Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-09-2021, 12:12   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Eustis, Fl
Boat: Piver Loadstar 35 ft
Posts: 35
Send a message via Skype™ to chubasco
Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Thanks for taking the time, can someone recommend the minimum navigation equipment I need on my recently purchased small sailboat. It had an old Garmin on it, over 30 years old.I wanted to upgrade, something that has connectivity to the raymarine autopilot and any other thing I might need to know? How much money do I have to spend to get something decent ?
chubasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2021, 13:35   #2
Registered User
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 9,192
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

What pilot do you have?
The old Garmin likely could have been interfaced to the pilot, fwiw.

There are so many options out there. You first need to define what you expect out of anything you buy.

Such as, do you need a full suite of electronics? Just a plotter? How about wind and depth?
Sailmonkey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2021, 13:52   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Boat: Tartan 33 and OPB
Posts: 3,228
Send a message via Skype™ to Snore
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

As always it starts with how will the boat be used? What are your plans for the next few years.

The fact that you are asking, seems to indicate you are a newbie. I would focus on learning to sail using a depth gauge and for now a tablet app.

There was a great article written by a fairly smart guy for Practical Sailor that addresses upgrades. If you are a subscriber, take a look at that also.
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ismael -a link to my delivery website is in my profileó
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2021, 15:39   #4
Registered User
 
AndyEss's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Sea of Cortez/northern Utah/ Wisconsin/ La Paz, BCS
Boat: Hans Christian 38 Mk II
Posts: 869
Images: 2
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

buying used gear on Fleabay can be an option to save some $, but you have to buy from a seller who accepts returns. And have the time to check the gear as soon as it comes in.
AndyEss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 08:18   #5
Registered User
 
Scorpius's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Madeira Park, BC
Boat: Custom steel, 41' LOD
Posts: 903
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

If you are new to this, I would be VERY hesitant to connect your autopilot to your GPS. In my mind it makes you complacent thinking the electronics will keep you out of trouble. We lost a multi-million dollar ferry a few years ago because the electronic navigation/autopilot system hadn't been programmed properly and the ferry sideswiped an island and sank in deep water. Most were rescued but two died. By all means use the electronic navigation to plan your trip and keep track of where you are while traveling. And by all means use the autopilot to do most of the steering. But I find that I like to stay on top of things myself and make the course changes manually.


I use OpenCPN (free) on my laptop and am VERY happy with it. Previously I used a cheap BU-353 GPS from Globalsat to feed it but now my Vesper Marine AIS sends the GPS info to the laptop via WiFi. Very convenient.
Scorpius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 08:56   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Southern California
Boat: Catalina 320
Posts: 1,007
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Connecting an autopilot to the chartplotter only gives the ability to "steer to waypoint" which I've never found to be of benefit under sail. Doesn't keep you straight but oversteers constantly. Of much more use is connection to the wind gauge so you can use "steer to wind" mode on AP.
If you have Raymarine instruments they can be connected to any new chartplotter with available converter.
30 years ago my Garmin GPS had a 1" black and white screen, are you sure yours is that old ? Does it work and what model is it ?
Calif.Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 10:08   #7
MJH
Registered User
 
MJH's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42ac
Posts: 835
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Quote:
Originally Posted by chubasco View Post
Thanks for taking the time, can someone recommend the minimum navigation equipment I need on my recently purchased small sailboat. It had an old Garmin on it, over 30 years old.I wanted to upgrade, something that has connectivity to the raymarine autopilot and any other thing I might need to know? How much money do I have to spend to get something decent ?
Don't be in too much of a hurry with your new boat. Get to know it better and firm up on how you plan to use it and WHERE. Those answers will lead you to a description of what is needed.

I'm not a fan of spending big money on unneeded electronics to keep up with the current fad...they will be outdated next year. I second a previous comment on the negatives of tying your GPS to the autopilot as it can surely lead you to disaster if programmed incorrectly or correctly with a poor waypoint selection. You are the captain and must maintain control.

I use a 15" laptop at the protected nav station to plan my route and then transfer that route to a handheld Garmin via USB for use at the helm...minimal expense. Both run concurrently while underway. That setup got me to Hawaii roundtrip, Alaska a couple of times, and numerous remote locations in British Columbia over the last 25 years. You don't need to spend big bucks on navigation bells and whistles.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
MJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 10:19   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ormond Beach
Posts: 28
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Simple. Download Navionics to your cell phone. I've used it as my primary on many trips. $8.95 per year. KISS. Cheers!
richtay57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 10:51   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ormond Beach
Posts: 28
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Navionics is an APP on your phone. It uses GPS...you do not need a cell signal
richtay57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 11:13   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southport, NC
Boat: Pearson 367 cutter, 36'
Posts: 585
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

My primary chart plotter is integrated to the autopilot (both Raymarine) but I rarely, if ever, use the feature to steer to a waypoint. I feel better checking my course every 15 minutes or so and making adjustments if needed. I've used this approach in 5000+ miles of sailing thus far, but I can see the advantage of "steer to waypoint" when motoring.
AJ_n_Audrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 11:41   #11
MJH
Registered User
 
MJH's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42ac
Posts: 835
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Quote:
Originally Posted by richtay57 View Post
Navionics is an APP on your phone. It uses GPS...you do not need a cell signal
All replies on this thread are giving personal advice on navigation options without clarifying the limits to them.

I don't question the use of your phone, it works for you for where you have sailed...where is that?

Assume you are planning to cross the Pacific to Hawaii. Would your phone navigation still be primary? Are there any precautions you would take with your phone navigation recommendation? How would you plan for a complete power failure? ...it happened to me crossing the Gulf of Mexico, FL - TX.

If anything is going to happen it is going to happen out there. --Capt. Ron

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
MJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 13:32   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Tampa Bay
Boat: 1998 Catalina 320
Posts: 153
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Sounds like you're new to sailing, so I suspect you're not going to be crossing to Hawaii. (Besides, these days, they likely wouldn't let you in ...)


Anyhow, either Navionics or OpenCPN on a Samsung tablet is enough for day sails and short trips. Buy a water-resistant case for the Samsung.



Also, if your new boat has a wheel, go on Amazon and buy a rail mount to keep it near the helm. Otherwise, if you have a tiller, just find an accessible place to store it.



And install a USB charger somewhere at the helm so you can plug the cord in and keep the Samsung charged.


In my opinion, a 10-inch tablet is superior to the smaller Garmin and Raymarine units when you use traditional charts converted for electronic use. Simple is good.



As a onetime computer guy, I know that all of the networking trumpeted by these companies carries many downsides. You want electronics on individual systems so if something breaks, all do not go down.


Lastly, I think that networking a ton of electronic gear is vastly overrated. I own a sailboat so I can sail it. Tablet, simple autopilot, depth sounder and a couple of strands of yarn.


That's all you need.
Shanachie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 15:30   #13
Registered User
 
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 2,917
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

I wouldn't go out of my way to network the autopilot to a chartplotter. I do find that steering to waypoint is useful if motoring a ways in areas with significant currents, but just a nice-to-have. Unless you are planning on coming into unfamiliar harbors after dark (bad habit to get into) then considering that you appear to be in an area that does not have a lot of fog I don't think you need radar. A chartplotter is useful for navigating in shallow waters such as around Florida. Phones, tablets, and laptops can all be used to provide this capability but I question the wisdom of relying on them for piloting as they need to be available in the cockpit, and thus waterproof, easily visible at the helm, and mounted such that one's hands are free for other duties.

One option you might consider is buying a used Furuno MFD8 or MFD12 from FleaBay. For about $500 you get a high-end, if 10 years old, chartplotter that has all of the bells and whistles, but more importantly has free NOAA charts (raster and vector) updated every year and a wide selection of current Navionics, Cmap, and Mapmedia charts can be bought for it. [I just checked and there is less availability right now for the MFD8, but a few MFD12 units - no surprise.] Of course a used conventional digital radar could be added, which is quite good, but at $1k used I don't recommend it for you.

Greg
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 15:46   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 5,281
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJH View Post
All replies on this thread are giving personal advice on navigation options without clarifying the limits to them.

I don't question the use of your phone, it works for you for where you have sailed...where is that?

Assume you are planning to cross the Pacific to Hawaii. Would your phone navigation still be primary? Are there any precautions you would take with your phone navigation recommendation? How would you plan for a complete power failure? ...it happened to me crossing the Gulf of Mexico, FL - TX.

If anything is going to happen it is going to happen out there. --Capt. Ron

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
I use Navionics on the cell phone as a backup to the boat systems on deliveries. Yes, it does work crossing to Hawaii, IF and only IF you download the necessary charts before you lose cell signal. On three occasions, I have lost all instrumentation and it has become my primary navigation tool. Unlike most built in instruments, it will work for many hours AFTER a complete power failure.
donradcliffe is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-09-2021, 16:00   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 599
Re: Advice on GPS and navigation equipment to buy please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post
If you are new to this, I would be VERY hesitant to connect your autopilot to your GPS. In my mind it makes you complacent thinking the electronics will keep you out of trouble. We lost a multi-million dollar ferry a few years ago because the electronic navigation/autopilot system hadn't been programmed properly and the ferry sideswiped an island and sank in deep water. Most were rescued but two died. By all means use the electronic navigation to plan your trip and keep track of where you are while traveling. And by all means use the autopilot to do most of the steering. But I find that I like to stay on top of things myself and make the course changes manually.


I use OpenCPN (free) on my laptop and am VERY happy with it. Previously I used a cheap BU-353 GPS from Globalsat to feed it but now my Vesper Marine AIS sends the GPS info to the laptop via WiFi. Very convenient.
I'm also a fan of Open CPN with the CM93 chart files and other local stuff. All free. Just be aware that the BU-353 GPS antenna won't work with Windows 10 and some other newer platforms.
You need the better BU-353S4 also from GlobalSat. (or equivalent). For connecting up to an autopilot and other stuff, consult the free extensive Open CPN help desk.
A big advantage of the Open CPN software is that it can be updated free. Try that with the other commercial systems. Ho bloody ho! Not likely.
billgewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Advice, equipment, gps, lease, men, navigation

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Communication and Navigation Equipment Technical Work BNorthern Boat Ownership & Making a Living 2 11-02-2021 17:03
Computer navigation and tablet advice for idiot please! Copacabana Navigation 80 18-07-2018 18:47
GPS Navigation Advice Robes Navigation 12 12-12-2012 17:01

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:54.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.