Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-08-2009, 22:16   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
PC with Nav Software vs Chartplotter

I am looking at different options for navigation equipment for my new boat. On my current boat I have a Raymarine E120 chartplotter in the cockpit and also at the chart table. I use Raytech software on a laptop which interphases with the Raymarine Seatalk network.

Despite not being the biggest fan of Raytech I can see that navigation software on a computer works much better than a chartplotter. This is due to easier navigation around the software, more customizable, more options, features etc etc.

I have been interested in the new raymarine C120 wide screen chartplotter. I had a quick play with it at the Sydney boat show on Sunday and was dissapointed. The interphace was not at all different or upgraded from my current chartplotter. Unless it was much better I would rather steer clear from raymarine as their secret propietry language seatalk is a pain, as well as other reasons.

After doing more reading I also started looking at Simrad glassbridge GB40 and GB60. They seem much easier to use and look like they have better software with more featues. However Simrad is said to not have very good support. In reading a little more it seems that the GB60 (not sure about the GB40) is just a computer plugged into a nice looking weatherproof display with Nobeltec software installed on it. They have tweaked some of the software, but in essence that sounds like all it is. And of course, have stuck a huge price tag onto it. Can anyone tell me if it is anything more than that?

So the question is, why would I get a chartplotter on my new boat? Would I be better having a small energy efficient desktop computer (stored below) with good navigation software connected to a marine waterproof monitor in the cockpit? It could be touch screen or I could have a waterproof mouse and maybe keyboard.

The other electronics on the boat will be B&G so I will connect the computer to the B&G processor with a router. I could also have another computer at the nav table with navigation software networked to the cockpit computer.

This system would be much cheaper, more user friendly, have more features, be more easily upgraded etc.

Comments are appreciated.
__________________

__________________
byronrowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 02:33   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Estonia
Boat: Grand Soleil 42R
Posts: 20
This question has been actual here long time. If You search older posts, You may find long debates with strong "yes" and "no"'s here.

I personally like Laptop, integrated with wind computer as You are planning to do and advanced sailing software. Be aware, that there are navigation software for sailing and motorboats - yachts and also dedicated sailng navigation software, allowing advanced sailing specific functionalities like tacking calculus and boat polaris.

some links:
List of navigation software
Sea-proof tough laptops
Sailing-specific navigation software
__________________

__________________
Grand Soleil 42R
Sailing Gadgets Blog; sponsored by Dell
jaak ennuste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 05:22   #3
Registered User
 
Masquerade's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Sydney Australia
Boat: Martzcraft 35 ft ketch, Masquerade
Posts: 66
I would be interested in hearing what others have to say on this as well. I am a bit of a belt and braces person and I was thinking of some sort of laptop with suitable software below and a screen in the cockpit but with a backup GPS system built in as well... and at least one hand held gps... I saw some of the stuff at the boat show as well and was not overly impressed. but... look forward to comments
__________________
Masquerade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 06:39   #4
Registered User
 
bitman's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: EU
Boat: EliBit, Evolution 25
Posts: 140
we have a raymarine A65 in the cockpit and i hate it so much that i stopped using it. i really don't like the slowness and the complicated menu system.

now i have 2 maxsea laptops (wide screen HP & eeepc 901) and an ipod touch with navionics what i use.
__________________
bitman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 07:51   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Estonia
Boat: Grand Soleil 42R
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitman View Post
... now i have 2 maxsea laptops...
Wow, two!

True, PC navigation is so much fun. And most of chart-plotters are quite out-dated. Route planning is easy. No chart-plotter is telling, how good is Your trim.

Jaak
__________________
Grand Soleil 42R
Sailing Gadgets Blog; sponsored by Dell
jaak ennuste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 08:02   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
like screws vs. carrots?

Sure - down below a laptop beats the plotter hands down. Yet if any spray is flying the only way to go is a plotter (IPX7). To have both? Yes/No. : it is easier to integrate two (same manufacturer) plotters than a laptop down below with a plotter on deck. Funds permitting, I would go for a plotter in the cockpit and an identical unit at the chart table, plus a laptop integrated to the extent that WPTs, GRIBS, etc could be transferred to the plotters.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2009, 08:04   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Estonia
Boat: Grand Soleil 42R
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Sure - down below a laptop beats the plotter hands down. Yet if any spray is flying the only way to go is a plotter (IPX7).
there are toys like that:

Waterproof passive computer on-board Sailing Gadgets

and

Rugged Dell Latitude XFR — sailing-proof laptop Sailing Gadgets

Jaak
__________________
Grand Soleil 42R
Sailing Gadgets Blog; sponsored by Dell
jaak ennuste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2009, 08:45   #8
Registered User
 
phiggins's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,288
Send a message via Skype™ to phiggins
I have two XO computers one at the helm and the other at the nav table. They both are mounted on RAM holders that allow me to stow them quickly if the weather gets rough. Both have GPS plus AIS.

