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Old 02-11-2009, 07:44   #31
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I love this site. I've been using a laptop with SeaClear 2w2 and NOOA charts for 2 or 3 years now and have been dogging buying the "inevitable" chartplotter. I say inevitable because MFDs are getting more common and I like the idea of a single display with everything on it. After starting to go through this thread, however, I hit on the idea of an on board "server" to handle everything navigation related. God, I'm brilliant! Of course, I'm a little behind the curve and lots of you are already there. Thanks a lot for all the info.

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Old 02-11-2009, 07:55   #32
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Here's our nav station/chart table. The seat is quite comfy, and one can wedge themselves in when rough out. Additional charts are stored under the lift-up top, with storage for more charts directly behind. A small fiddle is at the bottom of the table. The computer sits in the cubby to the left, with wireless mouse and keyboard (wired ones are stowed away as back-ups). Log book and cruising books (guides) are on the shelf above the computer, with small bungee cords available to keep everything in placeThe set-up works well for us, as the nav station is visible from the cockpit, and the station does double duty as a nav station and an office for us.

For trip planning, we usually use the saloon table where we can sit (or stand) and lay out the charts without folding them. Underway (offshore or rough/wet weather) the charts stay on the saloon table where they will keep dry.

As a side note, we also have the no-skid grippy material cut for the nav station to keep things from sliding when underway, plus material to keep chartbooks in place.

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:21   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
I rebuilt the instrument panels w/ black PL and teak.
Very nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Computers on board - I have been using standard PC's you buy at discount in the mega stores or on the internet. You can get the latest and greatest for from $300 to $800 for the super fancy. **Just check out the brand/model before at one of the discount mega- computer selling stores first - the reason is you want to find the make/model with the brightest LCD screen. Some units have dimmer screens which are cheaper to make but will not be viewable in the bright sunlight of the Tropics.
- - You can also buy extension cables for your keyboard, mouse and monitor. Then leave the computer down below safely out of the elements and have the monitor and mouse/keyboard up in the cockpit. You can build a splash proof enclosure for the monitor or buy some 2 gallon zip-lock baggies and place it over the monitor like a hat. Wireless keyboard and mouse can eliminate the cables for them.
- - You can buy on-line the Chinese "hockey-puck" 20 channel USB GPS units for under $25. They are designed for the automobile roadmap systems. The marine stores sell the same type GPS for $200+. The PC computer navigation applications make great primary or back up navigation if you have a chart plotter. The "hockey puck" GPS is powered by the computer so if the main ship's power fails you have the battery inside the computer or power from a genset/inverter to keep your navigation system up and running.
Great information!
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:54   #34
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The picture of the computer/chartable on the Tayana Victoria Rose worries me, as one good wave down the companionway would wipe a lot of electronics. I would make a clear plastic curtain to hang between the hatch and the table during rough passages. Starting from scratch, I would want a wall there. I do like the built-in vertical monitor, but wonder about power consumption.

As far as putting the PC-based nav charts down below, I think the wave of the future will be a waterproof remote touchscreen in the cockpit. I have seen them on high end boats, and am just waiting for the price to come down.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:20   #35
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I once had an oversized clipboard, big enough to hold a chart. I clip one side with the clip and the other end with an oversized rubber band to prevent flapping on the wind. I took it on the cockpit and looked at it while steering. This could be a reasonable alternative in a small boat.

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Old 02-11-2009, 09:29   #36
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My ideal nav station would have a dedicated "odds 'n' sods" drawer.
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Old 02-11-2009, 15:20   #37
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For inshore work I want a waterproof chart holder that I can read at the helm, or near.
Going indoors to see just what the bottom is supposed to do next is a bit too nervy when there's three liners behind, two freighters ahead and a strong wind on the bow.
Planning and marking are best done at the mooring.
Ready access is then required in our busy waters (Southampton UK).
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Old 02-11-2009, 16:07   #38
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My Chartable / Nav Station....I like it....

Glen,
My chartable is 32" - 35" wide by 22" - 23" deep......
(see photo links for lots of big photos)
It has a hinge-up lid allowing easy access to log books, cruising guides, current misc. charts, etc.....and forward of my knees, has 2 deep and heavy-duty drawers (odds and ends drawers) which hold all sorts of stuff that you just "need" to have handy.....
As well as a handy storage bin, immediately next to the seat, which can hold even more stuff, such as more charts, bincos, flashlights, etc....

This is a standard factory designed chartable (Catalina 470)......but, the Nav Station / Equipment layout is primarily my own design and installation....

I'm a BIG fan of paper charts, and use them ALL the time.....
My paper charts are my primary source of charting.......
And, if I had that magic wand, the one thing I'd change if I could about my chartable, would be to make it a bit deeper....say 2"-3" deeper, making it 25" - 26" deep...and just a few inches wider.....
But, all in all.....I like it a lot....

(And, in the cockpit, I find regular NGA or Admiralty charts folded inside a clear waterproof valise works well even if things are a bit wet.....and I always thought the second best use of cockpit cushions were for holding dwon a chart....

{Yeah, I know in this day and age, this sounds strange, especially considering the $$$$ I spent on electronics upgrades (E120, E80, etc.) as well as over $1000 in Navionics chart chips......but, my investments in paper charts is just as big as the electronics....(and I've gotten hundreds of charts for free...)
Just remember that old saying....
"We are all just one lightning strike, or electrical failure, away from the
age of sail..." }

I have added a couple of things to my Nav Station since taking these photos, including the Spectra MPC-5000 control panel, etc.....and have room for more (such as another radio, an AIS Class B transponder, etc.)

Have a look here:
Nav Station
and
E120/Cockpit

(not shown in these photos are the ST-6002+ autopilot heads, one at each helm, which also display all Sea Talk data, depth, wind, DTW, BTW, etc. etc....)

There are 4 -5 panels that make-up the Nav Station, which are situated immediately outboard of the chartable and seat.....
I have redesigned / replaced 3 of the 4 main panels (although I have added a few things to the main circuit breaker panel, it is primarily original equipment...)
The reason I'm mentioning the included photos of the Nav Station, in addition to the chartable, is that you can go a LONG way in equipping your boat with a nice sized chartable (and seat) without taking away space for other things on board by designing the Nav Station layout to allow making good use of the space available.....
(I redesigned my Nav Station 3 years ago, when doing my complete electronics upgrade, and was somewhat hindered by some of the original equipment and its wiring.....but I attempted to maximise the space available, AND position everything in an optimal location / position......and I think it worked out great....)


Glen, just to be clear, you'll need to determine what your needs are now, and what they may be in the future....taking into account additional equipment that you may wish to add in the future, as well as considering both your current sailing / cruising locations and future plans.....
(what works well in the Bahamas, may not be so nice in Greenland, etc...)


{Here's just some of my uses:
When sailing offshore, on long voyages, I have 2 separate GPS units running 24/7 (A Raymarine GPS 125 and a Garmin GPS 76, which has it own separate battery back-up)....this gives me constant lat/lon data, that I can plot on my paper charts (along with celestial and/or DR plots), and lat/lon data sent via NEMA to both VHF-DSC and SSB-DSC radios (Icom M602 and M802) and my Standalone AIS receiver, with its own low-power LCD display.....and this set-up also give me BTW, DTW, VMG, etc. to specific waypoints that I've entered.....

Sometimes a waypoint can be just a arbitrary position I pick to change
course at (10 miles or 1000 miles away), OR a waypoint can be a position I pick to sail to, to avoid weather or FIND some wind, LOL......or it could be a destination, etc.....
I also have 2 additional handheld GPS units (all Garmin GPS 76) with a BIG
supply of AA batteries and additional 12vdc power cords, AND a spare
Raymarine GPS 125, as well as at least 5 accurate time pieces (3 of them, my own watches), and my Tamaya sextant, almanac, and reduction tables......

