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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft
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  #1  
Old 04-03-2011
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Chartplotter

I would like to install a chartplotter on my Crealock 37 but do not know which brand, model or location for gunkholing in the Chesapeake. I would like to have XM weather and AIS input. I have thought about locating it at the nav station on a swing arm so it can be seen in the cockpit or at the helm which would require modifying the binnacle. I also want to keep her classic looks! What are Crealock 37/34 owners out there have? What you see in the picture is a fishfinder which the PO used for depth.
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Last edited by brokesailor; 04-03-2011 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 04-03-2011
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What size chartplotter are you going to buy? It is hard to make suggestions without knowing if you are talking about a 4 inch or a 12 inch screen.
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Old 04-03-2011
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If it were me I'd start by figuring out which charts I wanted to used, then which machine runs them best, then what is the largest size plotter I can afford, and finally where is the optimal mounting location for that plotter. Given this set of decision trees, we decided wanted C-Map charts rather than a proprietary (e.g. Garmin) brand of charts, could only afford a 5" - 7" diagonal screen, found a great deal on a Standard Horizon 300i which we mounted on by the companionway so that it can be seen while at the tiller or while sitting in the companion way itself. Good luck sorting through the MANY decisions and please let us know what you end up with and why.

If I was doing it again I'd look seriously at a new G3 iPad which has built-in GPS -- and get a spare as a backup -- all at less than the cost of a dedicated chartplotter!

Thanks, Jay

PSC 37, Kenlanu, with most of the April Fool's snow melted off!
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Old 04-03-2011
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Given your criteria for having a swing mount and cruising the chesapeake, I might suggest going with a Garmin 545 series. If you get the s model you can add a transducer for depth. I believe the 545 has xm capabilities.

It don't believe it has AIS capabilities. However if you're on the chesapeake you can pick up AIS via the Web and a laptop or PDF or combination thereof using Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions I've used that set up successfully there.

The 545 comes fully loaded with charts, it has a built in antenna and can be removed and stored below or at home very easily.
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Old 04-04-2011
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Thanks Tempest but I want the ability to add on AIS in the future. My goal is to sail the boat along the eastern seaboard and to Saint Martin.
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Old 04-04-2011
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Many of the newer chart plotters (and even some older models) have the capability of integrating AIS overlay display via the NMEA connections between the plotter and AIS receiver or transponder. Just recently added a Standard Horizon Matrix VHF model 2150 with AIS and tied into our older Raymarine C80 display. This gives us AIS receive only and the new radio has all the bells and whistles which does everything except start the coffee in the morning!

John S
PSC 34 #201
Norstar
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Old 04-04-2011
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Bird Brain: Is the IPAD 2 GPS a true GPS or is it locating via WIFI/phone signals?
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Old 04-04-2011
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Looking at your intended cruising range, BrokeSailor, I think you might want to reconsider a "swing-out" arrangement. If your plans call for venturing out of the Chesapeake and heading offshore, where you REALLY need the ability to button the boat up tight, would you be better off with a dedicated, self-contained unit at the helm? How about a multi-function display (gps, ais, and I'd suggest you seriously consider radar) in a Nav-Pod or similar housing attached to your pedestal?

Aside from the issue of closing the boat up tight during offshore passages (or even in heavy weather on the Bay), will you be able to adequately see the swing-out unit from the helm? I realize it's not necessary to consult the chart-plotter on a minute-to-minute basis, but be sure you'll be able to see radar/ais easily in heavy fog or rain -- especially in a coastwise passage. Will it be necessary for you to keep leaving the helm and scooting a few steps up to the companionway to get a good look?

After originally installing a Raymarine chart-plotter/radar down below, we ended up biting the bullet and installing a slave unit in a NavPod at the helm...too many close calls in heavy fog.

I imagine others will have different opinions, but that's my two cents worth...

Roger Lopata
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Old 04-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norstar View Post
Just recently added a Standard Horizon Matrix VHF model 2150
I will second that recommendation. I installed at Matrix 2100 and connected it to a Garmin 400 series GPS mounted on the binnacle. Love it. The Garmin I have would easily fit where your current fishfinder is located. Add the transducer and the Garmin still works like a fishfinder.

This package gives you a great VHF with all the bells, chartplotter, AIS (receive only), and a backup depth-finder all for < $800.
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Old 04-04-2011
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I have circa 2003 Simrad instruments on my boat; a CP-32 Mk2 chartplotter/DGPS, transducers for water speed, water depth, water temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and magnetic heading, a Simrad B/W radar, a Simrad VHF, and a Simrad tillerpilot with a spare. Everything is tied together on a NMEA network with five IS15 display heads that will show about anything. It is all solid as a rock and I have no problems with it at all.

That said, for messing around in shallow water on the eastern US, the C-Map NT+ charts have a problem. As I understand it, they were made by digitizing NOAA charts. The NOAA charts show depths in feet. In the digitization feet were converted to meters (whole numbers). When displayed as meters, the depths originally charted as 1, 2, and 3 feet show as 0 meter. When displayed as feet, the original 1, 2, and 3 thus show as 0 feet. Now, the 6 ft contour is plotted correctly, and that gives a lot of warning of where I should not go, but I often play the tides and occasionally slip through the North Carolina mud or bump on the sand.

I have previously used Chartkits to get the real plotted depths. The C-Map chart has a number for the depth written in the right place; it is just the wrong number (but always more conservative). Looking at the same spot on the printed Chartkit chart, I can get the real number. More recently I have fired up the PC, plugged in a BU-353 hockey puck WASS GPS, plugged the Simrad instruments into the PC through a serial/USB converter, and with NOAA raster charts and either SeaClear or OpenCPN (either one along with NavMonPC) had a PC based chartplotter with a screen to die for. The software and charts are free. The required computing power is negligible. The flexibility is great. The screen brightness is poor. Waterproof and shockproof – not. Power requirement is 3 amps using a 12v brick power supply for a HP Notebook with 15.5” diagonal screen. Others have used netbooks, ToughBooks, brick computers, waterproof boxes…

Here in the Bahamas the Explorer Charts (with depths originally meters) based C-Map charts displayed on my chartplotter in meters are perfect. My problem has been with the Cape May to Winyah Bay, the Norfork to Bermuda to Jacksonville, and the Jacksonville to Fort Myers C-map NT+ cartridges.

Bill Murdoch
Irish Eyes
1988 PSC 34
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