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Chart plotter choice

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Zud, Mar 2, 2021.

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  1. Zud

    Zud Senior Member

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    Okay all of you yachting sages...What is your choice and why for a 12 -14 inch display with integral GPS.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'll leave specific recommendations to others, but depending on your boat I'm not a lover of touch screens as they're difficult to operate underway on boats with a lot of bounce. Another consideration is the menus. Some of these units have so many options that it's difficult quickly access the info you're looking for. Also you want to have all the info needed up on split screens, but you don't want it so small that it' unusable.
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  3. Zud

    Zud Senior Member

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    What other info do I want to display on my chart plotter screen. I have a separate radar screen, all gauges and monitors are working properly I do not want a fish finder
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Having sold and installed a few and use on my boat, I recommended Simrad. Button and/or touch works well even in a bouncing boat.
    Smaller SimNet cables make installation a lil eisier. Any SimNet device will talk to another SinNet device.
    SimNet also P&Ps with N2K.
    Never an out of the box issue.

    For sure stay away from the Axioum stuff. The king of DOA and out of box issues.
    Problems working with other current Raymarine products. Seatalk NG is not 100% N2K compatible.
    Known, not all the software bugs worked out.

    Some hands on with Furuno. I just have never been impressed with what I have worked with during deliveries.
    Never pursued their products.

    Garmin, The Mac of marine hardware.
    Sold and installed a few also.
    Out in their own field, it is good stuff. I get a lil lost in the menus sometimes.
    Good touch function in a bouncing boat.
    I do not see anything better in the Garmin over Simrad.
    Zud likes this.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    First, I want larger than 12-14".

    My preferences in charting equipment are in this order:

    1. Furuno
    2.3. Garmin and Time Zero
    X. Not for average boat but great for long range and large. Transas.

    Well down the list, Raymarine and then well behind them Simrad.
    Zud likes this.
  6. Zud

    Zud Senior Member

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    okay lets pretend I know nothing (not really a stretch for me but) I want essentially a plug and play chartplotter with integral GPS and possibly down the road the ability to feed my autopilot when I get a new one.
    I guess I dont even know what questions to ask at this point. Old Northstar 962 has finally given up and needs replaced. Anything manufactured in the last couple of years will be light years ahead of what i had.
  7. Zud

    Zud Senior Member

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    Why larger than 14" ?? 56 ft boat
  8. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    To see better. Same reason your computer monitors have grown and your televisions have grown. I now see 15" as a minimum size and prefer even larger. Your need to be able to see and use it is not lessened by the size of boat. If a 200' needs larger, so do you. The only difference is space and what you can fit. However, I'd do all I possibly could to have two 15".

    Nearly all the complaints old timers make on electronic charts vs. paper generate from the sizes of electronic.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Definately the largest you can fit.....16" even better. Because when you zoom in you see more area........in the future can split screen and use it for radar.....I like having fish finder when slowly going into shallow area's/marinas.....as I can see how quickly the bottom contour comes up.

    Garmin without a doubt. Why not hook it to your current Autopilot? Ease of use, their preloaded charts for North America are excellent. They just work.........I also installed a little 18" phantom radar (the new doplar one), the unit was $2000 and 48 NM range and the detail is absolutely incredible.

