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Old 12-02-2016, 03:02   #31
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Originally Posted by nicholson31 View Post
In the cockpit for easyreference, use your ipad down below out of the elements. Thatís my set up and works well for my type cruising. If and when the time comes for more longdistance cruising I will go more permanent with a second large screen plotter at the nav station.
I'll agree with nicholson31 as I also have my chartplotter in the cockpit (outside) as that's where I sail from and need references and my iPad (inside).

I have an iPad with Navionics for use in the cabin for routing, charting and associated navigation plus as an aid to paper charts.

My VHF radio also has AIS built in so I have AIS in the cabin and my VHF also transmits AIS to the chartplotter in the cockpit.

I find this set up works well because trying to hold or steady an iPad is difficult when you're steering or trimming, plus it's sitting about on the cushions and can easily get damaged or worse accidentally sent over the side... if you think you'll mount it to the steering why not then just mount a Chartplotter?

The iPad makes more sense below in the cabin where you can walk about with it, rest it next to a paper chart, move to the forward cabin with it, sit it in the bedroom/s...
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:27   #32
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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I find this set up works well because trying to hold or steady an iPad is difficult when you're steering or trimming, plus it's sitting about on the cushions and can easily get damaged or worse accidentally sent over the side... if you think you'll mount it to the steering why not then just mount a Chartplotter?
RAM Mounts! Tablet Mounts | RAM Mounts

Easy to attach in a wide range of situations, including where it is not easy to run chartplotter cables, and easily detachable when not in use.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:56   #33
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

I have an RM E7 chartplotter in my cockpit on the forward bulkhead and that is linked to two i70 multifunction instruments for large display of log, speed, depth SOG, COG, and TMG as well as being to display AIS on either the chartplotter or one of the i70s. In addition, I have an ipad which not only has it's own Navionics charting system but will also display all the information on the RM E7 chartplotter via bluetooth and a RM app. so I can mix and match and can view all the information on the E7 on my ipad whilst sitting down below. (note that my boat is tiller steered so having the instruments on a binnacle is not an option) This setup works well for me on my Parker 27 used for mainly coastal sailing and trips across to France, the Channel Islands and Ireland.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:11   #34
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
RAM Mounts! Tablet Mounts | RAM Mounts

Easy to attach in a wide range of situations, including where it is not easy to run chartplotter cables, and easily detachable when not in use.
+1 RAM mounts are highly underrated. Combine with a small standalone chartplotter, gps or tablet and they are the best thing ever. Total viewing flexibility from any position in the cockpit and gear is easy to disconnect and stow, removing it from the view of the more light fingered around us.

Some of the bigger mounts in the range can also hold substantial weight, so even bigger stuff can be mounted, too.
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:35   #35
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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You should try going from the Gold Coast to Brisbane or inside Frazer Island without a chartplotter at the helm, just as two examples.

Well, a chartplotter may serve well here but I would use caution about relying on an IPad to the same degree. I was relying on an Ipad to navigate the entrance to the Mary River in the Sandy Straits (your attached charts brought back this memory) and after running aground because the charts were not accurate, taking some hours and good luck to float free, I was negotiating an exit to clear water when the Ipad simply froze at the most crucial moment. Strong adverse current, black as pitch, raining, skinny water. Oh ***** moment for sure. Quick grab for the paper chart and some memory of the path in and was enough to recover from a light grounding. So DONT rely on an IPad at the helm. I suspect might apply to plotters in lesser degree but please have the paper and a light handy too. I suppose this means a waterproofed chart.


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Old 12-02-2016, 08:54   #36
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Well, a chartplotter may serve well here but I would use caution about relying on an IPad to the same degree. I was relying on an Ipad to navigate the entrance to the Mary River in the Sandy Straits (your attached charts brought back this memory) and after running aground because the charts were not accurate, taking some hours and good luck to float free, I was negotiating an exit to clear water when the Ipad simply froze at the most crucial moment. Strong adverse current, black as pitch, raining, skinny water. Oh ***** moment for sure. Quick grab for the paper chart and some memory of the path in and was enough to recover from a light grounding. So DONT rely on an IPad at the helm. I suspect might apply to plotters in lesser degree but please have the paper and a light handy too. I suppose this means a waterproofed chart.


