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Old 16-02-2018, 06:41   #1
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Chart plotter

Hi all! Does anyone have a suggestion on a reasonably priced chart plotter. I'm looking for something under $500. I don't need a fish finder. I just want to get from point A to point B without bumping into anything(like the bottom). I'll be sailing the upper Chesapeake bay. I've mostly been looking online but it's hard to tell what's a decent product and what isn't. Thanks!
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Old 16-02-2018, 06:51   #2
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Re: Chart plotter

Not quite answering your question...but if you're looking to spend under $500, you might be better using a chart plotter on your iPad (if you have one). I use Navionics.

There's lots of discussion threads on this, like...
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Old 16-02-2018, 06:58   #3
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Re: Chart plotter

I found out of production white box Simrad NSE 8 on EB for around that amount. You still need a separate GPS receiver for navigation. They were clearing out theit stocks.
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Old 16-02-2018, 06:59   #4
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Re: Chart plotter

Your going to be very limited in that price range.
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Old 16-02-2018, 07:01   #5
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pirate Re: Chart plotter

Don't know if NOAA charts are compatible with OpenCPN but if they are get a cheap Tablet and download the free program then load the free charts from the NOAA site..
If its just local cruising that's the cheapest bet

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Old 16-02-2018, 15:10   #6
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Re: Chart plotter

Apple or android tablet and a flavor of charting program is the cheapest.

Be sure that you get one with gps (like an iPad that is cellular instead of WiFi only, you do not need a cellular plan with it however).
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Old 16-02-2018, 16:12   #7
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Re: Chart plotter

The best chartplotter in your price range is called Garmin 44dv. It costs about $300, can be had for cheaper on sale. It does everything but radar and has pretty good maps. It also comes with sonar that you can use for depth (mount the transducer in hull, no issue). I suggest you spend the rest of the money to get the Lowrance Link-8 VHF (one of the few that allow you to output AIS data over nmea 0183 at 4800 bps). This way for $550 you have a system that does everything the larger systems do except for radar.

Later, if you decide to get an autopilot, you get a second hand ST4000+ that interfaces nicely. This is where the 4800 bps AIS becomes handy. Next, you would want to get a wind sensor (you need that for the autopilot, trust me). You can get a NASA marine 10 Hz nmea 0183 sensor for $200. Then you are set.

Some will say go nmea2000. May be but you will need to spend 2-3x the money to get similar capabilities from a nmea2000 system.

I had the system above for a couple of years and I was very happy about it. Simple, capable and you can rotate the display so that it is visible at the helm and from under the dodger. (I then got the radar bug and started spending serious money. Still miss the simplicity of the old system.

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Old 16-02-2018, 17:49   #8
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Re: Chart plotter

You all missed this one....
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