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Old 15-04-2015, 17:01   #1
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Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Hi All

Question time again:

What are peoples views on chartplotters or iPads?

Are they needed on boats? or will an iPad do it all instead??

Positives:
Seems as if on my iPad I can get: SONAR, Radar, Navionics HD, Auto Routing, it has inbuilt GPS, I can even get AIS on it through a separate APP, fair enough AIS, Radar, & Sonar require extra attachments but that seems the same as a chart plotter. My iPad has a lifeproof waterproof case and a mount for it at the helm... I just found out I can even charge the iPad using IQ charging pad which I could fit into my helm meaning i never have to take the iPad out of the waterproof case while on the boat.

Negatives:
Not the best brightness in daylight.. but still visible. not sure i can find much else, There was a battery problem / waterproofness while charging but this seems to have been answered with the IQ Cable free charging device that is available for iPads.

My main reason for asking is: I was literally about to buy a Raymarine E7 chartplotter (with EU Cartography) NO SONAR (With Sonar is £950) cost without Sonar around £800, It will wifi to my iPad which is great, but my last minute thoughts are I already have everything on my iPadas I'm using Navionics HD software...

Main reason I wanted the Raymarine E7 was it has Wifi so it is compatible with my iPad, then I realised for a similar price as the Raymarine E7 i could get TWO Standard Horizon C180 Chartplotters, one for the chart table and one for at the helm... which would mean then I wouldn't need to use my iPad at all...

So much choice out there... Any other thoughts?, maybe I don't need the confusion, budget is £800 for a chart plotter or two but would be happier spending the cash on other things as there always seems to be something on an old boat... I ideally want something below deck and something at the helm.

Ive just thought of a couple more downsides to the iPad... No MOB button..., Anchor alert apps don't seem too precise and seem to require internet connection...

And yes before some of you chirp up paper charts will be onboard also and will be scrutinised as usual.
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Old 15-04-2015, 17:23   #2
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

IMHO An iPad is NOT a viable 1st means of charting/navigating/talking to your sonar, radar, etc. However it is a brilliant and capable 2nd or 3rd means, and works as a wonderful repeater via wi-fi.

Given that, having an iPad is several steps better than having nothing.

In my direct experience critical navigation functions on an iPad (E.g. "Where am I?") require either an internal GPS with a data/service plan or a connection to a GPS device.

On my own boat I've got a Raymarine e97 and iPads/iPhones as repeaters and backup devices. (In addition to the paper charts- cause Skynet and Murphy will certainly take down our GPS at some very inconvenient time).

cheers
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Old 15-04-2015, 17:55   #3
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

As usual, the answer is, it depends. The iPad is the cheapest if you already have the iPad, is better than nothing, and is a great supplement to paper charts. Still, I'd rather have two independent sources if possible.

We've just upgraded to the A97. FYI, the A9 series of plotters now also have wifi, contrary to some of the Raymarine web site info, and they have a pinch screen, which I don't believe the E series has. The A is less expensive too, and comes in various sizes. Now we can connect with the iPad & have a 2nd plotter control or display on the iPad. Sweet!
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Old 15-04-2015, 18:09   #4
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Just the internal GPS on the iPad these days but is only built in GPS on the models that accept SIM cards. No data plan required for it to work.

I agree Jim I was on the same trail of thought as you but now I'm not so sure... What is the real difference? Both a Chartplotter and the iPad have inbuilt GPS... And it seems iPad technology is moving a lot faster than Chartplotter technology...

Hmmmmm....
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Old 15-04-2015, 18:30   #5
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

If you stay in one area most of the time, and have local knowledge, an ipad or other tablet would suffice.

If you are doing serious navigation to new areas you shouldn't rely on an ipad by itself.
This guy lost his boat on a reef in hawaii because he used an ipad for navigation.

How FaceTime wrecked a sailor’s dream | Cult of Mac
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Old 15-04-2015, 18:59   #6
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

E70, thru it's SeaTalk network, will "talk" to more components than your IPad .
I'd use IPad at anchor, for tweaking a course plot etc, but use chartplotter at helm with sounder, speedo, mast head instruments etc.


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Old 15-04-2015, 20:34   #7
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Here's what we use in the order of priority:

1. Ipad air with Nobletec app and Inavx app
2. ipad one with the same apps as the air
3. Computer PC with Nobletec Time zero
4. Paper charts and compass
5. Two Samsung S4 phones with GPS and navigation apps
6. Chartplotters at the helm and chart table are only used to display 24 mile radar.
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Old 15-04-2015, 20:41   #8
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

I agree an iPad is a good secondary navigation device. They are very difficult to read in bright day light and they simply are not as robust in features as a real chart plotter.

With that said, I have recently met two circumnavigating couples that have no chartplotters and have since switch away from paper charts to their iPads and have no intention of ever getting a chartplotter. I think the message is that "with lots and lots of experience under your belt" you can get away with just an iPad.

IMHO... if you were going to get a chartplotter I would go with a Garmin 741 vs. a Raymarine because the Garmin Charts on the ipad are so darn good and its nice to have them match up.
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Old 16-04-2015, 01:09   #9
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
If you stay in one area most of the time, and have local knowledge, an ipad or other tablet would suffice.

If you are doing serious navigation to new areas you shouldn't rely on an ipad by itself.
This guy lost his boat on a reef in hawaii because he used an ipad for navigation.

How FaceTime wrecked a sailor’s dream | Cult of Mac
I always believed FaceTime was bad news... I never look any good on it anyway...

