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  #11  
Old 07-25-2010
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I don't have the need at this point, but if I did I think that I would want to go with a mini/micro ATX/ITX PC in a sealed, fanless enclosure mounted below and run one or more waterproof USB touchscreens to the station(s) where I needed them.

Then I'd use what is my current primary solution, a handheld Garmin GPS that supports marine charts and NMEA input, as my backup.
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  #12  
Old 07-25-2010
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Dedicated plotter

Hey,

As mentioned, you didn't list any requirements for things like screen size, communication / out, sailing area, etc.

For me personally, there is no way I would use a device like an IPAD. Things like water sealing, screen visibility (direct sunlight, twilight, and total darkness), connectivity, power, etc. are all very important to me. At a minimum, I want my GPS connected to my VHF for DSC mayday type signaling. I don't believe the IPAD would meet my needs.

I don't know where you got your pricing information, but you are way off. You can get a basic GPS system, with 5" color screen and detailed charts for under $400 (Standard Horizon CP 180). If you want a unit that could be upgraded to display RADAR, SONAR, video, you can get one for under $750 (Lowrance HDS 5).

IMHO, for a plotter to be useful:
  • it must be mounted at the helm (and waterproof)
  • It must run off of the boat's electrical system so the batteries won't be dead at an inopportune time
  • GPS data can is sent to the ship DSC VHF radio
Imaging arriving at a new port with a tricky approach including a number of different bouys, shoals, and marine traffic. You arrive after a fairly long sail, say 8-10 hours. There are commercial ferry's and fishing boats arriving and departing. It starts to rain. How are you going to use an IPAD in those circumstances? While I'm sure it can be done (of course it can be done with paper charts alone), I would be much more comfortable with a dedicated plotter mounted at the helm.

Barry
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Last edited by BarryL; 07-25-2010 at 11:43 AM.
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  #13  
Old 07-25-2010
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Charts are free from the feds and you can get free nav software too. SeaClear & OpenCPN..... Still trying to figure out the added benefit of owning/using an iPad but, that's just me.... You can get a netbook or an older laptop and put free software on it, download the charts for free, and plug your GPS in via USB and there ya go. You can also get a glare shield for the laptop screen. As others have said though, a laptop is very particular about its operating environment... as would any other solution besides the dedicated chartplotter. Amazon also has a free download of Kindle for the PC.... My 2 cents....
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  #14  
Old 07-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb32863 View Post
, a laptop is very particular about its operating environment... as would any other solution besides the dedicated chartplotter
A setup like I mentioned above would not be very particular. If you are careful about the way you do your peripheral connections it could be entirely submersible, in fact. You could put the cpu in the bilge to aid with cooling. ;-)
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  #15  
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Can you download system updates to your ipad?
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2010
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Until you are ready to make a decision on the radar I'd go with a handheld chartplotter. I picked up a garmin Oregon 400c at West Marine for $299 a few months back. It's preloaded with every US coastal chart. The preloaded units are the best deals IMHO.
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Old 07-26-2010
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Thanks for everyone's reply. I picked up an iPad today. Haven't had time to play with it because of install on the autopilot. I should have said that most of my sailing will be on the east coast of Australia and all my covers are just about finished on top. So hopefully weather will not be a big problem.

I did plug it in to iTunes. I already had Navionics on my iphone so it loaded the low res version on the ipad right away and gave me a message that Navionics has just released a new program available at half price now.... no more information at the moment....

BTW the yacht is a cruiser 45DS Jeanneau new.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2010
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iPad is not there yet, but I would not underestimate the potential of iPad. The third party applications and accessories will grow exponentially. iPad will certainly keep chart plotter manufactures on their toes.
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  #19  
Old 07-26-2010
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Doesn't an iPad still use cell phone connectivity which only has a limit of about 2 miles from shore?
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  #20  
Old 07-26-2010
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Even with the iPad, I'd get a real marine chart plotter. It doesn't have to be expensive. I've used a small Garmin for years and it is very good. A quick ebay search gave this as an example of something you can pick up used.

Dave
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