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Old 12-04-2021, 17:11   #1
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New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Hey Guys,

New to the site, I sail Lake Superior primarily along the coastline, I am looking to upgrade/install a naviagation/electronics system. Any recommendations? What is necessary vs. overkill? I have been looking at a garmin 73cv+, any experience or better recommendations? After you get a good navigation system is there anything else you should add to it or purchase or upload to make it better suited for where I sail?

Last question, does anyone have any experience with opencpn? What do you guys use on your ipad or tablet while sailing?

Sorry for all the guestions.

Thanks
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Old 12-04-2021, 17:55   #2
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Ahoy and welcome to CF.
You can load OpenCPN and the Shipdriver add-in. After getting charts and a GRIB file you can then sail around in a simulation mode.
I am currently planning on using a Garmin CV43 as primary and OpenCPN as I can. My tablet is not great in bright conditions. I will still have manual stuff like a compass, charts, and sounding line. I have a VHF radio and day and night signals.
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Old 13-04-2021, 10:25   #3
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Having had chartplotters and navigational electronics from all the major makers I prefer B&G, their human interface is more intuitive to use.
I also have open CPN on a laptop in the nav station which I like to use for route planning.
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Old 14-04-2021, 04:41   #4
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, newsailor.
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Old 14-04-2021, 08:52   #5
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Or you could simply put Navionics on yr smartphone/tablet.
Andrew
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Old 14-04-2021, 10:39   #6
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Navionics or aqua map would be my choice. You can purchase a refurbished iPad at the Apple store, just make sure it has the gps option. I use it with a water proof case at my nav station. I like the large screen and you can get AIS info from Marine Traffic. Not great in the cockpit with bright sun.

Garmin GPS are fine and their tech service is great. Good Luck.
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Old 14-04-2021, 10:44   #7
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by newsailor12 View Post
Hey Guys,

New to the site, I sail Lake Superior primarily along the coastline, I am looking to upgrade/install a naviagation/electronics system. Any recommendations? What is necessary vs. overkill? I have been looking at a garmin 73cv+, any experience or better recommendations? After you get a good navigation system is there anything else you should add to it or purchase or upload to make it better suited for where I sail?

Last question, does anyone have any experience with opencpn? What do you guys use on your ipad or tablet while sailing?

Sorry for all the guestions. Thanks
I suggest thinking beyond the hardware per se and determining your navigational procedures, i.e. how you will operate.

If you use only a fixed chartplotter at the helm, how do you plan your route and/or alternatives at home before you go to the boat? What about route planning on the boat while at anchor overnight during inclement weather/storm? What about complete power outage...it happened to me.

If you use a laptop at the nav station and a chartplotter, how do you transfer the route to the helm chartplotter or vice versa? Are they compatible or will you have to go through a third party system or another software program? My experience has been that even within the same manufacturer transfers are not always possible between different models or generations of equipment.

I voyaged solo to Alaska years ago on my San Juan 28 with laptop charts in the cabin (no nav station) and a Garmin 45 on the cockpit bulkhead. The planning on the laptop was great but I had to then transfer the coordinates to the Garmin 45 one waypoint at a time...but that still beat picking coordinates off of paper charts.

I still use laptop charts (Coastal Explorer v3.1) for planning and enroute but now at the nav station on a Tayana Vancouver 42. The routes are then transferred electronically to a Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx for use at the helm. Enroute changes are handled quickly. This worked for me on round trips to Hawaii and Alaska. I was going to upgrade to a Garmin GPSMAP 78SC but just learned that transfer protocols are no longer available outside of Garmin (they want you to use their charts), so it will no longer work as it did in the past if I upgrade hardware. So, I have purchased a used Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx as a backup off eBay for $110 and will stick with what works.

There are tradeoffs to consider. So, think it through before you decide and be cautious of models and software versions.

Good Luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 14-04-2021, 17:06   #8
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

I use Wartsila iSailor on my iPad. I found it to be dead on accurate all through the east coast and Bahamas. My iPad is an old generation 2 with no cellular connectivity (although it's capable of that I just don't have that device on my plan). The only problem I've had is in the rain when the raindrops activate the screen sometimes.
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Old 14-04-2021, 19:56   #9
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

Thanks for the information and replies I really appreciate it. I have found a great deal on a Garmin 541s and it’s partner GXM51. Any experience with or thoughts on these?

Thanks
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Old 15-04-2021, 18:31   #10
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Re: New Sailor Electical/Navigation Question

I vote for B&G... built and designed for sailors/sailboats. However, a cheap alternative: iPad running Navionics Boating app ($15 annual license) and a Dual GPS 150 receiver ($100) which will put a dot on your Navionics chart indicating your location. Add a couple of iPad mounts at your helm and/or nav station, and you have a fully functional chart plotter.
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