That's what I was getting at...I want output to a PC-based solution in that I don't care for standalone chartplotters and especially do not wish to install a MFD (too much "convenience" in a single
failure point), but I do not require something that outputs directly to a monitor. I would simply duplicate the display on a laptop
or network or mini-computer to a handy monitor. Picture chatting with the crew and having an AIS/RADAR at full range displayed on the same monitor you watch "family movie
night" on: You could say, coming off watch, "look for this tanker M/V Soandso at 18 NM, bearing 320 and freighter "Whatever" at 11 NM, bearing 180 and making 10 knots better than us".
Said crew sees a picture of a developing situation (same with squalls, t-storms or close approaches to land), and you have a nice nap knowing that your deck
watch was current
as of when you hit the berth.
I have a pilothouse of size large enough to support all this, but I actually believe that MFDs keep you staring at the MFDs instead of at the sea. I would rather have a simple plotter or even a portable GPS
at the outside helm
giving me LAT/LON, SOG, course, heading and XTE...and that's it, and consult the RADAR/AIS and PC-based plotter a few times per watch by going "down below" and making use of guard zones, MARPA alerts, etc. On deck
, at the "sailing helm" position, I want text GPS
data, a good compass
, and an eyeline to an analog windspeed indicator. That will drive my eyes and my attention to the sea and the rest of the boat, where it should be. Frankly, at night, I use ears probably more than eyes.
That's just my fairly specialized take on it, as a lot of people like to have giant screens in aft cockpits telling them oil
pressure and engine
revs, the price
in the next port and what they are downloading from Netflix. The dirty little secret of AIS
is that it helps you avoid
some of your fellow yachties...hehehheheh