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Thread: Cutting the chart plotter cord?

  1. #1
    Continuously learning 907Juice's Avatar
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    Cutting the chart plotter cord?

    Many of my electronics are old and/or non existent. Instead of spending a grand on a new chart plotter et al, why not just buy a superflu iPad and load the latest and greatest charts on them? It would be way better functionality and you can take it anywhere you go. Then you can also use it for other non essential boating items.

    Cons include sun interference from heat and light and no sonar.

    Thoughts?
    Juice
    1982 Ericson 25 plus

  2. #2
    Contributing Partner kiwisailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 907Juice View Post
    Many of my electronics are old and/or non existent. Instead of spending a grand on a new chart plotter et al, why not just buy a superflu iPad and load the latest and greatest charts on them? It would be way better functionality and you can take it anywhere you go. Then you can also use it for other non essential boating items.

    Cons include sun interference from heat and light and no sonar.

    Thoughts?
    My primary chartplotter is a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.2" tablet from Costco (this version has an internal GPS receiver). I have it in a waterproof case with a pedestal mount. I've installed the freeware OpenCPN chart plotting software https://opencpn.org/ and have all NOAA charts installed on the tablets external storage card. I've not had any issues with viewing it in sunlight. In addition I have my tablet wifi connected to my iMux multiplexer so that AIS targets received on my VHF radio appear on the chartplotter as well as my wind and depth instrument data.

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    Sherene & Mike Taniwha

    1981 E38 "KIWI"
    Hull #53
    Groton, CT

  3. #3
    Sustaining Partner Slick470's Avatar
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    I thought about just using a ipad or other tablet instead of a chartplotter but then I updated my ancient and dying w/s/d instruments with new ones from B&G. Then my wife wanted me to get an AP to make sailing with the kids easier so I bought a Raymarine networked tiller pilot. Then added a new VHF with AIS. Then I realized I needed to update the new instruments, VHF, and AP to take advantage of bug fixes and added functionality and that you can only update the instruments, VHF, and/or AP with a chartplotter from the same brand.

    Ugh. I now own two chartplotters. One B&G and one Raymarine. My boat used to be relatively simple. Now not so much.

    On the plus side, you can keep your eye out for a good deal and occasionally find them relatively cheap. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Raymarine-a...r/362374054417

    Oh, and both the B&G and Raymarine chart plotters can output to WiFi. The B&G one has an app that lets you mimic and control the chartplotter from a tablet. I'm pretty sure the Raymarine does something similar, but I haven't tried it yet.
    Last edited by Slick470; 09-06-2018 at 01:21 PM.
    Andy H.
    1990 Ericson Olson 911S #149 Hawkeye
    Deale, Maryland
    Yanmar 2GM20F

  4. #4
    Contributing Member I
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    Using an Ipad

    I've gone the Ipad route after my old chartplotter went down this summer. Bought a case and a binnacle mount for about 50$ total on Amazon. I use an app called ISailGPS which is the only free choice for IOS devices, since they will not run Open CPN. ISail works with NOAA charts and the program is great although it sometimes stalls a little while redrawing the charts. The sun is also a problem, so a case with a non-glare screen might be an improvement worth the extra cost. Finally, the Ipad battery wears down fairly quickly when using navigation software. I'll be installing a usb charging port at the helm if I retain this configuration. All that said, the Ipad is far superior for navigation to my old Standard Horizon chartplotter.

    I used an Ipad I had on hand, but if I were doing this from scratch I would also use an android device, like kiwisailor, and open CPN, which is better software and can integrate with other computers and instruments onboard.
    L.-G. Harvey
    Montreal, QC
    Corsario, E30+, hull 614 moored in North Hero, VT.

  5. #5
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    Smile

    I-pad and Navionics is all I have, and very happy with it . . . . . There was a long thread on this debate (plotter vs. I-pad) over at Sailnet . . . . You could wade through it to ALL the expert opinions . . . .

  6. #6
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    I use a Garmin

    I use a Garmin chart plotter ( around 400 bucks).
    I have it installed swing out panavise in the companion way.

    Rick
    Pax et Bene
    Rick e29

  7. #7
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Mike's diagram above caused the room to spin and I woke up in the fetal position.

    My $600 Garmin 740 HD came with full electronic charts inc. Hawaii, contains a depthsounder and super-duper HD fishfinder, and integrates seamlessly with my typewriter-era brain. It's waterproof--with a 7" screen.

    Single best piece of electronics I ever owned.

    And when I accidentally fried it during installation, Garmin replaced it free under warranty.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 09-06-2018 at 05:44 PM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  8. #8
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    Here’s my setup:

    * Quark Electric model A026 AIS receiver/GPS/NMEA WiFi multiplexer, $125, the heart of the system
    * GPS antenna for the A026, $10
    * Glomex RA201 VHF antenna splitter for the A026 enabling AIS signal reception, $40
    * ASUS ruggedized Chromebook (Flip 213SA), $300 (used ashore too - cool device), running OpenCPN in Android ($10 for Android version)
    * iPhones, iPads running iNavX (also used ashore)
    * Free cloud account at Fugawi.com stores waypoints and routes and assists, somewhat, in syncing across devices

    I also run OpenCPN on my home Mac, because wrangling waypoints and routes is far superior on a large screen. It is much easier to maintain a central set of data on the Mac. Also, the apps on the small devices are a little finicky, especially OpenCPN.

    Not counting the iOS devices and Chromebook, which I already had, this bestows chartplotter and AIS receive capabilities for under $200. I’m investigating the possibility of tying the Tillerpilot into this too, but that’s icing on the cake if it ever works.

    The GPS capability of the A026 is helpful for two reasons: it’s wired into my DSC-capable VHF via the NMEA ports, and also transmits position information over WiFi to the Chromebook, which does not have internal GPS like iOS devices do. The WiFi capability is key, of course, and the ultimate benefits of the Chromebook are the good screen size and the fact that it will run wirelessly for 10 hours or longer on a charge. IOS devices running nav software cannot do that.
    1969 Ericson 32 #112 • Atomic Four
    City Island, NYC
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    Hair by Mr. Gigi

  9. #9
    Continuously learning 907Juice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisailor View Post
    My primary chartplotter is

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    Lol, that diagram makes me dizzy... was thinking more along the lines of a chart plotter, wind instruments, transducer, ish...

    ive also been looking at new electronics that fall under the nmea2000 banner. But they still have communication issues. I think Christian is right though. For 700 or so bucks I can get a chart plotter that will sync with an iPad running ac or something.

    My trips are costal cruising. Aside for general route planning I don’t really even use the chart plotter till I’m turning past a cape or when looking for an anchor spot.
    Last edited by 907Juice; 09-07-2018 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Cause I felt like it?
    Juice
    1982 Ericson 25 plus

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