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Old 09-04-2016, 09:03   #16
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

I've been looking at car headrest screens.......smaller, 12v etc, with a wireless mouse.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
For those running opencpn, and other freeware nav programs, below is an interesting option for display in the cockpit. I have the 15" monitor on my boat with a total cost about $300. Yes, I could buy a cheap chart plotter for near the same cost, but I can watch movies, browse the net, etc.

what I bought:

http://szbestview.en.alibaba.com/product/1617244240-220856491/15_inch_waterproof_monitor_15_waterproof_touch_scr een_monitor.html


Screen Sizes: 10" 12" and 15"
Daylight/sunlight readable LCD/LED screen
Touchscreen
Waterproof to IP65 (if I remember correctly)
12v DC power, low amperage
Input is VGA or HDMI
1024x768 16.7m colors
OS: Windows XP thru 8 (my version), Apple, Linux


It provides video and audio from computer located elsewhere in the boat
Typical applications (navigation software such as OPENCPN, computer
games, movie player, pdf reader, and internet browser)
Requires mimimal remote input through touch screen
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:24   #17
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

I've sought the open for Newfoundland but to no avail. That said I'm more than pleased with my 8 year old gps chartplotter. It's a Lowrance mounted on my binnacle out in the salt air and elements for months at a time. It runs Navionics Gold and has been nothing short of brilliant. I have a new touch screen Garmin at the nav station which is terribly easy to use and plot courses on. I have used a tablet for plotting but it's a pain in the arse up in a wet cockpit when the case obscures the picture and the touch function is less than optimal. The ipad crowd will crow and the laptop lot will praise but for me nothing beats a tool built for the given application given few limitations. And yes if you watch your gps charts all the time you will learn to trust it in a foggy approach in the place of a radar . Of course it won't show you moving objects like freighters.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:35   #18
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

If you have a smart phone get a Navionics app or something of that ilk. Also the depth finder app and transducer(sonar phone). They are my primaries with paper chart backup and lead line.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:57   #19
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Maybe not relevant to the OP's situation, but although I have been a diehard paper guy for decades, I've started using OpenCPN on a laptop with a large high resolution screen, with raster charts as virtual paper, and I have been extremely pleased with how convenient it is for planning, as well as "truthing" the cartography in the main nav system.
Well, Open CPN is precisely what I use on Lake Ontario, on a netbook with a GPS "puck". Simple, portable and the netbook can be run off a tiny inverter. Works a charm and I use the U.S. charts, which cover off the Canadian side. I use Canadian paper charts, the "Richardson" chart books and Canadian sailing directions for specifics of Canadian harbours, but OpenCPN gives me the ability to display zoomable raster charts that are perfectly adequate for the entirety of this lake.

I have a pilothouse, so "dimness" isn't an issue, but you could just get a daylight-viewable monitor, even a touchscreen, for the helm that simply repeats the display of the netbook or laptop secured below.

The most recent iteration of Open CPN is something I'm just exploring, but it looks excellent.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:03   #20
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

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I absolutely agree -- paper, kept up to date, with GPS for positioning, and radar, is the gold standard for sure.


OpenCPN is an absolutely fabulous tool, which I recommend you keep exploring. It is immensely powerful, with, for example, the best AIS tools by far I've ever seen, far better than what my B&G nav system does.

Since I cruise every year over 3000 miles and 10 countries, keeping paper on board for everywhere I go, and keeping it up to date, is just about unfeasible, and would be immensely costly. This is different from the OP's situation.

So I use OpenCPN. I use CM93 charts as a "base map". For UK, Belgium, Netherlands waters I have the fabulous "for navigation" raster charts from VisitMyHarbour. I'm just about to acquire some raster charts and paper from NV, too expensive to get the whole Baltic, but filling in some gaps.

I have a large high res display at my nav table and I connect my laptop to boat network using GoFree. I also have a B&G Zeus at the nav table. So I can do planning or regular chart plotting on the laptop, while using the Zeus for radar, or plot on that.

