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Old 26-08-2008, 23:29   #1
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Moving chartplotter to helm

HI,

How difficult is it to move a Raymarine c80 charploter from the cabin nav station to the helm ?

Do I only have to extend the cables ?
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Old 27-08-2008, 00:21   #2
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Hi,

Well it can be done but you have to be prepared to spend time to do it.

I just spent 3x2 hours just pulling one NMEA cable from my plotter which is at the helm to my DSC VHF at the chart table.
The C80 will have 3 to 6 cables depending on what you have connected. The mimium will be Power, sea-talk and GPS cables. The problem arises with the connectors on the ends of these cables. They are quite big and need a big hole/bushing in order to run the cables througth the various ducts or chanels in the boat.
You will also have to sort out a weatherproof mounting enclosure at the helm.

I would budget 2-3 days work and 5-600 USD for cables and a pod.

In my opinion it is worth doing as you actually start to use the C80 more when it is right in front of you instead of at the chart table.

Good luck !
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Old 27-08-2008, 00:37   #3
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Taffy,

Thank you. I will wait for more responses, however, this is encouraging. I like to try and do these things myself, because it helps me learn about the boat and its systems. Again Thank you.
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Old 27-08-2008, 04:34   #4
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I don't think anything would be closer to the truth than Taffy's post.

It makes a lot more sense to have a chartplotter up at the helm.

In fact, I have just completed tearing out my entire nav station (use paper charts on the salon table anyway - it's closer to the helm). All my instrumentation and chart plotting is at the helm. Couldn't imagine it any other way.
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Old 27-08-2008, 05:05   #5
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I have written about this topic before and will do so once again.

This weekend I had my old buddy aboard who is a cackajack sailor, studied naval architecture and has own yachts up to 46' sailed offshore to Bermuda many times so he is a saavy fella to have aboard.

I introduced him to my trusty little Garmin IQue3600 PDA WAAS bluechart enabled "plotter"

He hadn't been aboard for some time and looked at my tricked out nav station, and noted that I hardly spend time at the nav station worling with my two plotters. One of course, is an MFD Raymarine C-80 with Radar and AIS so this IS useful in compromised visibility and collision avoidance. But we /I don't spend time behind the helm. My autopilot does it 99% of the time and the only time I am at the helm is coming into a slip (very rare)... coming along side or leaving a dock (rare) or great sailing conditions or awful ones which the autopilot can't handle (rare).

The little IQue meets ALL my visual plotting needs and it can be where I am in the cockpit... which is usually forward under the dodger and out of sun, spray and wind. But I can carry it with me to any place in the cockpit.

The device is used to show position AND heading on a very clear display. The zoom and pan feature are FAR superior to the fixed mount plotter which use a toggle and stepped incements. With the IQue you draw a marquee to the area of interest and the thing instantly redraws to that area/scale. It also has toggle buttons - 2 one on the face and one on the side which step through zoom scales. It also shows your track,

What I discovered is that this is ALL I need in the cockpit for plotting purposes. If I want to use a waypoiint I set it on the nav station plotter which send data to a few cockpit repeaters.. COG, SOG CTW, TTG Xtrack and so forth.

Aside from the idiocy of standing at the helm and trying to old on to it (binnacle) and then use a plotter, why would I want to do "planning" out there... at night, in the rain... in the blazing sun... cold or whatever??

Captain Jack agreed and said... all you need is a depth sounder, a compass and the IQue.

As an added bonus it has streets and can be used on shore for driving or hiking with voice directions, has my calendar and contact list, music and photos! I picked it up for $400 plus and then the bluecharts and it was the best money I have spent and it is the most useful nav device I own.

No wires to run, no real estate to give up. No leaking problems, no ugly boxes in my cockpit and no expensive instrument pods. It's like a portable GPS, but it's not marinized. I can take it with me on other boats and sit a my desk at work or on the train and study the charts!

