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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Wolverhampton, UK Boat: Gosport
    Posts
    118

    Default A not very techy needs advice

    There's a good chance what I'm asking is already here - somewhere...

    Not having used a chart plotter or anything other than paper charts (and in the last year or so helped by my Garmin GPS 128) I have been pondering about getting to grips with some tecky stuff such as Visit My Harbour or/and Open CPN and possibly with AIS - which seems like a really neat piece of kit.
    What I need is:
    Someone to help me break the ice to enable me to understand how these things work - I mean, how does one set up what to make use of their obvious useful qualities.
    What do I need in the way of hardware, software etc.
    How does one set up charts to use - someone told me that Google Earth was some part of it - but I can't get to grips with it, I need a helping hand.
    Does anyone have the time and patience to teach an old dog a few new tricks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,261

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    Te easiest solution for a chart plotter, and probably the least cost is to use a low cost tablet. I use an iPAD by Apple, which is expensive, so I will leave the low cost models up to others to advise. The tablet will need a built in GPS chip, or the ability to accept a remote GPS antenna, that you would plug in you the tablet

    The tablet will now need navigation software and electronic charts. I would recommend Navionics "Boating Marine and Lakes App" (see link below). The App (short for Application i.e. Software) will be around £40, you would have to select the correct version to download for your tablets operating system. When ordering the App you select your charts.

    https://www.navionics.com/gbr/apps/navionics-boating

    Others will be along and advise other systems. A full blown chart plotter will cost quite a bit more. I don't use AIS at the moment so will not offer advise on the lowest cost systems or whether they can be integrated into a tablet running Navionics. You can buy stand along AIS devices e.g. NASA AIS SART Plotter, link below at a couple of hundred quid.

    https://www.nasamarine.com/product/n...-sart-plotter/
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,611

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    A tablet may well be the cheapest way in but in the long run is not the best solution for most boats or the way they are used. This might then involve duplication when a dedicated plotter is fitted. If going the plotter route, you may need to decide whether to have a basic plotter or go the whole hog and have a system integrated with instruments, AIS, possibly radio and radar etc, which is clearly more expensive.

    Each sailor and boat will have his own needs and perhaps oletimer might benefit from seeing other people's installations in situ and in use. If someone wanted to look at and play with my system I would be very happy for them to do so.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,415

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    Steve davis
    londonchartplotters@yahoo.co.uk
    Will supply you an inexpensive tablet with charts under £150 possibly
    Bigger is better when it comes to display and he is helpful setting it up
    Personally I would go IPad (with cellular) with Navionics but your increasing your cost and won’t be able to use AIS if you want AIS ISailor will work
    PBO I think did a comparison on various apps a couple of years ago
    Also best to have a power source
    A chart plotter will do all this and be easier to see in sunlight and usually a smaller screen but for a cost you can go bigger
    So I have started with a basic fiesta and ended up with a fully loaded montego!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,261

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Oletimer View Post
    ..... Someone to help me break the ice to enable me to understand how these things work - I mean, how does one set up what to make use of their obvious useful qualities. ....
    There is currently a thread in the PBO Forum on the Navionics option I referred to. It may help: -

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread...41#post6790241
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,205

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    If you put your boat location and maybe boat type in your profile then someone from the forum in the same location might offer to meet up and give you a good talking to
    MontyMariner.co.uk
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Wolverhampton, UK Boat: Gosport
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    Thank you kind people, I will be back to you shortly, I need to make notes and absorb what has already been offered.
    The knowledge level on this forum is mind blowing, I can see my midnight oil is going to take a bashing.

    P/S LadyinBed - I have filled in my profile so it should be there for all to peruse, I made it all public.
    Thank you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    7,446

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    I’ll add to the others about tablet and Navionics as a start - as long as you own a tablet anyway.

    I never saw the point in a chart plotter but downloaded Navionics on my iPad 4 years ago and now it sits on the chart table as our main navigation. But as I now look at AIS (not sure why really as we rarely get fog) then a full chart plotter looks a simpler solution.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,408

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    Oletimer, your current level of electronic navigation seems a close match to mine, ie paper charts supplemented by GPS positioning kit.

    For decades I've applied a £200 threshold for electronic kit, on the basis that everything eventually gets down to that level, which is when I'll get it.

    So when I could get a tablet with Navionics on it for that price, that's what I did. It's good but not great. I use the app mostly just for situational awareness, ie exactly where are we and how are we doing on our current course. But I can't have the display permanently on because it won't recharge fast enough from 12v. And anyway I have another copy of Navionics on my phone, which is in my pocket and much easier to refer to, wherever I am in the boat. So although I might have it on standby, I hardly use the tablet at all.

    So I'm thinking I really ought to have something built in which will meet my basic needs. And there are now small fish finder plotters which would do this, close enough to my £200 threshold. But they don't do AIS. The screens are small. And I have to wonder if there's really anything they will do for me that I actually want. Apart from being permanently on and connected to the boat's 12v system.

    Then I look at bigger versions which offer AIS integration, and with that and the cost of electronic charts etc it seems you get into 4 figure costs quite quickly. At that level I'd want, but wouldn't yet get Radar as well.

    So I'll continue to plod along with what I've got for another season. Maybe get another small folio of paper charts when the one I've got for the area seems a bit old. And pick up a local large scale French chart from time to time. All my library of waypoints and routes in my GPS will remain as useful as they always were.

    But I'd be very interested in how you transition into the electronic systems beyond, and how you find it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    scotland
    Posts
    3,415

    Default Re: A not very techy needs advice

    Game will sell you a used iPad cellular for under £200

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