Chartplotter vs ipad

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vanguard64
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Chartplotter vs ipad

Post by vanguard64 »

I have always relied on traditional paper charts and a handheld GPS for coastal navigation. Recently, I have been researching chartplotters and Ipad apps like Navionics. I went to WM and looked at the most recent chartplotters. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both systems. Are there any opinions on which way to go?
Thanks
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markwesti
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Re: Chartplotter vs ipad

Post by markwesti »

Good question , I have been giving it thought myself . I was thinking of the new Furuno radome coupled with the iPad . The iPad I reasoned would be set under the dodger . A little off topic the Furuno radome only needs a power cable , then uses blue tooth for the iPad . I think that is nice , less wires . I have not looked into it but I would imagine basically the same could be said for a chart plotter . My thought is to incorporate radar , chart plotter , AIS and have one readout , the iPad .
Mark .
CapnK
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Re: Chartplotter vs ipad

Post by CapnK »

I wrote you a really nice reply yesterday, and thought I had posted it - but hadn't, so it went off into the ether. :)

I've used Navionics and other apps on tablets and phones and they work well, and I use a protective sleeve when the weather warrants. They can be had a lot cheaper than a chartplotter. The one drawback they have is screen visibility in bright daylight - they tend to wash out and are hard to see. That said, they are convenient and if the weather turns to lightning, you can toss them into a Faraday box (or oven :) ) and if you take a bad strike, you'll still have electronic nav.

Dedicated chartplotter screens are weatherproof, and nicely visible in daylight. Especially the newer IPS screens, you can see them even with sunglasses on. I've always considered them more of a power hog, though. I might be wrong in this, however.

On my small power skiff, I have a Raymarine Dragonfly Pro 5 fishfinder/sounder/plotter, and it works great. Turns out that the thing only uses 0.44A/h on average at full bright. Wow! I'm far from an electronical wiz, but I think that is not much more juice than a tablet, and is certainly low enough power consumption that I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my sailboat.

So, to sum up - my answer is "Both, and always also paper - it's my favorite.". :)

As a bit of an aside, ideally I would like to tie this all together with a Vesper Marine XB-8000 AIS/WiFi router. Priced $800 on their site at link, I have seen them down to the $600 range. I think AIS is a really good development, and tho I know you can get it built into a radio now, I've a friend who said that the tiny radio screen is horrible in lots of traffic, so a tablet and their app would be the way to go.

Last, you can 'make' a very cheap, reliable, and weatherproof handheld nav aid by buying off of eBay a "Casio Gzone Commando c811" for under US$100, as low as US$70. It's an older rugged Android phone (VERY rugged, shock, dust, and waterproof) with GPS and WiFi. Add in a memory card, and download your nav and other apps, charts (and even music!) to it, and you are off and running for half the cost of a handheld Garmin. Pick up a couple new spare batteries for a bit over $10 each at Amazon or eBay.
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vanguard64
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Re: Chartplotter vs ipad

Post by vanguard64 »

Thank you for the thorough response!. When I looked at charplotters the other day I realized that the charts on them are very basic and that you have to pay additional to have more detailed C-map or Navionics charts. In addition, they seem to change the chartplotters so frequently it is hard to keep up. I don't like that technology race.
Marcelo
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