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Old 20-11-2012, 19:35   #1
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Navico: Northstar and Simrad plotters.

When I launched the boat I had a Northstar M121 12 inch plotter aboard.

Generally I was quite happy with this unit, but at about 11 months old it developed bubbles in the screen.

Navico promptly replaced the unit, and for about another 14 months it worked fine.

After that some problems began to arise - more bubbles in the screen, but more serious stuff too - like it would suddenly take off to central Africa, or the mid Atlantic - no way you could run the autopilot in "Nav" mode.

Anchor watch could be irritating too.

Then it got worse - wouldn't read the chard cards, so basically it wasn't functioning as a plotter anymore, just a GPS reciever.

Of course, all this stuff happened while we were in Vanuatu, where communications aren't straightforward at the best of times.

Back in Aus I contancted Navico, have to admit I wasn't expecting much help, because the unit was well out of warranty. They informed me the Northstar was now defunct, but that they could offer me a Simrad NSS 12 at an exceptional price.

IMO very good backup, although the M121 wasn't a great product for us.

So new we have a new Simrad NSS12, and I have to admit, I'm somewhat underwhelmed.

The Navionics Gold charts for Australia are very inferior to the C-Map max wide charts the old plotter used. And the NSS has only one chart slot, where the M121 had two.

Frankly, I don't like the touch screen. Obviously it's impossible to keep it from getting fingermarks all over it. And positioning waypoints is quite hit-and-miss. The manual is quite poor, many of the pages in the index are wrong, and some features the manual promises to refer to "later" are nowhere to be found.

Some features are hard to find, and functions like editing routes - well I haven't been able to figure that one out yet, and the manual doesn't help.

I'm quite dissapointed. If I'd paid the RRP of over $3500 I think I'd be SERIOUSLY dissapointed.
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