Originally Posted by Blue Crab
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.
I'm not averse to something 2nd hand but has to be plug
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.