A Scottish view on Chart Plotters

How things work, what's hot and what's not
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Silkie
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Postby Silkie » Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:36 pm

Hard a/f, secret weapon, new main? You'll be telling us next that you're "just cruising"
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DaveS
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Postby DaveS » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:08 am

The hard a/f's only for the saildrive leg (and the secret weapon). The rest of the hull gets eroding "cruising quality" Seago or XM or whatever Duncans currently have a deal on (or had 2 or 3 years ago - I've built up something of a stockpile...)

All ready for launching. I hoped I'd get in today but sadly not. Most of today was spent correcting charts while waiting for the crane, but the wind was slowing down operations and "sneaking in an extra one" really wasn't on. So it's back to Saturday.

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Silkie
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Postby Silkie » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:25 pm

Bought mine from the fisherman's co-op in Oban this year - £29. I'l let you know how it works - or not - as the season progresses.
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cpedw
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Update on plotters

Postby cpedw » Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:32 pm

After all that, I found the Lowrance 3600 (integral aerial) plotter with Nauticpath chart (Greenland to Canaries, Gibraltar to Holland and into the Med) and decided the search for a chart plotter that doesn't need 2 chart chips for regular cruising is over.
I've yet to see it working on the boat but this weekend should check its readability in strong sunlight.

Derek

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Aja
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OK Then....

Postby Aja » Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:13 pm

Silkie wrote:Bought mine from the fisherman's co-op in Oban this year - £29. I'l let you know how it works - or not - as the season progresses.


Like to bring us up to date????

Donald

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Silkie
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Postby Silkie » Fri Dec 15, 2006 8:43 pm

It didn't work very well at all.

I went around in the dinghy about 3 or 4 times in the second half of the season to scrub off a considerable growth of weed each time. Using the deck brush over the dinghy gunwhale I could reach most of the hull though not the keel - I didn't see her lifted out so have yet to ask the yard what that was like. Very few barnacles though - within reach at any rate.

It was Teamac's (sp?) cheapest and in fairness the Caley man recommended the next one up in price. I'll use something better this year since every little counts when your typical cruising speed is 4 or 5 knots.
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Silkie
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Postby Silkie » Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:29 pm

So how has the Lowrance 3600 (integral aerial) plotter with Nauticpath chart (Greenland to Canaries, Gibraltar to Holland and into the Med) worked out after the first year Derek?
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cpedw
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Report back

Postby cpedw » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:45 am

I think that particular model has now disappeared from the catalogue and it's a fast-moving market but I have no plans to upgrade soon so I'm not up to date. On the whole it has been very successful. It works well in the cockpit under the sprayhood. Legible and only needs a 12v supply.

There are 2 issues that are mainly niggling but worth knowing about.

1. Tide heights and currents. At low zoom, tide stations are dsplayed here and there. Move the cursor over one, press WPT and lots of detail for the height or speed today is shown. There was a flaw in this bit of software on days with 3 points in the tide table instead of 4 but I think that has been fixed in a recent update. At high zoom, the tide stations actually show a depth gauge but if you are working in m it shows fathoms and vice-versa. Annoying, see here for a hint of a rant:
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=pbo&Number=1184920
but you can still point to it, press WPT and get the full details correctly.

The Nauticpath charts have some holes; about halfway up Lismore, charting stops for instance. More details:
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=pbo&Number=1464186

Another pet annoyance is the number of button pushes required. An important function is "Cancel Navigation" to switch off "Go to WPT or Cursor" or to stop "Follow a route". Each of these will switch off automatically if you choose a new one, but if you want to stop navigating it's (approx) "Menu/Menu/Down arrowx6/Enter/Left arrow/Enter" which to me seems a lot for a very oft-used function.

In spite of these, I am very happy with it overall. It was very cheap compared to alternatives and it hasn't failed. If I was buying now (without having done recent research) Lowrance would still be in the running. Standard Horizon seem to be similarly priced and functional. The built-in aerial is very convenient. It will work with Navionics charts which I understand are better but, apart from the gaps near home, the Nauticpath is good.

All IMHO, no commission or Al-Yamamah.

Regards,
Derek

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Silkie
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Thanks for that Derek

Postby Silkie » Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:16 pm

I'd heard about the tidal height niggle and thought it wouldn't be too hard to live with. I think I might consider the chart holes to be a more serious flaw but I suppose this is a chart issue rather than a plotter problem.

I've always considered a plotter to be outwith my budget but the way prices are falling I suppose they might come within my reach in a season or two. Alternatively, I could wait for DaveS to upgrade. :)
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DaveS
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Chartplotter

Postby DaveS » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:54 pm

No plans to upgrade yet. I'm quite happy with what I've got.

I think that good charts are the key. I've been happy with Cmap. If you can put up with B&W there's currently some very good deals on Navman plotters from Gael Force and others - around £150.

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Silkie
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Evening Dave

Postby Silkie » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:00 pm

Are you quite sure you don't need a 10" screen with radar and AIS overlaid?
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DaveS
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Going wide screen

Postby DaveS » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:06 pm

The trouble (apart from cost) with one of these all singing and dancing big screen thingies is where to put it. I've enough trouble finding space for a wee screen.

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Silkie
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PS

Postby Silkie » Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:49 pm

I think this may hold the record for BM's longest running thread at just over two years now. It's good here innit? You can really tackle a subject (or two) in depth. :rotfl:
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DaveS
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AIS

Postby DaveS » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:19 pm

Partly as follow up - but also in the interests of keeping auld threads alive...

I've now got AIS installed - Mr. NASA's cheapy "Radar" though, rather than Mr Raymarine's mega machine. Playing with it has been interesting. It has confirmed that I get much better signal strength from my new Heliflex "rubber duck" aerial than from my old hawk (I've arranged it so that either aerial can plug into VHF or AIS). With the better aerial connected, in Craobh I could easily "see" boats coming out of the Sound of Mull and heading down the Firth of Lorne.

Heading towards Puilldobhraoin on Saturday I discovered that one of the several transmitters charted above Oban sends out its position on AIS as a shore station. Not quite sure what use that is. I briefly thought that it might be handy for giving a position if GPS went down, but quickly realised that without GPS no AIS relative position data would be available! So, it remains to me a puzzle: what purpose does an AIS shore station serve (other than, I supppose, to confirm that your receiver is working)? I also found it interesting that the signal vanished on entering Puilldobhraoin.


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