This ia all very low-power consumption and very reliable......and is all in excess of the Raymarine E 120 and E 80 chartplotters, which are used only when needed, for radar, when offshore.....and as back-up to other information/charting....}


I hope this helps....
John
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Old 02-11-2009, 16:41   #39
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As far as putting the PC-based nav charts down below, I think the wave of the future will be a waterproof remote touchscreen in the cockpit. I have seen them on high end boats, and am just waiting for the price to come down.
I have a touch screen PC monitor I bought on ebay, restaurant surplus so it is water resistant. I paid $20 for it so I figure if it gets trashed by salt water I can handle it lol. So far it has lasted 2 seasons. Drawn back is it is not as hi resolution as I would like but it works well. and higher power draw. I suppose the ones for 2 grand are better just not sure $1980 better lol

Wayne Canning, AMS
projectboatzen.com
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Old 02-11-2009, 19:59   #40
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With a little Yankee ingenuity your don't need to spend mega thousands on nav equipment. Discount, web, or mega-store equipment works fine and last several years so long as you keep water away from it. Locating the main computer below and using cables or wireless solves that problem. The monitor can easily be put into a D-I-Y box made from Star-board plastic and plexiglass or just use the large baggie. Every few year my eyes get less efficient or my arms are growing shorter - so I need to "upgrade" to a larger LCD screen. Using low cost (relatively speaking) LCD monitors make the "stepping up" reasonably easy on the wallet. I started 10 years ago with a 15" monitor and now I am up to a 22" LCD monitor. I like being able to split the screen and have my nav running on one half while I have movie or concert running on the other half. And when anchored we can watch full screen movies on the monitor while lounging in the cockpit. Its all up to your imagination how you want to arrange the stuff.
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Old 02-11-2009, 20:27   #41
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Originally Posted by Eleven View Post
For inshore work I want a waterproof chart holder that I can read at the helm, or near.
Going indoors to see just what the bottom is supposed to do next is a bit too nervy when there's three liners behind, two freighters ahead and a strong wind on the bow.
Planning and marking are best done at the mooring.
Ready access is then required in our busy waters (Southampton UK).

I think there are very few of us here that don't have redundant or at least minimal instruments at the helm...The chart table in this thread by self definition is more of a work station then a place to jump back and forth while on watch...I like the way Mark put it...a place for all the "boy Toys" ...
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Old 02-11-2009, 20:52   #42
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Have a look here:
Nav Station
and
E120/Cockpit


I hope this helps....
John
Very nice indeed....I especially like how you used the space on the bulkhead for an automatic paper towel dispenser...I would not have thought of that...

Nice SHIP by the way!...wow we!
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Old 03-11-2009, 23:07   #43
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Originally Posted by Sailabel View Post
Here's our nav station/chart table. The seat is quite comfy, and one can wedge themselves in when rough out. Additional charts are stored under the lift-up top, with storage for more charts directly behind. A small fiddle is at the bottom of the table. The computer sits in the cubby to the left, with wireless mouse and keyboard (wired ones are stowed away as back-ups). Log book and cruising books (guides) are on the shelf above the computer, with small bungee cords available to keep everything in placeThe set-up works well for us, as the nav station is visible from the cockpit, and the station does double duty as a nav station and an office for us.

For trip planning, we usually use the saloon table where we can sit (or stand) and lay out the charts without folding them. Underway (offshore or rough/wet weather) the charts stay on the saloon table where they will keep dry.

As a side note, we also have the no-skid grippy material cut for the nav station to keep things from sliding when underway, plus material to keep chartbooks in place.

I really like you nav station! Everything a person could need at your finger tips, and easy to access.
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Old 04-11-2009, 19:31   #44
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On my Roberts 36, pre-laptop days, the chart table would hold a half folded almiralty chart, lift up to store implements under, and along the side storage to hold quarter folded chaerts. Pretty standard and worked well.

What worked great was a swivel chair, with a high back and good side support. This gave a lot of back spport and enough side support that the table was quite usable in quite rough conditions.

As an added bonus, this really became one of the most comfortable favorite spots on the boat, either at sea or anchored, for general reading and lounging around due to the comfort and support of the chair. The other great spot was the pilot berth in the saloon.

For my next boat I am toying with no dedicated chart table due to the quality of the latest generation plotters, and using the desk in the dedicated office, or the saloon table for any chart work. My thinking is to initaaly plot courses on the chart of course and update the DR postion every hour or so, but use the plotter for the real time navigation.

Is this a sound approach?
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