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Old 25-04-2009, 03:27   #1
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No More Passage Planning on New Garmins?

I'm in the market for a new GPS for a sailboat. I'm still back in the CD BlueChart era, when I loaded the e-charts from CD to laptop, planned using the laptop, and uploaded charts, waypoints and routes to the GPS device for the helm station. But on reading various forums I gather that the new Garmin chartplotters come preloaded with Garmin e-charts that cannot be downloaded to the owner's laptop for passage planning? Is that for real?

If this is so, then what is the workaround for those of us that want to passage-plan on the laptop and upload the plan to the GPS chartplotter?
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Old 25-04-2009, 04:02   #2
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My sense is that passage planning for a sailboat is a waste of time, no offense.

I suppose if you are visiting a cruising ground for the first time it's helpful to know the distance between points you might visit so you have some idea of how long it will take. But that can be done best with a cruising guide or a set of dividers and a paper chart of the area.

And then there is the weather which you can't plan for which can ruin the best laid plans of mice and men.

in NE there are lots of tides to deal with. But what I have found is that in most cases since we have limited time on the water and we like to sail in daylight we can't wait for favorable tides and just "deal" with it. Plus since the tides are reversing direction here every 6 hrs or so, it's more than likely to have both fair and foul tides during a day's sail so they "cancel out".

I suppose the approach I use is to be flexible and take it one day at a time, and have limited and realistic goals because there are just too many factors you can't control. I don't use routes and program one waypoint at a time and on my plotter they show as a red X so I select it and that's that. Unless the wind is cooperating, you can't fetch a waypoint without tacking or gybing anyway. So the most efficient use is for motoring.
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Old 25-04-2009, 05:23   #3
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I use SeaClear II to do my planing. Then upload the waypoints to my Garmin. You need to set the Garmin up for nmea transfer. It's worked well for me.

Best of luck,

Tim
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Old 25-04-2009, 05:40   #4
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the workaround is to save your route or whatever to an SD card which then goes in a slot in the plotter. I think there might be a way to network your PC but I dont know anything about that
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Old 25-04-2009, 05:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
My sense is that passage planning for a sailboat is a waste of time, no offense.

I suppose if you are visiting a cruising ground for the first time it's helpful to know the distance between points you might visit so you have some idea of how long it will take. But that can be done best with a cruising guide or a set of dividers and a paper chart of the area.

And then there is the weather which you can't plan for which can ruin the best laid plans of mice and men.

in NE there are lots of tides to deal with. But what I have found is that in most cases since we have limited time on the water and we like to sail in daylight we can't wait for favorable tides and just "deal" with it. Plus since the tides are reversing direction here every 6 hrs or so, it's more than likely to have both fair and foul tides during a day's sail so they "cancel out".

I suppose the approach I use is to be flexible and take it one day at a time, and have limited and realistic goals because there are just too many factors you can't control. I don't use routes and program one waypoint at a time and on my plotter they show as a red X so I select it and that's that. Unless the wind is cooperating, you can't fetch a waypoint without tacking or gybing anyway. So the most efficient use is for motoring.
defjef,

I'd say that everything you listed above is an argument for doing passage planning, so at the very least you have your options thought out if conditions change significantly. If the passage is a string of day-sails in familiar territory, it's not so important, of course. But the more the uncertainty, the more I value a bit of up-front analysis of options. Doing it on the laptop with planning software makes it easy and fast, and very handy for using later, if needed.
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Old 25-04-2009, 07:27   #6
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Defjef, with all due respect, I think a fair amount of passage planning in the Northeast is essential. A few examples would be the East River in Manhattan, the Race of LI, the Cape Cod Canal, the Point Pleasant Canal. I would never want to deal with an opposing current in any of those places. So times of departures and arrivals become critical. There is no cancelling out of the 5 k currents in those places.

