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Old 18-03-2021, 12:04   #1
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Nav aids from the beginning

I have nada, zip, nothing in the way of navigational aids. I will be buying the "binder" of our local charts one I get into ASA103 in a week or so, but other than that, I don't have anything.

I would like to have my own navigational device, even though the charter boats I'll be using will have their on-board plotter, for 2 reasons:

1. Redundancy is king.

2. I will be buying my own boat some day (highly likely but still a maybe) and will need something then. Being totally familiar with my own navigational display will be a plus at that point.

So, beginning at the beginning, I'm thinking of a tablet for this. Something like a Samsung with a 10" screen and built in GPS instead of cellular GPS.

But, where do I go from there?
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Old 18-03-2021, 12:10   #2
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
I have nada, zip, nothing in the way of navigational aids. I will be buying the "binder" of our local charts one I get into ASA103 in a week or so, but other than that, I don't have anything.

I would like to have my own navigational device, even though the charter boats I'll be using will have their on-board plotter, for 2 reasons:

1. Redundancy is king.

2. I will be buying my own boat some day (highly likely but still a maybe) and will need something then. Being totally familiar with my own navigational display will be a plus at that point.

So, beginning at the beginning, I'm thinking of a tablet for this. Something like a Samsung with a 10" screen and built in GPS instead of cellular GPS.

But, where do I go from there?
Cue/Queue the many differing recommendations...

Vote here for OpenCPN on Android (you said Samsung; PC versions also great).

Some say OpenCPN is hard-to-learn (not my experience), but most agree that once basics are learned, it's a great full-featured (!) application.
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Old 18-03-2021, 12:36   #3
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An old Windows laptop, Nimble Navigator program and a WiFi link to your cockpit tablet and your good to go..
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Old 19-03-2021, 04:14   #4
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
So, beginning at the beginning, I'm thinking of a tablet for this. Something like a Samsung with a 10" screen and built in GPS instead of cellular GPS.

We primarily use AquaMaps (USA, Master) on Android devices for this.

We also have iSailor and MXMariner for backup to the backup... and there are several other similar options folks here will recommend.

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Old 19-03-2021, 04:23   #5
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

Don't worry too much about this.

If you really want, get an app on your tablet / phone with a decently cheap set of maps (For the USA that's about all of them starting with Navionics) or use OpenCPN on an old laptop.

The key's not to invest into something which will end up being outdated quilckly. Development have been and still are quite rapid in this area for the past 5 years.
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Old 19-03-2021, 04:30   #6
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

INavX on an iPad?
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Old 19-03-2021, 04:36   #7
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

I find that OpenCPN (laptop or android tablet) and/ or Navionics (Android tablet/phone) covers all my requirements on my own and other boats



I can get by quite comfortably with just Navionics on a smartphone if I need to.
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Old 19-03-2021, 07:17   #8
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

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Don't worry too much about this.

If you really want, get an app on your tablet / phone with a decently cheap set of maps (For the USA that's about all of them starting with Navionics) or use OpenCPN on an old laptop.

The key's not to invest into something which will end up being outdated quilckly. Development have been and still are quite rapid in this area for the past 5 years.
Query:

If I use an old laptop for this, then I'm either lugging that monster on/off the boat and having it rattle around the cockpit, or I have to lug the monster and a tablet.

Then there's the fact that I must be a luddite or something because I have no idea how to WiFi connect the tablet to the laptop. I know I can probably use a cord to connect them, but now I have tripwires running through the cockpit. If I use WiFi to connect the 2 devices, does this mean that I now have to cart the laptop, the tablet, and some sort of WiFi router to/from the boat?

I'm serious, I have no idea how to do any of this and am starting to believe that crayons and paper charts are the answer I'm looking for.
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Old 19-03-2021, 07:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
Query:

If I use an old laptop for this, then I'm either lugging that monster on/off the boat and having it rattle around the cockpit, or I have to lug the monster and a tablet.

Then there's the fact that I must be a luddite or something because I have no idea how to WiFi connect the tablet to the laptop. I know I can probably use a cord to connect them, but now I have tripwires running through the cockpit. If I use WiFi to connect the 2 devices, does this mean that I now have to cart the laptop, the tablet, and some sort of WiFi router to/from the boat?

I'm serious, I have no idea how to do any of this and am starting to believe that crayons and paper charts are the answer I'm looking for.
Its called Bluetooth..
WiFi connection is simple considering the laptop and tablet are likely less than 10ft apart.. no need for a router.
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Old 19-03-2021, 07:46   #10
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

Not sure why some are suggesting you need to use TWO devices (laptop and tablet). An Android tablet (or even smartphone, though the screen is kinda small) in the cockpit is enough.

(Although I would agree that a backup system is very important in case of failure. So a 2nd tablet or a smartphone or a laptop as backup.)

If you are only cruising in the USA, NOAA electronic charts are free (and easy to keep up-to-date, which is not so easy for paper charts).

I prefer NOAA/CHS raster charts (just like the paper charts), useable by several apps including OpenCPN, in contrast to how charts are displayed by Navionics. It's a personal preference. Of course, you can have BOTH on your tablet (as I do).
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Old 19-03-2021, 07:55   #11
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

Suggest a Windows Tablet ($200-500) and OpenCPN (free). Gives the most flexibility and the best software upgrade path on a single device.
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Old 19-03-2021, 07:55   #12
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

I assume you already have a smart phone. I would start out by trying a few apps on that to see what you like. I use both OpenCPN and Navionics on my tablet. The charts on Navionics are better, and it has crowd sourced information in anchorages, marinas, etc. The overall feature set on OpenCPN is better, routes, waypoints, AIS etc are all much better on OpenCPN.
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Old 19-03-2021, 08:28   #13
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

If you get both an iPad and an Android pad, you have soooo many choices. I have Aquamap, Navionics, and the Garmin mobile app that talks to my secondary Garmin chartplotter. Anything that's free, I download and play with to see if I like it. I've bought Navionics charts, and some Garmin (Bahamas) beyond what came with the unit.
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Old 19-03-2021, 08:58   #14
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Re: Nav aids from the beginning

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Originally Posted by Rob_P View Post
If I use an old laptop for this, then I'm either lugging that monster on/off the boat and having it rattle around the cockpit, or I have to lug the monster and a tablet.
I'd go either/or and keep the laptop / tablet under deck at the nav-station and not in the cockpit. Generations of sailors could navigate without electronic nanny checking all the time.

You check your next marks, navigate there by sight, compass and depth-sounder (avoid navigating by sound) and then check the next waypoints.

Except in very complicated waters you should avoid as a beginner anyway, that's good enough.
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Old 19-03-2021, 09:06   #15
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pirate Re: Nav aids from the beginning

^^^^^
How I do it, but today folks like a screen to play with in the cockpit..
You could carry a paper chart for referall/refresh on visible nav markings.. assuming your going to be in local (50nm)waters for the foreseeable future.
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