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Old 19-02-2016, 11:27   #1
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Best small chartplotter?

I'd love some suggestions for a chartplotter for my small coastal cruising sailboat (Albin 7.9 meter...26'). I've downsized from a 30'er with a Lowrance GPS on a swing arm that allowed it to be stored in the cabin, but viewed from the companionway. It worked for me, but my current boat is laid out differently and a similar setup might be tricky. Are there portable, handheld units with screens large enough to see? I want something useful, but not terribly expensive that would not be permanently mounted in the cockpit. Seeking practical solutions, please. I often sail in the Columbia River where I often race, but the GPS is of limited use here; I'd likely use it only to punch in marks we use often to check VMG, but mostly, this is a cruising option for the San Juans and Gulf Islands. I CAN use charts, of course, but got spoiled by the Lowrance on the older, larger boat! Thanks for any advice. You can skip the insults if you think I"m an idiot for asking.....
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Old 19-02-2016, 20:49   #2
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Re: Best small chartplotter?

The only thing I have been able to find is something like the Garmin 78SC. Not an actual chartplotter but battery powered. You might look at an IPad with Navionics.
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Old 19-02-2016, 21:36   #3
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Re: Best small chartplotter?

iPad with Navionics or iNavx.

Has worked well for me. Your results may vary.

- Zeb
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Old 19-02-2016, 22:01   #4
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Re: Best small chartplotter?

I've been pretty happy with a couple of phones running navionics. You really need at least two, so one can be on charge, while one is in your pocket.

I kind of like to have depth as well, so I've got a small 4.5 inch lowrence sounder/plotter combo unit that will eventually be mounted on a ram mount someplace I can see it from the helm if I want to. I use a tablet as well for planning, but find the phones (in a plastic bag in my pocket) to often be easier to use on the fly.

Some of the cheaper tablets don't have proper GPS units. And the WiFi only ipads, also don't have a GPS chip, apparently they use WiFi signals to locate themselves, useless at sea.

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Old 20-02-2016, 10:47   #5
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Re: Best small chartplotter?

I have a small Humminbird 385 on my center console, uses Navionics charts and shows depth. It has a quick mount so it's easy to remove, I've had it for 6 years and it gets a lot of use and still works fine. Click image for larger version

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Old 20-02-2016, 11:22   #6
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Re: Best small chartplotter?

I dont understand why Apple does not market a waterproof IPad with a screen usable in sunlight.
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Old 20-02-2016, 13:29   #7
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Re: Best small chartplotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deluxe68 View Post
The only thing I have been able to find is something like the Garmin 78SC. Not an actual chartplotter but battery powered. You might look at an IPad with Navionics.
Come away from the Dark Side, Android tablet with Navionics

You can probably get that plus a 78SC as backup for the same price.
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