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Old 14-11-2010, 08:41   #1
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Is a Touch Screen a Good Idea on a Boat ?

I'm noticing a trend with many new chart-plotters designed with touch screens.

On the boat people's fingers are often coated with sunblock, sweat and sea water, and those oils/chemicals are not friendly to electronic screens. Some sunblocks can potentially attack certain plastics and coatings. At the very least they would leave distracting fingerprints (I'm meticulous about avoiding fingerprints on computer screens).

I'm interested in the experience of anyone who has used a touch screen on the boat for a year or more... Do you find any of these drawbacks?
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Old 14-11-2010, 10:32   #2
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Well for onr thing, you don't have to worry about the buttons leaking on your unit during bad weather.

My Garmin is not touch screen and is supposed to be waterproof, but I don't take chances and slip a clear plastic bag over it to make sure. Approximately 25 buttons, potential leaks points.
Touch screens do have an advantage, just keep them clean...
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Old 14-11-2010, 10:34   #3
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Ive had a Garmin 5208 for a couple of years. Not continuous use as we don't live aboard, but we've sailed in all kinds of weather. No problems, and we like it very much.
We keep the Garmin cover on it when not in use, and when the boat's docked the Sunbrella wheel cover is always installed to keep "sticky fingers" away.
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Old 14-11-2010, 11:18   #4
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There's a huge industry for screen protection products on phones and such. I'd expect to see these technologies move to the marine displays too. It seems like it just requires a larger piece of the material.
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Old 15-11-2010, 02:19   #5
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Quote:
My Garmin is not touch screen and is supposed to be waterproof, but I don't take chances and slip a clear plastic bag over it to make sure. Approximately 25 buttons, potential leaks points.
It is waterproof to IPx6 standards so ged rid of the "bag" all it does is trap moisture.

Just beleive the product designers do kno wwhat they are doing.

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Old 15-11-2010, 07:40   #6
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My Raymarine E90W is a hybrid -- touchscreen or button, take your pick.
If you've just smeared sunblock on use the buttons, otherwise don't worry about the screen, they're pretty tough.

Ronbo
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Old 15-11-2010, 07:59   #7
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I have the Garmin 740. I was worried about a touch screen onboard, but I'm a believer now. The best part is it gives you the correct 'buttons' for each screen rather than trying to manipulate the entire interface with a set group of buttons. I never had the screen not function correctly despite wet or oily fingers. I'll have a hard time going back to buttons on a chartplotter.
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Old 15-11-2010, 08:03   #8
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I just re-read your post- if you dislike fingerprints on computer screens, touch screens probably aren't for you. The screens tend to be a matte finish rather than glossy like a laptop so the prints aren't quite as noticeable, but they certainly are there. If it's a pet peeve of yours (which is understandable), buttons might be best.
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Old 15-11-2010, 09:05   #9
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Now that Microsoft has introduced Kinetic for its Xbox, expect a system that will reconize voice and hamd motion commands to appear at your local West Marine Store..
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Old 15-11-2010, 09:48   #10
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screens. bah. I'm waiting for them to come out with holographic displays. At that point, we can have screen vrs holograph arguments on this forum, just like the paper vrs electric chart arguments they used to have on CF back in 2010.

I can see it all now: the early adapters will be accusing the retro sailors of being "so two dimensional."
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Old 15-11-2010, 13:13   #11
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The plastic bag won't trap moisture as the bag just barely covers yje unit and is open at the bottom to permit air flow. Can't be much more moisture involved than being in a high humidity environment.

I've sent to much waterproof equipment back to the manufacturer over the years to put absolute faith in their standards, except for MIL-SPEC.

I always figure a little extra precaution is worth it..
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