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Old 20-11-2014, 06:44   #16
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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OK, that puts you in the .01%. Fine, but it has little to do with the typical cruiser on passage with a Mom & Pop crew. Back to the OP question, so while handsteering across the N. Atlantic you probably didn't want/need a chartplotter/radar at the helm????
Just read the 2nd post. It answers your question in full!
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Old 20-11-2014, 06:54   #17
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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What system allows one MFD to display radar, charts and AIS, and allow multiple screens, like two screens? I don't mind having these on separate pages, but do not want separate screens for each function
Will a Garmin 741 do this? or any Garmin? I can get a good discount on Garmin is why I ask.
Furuno makes a great system where the displays and some of the sensors are connected via an Ethernet. All of the system data is shared on the displays. You can display the maps, radar, depth, etc. in a nearly infinite combination on as many displays as you want. I have a two display system on my Bertram dive boat and have been very happy with it. Don't know if there is an AIS interface as my system is 8 years old.
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Old 20-11-2014, 07:16   #18
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Are you planning to disconnect all cables to the unit during risky lightening times while it is in the Faraday cage? Not sure how practical this will be. With those cables disconnected, will the secondary unit at the helm still function?
And remove those cables from the cabinet and cover the holes with screen - although the holes may be small enough to not be a problem.

In practice, I think this Faraday cage idea is over-thought. Having been struck by lightning, I can assure you that you will not be able to always "plan" for it and disconnect things, etc.

Besides, what good are working instrument displays when all the receivers and transducers feeding them have been fried? You would be better off keeping an iPad with nav software in a metal box instead.

BTW, my post above regarding "helm" mount and "below" mounting assumed "helm" meant somewhere in the cockpit where it can be readily seen and used by the person navigating the boat - not necessarily mounted directly at the wheel.

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Old 20-11-2014, 07:21   #19
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Just read the 2nd post. It answers your question in full!
Exactly, that's why I prefer the displays to be at the location that a typical watch stander will be on the boat. On ours it will be near the companionway, not back at the helm. The displays are larger enough that they can also be seen at the helm, just not as clearly.
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Old 20-11-2014, 07:24   #20
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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I am heading off soon to see the new Raymarine e and A series gear and it seems the dimming goes all the way to no light, so that sounds much better than what I've used before.
It is even more than just continuous dimming levels. The color pallet choices and contrast help just as much. In fact, on our displays, we can use brighter light level settings and still have good night vision. These things are very visible now.

How will you actually test the night quality of the display? A store really doesn't do it - if you can find someone with displays that you are considering, visiting them on their boat with a couple of beers one night would be better.

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Old 20-11-2014, 07:31   #21
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
What system allows one MFD to display radar, charts and AIS, and allow multiple screens, like two screens? I don't mind having these on separate pages, but do not want separate screens for each function
Will a Garmin 741 do this? or any Garmin? I can get a good discount on Garmin is why I ask.
my furuno MFD 12 does this
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Old 20-11-2014, 07:43   #22
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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What system allows one MFD to display radar, charts and AIS, and allow multiple screens, like two screens?
Any MFD that does overlays would show charts, radar, AIS, WX and even satellite photos on one page simultaneously, as well as charts and radar and sonar and WX individually - if you have all those gizmos. AIS should show on radar only as well. By "multiple screens" you mean split screens, my Furuno NavNet3D will split a single MFD screen into 2, 3, or 4 split screens with just about anything on any of them - including video for those stink potters who have cameras staring at their throbbing beasts.... I imagine other mfgs rigs do something similar.

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Old 20-11-2014, 07:48   #23
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

+1 what Mark said regarding lightning strikes and Faraday Cages.

Keep back-up handheld GPS and VHF in a metal box or non-conductive grounding bags. Doubtful you could provide practical protection for electronics mounted down below and still be able to use them. Forget thinking you're just going to unplug everything when the occasion arises.

Our bulkhead mounted compasses are dual-read, you can see them from down below in the quarter berths or from the nav station.
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Old 20-11-2014, 08:41   #24
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

On aircraft MFD's I've sometimes put a layer of window tint on the display for use at night, not permanent, just static holds it to the screen.

