SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello There!

I'm a new to sailing and am looking for reliable GPS navigation (and cheap) for my future excursions. I have a starter boat (pictured below) and have very limited electronic capabilities at this time. I'm interested in utilizing OpenCPN on a Raspberry Pi. Has anyone tried this?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

-Josh



*UPDATE* So, I tried it on my Galaxy Tab A. The application seems to crash every few minutes and the chart downloader is unresponsive. I will try the Raspberry Pi(3) next and see if that is any more stable.
 

Attachments

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
I believe there is a port for Raspberian, but it seems it would really be pushing the Pi to its limits. It might make more sense to get a quality Android tablet as a decent screen is really important. I have it running on a couple of PCs including a 12 volt PC with a 12 volt touch screen monitor at my nav station, windows tablet and a couple of android tablets. It does not take the best tablet but I would look for two things, first a built in GPS sensor and second one with a fair amount of memory. My inexpensive tablets really take ages to refresh the screen. I think more memory would help. There is some good help over on Cruser's form but they are a bit prickly to deal with but the OpenCPN form seems to be good.
 

·
SailRN
Joined
·
51 Posts
I've used OpenCPN, both with a GPS plugged into my PC, and my Android telephone providing GPS via Bluetooth to the laptop. I didn't have a GPS sensor in my tablet, so the Bluetooth worked nicely from the telephone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I have a similar question, I am looking for a cheapish iOS chart plotter/navigation app with active captain integration. Does anyone know of any?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
OpenCPN works well with any GPS source that is NEMA enabled. The no-cost US charts work, but other areas of the world will need to be purchased including Canada. I am uncertain if the no-cost IENC charts of the Great Lakes and Western Rivers work with OpenCPN.
LO
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,346 Posts
I have a similar question, I am looking for a cheapish iOS chart plotter/navigation app with active captain integration. Does anyone know of any?
Seems the only thing that will have Active Captain on it will be Garmin equipment. They say they will support other devices, but they have to follow a new API (to comply with European rules) but have yet to release anything about the API so anything that has current AC support will likely lose it, especially since most of the inexpensive ones are supported by small companies and aren't likely to have the necessary resources. I think Active Captain is on it's way out so I would not make that my decision as to what plotter to get. The arias where I sail there has been little if any new updating since it was sold, even though there was lots of it before. Garmin is not making it easy for other companies to work with them.
 

·
Rainwatcher
Joined
·
437 Posts
Active Captain is not a good resource for sailing. It never was a reasonable resource for navigation; now even it's shore reviews are growing stale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Active Captain is not a good resource for sailing. It never was a reasonable resource for navigation; now even it's shore reviews are growing stale.
What is "Active Captain"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
Cool, I have a Spirit 23, yours is sometimes called a Spirit 21, but you should like it. Did you do the paint?

In any case, OpenCPN takes a pretty strong PC IMO, it is really unresponsive and the raster charts do not look good. For me I got a cheap windows 10 tablet and I run PolarView on it, which works great with a USB gps, but no ActiveCaptain support.

AquaMap seems like the one of the best options for IOS ActiveCaptain support.

Edit: For inland (lakes) navigation I use Navionics Marine app on my iPhone which works well.

@lho crowdsourced boat info, https://activecaptain.garmin.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How do you like your Spirit 23?

I did do the paint, with the help of my girlfriend. Interesting choices of colors, right? :)

OpenCPN ended up working on my Galaxy Tab A, but I think you're right. It is a bit on the unresponsive side. It might be enough for my purposes though as I only plan on using it on the Great Lakes.

I looked up this ActiveCaptain. Very interesting! I'll have to try it on my tablet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
Run navionics on an iPad Pro in a life proof case as a backup. Good screen.readable charts. Survivable in the cockpit. Have north and South America in it and get updates down loaded when I remember (monthly) which seem accurate. Costs $27.50/ year.
Have cpn in the toughbook at the nav station as another backup. PIA. Updating slow and uses too much data so more expensive over a year than Navionics. I’m stuck with the toughbook as my SSB modem is hooked up with it but if you don’t need that functionality would be a big spender and do navionics.
 

·
Rainwatcher
Joined
·
437 Posts
Oh, god, no. Anything but Navionics (or Navimatics).

More than twenty years ago, a lighthouse was removed here on Puget Sound. About fifteen years ago, I complained to Navionics that it was still on my charts. So they removed the magenta exclamation mark, and left the line of text with the light characteristics.

After that, I'm not interested in any company that takes NOAA charts and edits them. I'm only interested in real charts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
...Have cpn in the toughbook at the nav station as another backup. PIA. Updating slow and uses too much data so more expensive over a year than Navionics. I’m stuck with the toughbook as my SSB modem is hooked up with it but if you don’t need that functionality would be a big spender and do navionics.
I'm curious what, exactly, causes OpenCPN to use so much data for you? I run it free-standing with no internet connection (except for Google Drive, where I sync up waypoints and routes that I mark when at home), so zero mobile data consumption. My charts are kept locally on an SD card, which I update on shore using the convenient ChartDownloader plugin. But I don't update everything every time. I just keep up to date on my local charts, and everything else gets an annual update (by my choice). So even on shore I don't use that much data.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
@Jammer-six One of the reasons I love PolarView, downloads NOAA charts and will auto update them as new versions are released. Pretty reasonable at $16 a year or so (other options but to be that seems reasonable).
 

·
Rainwatcher
Joined
·
437 Posts
My two favorites are SeaIQ (I like it for the quilting) and my old warhorse iNavX. On iNavX, you have to load each chart, but it's not that tough, and it happily takes Canadian raster charts, which is something that SeaIQ doesn't do.

Both are less that fifty bucks, and while Canadian charts cost money, the NOAA charts are free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
@Jammer-six One of the reasons I love PolarView, downloads NOAA charts and will auto update them as new versions are released. Pretty reasonable at $16 a year or so (other options but to be that seems reasonable).
Ditto for OpenCPN, except totally free. I've used both, and their interfaces are different, but whichever you prefer.

I share the skepticism over any electronic charts that "translate" NOAA's stuff into a proprietary format. It seems like it's just begging for errors to be made. Much better to use a program/app that takes native NOAA charts and displays them unchanged. Even better if the same program can display both RNC and ENC formats, since each has its plusses and minuses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,188 Posts
The simplest solution is one of the inexpensive nav apps available for a smartphone or tablet. OpenCpn has a following and is free, but it's not plug and play. You need to deal with a few things. The more technically oriented find that a no-brainer. Others, not so much.

I've personally used: Charts and Tides, Garmin Blue and Navionics. I never had to read a single instruction for any of them to get them up and running or to quickly figure out how to use them.

For what it's worth, C&T was the cheapest and I've liked it the best. It had Active Captain interfaced offline, which was an outstanding resource, while cruising. Lost it when Garmin took over and updated the interface. Never like the Garmin Bluewhatever app, it looked like a cartoon. I used Navionics for the first time this season. It's fucntional. The auto route feature is nice for coastal hop planning, but can't be taken literally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
827 Posts
I use Open CPN as my primary nav tool on a LenovoT440 laptop and have used it for a 300 plus NM crossing of the Gulf as well as a guide to Tampa Bay of which I had zero local knowledge of. It's a great tool for the price (free). I use the marine navigator app on my phone as a backup but it seems to be quite battery hungry so I have to limit the usage. I was recently sailing single handed in my local bay of which I am quite familiar and trying to thread my way through an unmarked channel using only the depth sounder and a paper chart (I had left my phone on the charger in the truck). There was a storm was brewing and I was trying to get to a protected anchorage before the storm hit. Turned out to be a white knuckle event for me. Over canvassed, tacking and trying to look at depth sounder and hold on to the paper chart was nerve racking to say the least. The $10.00 phone app on the phone would have reduced a lot of stress.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top