I do agree, I think there is maybe more at stake with the iPad and interferances that can occur, this one does seem rather extreme and doesn't seem to help that he was blind either... But a good point against the iPad only scenario. (of course Charts anyway) Thanks for the input
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Old 16-04-2015, 01:46   #10
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I agree an iPad is a good secondary navigation device. They are very difficult to read in bright day light and they simply are not as robust in features as a real chart plotter.

With that said, I have recently met two circumnavigating couples that have no chartplotters and have since switch away from paper charts to their iPads and have no intention of ever getting a chartplotter. I think the message is that "with lots and lots of experience under your belt" you can get away with just an iPad.

IMHO... if you were going to get a chartplotter I would go with a Garmin 741 vs. a Raymarine because the Garmin Charts on the ipad are so darn good and its nice to have them match up.
Thanks for info, Not sure if the Garmin 741 is in the UK, seems like the echoMap 751 is though, or atleast doesn't seem to be popping up.

Either way, I hadn't really looked at Garmin as didn't think it was Wifi compatible, now having a look, it does look a good chart plotter just sadly seems £200 more expensive... Will keep looking though.

Thanks
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Old 16-04-2015, 01:49   #11
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Here's what we use in the order of priority:

1. Ipad air with Nobletec app and Inavx app
2. ipad one with the same apps as the air
3. Computer PC with Nobletec Time zero
4. Paper charts and compass
5. Two Samsung S4 phones with GPS and navigation apps
6. Chartplotters at the helm and chart table are only used to display 24 mile radar.
Surprised to see chart plotters so low down in your list. it really does seem like very mixed views on the Chartplotter vs iPad consideration. Thanks for the info
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Old 16-04-2015, 02:47   #12
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Thanks for all the suggestions and input above

Ive took the plunge and have gone for the Raymarine e7 with Eu cartography total price £700.

The seller doesn't believe it will work with my current Radar but I will see, maybe another upgrade in the pipe line!!...

Cheapest Garmin 721 seemed to be £300 more expensive in the end and Raymarine seems to have everything I require at a very good price in the end, but must admit Garmin seem to be good competition, Lowerance and, hummingbird etc all needed the GoPro wifi to make them Wifi enabled another £160 onto of the chart plotter price, Raymarine seems to have it all in one box.

I will keep my iPad on the boat as a second back up and will use it when I am mainly down below but will mount the Raymarine on the helm and use it as my main navigation after paper charts. Seems the safest option to have a real chartplotter available as the battery did die on the iPad one day when I was using it (of course in the middle of a storm too) and I don't at present have a 12v charger at the helm at it was a a bit un-nerving.

Have to say I do like the touch screen and button option with the e7 rather than touch screen alone..

Looking forward to it arriving this / next week :-)
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Old 16-04-2015, 03:05   #13
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

"Have to say I do like the touch screen and button option with the e7 rather than touch screen alone.. "

I have an E7 and am happy with it on the helm.
Generally, a chart plotter will be better in rain and spray at the helm location than a tablet/iPad.
In saying that, I have a mate who had the Raymarine touch screen only version of the E7 ( not sure exact model) and with some spray and wet hands had the screen jumping around and showing nowhere near his location. He changed to an E7 and has turned off touch screen function - as have I.

Scott


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Old 16-04-2015, 03:45   #14
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Seriously why do people s..tcan IPad Navigation and call it at best secondary or back up as opposed to say a Raymarine or some other well known brand.
As an electronic device they are not inferior in build or quality,battery life is not an issue especially if you keep it hooked into 12 v power via USB,GPS is a no brainer .The charts you can use are the same as far as I can see to those on dedicated plotters.Water proof ,vision in the sun etc are furphys that are easily over come or used in a boat like mine that is both dry and does not have the sun bashing down on the helm area.
I have several handheld GPS units and computers loaded with a couple of brands of electronic charts and a plotter that has combined Charting,Radar,Sonar,AIS,ttip data etc.
But in my opinion as far as acurate and very simple to use charting with the Navionics program plotting and following a route ,current speed ,course etc the
IPad is as acurate and dependable and far easier to use than the dedicated plotter.
Chris
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Old 16-04-2015, 04:02   #15
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Re: Confused. Should I buy a Raymarine E7 chart plotter? or just stick with a IPAD??

Thanks Mirage.

I do tend to agree with you.

The only 4 problems I have had with mine was:

1, Once travelling down the Portuguese coast it just seemed to get confused and lost its way.. (However i may not have had the correct maps downloaded though I must admit) it worked perfectly fine the rest of the trip from UK. BUT as i didn't download them in advance on a 3G network at least they were not downloading fast on a boat off the Portugal coast!! The boat we wherein had other GPS so wasn't an issue.

2, The Sun / rain issue - My helm is in direct sunlight and I do get subjected to far too much sun and rain grrrr (I'm only jealous of you)

3, The battery - when it dies without a 12v Charger at your helm your done for, on my boat its hard to navigate if your downstairs. QI wireless charging technology is very interesting though and I wonder if it will charge my iPad wirelessly through the boats fibreglass?, meaning no wires, no extra holes etc..

4, You only get one screen at a time so can't simultaneously watch the radar and your charts at the same time, which would be useful in a white out.

Except for that Navionics HD seems amazing for roughly £40 - I agree absolute bargain and great tool to have on a boat, just make sure you have a waterproof / shockproof case for it!!.

Thanks for your input
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