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post #31 of 44 Old 02-02-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
If you have an ipad add the software and give it a try. If you are looking to buy a GPS get a handheld Garmin 76 or a Garmin 541 or something newer. An Ipad is a multi use tool but a marine specific GPS will be more reliable and work better in terms of durability waterproofness and visibility.
If your need is basic... see your boat on a chart, plus a few more features... a hand held device works. Fixed mount plotters are MFDs and display, juggle/compute way more data... and the user interface is often better on fixed mount MFDs.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #32 of 44 Old 02-04-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Thanks for all your inputs, guys. Lots to think about. I'll prob get Navionics for my MacBook for work at the chart table, and perhaps a mounted unit, though I'm still unsure.
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post #33 of 44 Old 02-07-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Biggest issue with ipad/iphone/... is display readability in bright sunlight for detail. I have 4 forms of nav.. paper, iphone/pad, garmin 9007, Garmin SV93 in the cockpit. I have used the B&G and I have to agree that there are many sailor friendly features that are not present on the Garmin. It has a pretty high learning curve, where the Garmin is very easy to learn. You almost say "am I missing something?"

Think about futures, some will not support radar, some will not support sonar. Not sure if that is a factor.

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post #34 of 44 Old 02-07-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Earlier, somebody said they had no problems using a relatively inexpensive Tab A in sunlight.
Thats also been my experience
Very easy to use..moves with me
And i have 2 plotters
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post #35 of 44 Old 02-07-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Navionics was updated last year. You now need a subscription to download maps. Without a downloaded map, the resolution is terrible. It's usable if all you need to do is to get to/from a port. But the bathymetry lines have like 0.2 nautical mile resolution, and the coastlines are so low res I usually can't recognize them anymore. Fortunately I downloaded an installer for the previous version when I was trying to install it on an Amazon Kindle HD (Navionics Boating HD wasn't available in the Amazon app store). So far it and downloading maps has continued to work without a subscription. It auto-updates every couple months to the crippled subscription version, and I have to revert it to the old version. But obviously that's not a problem when I'm out on the water.

If you're thinking of using an iPad with Navionics (or other navigation software), be forewarned. The WiFi-only iPads do not have GPS. You have to get a cellular-capable iPad to get GPS. It's also possible to link up a WiFi-only iPad with an external GPS receiver. And there are certain apps which let you link your phone's GPS with your iPad over Bluetooth. But if you're hoping for a standalone device for navigation and it has to be an iPad, then you must get a cellular-capable iPad. Most of the mid-grade and high-end Android tablets have GPS (the Amazon Kindles do not - which I discovered after I installed Navionics on mine).

I agree all the chartplotters and MFD models are needlessly confusing. But the pattern I eventually figured out was that the higher-end models simply add (1) a larger display, and (2) support for additional features like radar and networking. So if all you want is a chartplotter, the lowest-end models will probably serve you just fine. (I do a lot of fishing so I bought one of the higher end models, so I can't give you any suggestions for low-end models.)
  • B&G, Lowrance, and Simrad are the same company - Navico. B&G is their line for sailing, Lowrance for freshwater fishing, Simrad for saltwater fishing (more ruggedly built). As best as I can tell, they all run the same software under the hood. The different brands just have some minor tweaks to the hardware and UI.
  • Garmin is considered the Apple of chartplotters/fishfinders, with arguably the easiest to use interface. Garmin bought Navionics in 2018. They've said they'll keep the Navionics maps available for other brand chartplotters, but just be aware that they now control the primary aftermarket maps added to most chartplotters. One notable drawback is that (as of a year ago) their screen mirroring app was iPad-only. The other brands can mirror the display (for the models which support the feature) to Apple or Android devices. OTOH, their navigation plotting integration app for iPad is supposed to be the best in the business - plot your planned route in your house on your iPad, and when you get to your boat it auto-uploads it to your Garmin chartplotter (may not be available with all models).
  • Raymarine in my experience had the best online support. They were able to answer some of my very technical questions while I was shopping. On top of it, they don't make it a secret that their plotters run on SoCs running Linux. In fact they'll even give you instructions on hacking the unit to do things like pulling out recorded course routes if the built-in UI feature fails. Also, looking around my marina, the vast majority of radar units I see are Raymarine.
  • Furuno is the other major brand. It's very popular with commercial fishermen, but tends to be higher-end and more expensive. So I doubt you'll be considering any of their units.
  • Humminbird is a freshwater fishing plotter company. They have a very small market share, and I don't think anyone other than freshwater fishermen consider them.

