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Old 28-09-2011, 05:50   #1
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Handheld Chartplotter Recommendation

The Wife has some trouble with her vision, she is near sighted. She wants a hand held chart plotter she can hold close to her face to see details.

Any recommendations?

US waters so NOAA download chart compatibility would be great.
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Old 28-09-2011, 08:23   #2
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I have been sailing the USA eastcoast since 2008. Initially i used a laptop with Maptech charts. Then I started using MaxSea on the laptop, and I am still having it running as a back-up. However, aprox. a year ago i bought an iPad, and I have no regrets, though I had some initial problems with misalligned Navionics charts covering where I was in Mexico. After returning to The USA, and now in Italy, the charts are smack on. One thing though: The iPad comes in two versions, a wifi and a wifi+3G, remember to purchase the 3G version, as thats the version with independant GPS.
I am using the iPad for planning and sea navigation, on the application iNavx. The charts are bought through a subscription with X-Traverse, and then downloaded directly to the iPad. But the best thing is actually the price of the charts (Navionics), I bought the whole of South Amarica + The Caribbean for 40US$, all of the USA for 35US$ and all of the Mediterranean for 60US$. On top of that the application/subscription (10US$/year) gives me direct access to tides/current tables and import of grib files (need to be connected to i-net for import of gribfile).
In addition I use it for landnavigation with Navfree USA, Navfree Itally, no internet connection needed, maps are all there, and the iPad will tell you where you are with the independant GPS.
If you prefer using the NOAA charts then you can download them for free.
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Old 28-09-2011, 08:32   #3
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

I may be wrong, but do not know of any chart plotters, handheld or fixed, that allow you to use the free NOAA downloaded charts. All the makers I know of take the NOAA charts, put them in some proprietary format, and charge you to use them.

If your wife has vision problems my concern would be that the hand held units all have very small screens. Sure you can hold them close to your face but would it not be better to have a fixed unit with a much larger screen?
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Old 28-09-2011, 09:11   #4
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

Do you have a smart phone by chance? If not either Android tablet or iPad is a very viable option. Navionics is good as well as EarthNC, both Android and iPad apps.
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Old 28-09-2011, 09:17   #5
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iNavX™ brings the freely available, official and up to date NOAA RNC raster United States waters marine charts to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Included detailed chart coverage: West Coast, Gulf Coast, East Coast, Great Lakes, Alaska, Hawaii, and US Virgin Islands.
inavx.com
I have checked my invoices but cannot find one on the NOAA charts, As far as i remember they are part of the application, the iNavx app. cost around 50$ in the iTunes store.
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Old 28-09-2011, 10:05   #6
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

I have a Garmin 2010c (obsolete) with a Garmin handheld 60 cs as a back up also using the blue charts. However while buddy boating this summer I was introduced to the iPad with Navionics charts. Mine is tied to my autopilot for controlled autopilotting but as a back up and for a plotter that you don't want tied to an autopilot I would look at an iPad with good charts. Free detailed NOAA charts are not available for Candian waters.
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Old 30-09-2011, 05:40   #7
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

Thanks for the opinions.

So I run this by the Wife.

She says iPad is 'too big what about an iPhone?'

I think it is too small to be useful.

Any experience?
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Old 30-09-2011, 05:58   #8
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

+1 for Navionics. I have it on my Android smartphone (HTC Touch) with the entire Caribbean. You can use it without cell phone service as the GPS is independent of the cell, and the maps are all loaded on the phone. I have checked the charts with known waypoints in the BVI and Leewards and it is very accurate. The charts are also vector and really easy to read, even on the smaller HTC Touch screen. You can easily zoom in and out. With the larger screen on the iPhone or the HTC EVO, I think it would be perfect for your wife.
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Old 30-09-2011, 06:54   #9
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
The Wife has some trouble with her vision, she is near sighted. She wants a hand held chart plotter she can hold close to her face to see details.

Any recommendations?

US waters so NOAA download chart compatibility would be great.
I have a Garmin Oregon handheld as a backup and it is a great little unit with full chart details. Unfortunately Garmin no longer makes it and you would have to search one out. There are two versions - the topo and marine. Got mine new for under $300 off a website Home - GetFeetWet Navigation BV5. Ebay is also a source.
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:43   #10
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
The Wife has some trouble with her vision, she is near sighted. She wants a hand held chart plotter she can hold close to her face to see details.

Any recommendations?

US waters so NOAA download chart compatibility would be great.

Hooking it up to a computer will work with the right software, but you can also get a Garmin 441. It can be taken off its mount quite easily and held in your hand and is infinitely better than a handheld.
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Old 30-09-2011, 09:11   #11
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

This one:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=148&pID=14893

can be handheld and has a relatively large and clear screen.

Otherwise, have you thought of an iPad or a Windows tablet?

My sailing friend has a similar sight problem and I pushed her towards contact lenses combined with a regular plotter. Maybe this is an option for your wife too?

Hugs,
barnie
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Old 30-09-2011, 10:15   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer
Thanks for the opinions.

So I run this by the Wife.

She says iPad is 'too big what about an iPhone?'

I think it is too small to be useful.

Any experience?
I agree with you, I'd buy and iPad1 if a chartplotter is you primary need. Check out if applikation/charts can be used on both iPad and iPhone before you decide on either or both.
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Old 30-09-2011, 10:32   #13
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I love navionics on my htc evo and on my ipad . I think one of the great things about both of them , is not only do you have a backup handheld while on your boat , but when you go out I someone else's boat , it takes some of the worry about how good their electronics might be . I did a delivery on a 30 foot yankee from the puget sound to portland oregon this summer , and the gps on that boat was terrible . Worked when it felt like it . Was really nice having out on my phone . Worth every penny of what it cost to put it on both the ipad and the android phone . Also there are a couple great apps that both give you access to active captain database . I use nuti-charts on the phone , and charts and tides on the ipad . way more information than the cruising guide , and its always up to date .
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Old 26-10-2011, 18:15   #14
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Re: Handheld Chart Plotter Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
+1 for Navionics. I have it on my Android smartphone (HTC Touch) with the entire Caribbean. You can use it without cell phone service as the GPS is independent of the cell, and the maps are all loaded on the phone. I have checked the charts with known waypoints in the BVI and Leewards and it is very accurate. The charts are also vector and really easy to read, even on the smaller HTC Touch screen. You can easily zoom in and out. With the larger screen on the iPhone or the HTC EVO, I think it would be perfect for your wife.


I use Navionics US Lakes and Marine with a Droid2 verizon phone. Charts are better than the pure NOAA raster ones like EarthNC uses. Can also display over satellite imagery like Google Earth. Maps can be cached so cell coverage can be worked around.
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Old 27-10-2011, 03:51   #15
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Has ur wife considered LASIK eye surgery? I had horrible vision (20/800). I had LASIK done 5 yrs ago and wish I had done it sooner. No more worry about losing glasses.
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