Do yourself a favor and abandon the helm / pod mounted plotter idea. It's the worst thing to come out in years.
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Old 27-08-2008, 05:11   #6
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The C 80 has a terrible user interface... one of the poorest deigns I have encountered - overly complex and not intuitive. Too many menus to drill down thru.

While it may have a lot of "features"... most of them are not worth the trouble.

I bought the think because I needed a new radar and thought MFD was the way to go... and added the GPS antenna and AIS. The more things you connect to it the more it becomes a critical failure point for the entire lot of data sources.

You need redundancy or separate instruments which can stand alone and function.

I am not a fan of the C80, but I suppose for power boats it may be fine since they do waypoint to waypoint all driving an autopilot while they drink of fiddle with their fishing tackle and leave the watch keeping to the almighty.
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Old 27-08-2008, 05:42   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
I have written about this topic before and will do so once again................
Do yourself a favor and abandon the helm / pod mounted plotter idea. It's the worst thing to come out in years.
With respect, a helm mounted plotter with a radar overlay is absolutely invaluable shorthanded and piloting in low visibility conditions. However useful a handheld PDA might be, it can't fill this function.

(And the PDA are not usually very useful once they've had a face full of water either).

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Old 27-08-2008, 05:53   #8
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I'm with John on this issue. Many times I've used the chartplotter with radar overlay and have been very glad to have them.

For long passages, however, my trusty old Garmin GPS 48, in a RAM mount and plugged in to a 12 VDC outlet on the steering pedestal, provides all the data I need regarding course, VMG, ETA, etc., without using up the batteries.
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Old 27-08-2008, 06:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
But we /I don't spend time behind the helm. My autopilot does it 99% of the time and the only time I am at the helm is coming into a slip (very rare)... coming along side or leaving a dock (rare) or great sailing conditions or awful ones which the autopilot can't handle (rare).

Aside from the idiocy of standing at the helm and trying to old on to it (binnacle) and then use a plotter, why would I want to do "planning" out there... at night, in the rain... in the blazing sun... cold or whatever??

Guess a lot of this depends on the boat as well.

I do have a question, though...

If you spend 99% of your time away from the helm, where are you keeping a lookout from? I know you don't have a pilothouse... Are you on the bow? Just in another seat in the cockpit? How do you avoid the lobster pots in LI Sound? (Not being a jerk... genuinely curious)

I definitely see your point on not doing your planning out in the elements. I do cheat... since my planning is all done on laptop, I move it away from the helm for night/cold weather planning. Makes a lot of sense.

Lastly, some of this does depend on the boat. I suppose I have a very unique helm. All of my instruments (wind/speed/compass/VHF/computer plotter/depth, etc...) are ALL inside the cabin. However, I have a cool little window that lowers right in front of my face at the helm. This window makes all of my instruments and plotter available to me at the helm, while they are (at the same time) still inside the cabin and fully protected from the elements. Yeah... Tom Lack was a crafty sort.

In the photo below, my nav computer is mounted where that radio direction finder or whatever is mounted, over the wind/speed indicators and to port of the compass.
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Old 27-08-2008, 08:36   #10
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You could also look at using a repeater.

If you are using radar with your current plotter, also be aware that extending the cable can affect your radar. Adjusting this should be in your manual.
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Old 27-08-2008, 08:46   #11
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I'm not experienced with this Raymarine series as I have the previous RL series. Does your unit allow for a master-slave set-up? In my set-up the master unit is below at the nav station and the nearly full function slave unit is at the helm. This keeps the chips below out of the weather + the cable to the slave is much smaller than the radar cable. I can't set guard zone alarms on the slave or set intermittent programing of the radar transmission but all other functions are available. I agree that radar at the helm is best. Does the new series allow for AIS display on the chart plotter?
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Old 27-08-2008, 09:12   #12
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Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
I'm not experienced with this Raymarine series as I have the previous RL series. Does your unit allow for a master-slave set-up? In my set-up the master unit is below at the nav station and the nearly full function slave unit is at the helm. This keeps the chips below out of the weather + the cable to the slave is much smaller than the radar cable. I can't set guard zone alarms on the slave or set intermittent programing of the radar transmission but all other functions are available. I agree that radar at the helm is best. Does the new series allow for AIS display on the chart plotter?
C-series: No master/slave, Yes external AIS support.
E-series: Yes for both
G-series: Yes for both.