Clearsea, I have a similar situation. I haven't found the easy solution yet. I have a copy of Mapsource the garmin navigation softaware on my laptop which allows me to download trips and routes that I've planned to my garmin handheld ( 76 cs).
The night before I depart, I will manually transfer a leg to the 545 chartplotter at the helm, once a route is in there I can save it and use it again. I haven't tried the SD card yet, but I think it's possible, as may be the nmea solution. It's still evolving.
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Old 25-04-2009, 07:36   #7
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"unless the wind is cooperating"

Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
Unless the wind is cooperating, you can't fetch a waypoint without tacking or gybing anyway. So the most efficient use is for motoring.
Knowing the wind gods as I do, I'm willing to bet that the folk who pre-plan their waypoints get a bit more cooperation from friendly winds than the folk who don't.
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Old 25-04-2009, 07:49   #8
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And now back to the topic.....

Worst thread hijack I've seen in a while

I have the same issue with an older GPSMAP 2010c. The solution was to buy a USB map card reader for the laptop and a blank map card cartridge. I buy unlock codes for the CD-based maps on the laptop, do the route planning there, and then transfer to both the 2010c map card and my hand-held GPSMAP 76c bsck-up unit. You should be able to program an SD card (or whatever typ memory card they accept) and continue your route planning the same way.

What I'm told I cannot do is take the pre-programmed map cards that came with the boat, transfer that data back to the laptop and then onto the 76c hand-held. Strange that their other licensing allows loading onto 2 registered devices for the CD-based maps, but NOT for the pre-programmed map cards.

You should still be OK here but I'd suggest a call to Garmin tech support before you buy a newer unit. They've been very helpful to me when I've had to call.

Let us know what you find out.

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Old 25-04-2009, 14:51   #9
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I have the 76 handheld and had been doing the routing on my laptop because the handheld is just too small to do it easily though it works fine to navigate to a waypoint if it is in there. I just put a new 4210 on my boat and it has the sd card slot. Most laptops have a card slot for which you can buy an sd card adapter for $15 bucks or so. I think the reason you cant go from the plotter back to the computer is that the preprogrammed maps in the plotter are way discounted if you buy them as a package. I already used my two downloads on the handheld and a usb antenna on the laptop so i needed to get a new code one way or the other anyway. Now I have two backups on the boat which is a good thing.
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Old 25-04-2009, 17:31   #10
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Sorry, I did not make myself clear. The newer units come preloaded with charts. In the past, I bought BlueCharts on a CD or DVD and then could do my planning on the laptop using those charts in Mapsource, and then upload the charts, waypoints and routes via USB to the chartplotter. And I could download the tracks, routes and any new waypoints from the chartplotter to the laptop. That way, I had a copy of everything on both the laptop and the chartplotter. But if the charts are preloaded onto the chartplotter, there is no way to get a copy of the charts onto the laptop to do route planning on the laptop with BlueCharts?

Seems to me that I would have to buy a second set of non-BlueChart echarts from a non-Garmin supplier to use on the laptop with a non-Garmin navigation software program other than Mapsource, save the waypoints and routes in Garmin format, and upload those to the chartplotter via card or USB? Am I missing something?

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Originally Posted by markpj23 View Post
I have the same issue with an older GPSMAP 2010c. The solution was to buy a USB map card reader for the laptop and a blank map card cartridge. I buy unlock codes for the CD-based maps on the laptop, do the route planning there, and then transfer to both the 2010c map card and my hand-held GPSMAP 76c bsck-up unit.
By "both", do you mean waypoints and routes?
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Old 25-04-2009, 18:00   #11
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Clearsea, I recognize your challenge and don't have any solutions for you. However, I'm pretty much with Defjef on this one. Electronics have much greater capabilities for a variety of things that really are not as important as most think. In fact, I had purchased a chartbook that had Maptech charts and was hugely disappointed because it was almost impossible to do real voyage planning. Each chart was too small a segment 'view' and totally frustrated me from a planning perspective. Use a chart that covers a larger area for planning distances and daily runs and forget about laying out mulitple waypoints and courses for the whole trip.

Invariably, you won't follow it precisely anyway. In fact, I consider it almost a liability to have all that stuff pre-planned to the gnat's eyeball. You tend to lose focus on the big picture as you struggle to maintain your plotted course and correct your cross-track error.

Stick the cursor on your next point across the bay when you need to. Get a range and bearing and you're good. Want to know where every little shoal is? or marina? or what have you? Check out your cruising guide the night before and familiarize yourself with a couple options, check the bridge heights and tides and currents. You won't need tons of charts on your laptop to get this info. You're good to go. Maintain a watch. Plot/log a postion every hour or so, life is good.

