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Old 19-09-2013, 17:55   #1
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pirate Minimal System?

I don't want to put a bunch of dough into electronics. I'm not going anywhere. I'm in NC, heading for TX, maybe, then turn around and return. Or not. Maybe I'll just keep going. I have all the charts but they're dated. I'm reluctantly considering a chart plotter as I assume they come with the latest charts.

Can someone suggest a minimal system/ single piece of gear? I have a laptop and phone and AP but don't see a need for me learning how to integrate them.

I dread having to read all those gizmo threads. I have a We$t Marine store close by.

Thanks!

I'm not averse to something 2nd hand but has to be plug and play.
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Old 19-09-2013, 17:58   #2
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Have a look at Garmin or lowrance. Large selection of plotters at all sorts of price bands. Comes loaded with charts
Simple to use , no networking , etc.

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Old 19-09-2013, 18:20   #3
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Re: Minimal System?

Get a hand held Garmin 76Map, or Garmin 78, loaded with charts. Feed it with solar charged rechargeable AA batteries. Or Just buy a volume pack of batteries.
Works for me.
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Old 19-09-2013, 18:22   #4
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Re: Minimal System?

Depth sounder and a handheld gps.....if you really need charts, buy a handheld that can display them.
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Old 19-09-2013, 18:29   #5
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Re: Minimal System?

Or download OpenCPN and buy a GPS dongle($30-40 on ebay)...done
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Old 19-09-2013, 18:31   #6
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Are you planning to run offshore or the ICW?

An Ipad with Navionics will hang with any plotter.

If you can spring for radar, it sure offers peace of mind at night.
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Old 19-09-2013, 18:34   #7
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pirate Re: Minimal System?

Log on the net and search Nimble Navigator... the program cost me $100 last year and is good... CM93 charts of the world on your laptop.. then all you need is a GPS tracker... around $50... best are the ones on a 2 metre wire as you can position them in the optimum spot and have the laptop on your chart table.
If you can get hold of CM93 charts off the net then download OpenCPN... that way you only need the tracker..
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Old 19-09-2013, 18:35   #8
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Re: Minimal System?

i love my garmin 498...with depth and everything in one thing and e-zy to rede
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Old 19-09-2013, 19:00   #9
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Re: Minimal System?

Your "outdated" paper charts are probably fine. Rock a handheld GPS for positions. Use manual tools to plot (triangle protractor, dividers, pencil, roller ruler).
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Old 19-09-2013, 20:07   #10
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Re: Minimal System?

What's simpler than keeping a DR plot? or more reliable?
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Old 19-09-2013, 20:27   #11
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Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by ryon View Post
What's simpler than keeping a DR plot? or more reliable?
To answer your first question I would think that most cruisers these days punch in the waypoints from their cruising guide then follow the arrows.
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Old 19-09-2013, 20:43   #12
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To answer your first question I would think that most cruisers these days punch in the waypoints from their cruising guide then follow the arrows.
Really , why ?

Dave
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Old 19-09-2013, 22:30   #13
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Re: Minimal System?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I don't want to put a bunch of dough into electronics. I'm not going anywhere. I'm in NC, heading for TX, maybe, then turn around and return. Or not. Maybe I'll just keep going. I have all the charts but they're dated. I'm reluctantly considering a chart plotter as I assume they come with the latest charts.

Can someone suggest a minimal system/ single piece of gear? I have a laptop and phone and AP but don't see a need for me learning how to integrate them.

I dread having to read all those gizmo threads. I have a We$t Marine store close by.

Thanks!

I'm not averse to something 2nd hand but has to be plug and play.

I have a suggestion for you. Look around for a used Garmin 441S. I think they're going to start popping up, because the next line of Garmin is going to do things I think you would despise -- not only plotting a route, but plotting a "safe" route -- automatically routing you around shoals, reefs, etc. Put ALL your trust in those electronics, doncha know.

But the old 441S does a great job. Zoom in and you get lots of details. Zoom out and you get a "bigger picture" that really helps you combine what you're seeing on the chart with what you're seeing on the chart plotter. I would get the depth sounder that can be integrated into it. Simple to install and then all your info lines up. An odd depth sounder can be a sign that you've wandered off course.

If there's anyone who won't become over-dependent on a chart plotter, it's you. See the latest Boat US? Guy who's been boating for decades, but followed the "magenta line" up the ICW -- even when the channel had shifted. The actual channel markers had shifted, but he believed the older magenta line. He wasn't the only one who ran aground, which means he's not the only one who saw green and red and went outside instead of through because an old chart told him to (and of course the chart plotter followed the paper chart).

I'm sure you would notice the channel markers, esp. if they were nuns or cans. You would know that's a sign of a shifting channel.

But they can be useful. Study the chart, and then the chart plotter lets you look at just the section you need at the time without folding your charts, having to have it open in the cockpit continuously (I know I don't have to tell you to keep it handy. I like using occasional waypoints. They draw an "as the crow flies" line, but it gives you some estimate of how much time it will be to the next waypoint.

I wouldn't even bother with anything less than a 441s except as a backup to get your latitude and longitude accurately.

Oh yeah -- if you have to buy new, that 441s should be on sale now or pretty soon, since there will be a newer "better" one.
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Old 19-09-2013, 22:37   #14
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Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Really , why ?

Dave

Because it eliminates having to have the chart open (they take up a lot of space) along with fumbling with dividers, parallels, etc. It is just EASIER.

I have all those things. I always study the chart. I don't rely only on a chart plotter, but for me, the chart plotter is like having the chart directly in front of me, with the right section opened all the time. You can not only practice your DR skills -- you'll know if you got it right or not. You can estimate where you think you are on the paper chart, and the chart plotter will tell you how close you came.

In other words, you can actually learn from it if you use it intelligently.

When single-handing, you can immediately double-check your position after you come back from the head or making a sandwich and be certain you're not headed for a shoal, or worse.

I wouldn't have one without the other. For those of you who had thirty years' experience before they were invented, you're going to have a different perspective. Doesn't make you wrong -- but it doesn't make me wrong, either.

I don't like handhelds. They don't show enough of the chart to satisfy me, but I keep one as a backup in case the other one goes out. I'm new enough that I want confirmation of my estimation of where I am.
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Old 19-09-2013, 23:07   #15
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Re: Minimal System?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Really , why ?

Dave
People are inherently lazy.
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