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Folks...

I am new to chartplotters. Every man and his boat seems to have one so I guess it's time to indulge.
I was looking at a simple model, perhaps the Standard Horizon Cp390i. It is not too expensive and the screen is not too wee.

I just need some simple chart-plot functions to aid my normal GPS and landmarks and paper chart plotting. I also have a simple radar, the JRC 1000.

What do you think of the CP290i.

It's got to be simple to use. I just need basic functions.

Thanks...

Rockter.
 

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My suggestion would be to find a large West Marine store, and have a look at a few models. Try a few basic functions like navigating to a waypoint. This will give you a feel for ease of use.

My Lowrance HDS 5m has a great feature set, but I find it a bit tricky to use. Hardly the most intuitive interface.
 

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I Looked at the CP 360i (can't find the CP 290i) and it looks good. A couple of years ago I considered buying a standard horizon chartplotter but ended up buying the Raymarine e7. The SH product comes with Jeppson (???) charts installed. They were a good charting system but any updates mean that you sent the chip back to the company which didn't seem very user friendly. On the other hand, I like the company and feel they have good customer service. The thing to consider here is how you can interface the plotter with a laptop for chartwork at home. It's much easier to do route planning on a larger computer screen than the small plotter. I don't like Raymarine's PC program as it is very cumbersome but I have come to like the chartplotter. It was a bit less intuitive than I was used to. I like the Navionics charts better than Garmin's Blue Charts but I found Garmin's plotters and PC program very easy to use.

Long story short, I would look at the unit's ability to connect to a PC as an important component of the unit. I am unfamiliar with Standard Horizon's ability to connect. I would look at Garmin's and Raymarine's e7 as good units.

Tod
 

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One feature I really love on my Lowrance is the projected course. I have it set to project a line one mile ahead. This can be very handy in SF bay, showing you how the current is really affecting you.
 

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Have you looked at OpenCPN on a PC?

Using some to the tools allows you do many of things that can be done on a paper chart.

This a set and drift question that I did for a Sailnetter.



It has a projected course as well.

I have mine on an Asus Vivo Tab Smart tablet running Windows 8.1. It also has a built-in GPS. That seems to to everything I want from being a Kindle reader to surfing web.

While I normally use raster charts when I can, I am also using Navionics HD which employs vector charts.
 

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One feature I really love on my Lowrance is the projected course. I have it set to project a line one mile ahead. This can be very handy in SF bay, showing you how the current is really affecting you.
I really like my Lowrance 9" plotter/radar combo. I may have missed it in the discussion, but the first (!) priority for any plotter is location on your particular boat. Most of the current crop of devices appear NOT to be intended for use on the average sailboat. (And not too many power boats, either.)

Problem is that most of them have a *strong* perm. magnet for keeping their chart-chip door closed rather than a friction catch. Our Lowrance does not have the compass-attracting magnet.
When shopping for this kit, a local marine electronics firm let me borrow three plotters and I got to hold them in the location where they would be mounted. All the ones with the magnet pulled the compass card instantly toward them when they got closer than about 15". :eek:

If you mount it a lot further away, no worries.

Ours is under the binnacle guard, about where most sailboats put their plotters.

BTW, the "digital" radar really does show details a LOT better than our old conventional radar did. Choosing to overlap the radar image and the chart image is rather nice, too. Or, go full screen with either one. Or, have the images side by side..... :cool:

Happy shopping,
Loren
 
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