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Old 14-05-2012, 06:01   #16
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Why would you want to pay the rip-off prices for a chart plotter? And then it only works as a chart plotter?

Equipment onboard should be multi functional. A computer will do many things apart from chart plotting. So get a laptop or a 12V PC from Bob and install OpenCPN.

We also got an iPAD with inavx, thinking it would be useful as a secondary system. But it has become our primary system. And we use it for email, games, confirming that our non-EPIRB positioning device works, CF, amazon etc etc. I am typing on it now. Glare is not a problem and the salt water environment has not caused it to fall apart after 18 months of almost daily use. A zip loc bag works fine for dinghy trips and is cheaper than the official waterproof case.


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Old 14-05-2012, 06:25   #17
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Re: IPad or GPS chart plotter ?

Originally Posted by 40 South View Post
A marine GPS with NMEA output can also be interfaced with the autopilot to steer courses and routes.

You can buy waterproof cases for iPads.
iPads arent designed to be sealed up, and if you are in the Caribbean or the like expect it to overheat and suffer damage (Google if you want).

Steering - yes many can do that. But a sailboat is for sailing, and especially under sail power I would not allow the computer to turn my boat...

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Old 14-05-2012, 06:51   #18
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Re: IPad or GPS chart plotter ?

Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Why would you want to pay the rip-off prices for a chart plotter? And then it only works as a chart plotter?......
Seconded, my view exactly. Unless you have a huge budget and HAVE to have the unit up in the open air in the cockpit, don't get ripped off by buying a plotter. An iPad or (IMHO) even better, a cheapish laptop with software on it will be a cheaper, easier to use and futureproof solution.

I dont ever remember seeing older boats having chart tables fitted in the open cockpit, the chart station was always down below, so why does a modern day plotter have to be there? The only reason I can think of it that some flash systems can be used as a radar display as well but if you have a stand alone radar anyway, that makes that redundant.

There is an added safety aspect too, if you get into trouble and the boat electrics are knocked out, an iPad or laptop will still have its own battery power for a couple of hours at least so you'll still be able to navigate to a safe heaven or give out your position via hand held radio or even mobile phone should you require assistance. A built in plotter is just a useless lump of junk if the boats power fails.
Previous owner of a 1994 Catalac 900, now sadly SOLD
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Old 14-05-2012, 07:09   #19
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Re: IPad or GPS chart plotter ?

Touchscreen navigation on the iPad (many great nav apps available) is generally really good. However, as has been mentioned, the iPad itself is not necessarily in its' element in in an open cockpit. In addition to the above mentioned water/salt exposure issues, the screen very difficult to read in sunny conditions because of extreme glare. If you're using it in a shaded, protected cockpit or down below at the nav desk, I think the iPad is an excellent alternative to more traditional plotters.
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Old 14-05-2012, 22:39   #20
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Originally Posted by kurt.603
This is my first post so I apologize if I make a forum error!

I am weighing my options between a basic GPS chartplotter or an ipad with Inavx etc. I am also considering an autpilot to assist me in enjoying my time on the water. My boat is a simple Cal 2-27 and she has been mostly restored and repowered with a Westerbeke diesel if that is a significant factor to consider. I would love to cruise but realistically I work to much and can't afford more than a few days at a time so it is mostly 2 day trips in New England at this time.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Welcome to CF Kurt.

The iPad revolution is in full swing. If you have an iPad the choice is easy. Get the software, an anti glare screen and an iPad splash bag. A rhino mount is a bonus. You need iPad with 3g but a data plan is not required. The other advantage to iPad are all the other things it can do.

If you have an iPhone install the naviionics software and use as handheld, backup/second device.

If you dont have the iPad the Garmin 76 is a tempting choice. The disadvantage is it is "single purpose" and has a fairly small screen. The advantage is it will supply steering input to tiller pilot if you want it to and frankly takes up a lot less space in the cockpit.

I find that most days I dont rig the ipad. I know my home waters and if I need to identify something I use the iPhone. I also keep the chart book on board.

If I was "green field" with nothing I would probably switch to an iPhone and buy a GPS76.

As far as the tiller pilot I am on my second ST1000+. The first one was way old. It is a great unit and unless you like tearing up boat bucks don't bother with the more powerfull 2000 (i.e. get the one sized for your boat). I wired up the seatalk channel and other than for testing never really had it steer a gps route. I use heading mode almost exclusively.
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Old 14-05-2012, 23:12   #21
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Re: IPad or GPS chart plotter ?

Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would go for for a new Ray as they have remote wifi second station in specs. Then the i-Thing can be used as a remote repeater anywhere in the boat.

This is now available with furuno and soon will be available on the Navico systems i expect.

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chartplotter, charts, gps, Ipad

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