I sail whenever I can so some preplanned course is totally irrelevant to me unless the wind permits some sort of reach. I know some folks reeally, reeally like to get into the computer/plotting/tech side of things. If that's you, then, enjoy but personally, I like to keep it loose, enjoy the ride and take a detour every now and then to check out a house on the shore, 'race' that other sail over there, or try the short cut or long cut whatever the case may be. That type of sailing pretty much negates the usefulness of laying out a track/course line on my electronics.
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Old 25-04-2009, 19:14   #12
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I am not an advocate of no preparation. I spend some time in the evening listening to the marine weather forecast, looking at the tide table and making some quick calcs about when to depart and so forth.

When the next day dawns if it looks like the predicted weather I weigh anchor, raise the sails (or motor and sail) and attempt to execute my plan.

I log my progress and look for alternatives should something arise, like bad weather or some boat problem.

And I do the same sort of "planning" for longer cruises with days to catch up if I have can't make the schedule.

More planning than that I don't get. But I would like to actually see someone's typical route planning. Never saw that.
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Old 25-04-2009, 20:24   #13
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Sorry, I did not make myself clear. The newer units come preloaded with charts. In the past, I bought BlueCharts on a CD or DVD and then could do my planning on the laptop using those charts in Mapsource, and then upload the charts, waypoints and routes via USB to the chartplotter. And I could download the tracks, routes and any new waypoints from the chartplotter to the laptop. That way, I had a copy of everything on both the laptop and the chartplotter. But if the charts are preloaded onto the chartplotter, there is no way to get a copy of the charts onto the laptop to do route planning on the laptop with BlueCharts?

Seems to me that I would have to buy a second set of non-BlueChart echarts from a non-Garmin supplier to use on the laptop with a non-Garmin navigation software program other than Mapsource, save the waypoints and routes in Garmin format, and upload those to the chartplotter via card or USB? Am I missing something?


By "both", do you mean waypoints and routes?
No confusion - I just didn't say what I meant clearly I guess. I know the new unit comes pre-loaded and the problem becomes how you get the maps off of the unit and onto the laptop for route planning. I think that with an SD card reader you can use Transfer -> From Device and get the maps onto the laptop. But, since I have an older unit I cannot test this to be sure.

By "both" I meant both of my GPS devices. I can transfer all 4 files/data types: maps, waypoint, routes & tracks to both the 2010c and 76c.

I think a call to Garmin might be the best approach at the moment.
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Old 25-04-2009, 21:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
My sense is that passage planning for a sailboat is a waste of time, no offense.

I suppose if you are visiting a cruising ground for the first time it's helpful to know the distance between points you might visit so you have some idea of how long it will take. But that can be done best with a cruising guide or a set of dividers and a paper chart of the area.

And then there is the weather which you can't plan for which can ruin the best laid plans of mice and men.

in NE there are lots of tides to deal with. But what I have found is that in most cases since we have limited time on the water and we like to sail in daylight we can't wait for favorable tides and just "deal" with it. Plus since the tides are reversing direction here every 6 hrs or so, it's more than likely to have both fair and foul tides during a day's sail so they "cancel out".

I suppose the approach I use is to be flexible and take it one day at a time, and have limited and realistic goals because there are just too many factors you can't control. I don't use routes and program one waypoint at a time and on my plotter they show as a red X so I select it and that's that. Unless the wind is cooperating, you can't fetch a waypoint without tacking or gybing anyway. So the most efficient use is for motoring.
Argument do not go up for long passages, and where tide determine when a particular channel will be open
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Old 25-04-2009, 21:39   #15
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No confusion - I just didn't say what I meant clearly I guess. I know the new unit comes pre-loaded and the problem becomes how you get the maps off of the unit and onto the laptop for route planning. I think that with an SD card reader you can use Transfer -> From Device and get the maps onto the laptop. But, since I have an older unit I cannot test this to be sure.

By "both" I meant both of my GPS devices. I can transfer all 4 files/data types: maps, waypoint, routes & tracks to both the 2010c and 76c.

I think a call to Garmin might be the best approach at the moment.
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