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Old 31-12-2015, 09:51   #16
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Re: What size screen makes a chartplotter a tool rather than unusable?

I keep a hand held Garmin GPS clipped to my coat or at the wheel. Tiny but useful & effective. We have an 8-inch repeater screen from our Simrad NSE-8 The NSE is below and the repeater is at the wheel.
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Old 31-12-2015, 15:28   #17
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Re: What size screen makes a chartplotter a tool rather than unusable?

I sat down to reconcile a heading discrepancy of 12 degrees given by my PC with open cpn, and my garmin GPS on a route created in open cpn and given in waypoint format to the garmin.

"Well WTF?" I thought. "if I was at sea, I wouldn't know which piece of equipment to follow".

Clearly one of the two pieces of gear did not seem to be computing the magnetic variation for my area. "But which one?" I had set them both to give magnetic heading in their output. So rabid rechecking of settings on both pieces began. Then I got carried away. "Wheres the chart?! Where is my compass? where is my how to navigate book? I'm gonna figure it out for real, then I will know which piece of gear is giving the correct heading..."


and all the answers came at once.

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Old 01-01-2016, 03:56   #18
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Re: What size screen makes a chartplotter a tool rather than unusable?

Originally Posted by nematon785 View Post

1.At what minimum size does a chartplotter become a tool in the cockpit rather than a novelty?

2.does combining feeds require an increase in this size? how much? for example, throw in radar, sonar and apparent wind etc into an MFD.

3. Is combining displays into one screen a good navigational/piloting practice? Does it help?

4. Any direction or website on general instructions for operating electronic navigation gear? like a website that covers common input and behavior of all brands? Or do I need to learn each manufacturer by manual? (for chartering a knowledge base would be nice when confronted with new equipment)
I have used Maxsea for many years
1. I think bigger is better, so you can zoom in for detail & still see a reasonable distance around you. Laptop is minimum size for main plotter.
2. & 3. I like most equipment to stand alone for sake of reliability and easy interpretation. AIS on chart plotter is good. Radar should stand alone. Independent GPS like Furuno Gp32 is good, so is Garmin handheld.
4. Knowledge can be built up gradually, helps to have good simple gear, like Furuno, chart on the table, transfer lat & long often enough but hourly max when away from hazards. Use your plotter when in confined waters.
Enjoy and take care
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:33   #19
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Re: What size screen makes a chartplotter a tool rather than unusable?

12" screen for Opencpn IMO as a compromise for power consumption-seeability-portability tradeoff.
.... is about minimal to zoom in and out and still keep your eyeballs from falling out of your maybe one of the larger tablets, if the reflection doesn't p-ss you off.,..

But that said, even tiny 4" screens (OpcnAndroid) is a very cool thing to have in your pocket, it's just that you might want some reading glasses when you zoom out.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:02   #20
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Re: What size screen makes a chartplotter a tool rather than unusable?

I have a Standard Horizon plotter with a 5 inch screen that is unreadable from the companionway but more than adequate from the steering pedestal. When mounted on the bulkhead, I did not even use it. I used my phone, which actually worked very well in the Chesapeake. I too use OpenCPN below and find it better than my Garmin or SH dedicated plotters. I just bought a 12V 24 inch HD flat screen TV to swing into the companionway from inside the boat (only $100). I plan to use it with OpenCPN when using my dodger and/or in good weather. Should be viewable from anywhere.
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chartplotter, screen, size

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