By multiple screens, my ideal would be a second screen that would be mounted at the nav station, but could control everything, RADAR, etc.
Graduate level would be to be able to WiFi or Bluetooth to a remote display like an Ipad at least for viewing, being able to control from an Ipad would be even better, with that I could do with only one display in the cockpit and the Ipad of course is mobile
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Old 20-11-2014, 09:00   #25
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

my ketch has a very very comfy helm station full length sofa. nearly 8 feet in length.
my instruments are in 2 locations... wind and radar on the bulkhead of the coachhouse, in a case designed just for instruments--my guages for engine are also in this teak and glass case. this case is easily viewed from helm station.
my garmin and aft depth, aka fishfinder, are in binnacle at the helm station.
iff i ever have enough money fro backups i will install em in the dinette area, where i am planning on relocating the electrical panel.
constant watch on my boat is a very comfortable situation.
as the instruments have a dimmer, it is not difficult to adapt to dead deep darkness from the benefit of the comfy sofa in my cockpit at my helm station. if one becomes sleepy, one can always suck out all the juice from my batteries by playing with the rarely used radar, or by sweeping the horizon in a visual check or we may actually SAIL, should a sweet chubasco or other lovely breeze arrive. these come at 0400, and really wake ye up!!
OH the adrenalin rush... and the sailing!!!!
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Old 20-11-2014, 09:30   #26
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Originally Posted by 2Hulls View Post
Any MFD that does overlays would show charts, radar, AIS, WX and even satellite photos on one page simultaneously, as well as charts and radar and sonar and WX individually - if you have all those gizmos. AIS should show on radar only as well. By "multiple screens" you mean split screens, my Furuno NavNet3D will split a single MFD screen into 2, 3, or 4 split screens with just about anything on any of them - including video for those stink potters who have cameras staring at their throbbing beasts.... I imagine other mfgs rigs do something similar.

2 Hulls Dave


Correct: and my B&G also have WIFI to Pc's and Macs etc
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Old 20-11-2014, 10:01   #27
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

Our MFD is mounted on the aft coach house bulkhead, putting it at the fore of the cockpit, under the dodger. Like everything, there are pro's and con's to the setup.

Pro's:

Ease of mounting and security. The back-side of the mounting location is a cabinet in the quarter berth cabin. This makes it easy to hide the cabling and also physically secures the unit. You'd have to cut or pry it out. I can easily access the rear of the unit by opening a door. If you're going to do anything with NEMA 0183, you're really going to appreciate easy access to the rear of the unit.

Easy to view. I can see it from pretty much anywhere in the cockpit. The new generation MFD screens have a very large viewable angle. You just have to take off the polarized glasses depending on where you're sitting or standing. It's really handy when I'm circling the anchorage looking for a good spot to drop the hook. I can see the depth without really taking my eyes off the view forward. I've found that if I stand up on the cockpit floor looking forward, I can steer with the tiller and operate the throttle with my foot, which puts the plotter just below the coachroof in my field of view. I have one of the wizbang high definition sounders, so it's right handy to see the bottom profile and the surface situation at the same time.

Easy to reach. On the port tack I can manipulate it without a thought, it's easy to reach. On the starboard tack I have to move around a bit to push the buttons, which can be alleviated with the tiller extension. This is both a pro and a con because I've found myself unnecessarily fiddling with it just because I can reach it. Is it really important that I know the full details of the AIS targets on the screen? No, but it makes a great excuse to push buttons, and my brain is totally wired to be pushing buttons... Usually Otto or Wendy is driving anyway, which leaves me free to push buttons to my heart's content.

Cons:

It's sometimes covered by the lines. The coachroof is where I have the winches for the control lines, and they sometimes hang down over the screen. It isn't a big deal as they're easily moved out of the way, but I'm sure someday it's going to bite me when I have to blow a halyard and it's not completely free because I've pinned it up out of the way.

