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Old 11-05-2013, 14:07   #1
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what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

I am planning on sail cruising in a 16ft open dinghy but am not sure what is best way to achieve sound navigation. Should I be thinking along the lines of hand held battery powered devices, or maybe having to install a battery bank and power generation, such as solar, wind and water turbine?
I have seen that lowrance do a model of chartplotter for small boats, but how are these devices able to withstand capsizing in heavy seas? How are they protected from water pressure?
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Old 11-05-2013, 14:49   #2
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Maybe I didn't read your statement right? Your planning on cruising in a 16ft open dinghy? Where to?
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Old 11-05-2013, 14:52   #3
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Hi! In a 16 ft dinghy...practice your seamanship while "hugging" the shore line. Have fun! Mauritz
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Old 11-05-2013, 14:55   #4
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Buy a compass.
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:11   #5
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Compass, paper chart in a waterproof bag, and a handheld GPS. Are you planning on crossing open water where you won't be able to see land?
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:15   #6
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

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Originally Posted by Efraim View Post
Buy a compass.
Obviously I would have a compass onboard! I would also have a passage plan, a detailed understanding of the current forecasts for the area I was sailing in as well as noting what the tide would be doing, imray charts, pilot books, a vhf radio, just like anyone on a yacht.
My question is what sort of chartplotter can be installed on an open boat without being affected by capsize or sustained water pressure?
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:17   #7
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

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Originally Posted by celtic sea dog View Post
... what sort of chartplotter can be installed on an open boat without being affected by capsize or sustained water pressure?
Realistically, none.
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, celtic sea dog.
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:19   #8
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

What will be your power source for the chart plotter? Mauritz
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:21   #9
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Myself, I would use handheld battery-powered devices and store everything in something like a Pelican case for extra protection. Maybe have a small solar panel that can be used to charge up small rechargeable batteries on calm days when the sun is shining. You don't want to install heavy batteries and big-boat charging gear in a small boat that could potentially capsize or fill with water. Have you been reading Dinghy Cruising by the Dyes?
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:24   #10
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

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Compass, paper chart in a waterproof bag, and a handheld GPS. Are you planning on crossing open water where you won't be able to see land?
Finally, someone worth replying to.
Thankyou for the advice. Its a dilema that is troubling me regarding power consumption. Yes I will be planning on being far offshore for extended periods so will not be "hugging the shoreline", as someone suggested.
Provided I am not at sea for too long , a handheld tablet in a drybag with enough batteries to see me through might just do the trick!
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:28   #11
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Celtic...you can see where everyone is going...no one wants to discourage you from sailing your 16 ft dinghy, but many are hinting about you thinking of buying navigation instruments usually used in larger boats; your plan is an over-kill for the size of your "boat". Mauritz
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:33   #12
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

A tablet would be great in terms of functionality, but I would definitely want to get a waterproof case like these Lifeproof ones. There are some solar panels that are flexible and could be rolled up to store out of the way while sailing, and then unrolled to produce power when at anchor. People often lash them on top of the furled sail on the boom. The flexible panels are fairly rugged and I believe submersible too.
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:33   #13
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

If you are planning on cruising in an open 16' dinghy, which is to say as bare-bones, risky, self-sufficient, basic and primitive as can be (like Robinson Crusoe and Gilligan's Island) why are you even asking about navigating? Why not go as basic and primitive as can be? Maybe a lodestone? A chip of wood? Aw heck--go all out and find an astrolabe! I think a compass is too advanced. I dunno--do I seem cynical? You're not going to run aground. I'd be more concerned about being seen--take a radar reflector and a high intensity light, EPIRB, survival suit....(no room for a liferaft). Did Thoreau set out to Walden and take a smithy's forge? Did Thor Heyerdahl take radios and other electronics? If you are setting out on such a bold and self-imposed difficult adventure, why even worry about taking the most modern and advanced deices? You need room for food, water and weather gear">foul weather gear. Who has room or eight for batteries or solar collectors? Now, if you were setting out for example, in even a 27' sailboat, I might add a few things--depth sounder, AWI and vane, compass, charts etc etc...but if you were to bike across country would you be taking a tv? A generator? No, but maybe in an RV.. It can be done--not for me but I wish you a bon voyage!
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:37   #14
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Re: what is the best navigation system to install on a 16ft dinghy?

Paul! Reality checks are painful! Ouch! Mauritz
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:40   #15
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Garmin GPS map76 with an older 72 for backup. You will need to coat the battery doors with a thin layer of grease ever 4-5 days to keep moisture out. Expect to burn 2-AA batteries every 18 hours of on time.

Ignore the naysayers, IF you are a competent micro-cruiser this is doable. If you are not an experienced micro-cruiser then this idea should be rethought!!
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