Originally Posted by ambianceack
what are the differences and similiarities between a gps and chartplotter?
A GPS receiver and a Chartplotter use the United States buillt and maintained GPS Satelite system orbiting the earth. This stuff seems like voodo majic when it is studied and is absolutely awesome in its development and implementation. You are wise indeed to be considering its possible value to you. Those that thumb their noses to it's value are no different then those that refuse modern medical techniques due to their religious beliefs. Too bad, so sad.
1.Both receive signals from orbiting satelites
2.Both need power to operate
3.Both are in a protective plastic enclosure
4.Both have a data screen that provides user feedback
5.Both have many different models available
6.Both are WASS capable
1.Chartplotter is normally fixed in position. GPS receiver is normally handheld.
2.Chartplotter has a larger screen useful for using data to show real time position on a chart, GPS receiver displays raw numerical data.
3.Chartplotter software may be used on an onboard computer to enhance navigational information and is bad to the bone, whereas a handheld GPS receiver can be droped into a pocket when abandoning ship, or can be taken along on a hike, bike ride or whatever.
4.Electrical denmands on a chartplotter are greater then a handheld GPS receiver.
I use both types aboard as each serves it's own purpose. As long as you are considering a GPS receiver/Chartplotter why not consider a DSC VHF radio?
Got more questions? Look into a United States Power and Sail Squadron Electronics Course. The course is free, a nomial charge for the books.