Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-08-2016, 07:26   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 84
Overwhelmed by options: chartplotters

Looking at chartplotter / radar options and I'm simply overwhelmed by all the manufacturers and models. As some of you might know from my previous posts, we are buying a boat with a Navnet VX2 1724C chartplotter, I don't mind that it's older but charts seem to be hard to come by and/or expensive for smaller regions than the newer charts. Our plan is to cruise with destinations unknown, possibly global circumnavigation? Given the cost of charts we are considering an upgrade to newer technology, including solid state radar for lower power consumption.

She currently has a Furuno chartplotter and radar, Nexus instruments and Comnav 1500 autopilot.

I like that Garmin, Simrad, B&G and Lowrance will integrate with OpenCPN, which would make a nice backup system or "Nav station" setup. Then again, I've heard Furuno makes the best radar, no Simrad does, no Raymarine does.

-Will the Nexus instruments and Comnav autopilot integrate with any chartplotter?
-Garmin - seems to have a lot of models (too many), but apparently no solid state radar? Is it a bad thing they pigeonhole you into their own charts?
-I've looked into tablet navigation a lot too, but for a long distance cruiser doesn't seem like the right setup, opinions?

I've done plenty of lake and bay sailing, but this is my first time dealing with this technology for long distance cruising. Feel free to chime in with anything else useful.
__________________

__________________
sailingunity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2016, 13:18   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 1,279
Images: 7
Re: Overwhelmed by options: chartplotters

I regularly have the same problem, think I need more instruments, go to the dealers and look at the new stuff, evaluate it against what I am already using and give up on the deal.


I started out with a compass, $3,000 sextant and small calculator with a nav program, switched to a Magellan 5000 and paper charts, tried SeaMap and Seaclear on a laptop and finally ended up with a small Asus eee computer and OpenCPN hooked up to the autopilot via a USB to RS422 converter, which appears to be where I am stuck. In the mean time I have done about 30,000nm of coastal cruising and only ended up on one reef, which was not up to the nav equipment but going into an anchorage in an archipelago in the dark when I should not have.


My view is that we are in one of those phases of technoleap where anything we buy today is likely to be obsolete tomorrow. Everything I buy these days has wifi and now that I have figured out how to manage the software part I have become a big fan. Now more contortions and skinned knuckles whilst I feed and pull wiring and everything interconnecting.


That's the hardwear viewpoint.


From a software viewpoint, I have some friends who invested in a chart plotter a couple of years ago. We were cruising up the coast together and one day in Bundaberg the proprietary software which connects the chart plotter and tablet together updated. They lost a month whilst the plotter went to the agent and back. I don't want to go there as I have absolutely no patience with corporate morons these days.


A couple of weeks ago I plugged a cheap GME AIS receiver into the nav computer and OpenCPN and am very pleased with the result. I get all these ship symbols on the OpenCPN display with lots of novel information for less than A$200, that's hard to beat and if it had not worked I would have had the enjoyment of posting a query here and interacting with lot's of other yachties whilst we tried to solve the problem.


For my part I'm going to resist the temptation to go out and splurge on expensive proprietary electronic equipment and hang in there with the open hardware software crowd, it's lots cheaper, probably just as, if not more, effective and a lot of fun.
__________________

__________________
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2016, 20:30   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,006
Re: Overwhelmed by options: chartplotters

Go to a boat show or your local west marine and play with all the different models. Ask questions. It will help a lot. I had Garmin on my last boat and it was excellent - the radar in particular was awesome. Now I have Raymarine which is fine too. Charts are cheaper for the ray products but if you are going to the bahamas definitely dont depend too much on the navionics charts. Garmin much better there. In the US I never saw a huge difference nor have I in the eastern caribbean.
__________________
sck5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2016, 18:37   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 84
Re: Overwhelmed by options: chartplotters

Ok so I guess the real question is - is a chart plotter really necessary? I've been looking recently at using a tablet for navigation, however there are some advantages to an actual chartplotter:

-integrated package, radar, ais, charts in one place
-inherently weatherproof (at least we hope)
-generally brighter screens than tablets
-tablets can overheat and shut down if they get too hot (which might be at just the wrong time)

It seems it would definitely be smart to have OpenCPN installed on a laptop and maybe an android tablet, or possibly mix with Navionics to get varying charts. The question is can I get by on that, or is an actual chartplotter needed. Seems like on longer passages, a tablet wouldn't be practical.
__________________
sailingunity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2016, 19:17   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 1,279
Images: 7
Re: Overwhelmed by options: chartplotters

Since I posted two days ago I have become the owner of a Raymarine a Series 7" wifi MFD. The reason being that in a few months I am going to make a delivery trip across the bottom of Australia, will be taking crew and the crew was adamant that a chart plotter would be a good tool to have since many of the anchorages we will be using are difficult to enter on visual alone.


The Raymarine was my choice since it was the lowest cost of those which had wifi, according to the brochure will accept .gpx waypoint and route files and has reasonably priced passage planning software to allow wifi transfer of the waypoints and routes from a computer. I hope to be able to continue to do my passage planning with OpenCPN on the big screen of the computer then wifi transfer the route to the Raymarine via wifi. So far the only downside I have identified is that it does not have an NMEA0183 capability only having NMEA2000. However I don't think that's going to be a problem in the long term since most newer instrumentation is being provided with NMEA2000.


Stay tuned to this station.
__________________
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chartplotter, helm

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Economical options for displays, chartplotters willyritch Marine Electronics 2 18-03-2015 18:34
Very Overwhelmed bamboo Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 30 25-10-2012 15:03
Today I Am Feeling Overwhelmed sarafina Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 37 09-09-2009 02:47


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:52.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.