The other advantage of a standalone chartplotter is that they usually come with a rudimentary sonar unit. While you won't be making extensive use of the sonar if you're not fishing, it's still nice for getting real-time depth readings so you can always be sure there's enough water under the keel. (It'll also tell you water temp.)
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Last edited by Solandri; 02-07-2020 at 09:53 PM.
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post #36 of 44 Old 02-08-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RegisteredUser View Post
Earlier, somebody said they had no problems using a relatively inexpensive Tab A in sunlight.

Thats also been my experience

Very easy to use..moves with me

And i have 2 plotters
Yes, I think Samsung tablets in general have excellent screens. I guess that's why even Apple buys screens from Samsung.

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk

2011 Jeanneau 39i Azura
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post #37 of 44 Old 02-10-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
If your need is basic... see your boat on a chart, plus a few more features... a hand held device works. Fixed mount plotters are MFDs and display, juggle/compute way more data... and the user interface is often better on fixed mount MFDs.
No question an MFD is preferred. I would guess an MFD with all the fixings would cost upwards of $10k? I purchased a used Garmin 76 for about $100, maybe $200 after maps were purchased.

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post #38 of 44 Old 02-12-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Hey,

You're about $9000 too high.

You can get top a quality plotter for under $1000. You can get a nice one for $500.

The B&G Vulcan 7 is $700, Garmin Echomap 6" is under $500. Add charts and maybe you're at $600

Barry



Quote:
Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
No question an MFD is preferred. I would guess an MFD with all the fixings would cost upwards of $10k? I purchased a used Garmin 76 for about $100, maybe $200 after maps were purchased.
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post #39 of 44 Old 02-12-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

I have been reading about the current ais units and navionics / Boat HD app. I like the boat HD app because I can put it on several devices as a backup. You can download the area so you have your maps on your device. If you buy a AIS later, you can get one with wifi and it will put the AIS data on your tablet or phone via the AIS internal wifi. I am new to sailing but have been around electronics my whole life. It seems a dedicated chart plotter would be nice, but it seems you need to buy maps for it also. I like how the navionics allows the users to automatically upload sonar data as they travel and then share the more updated maps with all the users. Basically everyone is helping make the maps more accurate as they travel. I have it on my tablet and my phone currently to get use to the app. I still don't have a boat yet but am hoping this year. If you get a tablet for using navionics / Boat HD, make sure it has internal GPS and a plus if it has GLONASS. Some tablets now are being sold to only use the wifi location for your location, which is useless when you are out of range of wifi. A water proof tablet would be nice too. I don't know about the wireless charging, but it would be nice to not have to plug it in all the time and just buy a wireless charger where it will be used. I think Boating HD costs around $15 per year, very affordable for what it does.

Last edited by Paul2000; 02-12-2020 at 06:41 PM.
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post #40 of 44 Old 02-12-2020
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Re: What kinda mounted GPS unit should I buy?

Just know that if you are going the iPad route that the wifi only iPad doesn't have GPS... you need the cellular version (although activated cell plan is not needed) to get GPS.

Alternately, you can buy a bluetooth GPS puck... but it is just one more thing to lose or have the batteries die at the wrong time.

Personally a fan of chartplotters. Their integration with other electronics you have makes a lot of information available at the helm in a very easily readable format, they don't go flying during a surprise gybe, and the touchscreens will work while it is raining (at least on the Raymarine). Raymarine Axiom gets my vote; Raymarine added in the advanced sailing features back a few software versions again.
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