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post #8 of Old 02-24-2014
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Re: How much do you use your Chartplotter?

Originally Posted by capta View Post
Ours goes on before the anchor is pulled and off about an hour after the anchor is set, to check for any dragging. If the wind is above 25 or 30 knots, or we are unsure of the anchor, it goes on, with the anchor drag alarm set. We have a second one in the aft cabin which also doubles to monitor the boat and the helmsman, and an anchor alarm (or proximity alarm with the networked radar under way) while sleeping.
It not only supplies a very accurate chart (at least for everywhere we've been), it supplies speed, X-track error, course made good and several other things I like to know while sailing and especially in areas where the currents are irregular. Why in the world would anyone turn such a handy piece of expensive equipment off, while underway?
Well, to conserve power, perhaps? :-)

As usual, the answer for me is "It depends"... Primarily upon where I happen to be sailing at the moment, and of course whether I'm under sail, or under power...

I have 2 plotters on board, a smaller Simrad below, and a larger plotter/radar in the cockpit. The latter consumes a fair bit of power when running, so I'll usually only run it if I feel I really need it, when under sail...

The smaller one stays on most of the time underway. It is an older model, and is pretty slow to start up and acquire a fix, so whenever I'm anchored in a tricky spot, if there's any possibility I might have to bug out in a jiffy or in the middle of the night, it will stay on...

But on any passage of any real length, unless I need to be running radar, I'll try to use this stuff as little as possible... One advantage for me of having AIS integrated to the VHF, I don't have to be running a more power-hungry plotter to enjoy the benefits of AIS...
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