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I am trying to decide if I should get a chartplotter for my new to me boat. Just like the 50 cd changer I almost bought before the mp3 player came out or the nav unit I bought for my car just before everyone had an app for that on their phone. Should I get a dedicated chartplotter or are they going to be common place on anyones phone soon enough?
 

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I still have a turntable because the sound is warmer than CDs.
I still have a cd player because the sound is fuller and cleaner than Mp3s.
I have an mp3 player because it is compact and convenient.
I have an SLR because it shoots great pictures.
i have a camera in my phone because it is convenient.
I have a chart plotter because it is easy to see in daylight, waterproof, doesn't displace another device used for reading, blogging, etc., and is on a screen big enough to see detail.
a smartphone app is... well, more convenient.

Like LPs, CDs and MP3s, never confuse more popular with better. sometimes it is just convenient.
 

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I still have a turntable because the sound is warmer than CDs.
I still have a cd player because the sound is fuller and cleaner than Mp3s.
I have an mp3 player because it is compact and convenient.
I have an SLR because it shoots great pictures.
i have a camera in my phone because it is convenient.
I have a chart plotter because it is easy to see in daylight, waterproof, doesn't displace another device used for reading, blogging, etc., and is on a screen big enough to see detail.
a smartphone app is... well, more convenient.

Like LPs, CDs and MP3s, never confuse more popular with better. sometimes it is just convenient.
I feel like the Buddha incarnate just whispered in my ear...
 

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I feel like the Buddha incarnate just whispered in my ear...
Maharishi Jones !! The Dock VI Lama.

He's right though.

Mind you, a Nav App on a tablet is pretty damn useful. We have two stand alone plotters but I still keep Plan2Nav on tablet. Its a fine program although the connection with the wally from active captain is unfortunate, to say the least.
 

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I think it would really depend on how far off the beaten path one chooses to go, wouldn't it?
I doubt you'd have cell service to Bermuda or on some outlying islands in Maine, the Maritimes or the Keys, for instance.
 

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I am trying to decide if I should get a chartplotter for my new to me boat. Just like the 50 cd changer I almost bought before the mp3 player came out or the nav unit I bought for my car just before everyone had an app for that on their phone. Should I get a dedicated chartplotter or are they going to be common place on anyones phone soon enough?
If you only want charts then that is already on phones and tablets. Look for Navionics in the iOS and Android stores.

If you want system integration where your chart can also show boat speed through water, depth, wind speed and direction, talk to your autopilot, and integrate with other boat electronics then a multi-function-device is still the best option. There are systems that will integrate those features into a tablet, but they cost more than a MFD.

If you do choose to go the phone or tablet route consider how you'll use the device when wearing gloves and it is raining. Or how you'll keep it waterproof and charging in the cockpit. Or how you'll use it in bright sunlight.
 

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Man I love my garmin 441. I gotta bigger one afterward but that little bugger does so much stuff it is unreal. There's 50 reasons I'd never trade it for a phone.
 

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I love my Garmin 421 chartplotter with it's blue chip chart . I would recommend the chip chart . As opposed to running it with just the base map . Got all my stuff from gpscity.com . I also have a hand held Garmin 76cx, love it . But it has only has base map . So I don't use that just the highway function .
 

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If you only want charts then that is already on phones and tablets. Look for Navionics in the iOS and Android stores.

If you want system integration where your chart can also show boat speed through water, depth, wind speed and direction, talk to your autopilot, and integrate with other boat electronics then a multi-function-device is still the best option. There are systems that will integrate those features into a tablet, but they cost more than a MFD.

If you do choose to go the phone or tablet route consider how you'll use the device when wearing gloves and it is raining. Or how you'll keep it waterproof and charging in the cockpit. Or how you'll use it in bright sunlight.
I agree with Alex W: there are times when a weatherproof, built-in chartplotter will be appreciated and all the more so if your chartplotter is a true multifunction display that is integrated with sailing instruments and an autopilot. My boat is set up this way and it has paid off on two occasions over the past 15 years when things got unexpectedly nasty--like when the winds picked up to 45+ kts and I had to pick my way through a narrow passage to get to safe harbor. It wasn't raining, but there was enough spray--salt in this case-- on the display that it would have been preferably if it were actual rain. At least I didn't have to worry about batteries running down, or a tablet (pad, tablet, or whatever portable device) going over the side on the roll.

I also carry a backup handheld chartplotter (a waterproof Garmin Oregon ) that was called to duty a year ago when the built-in chartplotter went south on a 55 nm coastal passage. The Oregon required a battery change and was about to require another battery change as we got to our home port. We could have used paper chart and compass, given the favorable weather conditions, but with time-varying currents in our area, it was nice to know exactly where we were at all times, particularly in tight quarters.
 
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