Besides a superb solution for planning, this also gives a superb collision avoidance system -- I use radar on the Zeus and analyze AIS data on OpenCPN. Nav table surface is free for doing plots, writing down bearings, taking notes. Where I sail this is really important as we have to transit the heaviest marine traffic areas in the world, to get to the Baltic from the UK. In the Dover Straits and approaches to the Elbe, we get in situations where we have to understand up to 5 or 6 targets with complex crossings, simultaneously. The normal boat nav system gives you CPA and TCPA but does not show the geometry of crossings, so you are lost if you don't write down bearings, but OpenCPN shows you graphically, and also shows turn rates graphically, making it possible to deal with many targets at once. It's just fantastic and a real pleasure to use.
This is indeed a great setup. I would encourage the OP not to ignore AIS, not with the 750 foot lake freighters plowing around. There are already examples of "virtual buoyage" that is based on AIS targets, and I consider AIS the handmaiden of radar. I have AIS via my VHF at the moment, and I can output to OpenCPN, but I am veering toward an independent source, the Vesper XB8000, as it is also a wireless router, which would be very handy in my situation.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:07   #21
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
This is indeed a great setup. I would encourage the OP not to ignore AIS, not with the 750 foot lake freighters plowing around. There are already examples of "virtual buoyage" that is based on AIS targets, and I consider AIS the handmaiden of radar. I have AIS via my VHF at the moment, and I can output to OpenCPN, but I am veering toward an independent source, the Vesper XB8000, as it is also a wireless router, which would be very handy in my situation.
The Vesper XB8000 is a nice unit and it is even better now that they have added the anchor alarm feature and an MOB alarm. In the process of installing one on my boat.

However, depending on where you sail on Lake Ontario, AIS may or may not be all that useful. Most of the freighter traffic is between the ST. Lawrence and the Toronto to St. Catherines/Welland Canal area. Over at our end, there are a few cement boats plying between Picton and Oswego and that's about it. Rarely have to deal with freighter traffic.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:11   #22
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

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Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
Crossing into Oswego two years ago we hit a solid fog bank. I knew, and GPS confirmed, we were 1/4 mile off the wall. Oh, did I mention the foghorn didn't work? I knew roughly where we were, but I didn't know for certain if we were 1000ft or 600ft from the breakwall (I don't trust GPS and charts to be perfect). It sure would have been nice to have a chart plotter.
Perhaps I misunderstand but I think you are saying in this situation a chart plotter would have told you more accurately if you were 600' or 1000' from the breakwall than your GPS. You do know that a chartplotter is the exact same GPS that just puts a little symbol on a chart on a screen and is no more accurate than any other GPS.

If you confirmed with your current GPS that you were 1/4 mile off the wall I assume you plotted this on a paper chart? Again, having a chart plotter automatically plot the location onto an electronic chart will be no more accurate. Maybe more convenient and faster if you're in a tight spot and don't have time to plot a lat/lon on paper.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:41   #23
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Well, Open CPN is precisely what I use on Lake Ontario, on a netbook with a GPS "puck". Simple, portable and the netbook can be run off a tiny inverter. Works a charm and I use the U.S. charts, which cover off the Canadian side. I use Canadian paper charts, the "Richardson" chart books and Canadian sailing directions for specifics of Canadian harbours, but OpenCPN gives me the ability to display zoomable raster charts that are perfectly adequate for the entirety of this lake.

I have a pilothouse, so "dimness" isn't an issue, but you could just get a daylight-viewable monitor, even a touchscreen, for the helm that simply repeats the display of the netbook or laptop secured below.

The most recent iteration of Open CPN is something I'm just exploring, but it looks excellent.
The more you use OpenCPN, the more you'll like it.

