Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    887

    Default Plotter replacement

    My old SH 180i has died after 12 years. I never really liked it, the screen was tiny and cluttered. But to be fair I probably should have spent more time with the manual. For the last 5 years Iíve been using iPad& Navionics as well. Big screen, cheap updates blah blah. But rubbish in sunlight and sometimes a bit flaky; if for example the waterproof case gets very wet then it can be really hard to use the touch screen. I have been telling myself that when the SH died I would simply add a second tablet and Navionics (I have instruments in a demountable washboard) in the cockpit, with one below as backup. Plus I have a smartphone as second backup.

    But now it is crunch time Iím not so sure. There is something reassuring about a proper marine spec. I can squeeze in a 7 inch screen like a Vulcan or a Garmin, with internal GPS antenna. But the £££! Especially for charts! What should I do?

    Anyone got experience of using ONLY tablet nav? Is it really ok, robust, useable, visible?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,436

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    I have had the same with my Lorenz plotter. I initially liked that as it had 2 base stations and I could have it inside the cabin when the boat was not in use or I wanted to plot routes etc at the chart table & right by the tiller when sailing- No use at all out of reach of the tiller as one cannot see it or fiddle with the keys to read AIS signals etc ( which is why i bought it). If you buy a Lorenz plotter you can have my base stations cheap.

    Maintsprite have agreed that if I go to their shop in Maldon straight after the boat show they will give me the same deal that i would have got at the show on Garmin, & Raymarine.etc
    I will get Raymarine as I have other Raymarine gear. The question is whether to buy the silly little 7 inch display or bite the bullet & get the 9 inch. Not cheap when one gets the chart card as well
    Last edited by Daydream believer; 13-09-19 at 07:26.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Gone cruising
    Posts
    2,395

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by gdallas View Post
    Anyone got experience of using ONLY tablet nav? Is it really ok, robust, useable, visible?
    Yes. Our ancient Raymarine plotter is only powered on for the radar, and we don't have the ridiculous priced little chart cards for our cruising area anyways.

    The Windows (not Android) tablet running OpenCPN works fine apart from sunlight readability, which is not an issue as we have to have a Bimini up anyways here in the Med.

    The waterproof Android phone running Navionics also works fine and being designed for outdoor use has a very bright screen. Charts are around €40 per cruising area, which I find reasonable.

    Both are consumer grade devices. They both mess up occasionally, due to various software malfunctions. Navionics has bad network code that causes it to freeze up for a while if the phone has intermittent internet connectivity (i.e. when sailing a bit away from the coast at the edge of network coverage). Easily fixed by switching it to airplane mode. Navionics also occasionaly crashes, but is quickly restarted.

    OpenCPN itself is quite stable, but the Windows operating system loves to shoot itself in the foot, especially if you connect it to the internet and it excitedly downloads all sorts of updates and tries to install them, usually just when you want to leave.

    So the key is to have two, and not of the same type (we have more than two, but two is the minimum). On the other hand, current generation chartplotters, MFDs etc. seems to have just as many software bugs and I've seen worse crashes from brand new B&G gear (my favorite one was where the screen just froze up and continued to display stale data as current until we realized we weren't getting any closer despite sailing for an hour). And for the price of a single 4" MFD I can buy a phone and a tablet both. For the price of a chartplotter I could buy a car, or a brand new ruggedized Laptop to run OpenCPN on, or several months worth of liveaboard cruising! And then you still get ripped off massively for the charts, despite being identical to the ones on the phone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,876

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    I have had the e7 with its 'silly little display'. Whatever size of display, I will have to wear reading glasses, so the 7" is perfectly adequate. If you are used to old plotters, you will find that the much faster re-draw of modern ones more than makes up for having a small screen. The touch screen also means than moving around and re-sizing becomes second nature.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,202

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by gdallas View Post
    My old SH 180i has died after 12 years. I never really liked it, the screen was tiny and cluttered. But to be fair I probably should have spent more time with the manual. For the last 5 years I’ve been using iPad& Navionics as well. Big screen, cheap updates blah blah. But rubbish in sunlight and sometimes a bit flaky; if for example the waterproof case gets very wet then it can be really hard to use the touch screen. I have been telling myself that when the SH died I would simply add a second tablet and Navionics (I have instruments in a demountable washboard) in the cockpit, with one below as backup. Plus I have a smartphone as second backup.

    But now it is crunch time I’m not so sure. There is something reassuring about a proper marine spec. I can squeeze in a 7 inch screen like a Vulcan or a Garmin, with internal GPS antenna. But the £££! Especially for charts! What should I do?

