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Old 11-02-2016, 11:20   #16
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Some really great insight here everyone, thank you very much!
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:32   #17
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Think about how you plan to use the boat first, then decide on the placement.

You absolutely need a chart plotter at the helm for basic navigation, when getting in and out of harbors during day and night. If you start cruising for more than a few hours you would be spending less time at the help and more around the boat. At night you will be sleeping down below while the autopilot does the work. In this case you would need a chart plotter that can control the autopilot from below.

I have a Garmin 44dv at the help ($250) and a Raymarine C80 ($400 used) at the nav station below. Both display AIS, the Raymarine also does weather and radar and controls the autopilot. It would have been nice to have radar at the helm too but I do not have the space.

My suggestion would be first to choose your autopilot (Navico or Raymarine) then build the system from there.

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Old 11-02-2016, 11:40   #18
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Wot's with the fascination with the chart plotter?

OP sez he's new to the game, so I offer the following as an antidote to the received wisdom that electronics are necessary. A chart plotter is a useful tool alright, and I have one, tho I'd be just as happy without it.

A chart plotter it's not something you stare at fixedly while helming. So keep it below. If you are trying to park over foul ground, the chart plotter it NOT the appropriate tool to guide you, so keep it below. You don't need a chart plotter to hold a steady course in open water. So keep it below. Coming into a congested harbour or anchorage the chart plotter is not the appropriate tool to guide you. So keep it below.

TrentePieds, being but a fin keeled, spade ruddered toy ship, won't hold her course for the five minutes it takes me to go below to do a dead reckoning fix on a paper chart. But MyBeloved on the helm will. Even though she is an utter novice.

TrentePieds, being but a toy ship, is only able to go half a mile in those five minutes. Even with my single, wonkey eye I can see that far. Poking into an anchorage over foul ground, TrentePieds, being but a toy ship with a mere 4'9" draft, permits MyBeloved, stationed in the pulpit, to see bottom as we come in, even in these murky waters. She's been taught, of course, to use the time-honoured hand signals to direct the helmsman. Does her good to have the con ;-)! Steerageway is 1 knot. That means that in a minute we move the enormous distance of 3 boat lengths. At 1 knot I can stop her in a boat length, and, if necessary, begin to back her out along the same track she came in.

As for the Ipad - sure. I use my silly little retrofit GPS from the van. It gives me the coordinates to an accuracy of 1/1,000 of a minute of arc, i.e two boat lengths! Plotting the coordinates on a paper chart every 15 minutes, while MyBeloved is helming, gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling :-)

In this 'ere part of the Empah, carrying paper charts and using them for navigation is mandatory regardless of the quantity and quality of electronic navigation gear aboard.

TrentePieds
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Old 11-02-2016, 13:10   #19
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Add one more for putting the chartplotter at the helm. For perspective, I sail along the coast not across open oceans. I'm doing all the sailing, no auto pilot, so I want to know where I am especially entering harbors, going through inlets, etc. I use waypoints all the time. I chart courses at home or in the marina ahead of time not while in route. My chartplotter is a 7" Garmin with AIS overlay. It plugs in when I'm on the boat and I remove it when I leave.
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:31   #20
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

TP, I disagree. The Spanish translation for Arrecife is reef. As in if you try to enter the harbour of Arrecife, Lanzarote you're going to hit the reef! Entering the harbour isn't difficult but if it's your first time there, say after a 4 day passage from Gib, you need to know where the markers are and in which order to follow them. Missing one means you might hit the reefs in the harbour entrance.

A chart plotter at the helm isn't essential but I prefer to keep my most useful tools at arms reach. Not down below at the desk.
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:36   #21
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Originally Posted by tdalke View Post
My wife and I have purchased our first sailboat and looking at equipping it with a new chartplotter/radar and we are looking for some advise on where to put it. We've been using an ipad for the last year just mounted to the binnacle, but now with a chartplotter we're wondering where is the best placement. Down at the nav-station below deck and have wireless capabilities, or have the chartplotter mounted on the binnacle? Just looking to anyone who wants to give their two cents on where to put it and why. Thanks!
Hi Tdalke,

As others have mentioned there are a lot of variables that go into that decision.

We also have both iPads and chart plotter [which mirrors wirelessly to the iPads.]

Since the multi function display [MFD] is designed for the riggers of being outside on a boat, we opted to mount ours there, with the mirror to iPad down below.

There was a similar discussion recently [on this forum] which might provide you with additional food for thought...

Best wishes with your project, and congrats on your new boat!

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:55   #22
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

To digress slightly, the only time in my boating career I've ever run up on a reef was when I had my face buried in a chartplotter. Fortunately not too much harm done on that particular occasion. Previous boats had nothing more than none charting gps units and I naturally was more cautious around skinny water which in hindsight helps.

Back on topic, I've got the mfd with wireless yet to be installed, but the sheer number of cables going to the mfd means I will install it below and use a tablet on a RAM mount at the helm. There are pro's and con's to each approach and it no doubt alters between boat layouts, but I prefer both the ease of installation and the flexibility, no pun intended, of a RAM mounted device. I also like the idea that all the expensive gear can be locked away when the boat is unattended. Having said that, I also have a spare basic chartplotter, with maps that can interchange with the mfd, that can be mounted to the same RAM mount at the helm if needed.