It makes a poor backrest. We keep it covered when not in use, but it does take away a seat in the cockpit for dining if you don't have a cushion handy. Since it's usually just the three of us this isn't a big problem. We generally have the cushions out when we're not moving anyway.

It isn't readable from down below. This isn't as big a deal as I have a laptop that can read all the instruments with the OpenCPN dashboard. I haven't got the radar plug-in working yet, because the little guy doesn't have the graphics juice to run OpenGL. Hasn't been a problem because the laptop will display AIS. When I finally find all that free money the internet ads keep promising me I'll buy a second MFD for the nav station.

It's close to the bulkhead compass. Not a huge issue since we use the compass more for steering consistency than absolute bearing for navigation. But, should the MFD fry I could see this being an issue. We have a few other compasses sprinkled about the boat for good measure.

I'm no expert, and I really didn't put a huge amount of thought into it. I mounted it where the hole was the PO put in. Given as much thought as he'd given everything else, I figured I couldn't go wrong following in his footsteps.

On our last boat I mounted the plotter to swing into the companion way. Worked great on the Catalina 30 for day trips and coastal cruising. It was a TV wall mount that I modified with locking latches. It required having the hatch boards out and blocked easy access up and down, so I'm not sure how great it would have been for extended cruising.

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Old 20-11-2014, 10:01   #28
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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On a mono with a typical helm, I prefer the chartplotter/radar and AIS to be at the companionway. No one sits behind the helm for long periods while on passage. Putting the radar by nav station is a waste and a through-back to the days of CRT radars.
From a friend's report on his trip from BC to Mexico:

- new chartplotter with radar and AIS - large 8 inch screen on a bracket at the companionway. This is the perfect position for the instrument. Weekend sailing, you stand behind the wheel. Doing serious miles, you relax more comfortably in the cockpit and you can't see instruments behind the wheel. AIS is amazing. I thought it was poor mans radar, but it is much better than radar if you are trying to figure out what a vessel is up to (speed, direction, position, closest approach, vessel name and MMSI number right there for you). And best of all, the whole thing folds into the companionway so we don't worry about expensive electronics being left outside.
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Old 20-11-2014, 12:09   #29
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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If you're going to do anything with NEMA 0183, you're really going to appreciate easy access to the rear of the unit.
Sorry, that should be NMEA. Sometimes I have issues switching from electric to marine context...

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Old 20-11-2014, 12:15   #30
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

Each boat, nav station, and cockpit arrangement presents its own set of variables and constrictions within which various owner types might optimize instruments, displays and controls to suit the manner in which they will mostly be sailing. A single-hander's requirements are much different than a yacht with dedicated helmsman, navigator and tactician. But for the small boats we're usually discussing, those crewed by lone sailors, couples and families/friends, it is wise to lay it out so that one person can efficiently, comfortably and safely do it all him/her-self, if/when necessary. When sailing long passages, short-handed, there will be many times that only 1 person will be on watch, and therefore responsible for the lives of the entire crew. So it is wise to make this 1 person's job as easy as possible for him to do well.

That in mind, I have setup TN to be operated from the protection of the cockpit dodger. While the actual wheel/wheel-pilot/binnacle/helm is exposed, it is accessible from a seated position beneath the small dodger. Though a work in progress, dual winches and line-stopper farm occupy the cabin top's aft end, to starboard of a small, offset companionway, over which a NavPod displays engine, wind, speed, depth.

Roughly centered beneath the tiny coach roof, suspended above the double sink island/engine box, is a small, stand-alone, monochrome, Furuno 24-mile radar I bought new for $1,000. On a swivel mount, so it can be viewed from galley, 1/4-berth, nav station and salon, its controls are just beyond reach from the cockpit, but easily seen through the open companionway. A Garmin GPSmap 3210 color GPS/chartplotter will have a swing-out mount that provides access at the companionway or nav station.

Under conditions that make hand-steering mandatory, the helmsman should not be preoccupied with manipulating electronics, though they are easily visible from the helm. So, other than autopilot control and compass, the binnacle is otherwise free of clutter. This also makes it easier to split up the tasks when there are other crew members to share the duties.

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