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Old 07-24-2010
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Chartplotter Vs Ipad Vs PC

While I would love radar for now I cant afford it so I'm looking at my chartplotter options. I already own a PC and have a USB GPS head, but from what I can see the best option is to buy an iPad with Navionics HD.

Given the three options the navigation ability seems to be there with each option so this is really based on value for money. Is my logic sound with the following:

1. Chartplotter (min $1500)
Pros - best in a marine environment, future radar, possible to get integrate with instruments and autopilot.
Con - Most expensive and technology changing.

2. PC (min $700)
Pro - cheapest option utilising existing hardware
Con - have to buy charts and program at almost the cost of other hardware options. Some NMEA integration with extra $400 hardware box. Daylight readability is average. Interface and physical set up the worst.

3. iPad (min $900)
Pro - I get the added benefit of owning/using an iPad. Navionics HD maps and low cost application. Great interface with future expansion. Some N2K interfacing later with things like iNavX (and hopefully Navionics future versions ;o) ). Other applications like Anchor alarm.

Con - Worried about it falling in the water. No future Radar integration. A little worried if it actually shows all the information required.

What do other people think?
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Old 07-24-2010
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The only choice as far as I'm concerned = PC
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Old 07-24-2010
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I think it may depend on what you are planning on doing. I don't know what you are sailing or where. The nicest thing IMO about a chartplotter is that it can usually be viewed from the cockpit without worrying about exposing a PC or iPad to the elements. Granted, a laptop or notebook PC can be had pretty cheap, particularly used so you may just look at that as a consumable item.

Do you want the chart plotter for planning, or for navigation while actually sailing?

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Old 07-24-2010
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You didn't say where you sail and what kind of sailing you do (day-sailing cruising racing). But as far as I am concerned there is no option for a first choice. I recommend a chart-plotter. They are weather proof and pretty hardened for sailing. The PC/iPad options make plenty of sense as a backup or a 2nd item. Neither is waterproof and really intended for a cockpit use. While they might be fine for a nice sunny afternoon, I wonder about how they would be in a squall etc.

I sail the Chesapeake Bay and it has excellent wireless connection (my verizon cell works every place I have tried it, I don't know about ATT for the iPad).
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Old 07-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandavis1 View Post

1. Chartplotter (min $1500)
Not sure how you come up with $1500 as a minimum (unless you are only considering e.g. 12" touch screen models, etc.) but you can get decent and perfectly workable 5" chartplotters for less than a third of that.

Quick look at amazon.com
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Old 07-25-2010
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Keep in mind that the IPad isn't a standalone machine.. you can't update it w/o plugging it into a real computer. So if you don't already have a PC/Mac that you can use to download/install updates into your Ipad, that option would be off the table.
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Old 07-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccary View Post
.. I recommend a chart-plotter. They are weather proof and pretty hardened for sailing....
Sailing solo and coming to a unknown shore, try to plot a course to a nearby marina, while struggling with the boat on bad seas and high winds, with water flying all around. That's when you are going to need it most.

No way, a PC is a back up tool unless you have a crew with a guy inside doing the navigation and even so you should have a back up Pc because they tend to be very fragile machines on muscular and humid conditions.

Regards

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Old 07-25-2010
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Chartplotter--$700 including charts

Netbook--$300, charts and program free, USB GPB $30, interface to NMEA $25.
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Old 07-25-2010
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Chartplotter, although we don't have one (yet) would be my first choice, with the PC as a alternative/back up. Chartplotter uses less power, is weather resistant, and easily interfaces with other electronics
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Old 07-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapTim View Post
Keep in mind that the IPad isn't a standalone machine.. you can't update it w/o plugging it into a real computer. So if you don't already have a PC/Mac that you can use to download/install updates into your Ipad, that option would be off the table.
No need for a PC or a mac. You can download everything your need through the iPad. You'll need the 3G model. That said, mine's a backup to my chartplotter.
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