Some people use a tablet or repeater from a laptop for primary navigation, but in my opinion this is not a substitute for a rugged, waterproof, daylight visible, dedicated plotter, even a cheap one. I think your plan to acquire a cheap Lowrance or something like that, for that purpose, is a good one.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:09   #24
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

I have had three secondhand Raymarine systems over the years. I bought them from a dealer who has customers that just have to have the latest stuff. The deal is that I pay for his time to install in my boat. The only issue I have had is one chart unit had a chip go bad... which Raymarine fixed without charge. I got the systems installed for what the new hardware costs in a box. Works for me.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:35   #25
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

When the OP said he wanted at the helm, plug & play chart plotter it matched what I did three years ago. I inherited a Garmin handheld GPS with my boat. It worked fine. After reading Practical Sailor about chart plotters and what I was willing to spend I bought what is now the Garmin 741s. I bought a compatible transponder that could be mounted inside the hull. Goes right through my solid glass hull. Most importantly the chart unit is weather proof, is bright enough for full open sunshine, very nice size screen, mounts on my pedestal so I can see depth and all the chart details all the time. It's easy to lay courses, etc. It regularly sells for around $800. What I especially appreciate is that I can easily unplug it and take it inside the cabin when I'm not on the boat. I can't imagine not having the chart plotter at the helm to double check things I can't see.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:53   #26
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

Use an I-pad or laptop. Screen size becomes your choice. Free software like Seaclear II and buy a GPS dongle. Downloading free charts is not difficult. Your only problem might be charging off your 12 V system but I'm pretty sure there is a way to do so. =Total cost way under a plotter. You could probably use an I-phone as well but I hate small screens.
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Old 09-04-2016, 13:03   #27
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

Suggest you consider a tablet with navionics charts, available by subscription for $15/ year, along with a waterproof case, as cost is your primary concern. I run it on a Samsung Galaxy 10.5

Also, AIS on my radio mike saved me from a collision with another sailboat on a moonless night, 20 miles off the Georgia coast last fall. I knew he was there, even though the running lights were obscured. Worth having on Lake Ontario, too imho.
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Old 09-04-2016, 13:28   #28
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

well, West Marine has a GARMIN
echoMAP™ 44dv Chartplotter/Sonar Combo with DownVü Scanning Sonar

on sale for $199. pretty good plotter, but it has a fish finder with it.

it also has a $200 rebate if you buy it and a garmin Blue Chart G2 Vision HD charrt card.

it comes with a Garmin Blue chart but, if you can find a good deal on the HD card, you can get the whole lot for pretty cheap.
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Old 09-04-2016, 13:32   #29
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by nortonscove View Post
I've sought the open for Newfoundland but to no avail. That said I'm more than pleased with my 8 year old gps chartplotter. It's a Lowrance mounted on my binnacle out in the salt air and elements for months at a time. It runs Navionics Gold and has been nothing short of brilliant. I have a new touch screen Garmin at the nav station which is terribly easy to use and plot courses on. I have used a tablet for plotting but it's a pain in the arse up in a wet cockpit when the case obscures the picture and the touch function is less than optimal. The ipad crowd will crow and the laptop lot will praise but for me nothing beats a tool built for the given application given few limitations. And yes if you watch your gps charts all the time you will learn to trust it in a foggy approach in the place of a radar . Of course it won't show you moving objects like freighters.
Right on! You have to deal with fog on a regular basis like me.
Can't understand how someone can creep into a harbour or squeeze thru the rocks with their radar & plotter down in living quarters. I want both right in front of me at the helm. Handheld stuff & laptops won't stand fog & wet either,trust me.
Fine for tropics I guess but not up here.

I agree with posters that are suggesting radar if you can swing it & any decent name brand plotter with a screen just big enough for YOUR eyes to see without squinting. Preferably a Cmap or Navionics based unit. Check with other sailors that travel the same places you do for best brand of charts for your area. Not all charts are equal up here in the boonies.

Cheers/ Len Bay of Fundy
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Old 09-04-2016, 17:10   #30
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Re: Selecting a $#*& Chartplotter worse than a new laptop

I have an elite 7. Not a fisho but happy with it.
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