And like notes on the musical scale, your vocal reaction to the pricing will rise in pitch as you move up the C-E-G scale!
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Old 27-08-2008, 11:10   #13
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I have just finished installing a C70 on my helm. No pod but a bracket so I can remove it. I have a C120 at the nav station which is connected to the Radar. The C70 is a stand alone chart only system. I do not want too much going on while driving. I will use it mainly for the waterway to make sure I am in the channel. Just an ocasional look. If I need radar I will be below and my wife will drive. I believe Having it all in the cockpit is too much info and not enough lookout. For passages having the radar and large plotter below keeps the light low and better night vision for the helmsperson.

Re: install, I was able to run the wires in about 2-3 hours . Just power and GPS input. I was able to run the wires in the helm stainless stantions The bracket and other details took about a day.
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Old 27-08-2008, 12:02   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfield View Post
HI,

How difficult is it to move a Raymarine c80 charploter from the cabin nav station to the helm ?

Do I only have to extend the cables ?
I dealt with the same issue this spring. I took a good hard look at the wiring run I'd have to make into the pedestal (if you don't want it too look like c$%p) and made the decision to leave it at the nav station. Instead, I bought the Raymarine 435i (internal antenna), an Edson bracket and I was off to the races. I just hooked it into the nav pod power. Works like a charm and I keep my functionality at the nav station. Maybe an hours total labour. No radar overlay at the helm but it works great for me.

Good Luck!
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Old 27-08-2008, 12:47   #15
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Sully,

I am in my cockpit which is rather large, usually sitting in the forward side "under the dodger" where I can pop my head out and look forward. Standing up at the helm is a rather tiring way to watch, but in "iffy" conditions it's where I am.

When I am dodging pots I sit on the port combing, just aft of the dodger and just above my auto pilot controls. My autopilot is an Alpha and has a rotary course dial so it is like a mini helm... rotate to clockwise, steer starboard, anti clockwise to port... quarter turn is 90°. So I am sitting, with good forward visibility (over the dodger from that perch). My IQue lives right there under the dodger.. protected and in arm's reach.

In foul visibility conditions when I need the radar, I can sit IN the companionway under the dodger... steer with the auto pilot mentioned above just to port, and control the engine throttle. I am usually going very slowly under motor in those conditions and so this works for me.

A cockpit radar would be handy, but my setup works since I can see the radar from the companionway, under the dodger. It's not a pilot house, but I am protected from most rain except when not going down wind.

And doing watch "through" a dodge glass is not optimal, but when I consider all the times I have to seriously see clearly... this is an acceptable solution and I don't get fatigued or wet back at the helm. Heck I hardly even wear foulies!

I have the instrumentation and engine controls set up for sailing safely without having to be at the helm in 99% of the conditions I sail in. This is much more comfortable. When I do have to get behind the helm, I don't have access to the radar or the auto pilot, but all the nav instruments are easily seen as they are in a dash above the companionway.

I can also do the mainsheet and the jib sheet trimming from forward of the helm.. and the reefing.

I would never place a radar at the helm on this boat. If I felt one was needed I would mount it into the front of the cockpit adjacent to the companionway. But this would mean no one could sit there and when they DO it would be a bit uncomfortable unless I recessed it.

Since I single hand. I have a sense of how long I can leave the helm to go below to do things... such as check the AIS, radar, use th head, or make a coffee. I chose my time down below when I feel there is no dangers near by. This mean I don't go below when entering or leaving a harbor, or when there are other vessels, or hazards in close proximity.
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