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Old 11-02-2016, 00:45   #1
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Chartplotter inside or outside

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!
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:15   #2
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Hi,

That will depend from your navigation (daytrips, coastal cruising, long crossings,...).

I have a Raymarine CW90 chartplotter. I don't use waypoints and routes a lot, only on summer trips crossing to the UK and France from Belgium.

I have it at the binnacle and it is my navigation assistant:
- AIS information on it (linked to AIS 500 blackbox receiver)
- I continously use the COG arrow to check drift and current impact against magnetic course.
- GPS and SOG information

If you on the other hand want to do long crossings you will want it maybe at the cart table inside and also have radar shown on it. Preparing your navigation, routes ect inside. But you might want a repeater outside at the binnacle then?

Jan
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:26   #3
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

> That will depend from your navigation (daytrips, coastal cruising, long crossings,...).

It will also depend on your boat and how much time you spend at the steering station.
More information required to make a sensible suggestion.
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:50   #4
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

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.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:35   #5
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Quote:
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 do it the other way round

In my case, I use a 10" tablet at the steering station under the bimini where it is well protected from the elements. It's on a RAM mount and powered from a USB power socket so it's easy to mount/dismount and is only outside when needed.

Actually, I don't have it repeating the chartplotter which is at the nav station, it runs Navionics completely separately so I have redundancy if one fails and two different sets of charts.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:02   #6
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

We have a small, 7" Raymarine chart plotter at the helm. It occupies the same space as 2 instruments (depth and speed). Originally we went the iPad in a Lifeproof case route. But keeping it charged was destroying the charging port and cables. It just wasn't bright enough for the midday sun and too bright for night watch.

If I was coastal or daysailing I wouldn't bother with a chartplotter. If you're sailing to unfamiliar territory running downstairs to the navdesk is impractical.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:23   #7
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

So when your plotter is at the nav table and you are at the helm, how do you pilot?

Can you really memorise all the marks, depths and turns, or do you run to and fro.

And if you run, then who drives?

I keep my plotter in my pocket, no matter where I am, I can quickly look it up.

Or else have two.

b.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:35   #8
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

My previous boat had the chartplotter at the binnacle and a repeater down below at the nav station. Best of all worlds. Current boat has chartplotter at binnacle. That is by choice since there is only one. Entering unfamiliar waters or just plain tricky waters, that is where you want it--where you can see where you are going and where you should be going simultaneously. On passages, I can run below and plot location at a specified time on paper charts as back-up.

Anyway, having a chartplotter at both locations is a great luxury, but if it must be one or the other, I go for the binnacle or at least in the cockpit location.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:59   #9
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

My chart plotter is mounted on a swing arm that allows me to see it when at the helm and also in the cabin. I also have a handy dandy hand held that I use from time to time.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:02   #10
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

StuM:
Yes, redundancyis great, the second plotter would be independant also.
I did the same thing with my VHF, when I purchased the boat as it was located at the nav station, what a pain in the "arse" that was!!
Installed an independant vhf radio in the cockpit, antena also, made life much easier plus essentially a backup system.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:10   #11
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Both if possible.

There are three places where you need your plotter:

1. Nav table
2. Helm
3. Under the sprayhood.

A lot of large cruising boats up here used to have the plotters under the spray hood, instead of at the helm. I guess they were intended for well-crewed sailing where the helmsman and navigator or captain were not the same person.

On my boat, I have plotters (8" Zeuses) at the helm and at the nav table. I use a tablet computer via Wifi remote control (GoFree system) under the sprayhood.

If you can only have one, I would put it at the helm, by all means. For immediate reference for pilotage. A laptop running OpenCPN works well at the nav table.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:17   #12
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Quote:
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!
Ideally both.

There is nothing worse than not having instrumentation within close reach at the helm. AIS and radar overlay on the chartplotter can provide good situational awareness.

With AIS now it's also nice to have a duplicate chartplotter with AIS and radar overlay down below. That way you can monitor nearby vessels and some weather while below.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:31   #13
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

We have our CW90 mounted at the helm, well in between the 2 wheels actually, for ease of use while sailing. Most of our sailing is day sailing from point to point between islands so we don't really bother with waypoints other than making notes of restaurants and anchorage spots.

We actually do our route planning the "old fashioned" way with paper charts, pencil and a notebook alongside the pilot books. We do have a i70 repeater at the nav table for GPS position and other navigation data if we are plotting on the hoof.

Definitely a good idea to have a backup system in case the primary fails. In our case this is handheld GPS, paper charts, laptop with OpenCPN + bluetooth GPS, mobile phone GPS and OSMAnd+ with sea chart (very, very emergency use only)

Just our 2p worth
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:20   #14
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholson31 View Post
In the cockpit for easyreference, use your ipad down below out of the elements...
+1 for easy viewing at the helm.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:25   #15
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Re: Chartplotter inside or outside

I have a 7" chartplotter on a swing arm in the companionway visible from belowdecks when standing in front of it and from the cockpit when sitting in front of it. Neither one of those conditions is condusive to steering. So, I use an iPad at the helm on a DC lighter plug that is visible when there isn't sun on it and too visible at night, and very difficult to work with when it gets sprayed with salt water, which is sometimes when you want to reference it the most - ask me how I know.

So: one day I may move my 7" chartplotter to the helm and if possible get it on a swivel so I can point forward to a seat under the dodger for long offshore passages, with the iPad below, plugged into a DC lighter plug at the nav station, or at times in my cold hands under the dodger. The chartplotter isn't affected by water and spray, it is visible in daylight and night, and can be used in demanding condition of navigating channels, inlets, etc. In the best world I have yet to believably uncover, I can design my route on the iPad below each night, or while traveling, and upload it to the chartplotter, connect it to my AP, and get back to my book. I use Navionics on the iPad right now, compatible with Raymarine, I hear, tho not mine, so I'm looking for a new affordable option for new instrumentation (wind, depth, charts, AP) and iPad/laptop combination. I do really like the ease with which I can create charts on the iPad, though OpenCPN is better on a computer. I'm not sure if I could upload routes from OpenCPN to somebody's plotter, though. Also, power usage of a laptop is higher than an iPad, though OpenCPN is available for Android as well. Hmm. Rambling.
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