    Anyone got experience of using ONLY tablet nav? Is it really ok, robust, useable, visible?
    Yes, I didn't replace my plotter when it died and use 2 IP68 phones (Galaxy A5 and S7) with Navionics. No probs with waterproofness, I've fallen in the sea with both☺. Personally, I think any fixed instruments on a boat are a bit of a dated concept: a 5" screen at half arms length is much easier to view and control than a 9" display 2m away. As for the sun, turn your back to it, a lot easier than head tilting wearing polaroids. Easier still when you're in bed/ heads/ foredeck. When I deliver other boats I don't turn the plotter on. I do have a fixed GPS so maybe my preference for numbers over graphics is an influence?
    I suspect general acceptance of the superannuated nature of current instrument suites will be a long time coming. Look how the sextant has held on by its fingernails.
    Last edited by Quiddle; 13-09-19 at 15:09.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fareham
    Posts
    6,659

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiddle View Post
    Personally, I think any fixed instruments on a boat are a bit of a dated concept:
    Not when it gets so rough that you need both hands to hang on!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    8,604

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by gdallas View Post
    ....

    But now it is crunch time Iím not so sure. There is something reassuring about a proper marine spec. I can squeeze in a 7 inch screen like a Vulcan or a Garmin, with internal GPS antenna. But the £££! Especially for charts! What should I do?
    .......

    Is this the sort of thing you are after?

    https://www.force4.co.uk/element-s-chartplotter-13.html

    I would get the smallest.
    My elderly 5in display seems to do the job and all you have to do is switch it on or off and look at the pitchers. However planning is best done on paper charts.

    In your place I would consider one of these:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Onwa-KP39...b26adbd693af9e

    No experience, there has been some positive feedback though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    I run 2 Windows OpenCPN systems.
    One is mounted at the helm on a rugged, waterproof tablet with touchscreen.
    The second is a NUC and monitor at the Navstation.
    I have raster and vector charts at the helm and vector only at the navstation.

    OpenCPN isn't an out of the box, turn-key solution; although some vendors offer that.

    OpenCPN is a cross platform plotter. Meaning it's available for Windows, Linux, Android and currently Mac. (I've been reading that the latest certification requirements being introduced by Apple may impact OpenCPN support.)

    I only have experience with Windows.

    My helm system is installed on a military grade tablet I bought 2nd hand on ebay. The tablet has a mount that includes connection for power, serial ports, USB etc. It was a risk buying this but it has worked out for me. When I'm at the helm I don't want my plotter sliding around, a mount is essential. With the sun full on the screen, I can still read it while wearing sunglasses. The touch screen is a resistive type and unaffected by water but not multi-touch. The screen is 10.1". I haven't added up the full cost but I'd guess it's comfortably under £1k. It's been very reliable. So far as Windows updates are concerned, I don't let it update on the boat, ever, it comes home for that. I don't let it connect to the internet while on the boat either.

    Someone will be along in a minute to say that OpenCPN run on a RaspPi will take less current. However, the largest current draw is always the monitor backlight. My tablet current draw is between 1A and 2A depending on the screen brightness. Comparing current drawn without a monitor is pointless.

    I've also been thinking about costs for a Windows OpenCPN system using a new rugged tablet.

    This is the result of a very quick bit of Googling for a rugged device. There are probably better options around. I am not recommending anything.

    Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 10.1 Inch Windows 10 Professional Tablet with GPS circa
    £2200

    I'm not sure which of vehicle docks for the FZ-G1 would be suitable but the cost will be circa
    £500

    oeSENC or VisitMyHarbour chart packs are approximately;
    £30 each (allow 2, UK and France).

    Add some connectivity hardware such as a Digital Yacht device, cables, glands.
    £300

    Total cost for a 10" touch screen plotter at the helm
    £3090

    In contrast.

    A B&G Vulcan 12" MFD (includes GPS) at Force4
    £1975

    A pod for mounting (always surprises me how much these cost).
    £300 (guess).


    UK, Eire & France Chart pack.
    £230

    Same sort of allowance for connectivity.
    £300

    Total
    £2805

    So I'd say,

    OpenCPN on a new Windows (or Linux) makes sense if;
    1. You like spinning your own system.
    2. There is a lower cost rugged tablet out there (half the price - more searching needed).
    3. You need more chart packs. The oeSENC & VisitMyHarbour packs are much cheaper.
    4. There is a feature you want that isn't offered outside OpenCPN (EG Voyage recording).

    OpenCPN on a rugged Android tablet could be considerably cheaper. But there aren't many with screens larger than 7" that are sunlight readable and rugged.

    If I was to install a new system tomorrow, I'd probably go for another 2nd hand Windows tablet. In a couple of years, the market may have changed.

    John

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/oY1gvQLpvFKYuavH8
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/nwKEFuzQoZ6P5mzF7

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,202

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by DJE View Post
    Not when it gets so rough that you need both hands to hang on!
    Don't recall that in the last 3 decades, including windsurfing, kayaking and 2 trans-ats. Maybe skilling up would be a solution?
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Plotter replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiddle View Post
    Don't recall that in the last 3 decades, including windsurfing, kayaking and 2 trans-ats. Maybe skilling up would be a solution?
    Huh?

    Force 6+, choppy sea, slamming pitching and rolling. Hand steering and holding onto a plotter? Not for me.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest YBW News

Find Boats For Sale

to
to