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Old 01-05-2015, 14:12   #1
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budget chart plotter

I have sailed all over the caribbean with a compass and chart. I am now thinking of buying a chart plotter but am on a social security budget.

I read that paper charts are no longer updated so I am looking for suggestions for buying a budget model I can use on my Islander 32. I have until August when hurricane season is over and the areas I will travel in first is the Gulf of Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas. I am presently on the Tenn Tom waterway inland, Alabama.

I will begin searching here and craigslist for one but have no idea what to look for yet.

Thanks all.

Seagypsey
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Old 01-05-2015, 14:19   #2
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Re: budget chart plotter

Based on your previous background i would buy a Windows tablet and use OpenCPN. You will get a dual use device at a fraction of the cost.

PM me and i can help you with the charts.

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Old 01-05-2015, 14:51   #3
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Re: budget chart plotter

If you have an android tablet NOAA is giving away a free chartplotter program and all the free USA charts you could want, with the latest updates. No Bahamas charts.
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Old 01-05-2015, 14:55   #4
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Re: budget chart plotter

Thanks but alas no android. I am trying to figure out how to edit my post because I have an open cockpit sailboat and need something I can mount on the pedestal and water resistant.

Thanks though.
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Old 01-05-2015, 15:05   #5
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Re: budget chart plotter

An iPad in a LifeProof case may be a good option. It has some drawbacks like being rare to read in direct sunlight but that's easy to solve with shade from a Bimini or even a big hat. There are mounts for your pedestal or use it hand held. INavX is a good and inexpensive app.


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Old 01-05-2015, 17:10   #6
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Re: budget chart plotter

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Originally Posted by catshopper View Post
Thanks but alas no android. I am trying to figure out how to edit my post because I have an open cockpit sailboat and need something I can mount on the pedestal and water resistant.

Thanks though.
Thats too bad. There are some good buys in quality android tablets right now which have their own built in gps. Just saw the Samsung Galaxy 3 with 7" screen for $100. Thats better than the android I'm using. It's probably a closeout but it should work fine.
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Old 01-05-2015, 18:56   #7
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Re: budget chart plotter

Catshopper,

Just wanted to say "good on ya" for sailing the old school way all this time!

Sooner or later, some bureaucrat will make it illegal to sail anywhere without 10k worth of electronics on board, "for our own good".

Cheers!
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Old 01-05-2015, 19:10   #8
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Re: budget chart plotter

Cats you don't say why you want a plotter, except that you're concerned charts won't be updated. If your happy with going below to chart and plot your course then you will probably find an iPad with navionics or laptop with opencpn the quickest cheapest fixes.
If you are wanting to add functionality like AIS, radar, steering to waypoints etc then a fixed plotter might be the better but more expensive option.
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Old 01-05-2015, 19:15   #9
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Re: budget chart plotter

You can buy used Panasonic toughbooks or toughpads and the like fairly cheap. For new, Google my tablet model. It's fine for mounting at the helm in weather as it's made to be used in up to one metre depth of pool water so is water resistant enough.

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Old 01-05-2015, 19:27   #10
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Re: budget chart plotter

OpenCPN on a Tablet, or laptop, and it does AIS and RADAR and Steering, and you are not owned by a fruit.
Really its not only the cheapest option but it is one of the best.
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Old 01-05-2015, 19:29   #11
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Re: budget chart plotter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
An iPad in a LifeProof case may be a good option. It has some drawbacks like being rare to read in direct sunlight but that's easy to solve with shade from a Bimini or even a big hat. There are mounts for your pedestal or use it hand held. INavX is a good and inexpensive app.


S/V B'Shert
I also have iPad and Lifeproof waterproof case and like the combo, altho I had some difficulty in finding a proper mount being here in the third world.
Re: sunlight; iPad is not as good as marine chartplotters in this respect but I believe it has the brightest screen of any tablet device out there. When I bought mine I compare a lot of devices setting them at full brightness and iPad was the best. If only the waterproof Sony had been brighter I would have bought that one but is was much less bright.

Anyone using OpenCPN pc with a waterproof display in the outside cockpit? Any issues or just asking for trouble?
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Old 01-05-2015, 20:52   #12
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Re: budget chart plotter

Reflective screens and capacitive touch screens are always an issue outdoors. I have a toughbook with daylight screen that works fine outdoors. The main problem is that it loses watersealing at the power socket when the lead is plugged in because the rubber sealing flap for the socket cannot be used.

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Old 01-05-2015, 20:56   #13
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Re: budget chart plotter

You can occasionally find a Zeus T7 on ebay or craiglist for around $400. Maybe less maybe more....
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:14   #14
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Re: budget chart plotter

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Cats you don't say why you want a plotter, except that you're concerned charts won't be updated. If your happy with going below to chart and plot your course then you will probably find an iPad with navionics or laptop with opencpn the quickest cheapest fixes.
If you are wanting to add functionality like AIS, radar, steering to waypoints etc then a fixed plotter might be the better but more expensive option.
Sorry monte but the title does say budget chart plotter
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:21   #15
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Re: budget chart plotter

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Originally Posted by SV Sailfish View Post
Catshopper,

Just wanted to say "good on ya" for sailing the old school way all this time!

Sooner or later, some bureaucrat will make it illegal to sail anywhere without 10k worth of electronics on board, "for our own good".

Cheers!
Thanks sailfish. The truth of the matter is that back then that is about all we had. Back before LORAN even. Believe or not I was sailing a 90' , 3 master in the Grenadines with one old paper chart and a divers wrist compass.... and no depth sounder.

Aarrrr
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