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Just about nothing is immune. My bog basic Lowrance chartplotter always seems to pick the most inopportune moments to reboot itself. OTH, my backup to my backup old Garmin 152 non charting GPS never misses a beat.
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Old 12-02-2016, 15:55   #37
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Originally Posted by stillbuilding View Post
Well, a chartplotter may serve well here but I would use caution about relying on an IPad to the same degree. I was relying on an Ipad to navigate the entrance to the Mary River in the Sandy Straits (your attached charts brought back this memory) and after running aground because the charts were not accurate, taking some hours and good luck to float free, I was negotiating an exit to clear water when the Ipad simply froze at the most crucial moment. Strong adverse current, black as pitch, raining, skinny water. Oh ***** moment for sure. Quick grab for the paper chart and some memory of the path in and was enough to recover from a light grounding. So DONT rely on an IPad at the helm. I suspect might apply to plotters in lesser degree but please have the paper and a light handy too. I suppose this means a waterproofed chart.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forums lily hhrn
I keep a Garmin GPSMap78 switched on and close to hand in those situations as an immediate first fallback.
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Old 12-02-2016, 16:40   #38
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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. . .
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.
So what "appropriate tool" do you use to come into a strange harbor at night, or in the fog? Inquiring minds would like to know.

I had been sailing about 20 years, I reckon, before I had my first chart plotter. In those days, we used a hand bearing compass to take three point fixes and to check clearing bearings which we had laboriously plotted beforehand, followed up with dead reckoning. We studied the lights in order to be able to recognize them and take bearings off them (and often mixed them up). In case of fog -- you're screwed; stand off and heave to and wait for it to blow off, and hope you don't get run down. The risk of mistakes and disorientation was huge; the white knuckle moments (not to mention the brown shorts moments) were countless. Various friends went on the rocks from time to time.

GPS (my first one in 1993 IIRC) helped a lot, and reduced the work load, but not so much for real time pilotage, especially in the Selective Availability era.

Then, chart plotters with integrated radar displays appeared, and suddenly you had a way to be oriented in any condition of visibility. If you put one of these at the helm, you don't even need a separate navigator below shouting instructions to the helm. The benefit to safety and effectiveness of pilotage is incalculable.


Inappropriate tool? Maybe if you do only day sailing in good weather in a small boat in familiar waters.
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Old 12-02-2016, 17:01   #39
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Some people are confusing the concept of no plotter at the helm vs using an mfd remotely controlled with a tablet, located at the helm. The tablet will perform as well as the mfd with some limitations.

1. Cannot control autopilot (safety feature)
2. Screen brightness.
3. Touch screen when wet
4. Weather resistance

All the above issues can be readily and easily addressed.

Another benefit of a tablet acting as a remote control at the helm is the disposability factor. I have three tablets available on my smallish boat, and two phones to fall back on as well. 2 of the tablets and one of the phones are waterproof either by design or the addition of a lifeproof case. One tablet has independently installed navigation software and charts, just in case.

Another big advantage as I see it is the tablet gives me a 10" screen vs the mfd's 7" screen. Better for all round cockpit viewing.

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Old 13-02-2016, 10:49   #40
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Tablets/phones have their place on the boat and they do provide amazing functionality: very fast screen redraw when used as a chart plotter, ability to get and


So overlay weather, email, etc.


However, they do have their limitations. First is the lack of autopilot control. Often touted as a safety feature, it is actually a major limitation. When the conditions are tough, strong winds and big seas, you want to be able to control the autopilot remotely. Either engage/disengage briefly or adjust the course. You need a control head or a compatible mfd to do this. Second, apps that connect to the mfd to mirror charts or Rada display are very slow. When working with radar, you want to have full mania controls easily available. You need an mfd for that.
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Old 13-02-2016, 12:22   #41
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

The OP didn't mention an AP. He was just asking about installing a chartplotter (type unknown) on his boat (type and usage unknown).

