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Old 03-03-2018, 21:07   #1
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Tablet no chart plotter?

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but...
Does anyone make a system where I don't need a chart plotter at all and I can use a tablet?
Thanks
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Old 03-03-2018, 22:15   #2
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Marine navigation programs exist for tablets. You decide what you need and whether to have a backup.
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Old 03-03-2018, 22:19   #3
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

I would like to include other things like speed depth...to display on a tablet as well. And be wireless...
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Old 03-03-2018, 22:53   #4
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

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Originally Posted by Drakenkade View Post
I would like to include other things like speed depth...to display on a tablet as well. And be wireless...
One option is OpenCPN running an a tablet and openplotter running on a raspberry pi computer.
Sailing with free hardware | Sailoog

Not so easy if log & depth are only outputting seatalk data and not nmea.
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Old 03-03-2018, 23:18   #5
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Another vote here for OpenCPN. Free software and charts. Works great.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:46   #6
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Yep, we use OpenCPN picking up GPS and AIS information over WiFi with a Mobile phone as a router Provides internet access as well, when there is a cellular signal.

It allows us to have multiple levels of backup easily and inexpensively.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:47   #7
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

iKommunicate http://ikommunicate.com
The iKommunicate Gateway will give you access to your 0183 and 2000 devices over your local WIFI. Easy to set up and use. Well maybe not real easy but if you have any experience with router setup you can do it.
Your information will be available to all of your computers, iPad, and smart phones via WIFI.

OpenCPN is a great product! I use it along with Navionics. OpenCPN on my MacBook Air and Navionics on my iPad and iPhone.
Last summer we sailed from Seward Alaska to Seattle on our Mercator Mark 2. By the time we reached Ketchikan we were using the iPhone exclusively, mainly because we forgot our iPad mount on the other boat. So we attached some velcro to the back of the phone.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:49   #8
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Richard Spindler, the ex-owner of the San Francisco sailing magazine, wrote many editorials and articles on his sole use of IPad navigation on his yachts in Mexic, the Caribbean and Europe. I bet they are available at latitude38.com. Most of his writing was pretty easy to read though often a little preachy and prejudiced.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:54   #9
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Open CPN is overall the most accurate system from The USA to New Zealand. Make sure to learn to utilize the Google Earth overlay charts. They are downloadable and will show an actual photo with your boat icon traveling across the GE chart. I am a strong believer in a good depth sounder. I have two seperate with each having their own transducer.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:59   #10
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

If you have Android tablet, look up Marineways.com. They have pretty nice android app up on Google Play and it works pretty well. It will give you SOG and COG if you are moving ... and it's free. I don't believe they have an Apple version, but I could be wrong.

They also so a pretty reasonable job flipping between more detailed charts as you zoom in. To me it's seems more seamless than OpenCPN and IMO is easier to get the needed charts downloaded.

That said, at some zoom level you lose details and need to zoom back out... but hey, it's free. It won't replace my Raymarine chart plotter, but it's handy when you just want to look ahead of your course for the curious.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:59   #11
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

tablets work well as chart plotters ONLY if you keep them out of the sun! Ipads are particularly bad at this! They overheat in direct sun very easily! I had mine shutdown 3 times crossing lake Ontario due to heat. had to take it below to let it cool off each time, that left me without any chartplotter while it cooled. It was OK in that instance as the lake was glass calm and I could see my destination for hours!

they also don't do so well in the wet!
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:23   #12
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Tablets offer really good charts and apps for cruising. There are some disadvantages that I have faced:
1. The battery is limited to less than 6 hours particularly if you have maximum brightness on the screen. So if I know where I am and can see where I want to be I turn it off until I need it. I also keep it plugged into the power socket. It won't quite balance the outgoing power but will certainly extend the time before it goes flat.
2. Having one electronic device is not enough. Computers have a mind of their own and can shut down and sulk and there is little that you can do. You need 2 devices at least.
3. Make sure that the devices have GPS connectivity. They do not all have this!
4. I have one with a Raster chart and one with a Vector chart. Raster charts are copies of actual charts which have been used for years and therefore checked out many times. Vector charts are electronic compilations which are likely to have errors and in addition, if you scale out you can lose some important detail that you may not notice is not there. Many collisions occur because of this.
5. The screens are very difficult to see in sunlight. If you are in a wheelhouse then you can easily shade them, but on the flybridge, it is much more difficult to do.
I really like mine but always have paper charts anyway. Ever tried to put a running fix on a screen the size of a postcard?
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:26   #13
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

Just remember the fundamental computer rule:

"It's not "IF" it will crash, but "WHEN" will it crash and I can assure you it will be at the worst possible time, in the worst possible location, in the worst possible weather.

The sun, paper and North Pole don't crash very often! i.e. back up sextant, compass, paper chart..

But OpenCPN is great and plot your noon positions on paper, buy a cheap GPS as backup....$50 for a dongle.. $35 on Ebay



Quote:
Originally Posted by Drakenkade View Post
Not sure if this is the right place to ask this but...
Does anyone make a system where I don't need a chart plotter at all and I can use a tablet?
Thanks
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:08   #14
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

"It's not "IF" it will crash, but "WHEN" will it crash and I can assure you it will be at the worst possible time, in the worst possible location, in the worst possible weather.

But same with a plotter and every electronic part around. But a good plotter is 1200 USD and a tablet is only 200 USD. So take 2 and store the spare airtight and you'll be fine.

For WIFI/AIS and NMEA Vespermarine XB-8000 is the best you can find for good money. enables you to connect all your gauges via NMEA.

And in the next few years we will get cheap water tight tablets too.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:09   #15
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Re: Tablet no chart plotter?

many of these devices spoken of are not waterproof, probably all of them have issues with sunlight

If you want nav at the helm, get a chartplotter
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