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Old 11-02-2016, 15:28   #23
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
To digress slightly, the only time in my boating career I've ever run up on a reef was when I had my face buried in a chartplotter. Fortunately not too much harm done on that particular occasion. Previous boats had nothing more than none charting gps units and I naturally was more cautious around skinny water which in hindsight helps.

Back on topic, I've got the mfd with wireless yet to be installed, but the sheer number of cables going to the mfd means I will install it below and use a tablet on a RAM mount at the helm. There are pro's and con's to each approach and it no doubt alters between boat layouts, but I prefer both the ease of installation and the flexibility, no pun intended, of a RAM mounted device. I also like the idea that all the expensive gear can be locked away when the boat is unattended. Having said that, I also have a spare basic chartplotter, with maps that can interchange with the mfd, that can be mounted to the same RAM mount at the helm if needed.

Sent from my SGP521 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Yeah, in my short sailing experience, i've run aground twice. Well, run aground once and anchored once which when the tide went out I hit bottom. Both times I was relying on the chart plotter. Although, when I beached it, the actual chart was wrong as well.

One of the first things I did with mine was move the chart plotter from the cockpit (It's a Tiller steered) to inside, where I put it on an arm. This was because on the ten day trip to get it home, I realised that most of the time we were in the cabin and when the seas got really rough it was a struggle to even reach it to look at it. Now, I can see it from the cockpit and when I close the hatch I push it inside along with depth and speed and, I can then view it quite well from my bunk.

My aim, is to get two interconnected ones. One will be on the Nav table, which again will be viewable from my bunk, and the other will be in the cockpit. I won't be able to afford both immediately, but I intend to replace the one on the arm with a small one, such as a Raymarine, that will then connect (hard wire) to a bigger one on the chart table. As I have a steel boat, I notice wireless devices seem to not be always reliable.
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Old 11-02-2016, 15:45   #24
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Wot's with the fascination with the chart plotter?

OP sez he's new to the game, so I offer the following as an antidote to the received wisdom that electronics are necessary. A chart plotter is a useful tool alright, and I have one, tho I'd be just as happy without it.

A chart plotter it's not something you stare at fixedly while helming. So keep it below.
You should try going from the Gold Coast to Brisbane or inside Frazer Island without a chartplotter at the helm, just as two examples.
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Old 11-02-2016, 15:47   #25
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

As they do provide the sailor/navigator a wealth of useful information it is good to have access to this in the cockpit where he/she is actually SAILING and standing watch.

If you work the boat mostly from the helm, a pedestal location would work best. If you want to do route planning etc when at anchor etc... you need to do it from the helm.

On the other hand you can have a nav station AND a cockpit display/plotter. My original location was at the nav station below decks and I used a very inexpensive and handy Garmin iQue which had blue charts... and I could take it in my pocket ashore as well. Obviously no radar and so forth but extremely workable for the way I sail which is sitting in the forward end of the cockpit adjacent to the AP controls w/ access to the cockpit nav instruments (repeaters). I've added a B&G T7 which is portable and mounted in a winch! under the dodger and it's still basically a stand alone plotter with more (unused) bells and whistles. I don't get lost staring at screens and having the instruments forward and above the companionway literally means my vision includes everything forward... when I consult them. You don't need a large display if you are pretty close to the instrument. I would never put a plotter at the helm in my boat and the way I sail.

It's a good idea to have this in the cockpit.
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Old 11-02-2016, 15:48   #26
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
To digress slightly, the only time in my boating career I've ever run up on a reef was when I had my face buried in a chartplotter.
Hence the forum name???
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Old 11-02-2016, 15:52   #27
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Yeah, Rustic I can imagine wifi being an issue on a steelie. Even so, it should be ok inside the boat so you could use your tablet in bed to check you're staying put on anchor! I like the idea of the arm that extends into the cockpit, but on my boat that idea won't work for a couple of reasons. That's why I like the RAM mount. Simple, cheap(ish) and easily allows the chartplotter device to be positioned and seen from any position in the cockpit.
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Old 11-02-2016, 15:57   #28
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Hence the forum name???
I get real close - it comes with the territory - but only connected once! I should have called myself "cardinalmagnet". I've lost track of how many of them I've nearly clobbered. Well I did clobber the towed behind dinghy on one once, but that's another story...
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Old 11-02-2016, 16:38   #29
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Originally Posted by tdalke View Post
Some really great insight here everyone, thank you very much!
Such a great amount of info .... However in the dark we might be.

As you have zero information (so far) to help us help you... Why not take a moment to update your profile with your boat info and location?

For my 2 cents... Plotter at the helm. Wifi bridge and Navionics feed the info to your iPad at the nav station, in the bunk.... Galley... Dare I say... The Head?
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Old 11-02-2016, 22:47   #30
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Wot's with the fascination with the chart plotter?

OP sez he's new to the game, so I offer the following as an antidote to the received wisdom that electronics are necessary. A chart plotter is a useful tool alright, and I have one, tho I'd be just as happy without it.

A chart plotter it's not something you stare at fixedly while helming. So keep it below. If you are trying to park over foul ground, the chart plotter it NOT the appropriate tool to guide you, so keep it below. You don't need a chart plotter to hold a steady course in open water. So keep it below. Coming into a congested harbour or anchorage the chart plotter is not the appropriate tool to guide you. So keep it below.
Concur! I see more use for a deepsounder in the cockpit (+compass, windex and bearing binoculars) and for the rare occasional need of a plotter I use a tablet.
Having most navigational electronics and coms down below has some drawbacks so I'm placing all of them in the pilothouse aka"bridge"
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