Personally I have a control head at the steering station where I mount the tablet, plus a handheld SmartController - so in my situation, lack of autopilot control through the tablet is a non issue.
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Old 13-02-2016, 13:20   #42
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

@Dockhead @38

"I had been sailing about 20 years, I reckon, before I had my first chart plotter. In those days, we used a hand bearing compass to take three point fixes and to check clearing bearings which we had laboriously plotted beforehand, followed up with dead reckoning. We studied the lights in order to be able to recognize them and take bearings off them (and often mixed them up). In case of fog -- you're screwed; stand off and heave to and wait for it to blow off, and hope you don't get run down. The risk of mistakes and disorientation was huge; the white knuckle moments (not to mention the brown shorts moments) were countless. Various friends went on the rocks from time to time."

The very essense of pilotage :-0)!

Indeed, as I acknowledged, a chart plotter is a luvverly tool. But only a tool. The OP [forgive me if I'm wrong, OP :-)] left me with the impression that he was into his first boat and wanting to know how to drive it, thinking that that is best done by chart plotter.

Having taught a few hundred people the rudiments, I've always liked to make sure that they can cope without electric gizmos:-)

But of course it all depends on the sort of cruising you do. Me and MyBeloved, we do it only as long as it's fun, but we are fortunate, because the Salish Sea is a pretty benign piece of water, so I've rarely been put to the test, partly because I avoid testing situations :-)

But lemme tell you a story: Back in King Arfur's time when I wus a lad, mebbe 12 or so, I was standing on the wharf in my Granny's little fishing port in Denmark. One of the local fishing skippers had done quite well and retired, but couldn't quite stay ashore. And there he was, getting ready to put out in his nifty little, brand new spidsgatter. All goggle-eyed I say (in Danish, of course): "Gee, Sir - I bet you could take that boat out in some really bad weather!"

The geezer gives me a withering look and sez: "Boy - you don't ever take them OUT in bad weather!"

That lesson is with me still :-)

TrentePieds
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:37   #43
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Radar and chart plotter should be at the helm. Don't trust anybody who says different.
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Old 17-02-2016, 08:59   #44
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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Radar and chart plotter should be at the helm. Don't trust anybody who says different.


The world isn't a black and white place, every boat is different.

Don't trust anyone who says otherwise
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Old 17-02-2016, 09:31   #45
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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The world isn't a black and white place, every boat is different.

Don't trust anyone who says otherwise
You will never convince me, or any of the cruisers I know, otherwise. If you only take your boat out for short harbor cruises in fair weather, you probably don't need radar or a chartplotter. If you need either one, they should be at the helm. You can have a stack of ipads below charged up, but it only takes one time that they don't work right at the wrong time and you're shipwrecked. Sure, you can tell me that the chartplotter/radar can fail, and that's true, but adding a tablet introduces two additional points of failure, the tablet itself, and the wireless connection. Lastly, you will negatively impact your resell value, because anybody who isn't a day sailor will not be impressed with your ram mount for a tablet at the helm.

There is a lot of bad advice in this thread. We use our chartplotter/mfd when setting the anchor, it shows us where shore, the reef, or other hazards are. If I turn on the radar, it shows me where the other boats are anchored. It shows me what the boats are doing that have AIS. It alerts the helmsman if there is a dangerous AIS or radar target while underway. If I need to hail another boat that has AIS, it gives me the boat name, and MMSI if I need to make a DSC call. It shows me the bottom via the sounder output, so I can see if it's sand or rock. It shows me wind direction and speed, as well as rudder position. Using a radar overlay it shows me that my chart is accurate, or not. Sure, you might not need this stuff if you leave your slip and go somewhere and pickup a mooring, but it's damn handy when it's night with no moon, no light, no horizon, just a few anchor dim anchor lights in a sea of darkness.

I've used a tablet/iphone in my cabin to watch conditions ie anchor watch. Our boat came with a radar that was in the aft cabin at a nav table. The PO had a arm he planned to mount it on so it could be swiveled around to the aft companionway and be visible from the helm. It would have been a disaster. I upgraded the radar so it worked at the helm, and I thank the friends that strongly suggested that upgrade every time I've ever used it. When you need it, it won't be while sipping wine and eating cheese while sailing along on a beam reach in a gentle breeze. it will be dark, the wind will be howling, the seas will be monstrous, and you will have your hands full to keep your boat safe.

That's when your tablet will pop up a "There is a software update. Install now?" and then freeze.

Fairly warned, be thee, says aye.
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