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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???
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Thread: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad??? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-24-2012 03:17 PM
DRFerron
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
As a minimum, you should have paper charts and an inexpensive handheld GPS. No way I would rely on any computer or tablet as my only navigation aid.
I'm not sure anyone suggested relying totally on the electronic charts.
03-24-2012 09:32 AM
JimsCAL
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

As a minimum, you should have paper charts and an inexpensive handheld GPS. No way I would rely on any computer or tablet as my only navigation aid.
03-23-2012 01:08 PM
BreakAwayFL
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

Well I think I like PolarNavy a lot. I installed and screwed around with it on my main machine, and it's painfully easy to use. I especially like that I can use all of the free NOAA charts.

I just installed clean Windows 7 on a sub-notebook (14.1") and I'm going to test it on Sunday with a Microsoft GPS. If I like the setup, I'll be buying the hockey puck, as it's waterproof.

I'm slightly concerned about the power consumption, but I'll have to see how that goes. I'll report back on Monday!
03-22-2012 02:11 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Agree about Active Captain. It is a great resource. It overlays the chart in Polar Navy but I'm on the fence about that. Opening a review only gives you the stars, not the detailed information and the details are more useful to me as they usually contain helpful navigation information. I may continue to use it as a separate web page instead of bringing it onto the chart as the icons can be distracting........
All posted reviews, phone numbers, controlling depths, services available, frequencies, etc, etc are available in Charts and Tides. All offline too. No need for wifi or 3G connection. Just update periodically when they are available.
03-22-2012 10:44 AM
DRFerron
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
... but we like the above app for its offline ActiveCaptain cruising database. Try AC and you'll never cruise again without it.
Having both aboard, the iPad is much easier to handle than the clunky laptop.
Agree about Active Captain. It is a great resource. It overlays the chart in Polar Navy but I'm on the fence about that. Opening a review only gives you the stars, not the detailed information and the details are more useful to me as they usually contain helpful navigation information. I may continue to use it as a separate web page instead of bringing it onto the chart as the icons can be distracting.

Yesterday I received my new netbook ($119 through Verizon with a 2-year contract). I see that it has a built-in GPS. I'm curious to see if that will allow us to eliminate the external GPS.

The netbook is small, so clunky isn't an issue. I do like that it can stand on it's own.

Someday I'll buy an iPad and give that a try.
03-22-2012 03:39 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

We have a chartplotter, but use an iPad in a waterproof case and the Charts and Tides app for backup. Last season alone, the iPad became primary twice, as the plotter dumped on me. There are more functional nav apps if it really was going to be primary, but we like the above app for its offline ActiveCaptain cruising database. Try AC and you'll never cruise again without it.

Having both aboard, the iPad is much easier to handle than the clunky laptop.
03-22-2012 12:11 AM
FDR14127
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

I have used PolarNavy, OpenCPN, and SeaClear for the past several years. I load up an old laptop with whatever linux distribution dejour and away we go. Last year I went from a puck to a Garmin gps designed for the trucking industry ($180) and interfaced it to my TackTik system. My criteria is the system must do AIS and ENC charts. SeaClear is long gone and I don't know if it does AIS, but I don't understand the grief it takes here on this thread. Worked great when emulated under linux using Wine, much more robust, faster, and quite simple. These are all backed up with Navionics on the Android.
03-19-2012 02:18 PM
Silvio
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

I use PolarNav on my Macbook Pro to plot courses, research routes, anchorages, etc. While underway I use a chart plotter mounted in the cockpit, particularly useful when in tight quarters, along the ICW, finding buoys in the fog, etc. It is nice to have the chart plotter to forecast and verify what I am seeing around me. My laptop battery doesn't last long enough to navigate with underway, computer is not weather proof so I leave it below out of harms way.
03-19-2012 01:55 PM
lajimo
Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

I use an iPad with a gps bluetooth puck. Bought a clip in holder that clamps to the rail on my binnacle and securely holds the iPad. Also have a dc plug at the helm for charging. Protection via Bimini and dodger. For software I use charts and tides (us gulf) and iSailGps.
03-19-2012 01:41 PM
tomperanteau
Re: Chart Plotter vs Software + Laptop or iPad???

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
We've used Polar Navy on a $99 netbook successfully for years. When it rains the netbook sits on the end of the galley counter, otherwise it's in the cockpit.

No issues thus far and no plans to spend 10X more on a chartplotter (which has a smaller screen) until we decide to head offshore and out of sight of land. Even then I'm not totally convinced it's an absolute must but I'll see at that point.

Have also tried SeaClear (clunky and temperamental and no longer supported) and OpenCPN (OK). I found Polar Navy the easiest to use and it has the same features as OpenCPN.
I've used OpenCPN for several years, but after looking at Polar Navy I think I'll have to give it a try. Looks nice.
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