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Old 30-08-2012, 16:30   #1
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Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

I plan on sailing from Minneapolis down the Mississippi on a 30 foot S2 with a 43 foot mast thru the Tom Bigbee to Mobile and eventually to the Florida Keys.. I have been told I can make it without laying down my mast. I am wondering what equipment are "must haves". I am wondering about a chartplotter especially. I will be single handing it it looks like and I wish myself luck through the locks.
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Old 30-08-2012, 16:36   #2
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Re: DO IN NEED CHARTPLOTTER FOR MISSISSIPPI

Instead of shelling out the money for a chartplotter, buy a GPS unit (a lot cheaper), then use your laptop and download a program like Sea Clear. It doubles nicely as a chart plotter. Download free nautical charts from NOAA, plug your GPS into your laptop using a USB cable, and there you go. A functioning chart plotter. This will probably save you quite a bit of money as well.
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Old 30-08-2012, 18:01   #3
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Re: DO IN NEED CHARTPLOTTER FOR MISSISSIPPI

KEVIN84

Thanks for the advice. I will look at that. I am assuming that I would have to keep the laptop dry and it may be clumsy if I was using it by the wheel. As kind of a newbie, maybe most people don't do that...
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Old 30-08-2012, 18:33   #4
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

The lap top is a good idea but I have my chartplotter right in front of my face while at the helm, could not do that with the lap top. Having access to the chartplotter while at the helm has saved my butt more than once. A good engine, a giant anchor with heavy chain, and a chart plotter are must haves for me. Single handing is how I like to do it, even when crew are aboard. You get good at it with time. Go very very slow when maneuvering around docks, other boats. Go slow and easy, see what the boat is doing with wind and current. After the first lock you will be a pro. Have fun
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Old 30-08-2012, 19:26   #5
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

If you already have an iPhone get navionics USA - Plenty good for a leisurely trip down a river in sight of land.

I use my phone more than my iPad.
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:32   #6
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post

--- Plenty good for a leisurely trip down a river in sight of land. ---
My ex once told me that she wouldn't mind a second trip down the "Big Muddy" but it would involve a steel hulled boat with a big engine. And crew would be mandatory.
To each their own I guess.
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:34   #7
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

Nobody NEEDS a chartplotter. People did sail and navigate before GPS but if you have the funds, they sure are nice to have.
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Old 31-08-2012, 08:48   #8
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

Thanks all. I am starting the seaclear, but may get a chartplotter. I do have the funds. Just as importantly, I wish the trip was shorter...and I hope I dont need a steel hull
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Old 31-08-2012, 09:06   #9
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

Polarview from Polar Navy integrates activecaptain.com data with the free Noaa and Corp of Engineers charts. Its a great combo for ICW and river passages. Polarview is not free but its very reasonably priced, $39.99.

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Old 03-09-2012, 07:13   #10
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Re: Do I Need Chartplotter For Mississippi

Being a Mostly Off Shore sailor GPS was was the best thing since sliced bread,recently I,purchased a boat in Md had to return to FL.The boat had an older Garmin Chartplotter took a sabatical the morning of departure,quick run to West Marine bought a New Garmin had a Intercoastal Waterwat route programed in Followed the LITTLE RED LINE mostof the way down,DON"T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT.Also had Polor View with Active Captian on my lap top Really Great for Marinas and Anchorage's
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