Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
Thanked 54 Times in 51 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Re: Boo TowBoatUS! They don't connect their own DSC
I can only recall a couple times when we got a drop or two of water on the keyboard. Anytime conditions raise the risk, I take the netbook below and use the handheld Garmin for GPS/charts, and my cockpit RAM mic shows a crude display of AIS targets. It's not as graphically rich as my primary setup, but it works in a pinch.
Ahh, that makes sense.
If the netbook is driving the Autopilot through a pre-plotted route, it continues to do so via Bluetooth from inside the cabin. (I did actually have the boat auto-navigate all the way up from Delaware City during a rainstorm last September. I sat on the perch seat up under the bimini to stay dry, and kept a lookout while the computer steered the boat under motor power.)
That's very cool. Connecting my chartplotter to my autopilot is on my to-do list, but sailing on the bay it just never seemed all that important to get it done.
The netbook is 4 or 5 years old, so if some accident were to happen it's close to its end of life anyway. I'll regret losing its incredibly bright daylight viewable screen, but since the whole system is based on Bluetooth broadcasts from the boat and free software/maps, it could easily be replaced, probably with a Windows 8 tablet running OpenCPN.
I'd be surprised if we don't see daylight viewable, waterproof tablets in the not to distant future if someone isn't already making one. It just seems a logical extension for Garmin or Raymarine to do.
95 Catalina 30 Island Time
“The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau