Originally Posted by Pelagic
Ready to pull the trigger on buying
new 2014 navigational electronics
Given all the advances in Tablets and Apps, I am wondering if you still feel paying lots of $$ for name brand MFD Chart plotters like Furuno
etc… is still justified and the only solution?
If yes on MFD… which brand do you consider the best value?
If NO… what system works in Daylight?
This is a complicated question and I haven't read other replies first, but here we go...
I think it very much depends on the sailor and the boat
. If you are in an under-40 foot aft-cockpit sailboat, particularly the modern sort with little or no nav station, then an MFD is almost unavoidable. There's insufficient space at most helms for multiple displays and it's a fairly harsh environment
in which to run electronics
. That said, if you have a bigger boat
and a nav station, there's less of an argument and you can have something like a PC-based (this can include a "hardened PC" like a Toughbook) plotter into which various "black boxes" feed the same data.
If you have a pilothouse, you can have discrete instrumentation as you wish. Personally, I have such a pilothouse. I want discrete AIS
that, at my discretion, can be shown in panels
or in the form of an overlay on a PC screen
. That suits my belt-and-suspenders approach; others will differ.
At night, if I'm not relying on RADAR
, I prefer to have minimal distractions: a very
dimmed SOG and COG display, along with a very dimmed wind
speed and direction display, would suit me fine. Of course, an MFD can be "reduced" to do this, but in practice I've seen it lit up with the usual blank squares of ocean and a little set of figures up in one corner.
I prefer ears and eyes and a RADAR on guard watch that goes "beep" if something is within 16 NM. I don't need to see it, and indeed, I feel that one can become transfixed by instrumentation, particularly if it also allows you to fiddle with your stereo, answer your email
and check the level of poop in the holding tank
. Too much information spoils the watch, and we monkeys, even the sailing kind, are too prone to staring at shiny things...and that includes MFDs.
I'm not even going to get into the power issue!