Cruisers Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-07-2009, 05:54   #31
Registered User
Rhoel_Asia's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Boat: boatless at the moment :-(, Previous Itchen Ferry 25.
Posts: 89
Images: 5
Over the last 6 months I have been heavily involved with an OpenSource GIS project: It has really opened my eyes as to what is currently possible with free code, the technology just around the corner. Put simply, I'm stunned.

One interesting development for yotties is the One Computer One Child project which has unexpectedly driven the computer market towards smaller cheaper netbooks: People love their very small size, cost and go-anywhere appeal - they do 99% of what people use laptops for... emails, letters and surfing the net. This development even caught Microsoft on the hop and forced it into a retreat on withdrawing XP.

Some of these netbooks are now just a few hundred dollars, making them very affordable and accessible. Add a $50 mouse GPS unit and the entire unit becomes a very neat dedicated navigation station. Their very low cost means the carry-two solution is a viable solution to the "what happens if the GPS fails" dilemma.

My OpenGIS work means I have both a GPS enabled phone and PDA unit - I am now playing with open source GDAL libraries and Google Maps to build a low cost backup equivalent to RDF, something cheap which is good enough (or better than RDF), a solution to get me near enough to home so I can pick up local landmarks and use local pilotage charts before I encounter non-deep water. Already there are some good GPS mobile units using free vector global base-charts which can guide a boat across the Atlantic to make landfall in the right place.

These are not designed as a primary navigation system, more a viable replacement to RDF and DR. Its interesting to note these mobile devices have touch screens, are daylight viewable and can run continuously (for months) from solar panels. And most have SD card slots for loading very high resolution vector charts (Stuff raster, vectors are tiny, editable over the net and are ultra resolution).

One final thought: There is an old adage one should not rely solely on electorincs as they night fail: One should still have charts, compass and sextant as a back-up. Sure, but drop a fragile sextant or bend its arc in a broach and you are stuffed just the same.

Open source requires no dongles or licensing, software which can be reprogrammed by yourself, vector maps which can run on a number of different devices from laptops and/or mobiles and uses data which can be downloaded/updated by the internet or via mobile. Mobile OS GPS seem to have a lot going for it.

The future on navigation is getting very interesting.

Rhoel_Asia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 06:12   #32
Registered User
idpnd's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Almerķa, ES
Boat: Chiquita 46 - Libertalia
Posts: 1,551
I concur with the thread starter Curmudgeon - the closed formats on the charts are rather annoying - especially as the underlying data was produced using tax money! In the US, this data must be published freely by law (which doesnt stop the 'worst pirates' repackaging and reselling it anyhow). In the rest of the world with few exceptions, you must buy charts, which are mainly available in proprietary chips and formats (although the S-57 vector charts represent an international, open standard).

The black box hardware package of a chartplotter is easily replicated per se, using small form pcs and daylight monitors. The NMEA data is open (although some marine instrument manufacturers still do not fully comply to lock customers into 'integrated systems').

I feel you're absolutely right that this market will go through significant changes around now. I am rather pleased with the open source OpenCPN project (on sourceforge and elsewhere on this site) or freeware projects such as NavMonPC.
idpnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 06:17   #33
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Boat: Bristol 38.8
Posts: 1,625
It's getting interesting and it's going to get alot cheaper. The GPS manufacturers had better wake up and smell the coffee.

Once again, a built-in computer (for navigation, entertainment, communications and all the rest) will become standard equipment on high end boats in the relatively near future. Purchasers will not need a separate GPS, although they will probably want an inexpensive handheld as a backup. At some point, paper charts will become unnecessary as well.
Curmudgeon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 06:20   #34
Registered User
idpnd's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Almerķa, ES
Boat: Chiquita 46 - Libertalia
Posts: 1,551
ASAIK, paper charts are no longer (legally) required for professional craft (probably leisure craft as well) with an ECDIS-compliant navigation system (fully redundant electrical system).
idpnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 06:44   #35
Registered User
Amgine's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 1,385
Images: 1
Software solutions

I'm really pleased with MacENC and its ability to run every instrument I can think of into overlays - AIS, Radar, etc. The funny thing is, I don't even have wind instruments, I just think it's cool that I could.

What other extremely reasonably priced or FLOSS/Free all-in-one software are available, for which platforms? I suspect a lot of people simply aren't aware they could build a chart plotter on the laptop they already have for (in my personal setup) $100. And most of that was the serial-to-usb.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
Amgine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2009, 06:55   #36
Registered User
idpnd's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Almerķa, ES
Boat: Chiquita 46 - Libertalia
Posts: 1,551
That would make for a nice free charts (refer to dacusts's homepage) / free navigation progs sticky..
idpnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-07-2009, 04:38   #37
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Estonia
Boat: Grand Soleil 42R
Posts: 20
My solution to avoid proprietary

Dell Latitude D510 laptop computer (used) U$ 350
SailCruiser Pro by NavSim U$ 399
C-Map Pro by Jeppesen U$ 299
adaptors, etc ca U$ 50

All that I linked to my boats B&G wind computer and Furuno GPS.
So, I have full-featured navigation solution for U$ 1100
Grand Soleil 42R
Sailing Gadgets Blog; sponsored by Dell
jaak ennuste is offline   Reply With Quote

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
World's largest boat show? Jerry Woodward Multihull Sailboats 18 01-08-2008 10:03
Worst Storm You've Been Thru at Sea Charlie Seamanship & Boat Handling 29 12-10-2006 10:31
(Currently) the World's Two Largest Sailing Yachts! Gallivanters General Sailing Forum 6 30-09-2006 02:53
THE WORST CAT IN THE WORLD? Bob Norson Multihull Sailboats 0 18-07-2006 22:16
World's Largest Passenger Ship Christened CaptainK Powered Boats 0 12-05-2006 23:10

Advertise Here

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:48.

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.