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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Handheld GPS, Old Technology ?
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Thread: Handheld GPS, Old Technology ? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-18-2011 02:48 AM
Omatako So this comes from the Category 1 requirements list (I have abbreviated it to include only CAT 1)

19.04 NAVIGATION SYSTEMS
(a) Mounted GPS.
(b) Back up GPS.
(c) Second back up GPS OR sextant, timepiece & tables with ability to use.
(d) Echo (Depth) Sounder.
(e) Log or distance measuring instrument.
(f) Radar (recommended)
(g) Barometer.

So they don't make a distinction between a handheld and the "mounted". I guess a permanently "installed" Garmin 76 would be hard to argue with.
05-18-2011 01:45 AM
Omatako
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Andre,
If you mounted the GPS76 wouldn't that suffice ? You could use the Garmin kit and hardwire the cig socket cable into your electrical panel. That would surely pass muster.
I'll check again but I'm sure the rule said "mounted plotter". I agree with the sentiment that I only use my GPS to get a fix. I have no use for a chart plotter and besides if I mount it it will probably be in the small locker under the V berth because that's the only place I can fit it. The rule hasn't yet got to specifying where the dumb thing needs to be.

Really irritates me when people start to govern my activities (and money) with stupid rules. If it has some merit that's OK but soon enough they will start insisting on everyone wearing those stupid personal EPIRBs too.
05-17-2011 11:29 PM
labatt
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Sounds like a rather silly requirement. If you ask me, chartplotters give folks a false sense of security. Also, a handheld GPS is a much more robust device; it's electrically isolated from the rest of the boat, it's light and physically isolated (a.k.a., it can move rather than have to resist the full impact of something hitting it), and it forces one to look at the actual paper charts (true even with plotter-type handheld, since the screens are so small).
Sorry to go OT... in the US paper charts are overrated and I consider THEM backup to my chartplotter and PC these days. My PC has the absolute, latest greatest NOAA charts on it using Rosepoint Coastal Navigator. I guess I could spend a lot of money each year to buy updated paper charts, but they may become outdated within a few months of buying them. I can update the chip on my chartplotter yearly for the same price as the paper chartbooks. Don't get me wrong - I carry paper charts for all of the areas we are in, and at night we plot our position on them every 20-30 minutes, but why would you pick paper charts, or a portable GPS with a 3" screen, as a primary navigation device when you can use a full featured chartplotter to show you your position and course, all nav marks around you or ahead of you (without flipping pages), overhead photos of marinas/anchorages/landmarks, integrated radar overlayed on the charts so you can confirm your position relative to nav aids or channels, etc.

I carry a chartplotter, two rail mounted GPS antennas, a radar, a handheld GPS (Garmin Oregon) and my laptop. AND if all that fails I have my paper charts to fall back on - but I would not use them as primary these days (maybe 7-8 years ago I would have used them as primary). I would be comfortable carrying just my chartplotter/radar and paper charts too.

As I said above, though - this is relevant to the US only. In the Bahamas, for example, I primaried off of my paper Explorer charts and used my chartplotter and handheld for lat/long. This is because my Raymarine chartplotter uses Navionics which has horrible Bahamas charts. If it was a Garmin or c-map based plotter I would have primaried off of it.

Anyway... back to regularly scheduled programming...
05-17-2011 11:23 PM
TakeFive
Quote:
Originally Posted by fallard View Post
The Oregon 450 is the new version of the 400, perhaps with an upgraded compass...
Yes, the compass is upgraded. You no longer have to hold the unit level to use the compass feature. IIRC, I think it may also have an integrated camera, with lat/lon stamping on the pictures.
05-17-2011 11:14 PM
fallard The Oregon 450 is the new version of the 400, perhaps with an upgraded compass and you can find it online (Amazon) for $325. You still have to buy the marine chart chip. I bought a 450 6 months ago and paid about $110 for the US chart chip. If you want street maps or topo maps, You'll have to buy more chips.

It's not cheap, but it works very well and has a noticeably higher resolution than the Garmin handhelds you can find at West Marine (for a lot less!)
05-17-2011 10:35 PM
bornagainsailor Ditto the garmin oregon 400c. picked one up last year on sale at west marine. covers my needs quite well. still use it as a backup to charts. in the event of fog, it should prove very useful.
05-17-2011 09:39 PM
TakeFive Although I frequently refer to my Oregon 400c "handheld," I never hold it in my hand. I got the $10 bicycle handlebar mount from Garmin and put it on my pedestal guard. So I only handle it at the beginning and end of each daysail. This is especially important with the Oregon, since it does not float and I have a walk-through transom. Not a good combination, so mounting it is essential.

FYI, the handlebar mount rotates nicely around the pedestal guard, so I can direct the device to minimize sun glare.
05-17-2011 07:11 PM
tdw
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Sounds like a rather silly requirement. If you ask me, chartplotters give folks a false sense of security. Also, a handheld GPS is a much more robust device; it's electrically isolated from the rest of the boat, it's light and physically isolated (a.k.a., it can move rather than have to resist the full impact of something hitting it), and it forces one to look at the actual paper charts (true even with plotter-type handheld, since the screens are so small).
Even with a full sized plotter I'd still want a hand held for those just in case moments. We do the same as a lot of you and use the handheld for lat/long then plot on chart. It will be interesting to see if this changes at all with a full size plotter.

We do have chart plotter now installed but to be honest the screen is so absurdly small that we still on really use it for position.
05-17-2011 06:49 PM
centaursailor I use a Garmin Etrex for backup. Its been dropped overboard, thankfully in the harbour and still working. Very reliable and simple to use. Its in the grab bag when I,m not using it.
Safe sailing
05-17-2011 06:34 PM
SlowButSteady
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
I go with all the posts above which make it obvious how good a choice it is. I also have Garmin 76 as a handheld and as backups and use them for little other than getting a fix and converting it to a paper chart.

Unfortunately I was reading through the New Zealand Cat 1 requirements and the technoclogy has now caught up with common sense. They now require at least one mounted GPS chart plotter and handhelds only permitted as backup. So now I will have to invest in a piece of equipment that I have no use for just to satisfy the bureaucracy.

I guess that's the cost of progress.
Sounds like a rather silly requirement. If you ask me, chartplotters give folks a false sense of security. Also, a handheld GPS is a much more robust device; it's electrically isolated from the rest of the boat, it's light and physically isolated (a.k.a., it can move rather than have to resist the full impact of something hitting it), and it forces one to look at the actual paper charts (true even with plotter-type handheld, since the screens are so small).
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