There are a few of us out there now using this setup. I've attached a picture of the one at the helm.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	XO_At_Helm.JPG
Views:	528
Size:	55.9 KB
ID:	9349  
__________________
Paul,
" One moment you are running along, the next you are no more." Dean Spanley
phiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-08-2009, 08:58   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Estonia
Boat: Grand Soleil 42R
Posts: 20
Phiggins, very-very nice setup!!! What are Your 2 kids doing now????

Jaak
__________________
Grand Soleil 42R
Sailing Gadgets Blog; sponsored by Dell
jaak ennuste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2009, 11:19   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Netherlands
Boat: Koopmans, 33 ft cutter
Posts: 170
I have a 12 year old Simrad plotter and a state-of -the-art mini-ITX with a wide screen and a dedicated GPS-mouse, all down below.
On deck I have only a repeater connected to the Simrad, giving me course and speed over the ground.
The plotter + repeater consume only 6 W, so it's on all the time when under sail, and as an anchor watch.
For plotting and planning (and a lot of other things) I use the ITX. Together with the screen it consumes about 60W, but when we're under sail it puts itself in the sleep mode after 2 minutes of idleness. It takes a mouseclick and a second to get the thing fully alive. This way the average consumption is less than 15W.
When I need the screen on all the time I simply change the power plan (Vista).

Klaas
__________________
Zoef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2009, 11:38   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cruising
Boat: Jeanneau 38 Gin Fizz- Rhosyn Mor
Posts: 331
Rhosyn Mor has a Garmin chartplotter/ depth sounder at the helm, a seperate garmin GPS ( no plotter) at the nav station, a dell desktop with complete set of world charts loaded, Toshiba laptop with Sea Clear on it and a GPS flash drive thingy, plus a dell laptop that is currently un charted, but for which there is also a GPS flash drive thingy.
__________________
Rhosyn Mor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2009, 00:20   #12
Registered User
 
Down2TheC's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lake MI
Boat: Tartan 37
Posts: 83
Fresh tip. SeaClear = free. BSB's from NOAA = Free. But SeaClear can't read BSB's so if you're handy with the PC and have PhotoShop, I just got a $20 plugin for PS that reads BSB's. So now I can convert to TIF or JPG, calibrate with SeaCal (comes with SeaClear) and I can get up to date NOAA charts for nothing. Might be a slight performance hit when switching charts due to the size of the image files, but we'll see.

Register BSB Import - Convert BSB Charts

I have my local area (purchased $$$$$) but for a Baja Charter I stitched together Google Earth screen caps and calibrated and my PC was more accurate and more useful than the Charter boat's plotter. This process will be much easier.
__________________
... and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...
Down2TheC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2009, 02:10   #13
Registered User
 
phiggins's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,288
Send a message via Skype™ to phiggins
I don't know where you got the idea that SeaClear doesn't read BSBs, it does. I have over 1600 NOAA BSB charts from NOAA and SeaClear reads them all.

You may have found thought it doesn't read them because of they way they are download from NOAA, and then unzipped into subdirectories. This is easily fixed by:
- Downloaded zip file from NOAA then open the file. This will launch WINZIP.
- Click the extract button
- Fill in Extract to: C:\Program Files\SeaClear\Charts
- In lower left corner click "Files" and then in box to right of it enter: *.kap
- Make sure "Use Folder Names" checkbox is NOT checked
- Click "Extract" button
- Start MapCal_2 (SeaClear should not be running) and select Tools..AutoloadList...Scan for New Charts
- Exit MapCal_2
- Start SeaClear and select File ..charts
__________________
Paul,
" One moment you are running along, the next you are no more." Dean Spanley
phiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2009, 07:20   #14
Registered User
 
Down2TheC's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lake MI
Boat: Tartan 37
Posts: 83
Silly me... I believed the author and never tried.
Quote:
SeaClear II uses raster charts and can use most BSB/KAP version 1 - 3 and GEO/NOS commercial charts. Encrypted charts, like BSB/CAP can not be used. Most common projections are supported. Chart datum's are supported. You can add your own charts, scan or capture them, save as PNG, BMP or other common format. Skewed and rotated charts can be calibrated. Chart border can be set to reduce the actual chart area.
__________________
... and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...
Down2TheC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2009, 18:56   #15
Obsfucator, Second Class
 
dacust's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southeast USA.
Boat: 1982 Sea Ray SRV360
Posts: 1,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Down2TheC View Post
Silly me... I believed the author and never tried.
That should have read BSB4(?), which are the new BSBs that are encrypted. The NOAA BSBs are not encrypted.

-dan
__________________

__________________
dacust is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chartplotter, raymarine, simrad, software, computers

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
Nav Software for MAC? helloam Navigation 26 17-02-2014 20:37
Coastal Explorer 2009 Nav Software tomj Navigation 17 17-12-2010 13:49
Nav Software for Laptop fourgeau Navigation 3 25-08-2008 06:33
nav software and weather data beau Navigation 3 04-05-2007 08:52
Is it possible to "test drive" nav software? cjenkins Marine Electronics 0 31-05-2006 08:05



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:18.


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.