.

-Chris
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