s/v Black Prince
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Chartplotters...best at helm or at nav table?
After sailing into several coastal ports at night, a few times in low visibility conditions, (I know that better planning can sometimes avoid those circumstances...but S.H.) and while single-handing, I was primarily relying on a handheld GPS (Oh, I look at charts too, but when you don't have auto pilot and it's dark and raining, it's not real easy to open a chart while at the helm to check the course one more time). Naturally, I have tried to swear off being in those circumstances again...but just in case I also promised myself to have a larger chartplotter at the helm to improve those situations.
Here is the question for all those more experienced sailors...Where is the chartplotter best installed? I set out planning to install at the helm based upon my short experience, but maybe what appears obvious...single-hander can't make much use of chartplotter if not installedd at helm...is not so obvious.
For example, issues like interference with night vision, and the ability to use all the features of the MFD chartplotters is best suited for use below deck, may be more important most of the time. In addition, with my chartplotter, Garmin 3206, which has a video out, couldn't I install the unit at the Nav table and then connect a sort of repeater display on the video out to the helm that would at least show, for instance, the chart of the area I would be sailing for a easy reference (presumably, if I understand how it works, the video out feature would allow another display to show whatever was on the chartplotter screen, so you could effectively have a waterproof, although not interactive, chart in front of you at the helm while the chartplotter remains at the nav table). Meanwhile, paying more attention to the world around you and your compass rather than playing with instruments and reading GPS directions at the helm.
Thanks in advance for your input.
Been sailing all day with Dad, and I need a drink?