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Old 02-22-2011, 09:13 PM   #41
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Hi Marin,
"They say that Macs tend to be favored by creative people and PCs by analytical people."
Hmmmm....... Someone that knew me well once "Eric-----your'e the most analytical person i've ever known".* But I have a minor in art and can be creative too. I should spent a month or so off line and learn to do all the amazing things Kady showed us on the iMac at the Apple store. But on the boat so far I like the Garmin.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:56 AM   #42
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RE: gps/chartplotter

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nomadwilly wrote:

But on the boat so far I like the Garmin.
We have Garmin nav units for our vehicles and for that application I would venture to say they are the best and most user-friendly.* But when we get around to installing a new GPS plotter in our Arima prior to our upcoming halibut trip to the north end of Vancouver Island I believe we'll probably go with a Standard Horizon.* We haven't started actual comparison shopping yet but we would like to stay with the C-Map chart system as we've been so satisfied with it on the GB.

*
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:12 AM   #43
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RE: gps/chartplotter

We use Std Horizon. Started with a 5" black and white, then upgraded to the color 10". C-Map chips are amazing - easy to use and accurate.

The 10" model is no longer made, but I think there is a 12" one with a built in radio available.

The new chips (MAX) even have current predictors shown with colored arrows (Red, Yellow, Green) for real time graphic representations of what the water is doing.

When you are in the San Juans or the Gulf Islands, this is the only way to try and figure out which way to go and get a push, as it is hard to calculate which pass is ebbing in one direction while another nearby one is doing the other.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:48 AM   #44
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RE: gps/chartplotter

When traveling in the PNW below Campbell River, I have found the Tides and Currents book with updated (yearly) Murray tables to be far more accurate and user friendly than the electronic charting or computer based programs. For those of you not familiar with this book, it has an hourly*velocity of current arrow for every possible location. Don't leave home without it!
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #45
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RE: gps/chartplotter

My question is: How do you even START deciding what chartplotter to buy? I WANT one... I don't NEED one. The one we have is quite old (Raytheon 420, I think... monochrome), but we've been doing the paper thing with great success. Besides, just tooling around the ICW?... Really... How much chartplotter do we really need? The next buoy is never out of sight with binocs.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #46
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RE: gps/chartplotter

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bshanafelt wrote:

When you are in the San Juans or the Gulf Islands, this is the only way to try and figure out which way to go and get a push, as it is hard to calculate which pass is ebbing in one direction while another nearby one is doing the other.
Our Furuno NavNet VX2 has the current direction and strength indicators for the places that its important, like narrow passes and channels.* But even though they are always displayed we never use them.* We use three paper references for tides and currents.

One is the annually published "Ports and Passes" guide that comes out of Canada but covers Puget Sound waters as well.* This gives the tide ranges for each day of the year as well as maximum and slack current times for the important passes.

*The second one is the Canadian Current Atlas which covers the San Juan and Gulf Islands in detail and the Strait of Georgia in a broader picture.* The Atlas is made up of pages that represent an hour difference in current strength and direction.* The Atlas never changes as it reflects all the possible current characteristics.* There are separately published annual tables that tell you which pages of the Atlas to use to see the current directions and strengths for a given date and time.** So for 0900 on March 1, it will refer you to page xyz which will show you with arrows of varying widths the direction and strength of the currents throughout the region covered by the Atlas.

The third one is the Captain Jack's Current Atlas.* It works the same as the Canadian Current Atlas described above but it covers the regions from the south end of Puget Sound up through SE Alaska.* The problem with this is that the Atlas itself has been out of print for years.* You can find them used, which is how I got ours.* But the annual current tables are still published.* I like it because it covers areas the Canadian Current Atlas doesn't cover.* We use the Captain Jack atlas and annual table, for example, for our halibut fishing trips to the north end of Vancouver Island.* Halibut react to currents and it's very helpful to know which way teh currents are going to go and when.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #47
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RE: gps/chartplotter

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GonzoF1 wrote:

My question is: How do you even START deciding what chartplotter to buy?
We buy our all our electronics from a local marine electronics dealer in Bellingham.* Yes, you can get better prices on the internet but this dealer (and most others I expect) get very close to the internet prices.*

So when we have needed a new piece of electronics*we have gone to him for his recommendation.* He carries a variety of brands, not just Furuno and Icom, and is very familiar with most of what's on the market.** So he tells us what he thinks would meet our requirements and then we go and read descriptions, reviews, and comparisons on the internet.* So far, he's not steered us wrong.

We like supporting our local suppliers, plus you get something you don't get off the internet--- personal service when you want or need it.**To us, this is worth the little extra we pay above an internet "best price."* For exmple when we bought and installed our Furuno NavNet the owner of the electronics store came to our boat and spent well*over an hour showing me how to properly align the radar display*and so on.* He also showed me the various "hidden" key combinations that get you into various setup modes that are not included in the user operations manual.* Almost all of our electronics--- Icom radios, Furuno radar/plotter, Echotec plotter--- have these "secret" setup modes meant for the dealers and repair shops and it's very handy to have someone tell you what they are and how to use*them because they are sometimes the answer to what seem like problems that crop up.

In addition to the dealer(s) you can talk to people in your area to see what kind of plotters*they use and why they like them.

For us our search for various components has also been narrowed down by how big*or small* it has to*be to fit in the space, what we want the display to look like, and what we want to be able to do with it.* Once those things have been determined we then go to the dealer and say, these are our parameters, and he comes up with a list of recommendations.* He's a long-time boater, former commercial operator, and so has a great working understanding of the realities of running a boat.* So he has a lot of credibility in his customers' eyes.* I would probably*not feel the same about a salesman in a*West Marine store.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:42 PM   #48
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gps/chartplotter

Too bad there is nothing like that around here. Certainly not in the Raleigh area, however, I don't know if there is one in the Wilmington area. I'd love to support a local merchant if I can. Always been big on that.

*EDIT* A quick Google search reveals I may have options in the Wilmington area.

-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Wednesday 23rd of February 2011 05:48:34 PM
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:02 PM   #49
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RE: gps/chartplotter

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GonzoF1 wrote:

*EDIT* A quick Google search reveals I may have options in the Wilmington area.

-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Wednesday 23rd of February 2011 05:48:34 PM
********* I would think there should be some.

********* If you do not use your current unit, you probably don't need anything to elaborate.

********* First I would figure out how large a screen you want.

********* The big ones are big $$$

**********Then I would pick a brand and research the options online.

**********When you go to the store you can ask more questions and get recomendations

********* At least you will have an idea if it is*going to cost 500. or 5000.*

********* I have never had an issue with Garmin Chartplotters I have owned.

********* JohnP
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:23 AM   #50
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Garmin | GPSMAP 700

Take one of these for a test ride.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:55 AM   #51
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Hard buttons are a must. Check out some YouTube videos of touchscreen failures when they are cover in rain water. Touchscreens are great, but I would require hard buttons too, as our flybridge is not totally enclosed.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:12 AM   #52
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
timjet wrote:

I recently tried the computer based nav program called Open CPN with a cheap puck GPS on my net book. It worked great as long as I was inside. Since I don't have a inside steering station, it's pretty much useless unless it's cloudy. But it's a great and cheap backup and good for planning.

John B, you'll love not lugging your brain bag. USAir went to aircraft based brain bags about 2 years ago. Cheaper than computer based and if it can be done cheaper, USAir will do it. The FAA awarded some money to USAir to test a EFB which they installed on about 20 Airbus'. The 10" screen is hard wired into the AC system and will display current position on the airport pages in addition to all the other approach plates. I guess it gets it's position data from the Aircraft GPS. The FAA is on a big push to reduce runway incursions and they are using USAir and these EFB to see if giving the pilot a pictorial view of the aircraft position helps reduce ground incursions. It automatically updates the charts through the internet via some sort of card and I think security issues have prevented the FAA from turning them on. So for about a year we've had these EFB's which have been totally useless.
Tim, we likely have the same exact ones in about 40 of our 757s. *It was a good idea...just poorly executed(hmmm...dunno how that oculda happened with the FAA involved). *What happened with us(and likely y'all) was that the device was supposed to update via wifi at the hubs. *Well, we went cheap and didn't buy the provided Jepp based revision system...we went with a cheaper alternative and it was not suffered compatibility issues......anyway......

*
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:20 AM   #53
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gps/chartplotter

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*

We like supporting our local suppliers, plus you get something you don't get off the internet--- personal service when you want or need it.**To us, this is worth the little extra we pay above an internet "best price."* For exmple when we bought and installed our Furuno NavNet the owner of the electronics store came to our boat and spent well*over an hour showing me how to properly align the radar display*and so on.* He also showed me the various "hidden" key combinations that get you into various setup modes that are not included in the user operations manual.* Almost all of our electronics--- Icom radios, Furuno radar/plotter, Echotec plotter--- have these "secret" setup modes meant for the dealers and repair shops and it's very handy to have someone tell you what they are and how to use*them because they are sometimes the answer to what seem like problems that crop up.





