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Old 04-09-2019, 01:44 AM   #1
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GPS - Chart Plotter Recommendations

I need to update electronics and I look at these as a necessities instead of fun. Any recommendations for a good setup < $2,000?
If I'm mistaken on my limit what do you recommend? I'm headed up to Alaskan from Anacortes in June so that's the type of use it will get. I'm currently using a B/W Standard Horizon that came with the boat. It's been sworn at more than a few times. PS I also have dated Radar but thought I'd live with it for several more years.

Thanks in advance - Jim
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:17 AM   #2
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I need to update electronics and I look at these as a necessities instead of fun. Any recommendations for a good setup < $2,000?
If I'm mistaken on my limit what do you recommend? I'm headed up to Alaskan from Anacortes in June so that's the type of use it will get. I'm currently using a B/W Standard Horizon that came with the boat. It's been sworn at more than a few times. PS I also have dated Radar but thought I'd live with it for several more years.

Thanks in advance - Jim
Anacortes, WA
1981 GB Classic 42
Single John Deere 6068
There is a set of Raymarine Chartplotters for sale in the classifieds on this site. Dated but solid units.

On the new side, a 2k budget will get you something in the 7 to 9 range from any manufacturer.

Factor in that youre headed to areas that are remote, so Id look at nav gear as essential and budget accordingly.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:25 AM   #3
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https://www.thegpsstore.com/Raymarin...cer-P4477.aspx
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:40 AM   #4
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I like Furuno.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:58 AM   #5
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Furuno, Simrad, Raymarine, Garmin. All work well. The major differences are in the human/machine interface. Another big consideration is chart coverage and cost for the charting system used. Find out what system each brand uses (Navionics, C-Map, etc.) and ask around to see which system has better/accurate charts for the area you will be cruising in. Also check to see how much the chart chips will cost for your cruising area. That may well be the deciding factor.



Since you mentioned your aging radar, you might want to consider which system has more friendly, reliable radar options as well as the cost of adding radar since you will eventually replace your radar and the new systems all are plug and play for "their" radar.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:02 AM   #6
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I am in the same boat (pun intended) my new (to me) Jefferson 42 is scant on electronics. Though I have a modestly higher budget, I want both upper and lower helms similar y equip oped and integrated. So I am looking at combo and expandable.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:22 AM   #7
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I am in the same boat (pun intended) my new (to me) Jefferson 42 is scant on electronics. Though I have a modestly higher budget, I want both upper and lower helms similar y equip oped and integrated. So I am looking at combo and expandable.
I'm a fan of Raymarine (and on the Pro Staff ) so, for your Jefferson:

Flybridge/main helm station - 12" Axiom (touchscreen only) or Axiom Pro (touchscreen + hard button controls)

Salon/secondary station- 9" Axiom with intergrated sounder.


These 2 units are easily networkable, and you can add radar, transducer, autopilot, cameras, and any NMEA 2k gear you install.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:24 AM   #8
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Thanks, I will look them up.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:00 AM   #9
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Anything new you look at will likely have a NMEA 2000 interface, which is probably a good thing to allow future additions.
However one comment if you're aging like me (Ha), i'd not be satisfied with a 7" or 9" display, heck i'm not even that thrilled with my 12" displays so if I ever changed them I'd go 15" or as big an MFD as I could afford, which also allows multi or split display of charts and other things.
Lastly, if you find the cost of a good system is too much to tackle right now, a cheaper temporary option is to get a full size Apple iPad and run Nav software on it. This has been covered in other forum posts but as a reminder, if you buy an iPad with both WiFi + Cellular (you do not have to pay or activate a cell account for it) ensures you're getting an iPad with its own GPS antenna. therefore when you're up even on the way to Alaska, your iPad map should still know where it is.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:02 AM   #10
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Cool, I have an IPad. Will look at that as well. Thanks
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:03 AM   #11
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Thanks, I will look them up.
Get the Axiom Pro...you will never regret it!
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:17 AM   #12
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Get the Axiom Pro...you will never regret it!

Yup!
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:23 AM   #13
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Our #1 out of 4 devices is opencpn displayed on a 22 inch monitor.
Mouse driven so far easier than clicking buttons and toggling through menus.
Price is hard to beat.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:40 AM   #14
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Our #1 out of 4 devices is opencpn displayed on a 22 inch monitor.
Mouse driven so far easier than clicking buttons and toggling through menus.
Price is hard to beat.

I use OpenCPN and think it's very good. I agree a mouse and good monitor are preferable to a small MFD with buttons and or touch screen.

But, when Alaska bound from Washington you'll need need Canadian charts. You'll have to pay full price for Canadian charts and struggle with getting them installed. Rose Point sells Coastal Explorer bundled with Canadian Raster and Vector charts for a total price less than the Canadian Charts alone for OpenCPN.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:47 AM   #15
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But, when Alaska bound from Washington you'll need need Canadian charts. You'll have to pay full price for Canadian charts and struggle with getting them installed. Rose Point sells Coastal Explorer bundled with Canadian Raster and Vector charts for a total price less than the Canadian Charts alone for OpenCPN.
Well that's interesting. I've been looking at adding a PC based system and when comparing OpenCPN (free) to Coastal Explorer I had not considered the cost of charts. Thank you!
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:23 AM   #16
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iPad for chart plotter?

I also have an iPad but when north of Port Hardy I can't get cell reception. I didn't think it was possible without a satellite phone. Am I missing something?
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:33 AM   #17
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I also have an iPad but when north of Port Hardy I can't get cell reception. I didn't think it was possible without a satellite phone. Am I missing something?
If your iPad is wifi + cell, you have a built in GPS chip that does not need connection to work. You'l have to download your charts prior to going dark, but the iPad should work just fine.

This is one reason I don't recommend the iPad a a primary nav source, and prefer hardwired gear.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:47 AM   #18
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Makes sense, I was just watching a Raymarine Axiom commercial, it's tempting thanks.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:54 AM   #19
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I had a Raymarine system but a 17" laptop with Coastal Explorer was my main navigation and trip planning tool.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:58 AM   #20
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Makes sense, I was just watching a Raymarine Axiom commercial, it's tempting thanks.
If you are in the Seattle area, come by and I can demo the Axiom units on our boat. I work from home, so anytime is fine.

Our system:
  • GS165 at the lower helm running Lighthouse 3 software (secondary helm station)
  • 19" monitor running OpenCpn on a Mac Mini at the lower helm
  • 2 Axion Pro 12' units on the flybridge (primary helm station)

networked to:
  • Chetco Digital Seagauge Pro for NMEA 2k engine info
  • Raymarine Evolution AP400 autopilot
  • Raymarine 4' open array digital color radar
  • P79 shoot thru transducer
  • FLIR MD thermal camera
  • Emtrak AIS-B AIS transponder
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