    Simrad are ok, but I've had SOOOOOOOOO many networking issues with new Simrad stuff, on multiple station installations they don't talk between themselves well, then this stops working at this station.......then you do software updates and something else stops working......radar stops being acknowledged.......etc. etc...They hiccup then you have to cut power to all of them and reboot them all.........One 2019 yacht, I had the Simrad electronics company on speed dial as they had to come out about 8 different times........ They seem to do ok IF you have 1 or 2 units and that's it.......but pile on Autopilot, fishfinder module, radar, 4 displays, 2 VHF's and they're always having some sort of network issue sooner or later in the day.
    Zud likes this.
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    As far as info I always want current position displayed. On the Garmin I used to carry I also liked to have Wpt name, (I generally named my Wpts by the buoy they were near and that told me which side I'd be going for on a glance), TTG Wpt., ETA dest., course, SOG and of course current time. Some of that info may be on your other displays so no need to duplicate. There is generally a host of info you can put up depending on the unit, but some units only give you a couple of boxes. I've run a lot with Raymarine (didn't like the menus), Garmin, Furuno. All have good and bad points. Unlike Ralf I didn't like the Simrads I worked with. Mainly I'd say check the menus and displays to see what works for you best. Most important though is to make sure it's compatible with your other electronic. On 56' with a lower helm touch screen should be fine, but on the upper helm I'd prefer not. The touch screens are great for plotting courses at the dock, but can be difficult to change courses, etc. while bouncing across a rough sea.
    Bigger is always better for any kind of display (be that electronics or a TV), but the little Garmin I carried got me up and down the entire eastern seaboard just fine for many years. Get what fits your boat, your budget and your eyesight. What you don't want to be do is be straining to see the screen or scroll through menus while watching for bad waves or shallow bottoms.
  11. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    All of the major brands will do what you're asking. Over time, people who use them a lot tend to develop preferences for the way one handles something vs another. But if you're new to this or upgrading from really old stuff, any of them... Garmin, Simrad (Navico Family), Furuno, will work great. Best advice is go to a big box retailer and play around with them to see which one makes more sense to you.

    As for getting a screen bigger than 12-14", well... unless you've got a mighty big boat that real estate is hard to come by. And the cost of these things goes up exponentially with screen size. So, unless cost if not a factor , 12" is plenty, especially if you have 2 or 3 screens.
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  12. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    If you plan on cruising the Bahamas consider that Garmin no longer enables one to have Explorer Charts for the Bahamas. I find the explorer charts to be really helpful. So much so that I switched to Furuno when I updated the electronics for my boat a year or two ago. I am happy with Furuno thus far.
  13. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    +1
    My first consideration in electronics is charting. Just about all the fixed chartplotters sell chart updates. If you plan on traversing the ICW with any regularity, it would be wise to go with something that has reasonable chart update costs. Rose Point Navigation now has an iPad solution, so that may be worth a look, especially since you won't expect radar or fishfinder interfacing. Autopilot can work with the setup.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The pre-loaded Garmin charts for the Bahamas are excellent in both detail and accuracy. There is no need for additional charts for anywhere in the Bahamas with a Garmin.
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  15. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    True enough, I installed the biggest I could fit on the Mighty Albin 28TE, a 10’ Garmin. Good enough unit and right in the line of sight, it has served well.
    (No, it does not block the forward view, really. Had to cut the ponytail, too much attention from young women, wife hated it.)
    E62D6435-73EF-4610-99DD-DBB18E664532.jpeg
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    We have worked behind many so called "Simrad" techs.
    Net issues were found induced. SimNet / N2k has install guides & rules for a reason.
    Under simple N2K guides, we have found Simrad and Garmin nets pretty solid.

    All the latest smart crap (no relation) uses Simrad with a gateway update, removing all of the previous issues.

    The OP did not mention the A P brand, if a later model, it may help to stay with that mfg.
    ie; Raymarine does not talk well with later Simrad pilots.
    None talk well with the Garmin smart pilot.
  17. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    And if you want to go in a cheaper direction, get an iPad with cellular. The cellular includes a GPS chipset so even if you are out of cell range it will still pickup Satellite. It’s a nice second screen option. Where you can reference apps including wind, weather, Instagram, etc.
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  18. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Would a 27" TFT screen be large enough?
    With Navonics, C-Map and USGS Raster displayed at the same time?
    20210217_143726a.jpg
  19. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

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    Whatever brand you select, do as much research as you can on what is next from that manufacturer. To my dismay, I had an installer recommend Garmin displays for both my helm and bridge, and within a year, the largest unit at the helm was "discontinued" by Garmin. Now, I never had any problems with the Garmins and they were easy to use, but I wish I had known that for a few dollars more I could have gotten the "current" iteration of consoles.
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  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    even on the new units? Garmin BlueCharts were excellent in the Bahamas as they used Explorer. When Garmin bought Navionics a few years ago they started incorporating Navionics data... and all its mistakes.
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