*



Marin, that is likely some of the best advice you have ever given on here!!! What amazes me is the people that buy "lowest price" off of the internet and then go to the nearest dealer when they have an issue and then get pissed off when that dealer does not treat them with kid gloves.


-- Edited by Baker on Sunday 27th of February 2011 10:24:10 AM
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:47 AM   #54
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
Baker wrote:



Marin, that is likely some of the best advice you have ever given on here!!! What amazes me is the people that buy "lowest price" off of the internet and then go to the nearest dealer when they have an issue and then get pissed off when that dealer does not treat them with kid gloves.


-- Edited by Baker on Sunday 27th of February 2011 10:24:10 AM
We do have such a place here in Eastern NC right*in New Bern.* Ensley's Radio http://www.ensley.com/*** They do all of the work on Hatteras's new boats.**

Back 10 years ago I needed some work done an a sailboat and asked around but was told that these folks were way out of sight price wise.* Well as it turned out*that was just folks talking that wanted everything for free.* *I had Ensley come over and estimate a small job and then had them do the work.* Every thing was done as requested and worked as needed.* The only problem was that a month and a half had gone by and I had not received a bill.* So I called expecting the worst and after a few minutes the lady came back to the phone and explained as nicely as possible that they were covered up with some other work and she had not had time to figure my bill but it was on her desk and she*would do so that week.* Again I was on pins and needles expecting to be over charged as everyone said I would be.*

Well a week later the bill came in the mail and when*I opened it I was floored.* My wife and I had a bet as to how much we would be over charged from the original estimate and we were.* The original estimate was $1,050 for the labor and materials needed (we had our own new*chart plotter installed plus the rewire of the*existing radar to the helm and a junction box for the radar*at the keel stepped mast installed) and the bill was for $1,078 total.* What the lady was trying to be nice about was that my bill was so small that she didn't have time for it.

I do need some work done on this boat and this fall I will have them do the work without a doubt.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:01 PM   #55
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Looks like I have settled on a Standard Horizon brand. I like what they provide in features at a much more reasonable price than other brands.

As promised, I talked to a local marine electronics guy and wasn't very impressed with his approach, however, I have yet to see a price offering from him. He was a fast-talking guy who talked more than listened and he didn't get glowing reviews from others I talked to. Good thing my marina can order stuff for me, but I haven't gotten a price from them either.

Anyway, going to look at the CP390i, CPF390i, and the new CPN700i. All three are 7" screens (perfect size for me, I think), internal antenna so I can move it to lower helm, and can accept a SiTek radar array. We'll see if the 700i stays within my budget. It's a bit fancy-schmancy for our needs, but if I can get a good price, sobeit. I suspect I'll end up with the CPF390i with the onboard fish finder. If you recall, I have some issues with my current depth sounder and this would resolve that.

Tom-
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:06 PM   #56
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Be sure to verify that your existing transducer is compatible with the Standard Horizon unit you are looking at. I found that my Plotter is capable to display depth info, but will only run on one specific transducer.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:50 PM   #57
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RE: gps/chartplotter

I don't have one other than the cheap-o from Hummingbird that I know will not work. So I'll be getting one of those soon too.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:20 AM   #58
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Transducers are likely proprietary anyway.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:54 AM   #59
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Quote:
bshanafelt wrote:

Be sure to verify that your existing transducer is compatible with the Standard Horizon unit you are looking at. I found that my Plotter is capable to display depth info, but will only run on one specific transducer.
Airmar Technolgy, who makes most of the transducers out there, has good cross referencing data on their web site.* We added a*temperature sensor to a discontinued Furuno depth/fish finder very easily.

http://www.airmartechnology.com/

*
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:37 PM   #60
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RE: gps/chartplotter

Just had the GPS puck (Deluo) die after 6 years. I guess the little Li battery gave up.
I had it mounted on the PH roof in a weatherproof plastic box.

I couldn't get another Deluo, so bought a Prolific. The software supplied, including the USB to serial driver was incompatible with Windows XP and even caused a blue-screen crash on my laptop.

I swapped it out for a Holux, with equally hopeless software supplied, but*was able*to download a different driver from the web and all works fine. In fact, the sensitivity is so good that I don't need to put it on the roof.

With such software problems being common according to various web forums, you really need to be a bit of a geek to get these things going. I don't understand how these manufacturers can put this stuff out knowing it*won't work properly - unless you're a certiified systems engineer!
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