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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: How much do you use your Chartplotter?

Similar to most others; ours comes on when we get underway, and stays on until we're safely on the hook. We have four now: one backup that rarely gets used, one GPS-only located at the chart table, one iPad, and one Garmin handheld. Our routine is to lay out the relevant charts, then turn on the ship's electronics which activates the GPS at the chart table. It is used for fixes which get translated to the chart, unless we're feeling frisky and take fixes via LOPs.

Our main plotter is the handheld which sits in the cockpit most of the time while underway when we're coastal cruising (which is most of the time). It operates off two rechargeable AA batteries, which run for ~8 hrs per set. Easy to keep up to this usage.

I've been experimenting with the iPad. The big screen is nice, but the battery draw is significant when running bright screen (to accommodate for sunlight viewing) and active GPS. Currently we activate it periodically. I'm still not sure if it's useful enough ... perhaps if I tie it to the ship's batteries.
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