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Discussion Starter #1
Hey sailnet community
iam relatively new to this forum ,but have been using it as a valuable resource for close to a year now. This is my first post on any forum,so here goes nothing. I hail from Bowleys Quaters marina on the chesepeake bay in baltimore md . I bought a 1981 27 ft catalina last sept . I have been bringing her back to life all winter and spending every extra moment in the boat yard getting her ready to launch in three weeks. I prob was a bit ambitioious with the amount of work I decided to do on her ie bottom paint , new topside paint and nonskid and deck paint , new stove install and galley counter resurfacing ,led lighting threw out, full atomic 4 tune up,all the bright work and while trudging threw repairing every blemish and Imperfection along the way but that's how I am. Iam 75% done but nearing the end after tearing out the non functioning electronics in the cockpit iam stuck with the desicion about navigation and depth . I know there are many threads on this site concerning this but some are dated. I will be a weekend sailor and plan on adventuring in time as far as my skills will take me as they progress! I was thinking about a depth sounder and a hand held gps and to force myself to grow comfortable navigating with charts and a site compass. But iam reading more and more about iPad navigation. I have a 1000 dollar budget but part of me wants to keep my set up as simple and reliable as possible any suggestions for my begening system wud be appreciated !
 

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Bring On The Wind
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Welcome to sailnet and congrats on the boat and all the hard work you've put into her so far. I use hand held vhf due to where I sail along with a Hummingbird 581 fishfinder that gives me depth, temperature, boat speed and has gps capability. There are quite a few members where you plan on sailing who can probably give you a better idea on what to use in your area. Good luck with the splash and get us some pics.
 

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Welcome to SailNet and congratulations on your boat.

When we purchased our boat, knowing we were going to be primarily in the Chesapeake and its tributaries, I decided to keep it as simple as possible. Besides the paper charts we started out using a netbook with free/low cost navigation software and then moved to the iPad with the Garmin navigation app. Also on board are Chesapeake guides to anchorages and marinas that provide lots of useful information and I keep track of what others on SailNet report about local conditions.

That works for us. Others may need the full radar/AIS/GPS/Chartplotter integrated system to sail from marina to marina on the bay but for us, that's overkill.

Should we decide to take this boat beyond, I'll re-evaluate at that time.
 

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Asleep at the wheel
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Do you have a smartphone? If so, an app like Skipper or the Garmin app can work. You'll likely have decent cell coverage for most of your likely sailing area, and with some of the apps you can cache your charts, so you don't have to worry about losing access. I'm relatively new to sailing too, and I'm a bit of a computer geek, but I think the worst thing you can do is to rely too heavily on technology. Have a depth sounder, but learn to watch the water color and water flow to spot shallow areas. Learn how to spot the buoys that mark the channel, and study the paper charts well enough to know where you're likely to have problems, and where you'll be safe. Basically, keep you eyes on the water, not on the GPS.

We moved our boat from Rock Hall, MD to Barnegat Bay in NJ. I had a Garmin 7" chart plotter from our last boat, plus Skipper running on my cell phone. We had them both running the whole time, but Skipper was used to give us the big-picture view of where we were while en route (I haven't figured out how to use the Garmin that well yet). The Garmin gave us a more zoomed in view, and was mostly used to help my cousin, who had never been aboard a boat before, to double check that he was keeping us headed in the right direction and in some approximation of proximity to the channel when there was some question about which buoys to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone I will prob go with a simple handheld for now till I get my feet wet i am weary of depending on cell service even though it is verizon lol . Have cell signals improved on the bay I know years back I Wundt put any trust in my service !
 

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The only location I experienced zero cell service was Worton Creek. ATT and Verizon went black. It was creepy. Stopped just before entering and had nothing until we left the next morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DRFerron I chose to go with the cell phone for navigation. Thanks for the suggestions! Too any one who cares. My first weekend of sailing was amazing!!! I feel like I was born for this !! Friday winds were out of the south about 9 knots I went for it untied the dock lines and raised both sails it was amazing the sunset was hanging low the sails filled with wind and I close hull it out to the middle of the bay and back feeling like I walked on the moon! The very next day I took another couple out with my girlfriend and I expecting the same conditions lol not the case winds were out of the north at sustained 15 knot wind with wind gust at 20 knots there was a small craft advisory so I said what the hell this is sailing right ! I learned a lot that day to say the least 1 healing is fantastic I loved the spray of water on my face and def understood the true meaning of hull speed . 2 sailing in those kind of winds is not the best for a standard setup with a 130 genoa lol. I'm looking for a small used jib now. I also learned that reefing is smart and is not something u do just for safety but for performance and comfortability as well . But all and all it was a great day and I made great time running to fairlee creek and back to middle river ! Once again Sunday held it's own challenges it was warm and sunny with five knot winds that was the hardest day of all I had to pay close attention to the trim of the sails to go anywhere also it was the first time the wind was not going where I wanted to go so I was forced to learn to tack quickly to get where I was going . But what a weekend I am all in and completely stoked ! In the first three days I sailed 30 nautical miles in three contrasting conditions and each one held a certain charm none bested by another . I cud rave about everything during my first two weeks of sailing . But I digress because all of u are already deep in the love affair that I have just begun ! I will end with this Ripple sailed beautifully for me, and every ounce of love I put into her she has gave back ten fold !! I can't wait to make more memories and trie my first weekend on the hook this weekend !
 

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The only location I experienced zero cell service was Worton Creek. ATT and Verizon went black. It was creepy.
Haha! I kept my boat on a mooring in Worton Creek for a couple of years and I would go through cell phone withdrawal every time I went to the boat! I was known to wander around the marina holding my phone in the air trying to sniff out a signal! Despite the local limitation, I used the Navionics mapping app on my iPhone to get around the bay for a couple seasons without a problem (I had an older handheld GPS as a backup) before I bought a Garmin chartplotter.
 

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I am fairly new myself but a friend turned me onto Navionics for my phone and I love it. It cost me $14.00. I also have an app called Drag Queen for anchor alarm, looks good but untested thus far. Congrats on the boat and have fun.
 

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I am fairly new myself but a friend turned me onto Navionics for my phone and I love it. It cost me $14.00. I also have an app called Drag Queen for anchor alarm, looks good but untested thus far. Congrats on the boat and have fun.
Drag queen huh I'll have to check that out . I have been loving the simplicity of skipper so far and active captain is awesome !!
 
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