new Boat - Navigation Equip

MRC

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Thanks for any replys re new boat in the past, In the end I bought a new sunseeker superhawk, the boat comes with no nav equip, I will use the boat for short channel hops plus the usual south coast stops, most of my boating has either been sportsboats or sailing boats which we only used a handheld GPS pls the usual pen and paper.

What would you recommend in the way of radar, chart plotter etc etc.

Thanks

Mike.
 
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Re: no nav?

Erm cripes, bit stunned that the standard is to have no navigation gear whatsoever.

I'd have a portable chart plotter garmin 175, a cheap radar, and an autopilot that can simply hold a course and not bother with interface to any chart plotter. Id buy the lot fom that helpful bloke who has a shop with a few instock nearby, so he can gimme a new one if it breaks. If no nearby shop I'd find little man nearby and ask him what he knew about and lettim do it on "supply and fit" basis. Note that you will not get a cent of nav gear back at resale.
 

jfm

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Depends if you want most cost effective (in which case agree with Matts exept Magellan 6000 is much better hh plotter than Garmin 175 and uses better CMap instead of Navionics) or want flash stuff without caring about money.

If the latter, suggest daylight viewable Simrad CP 42 (I think, might have the number a bit wrong) plotter. This is a clever plotter becuase it is landscape not portrait so better for S Coast and it has a multiwindow set up so you can show a massive chart or split the screen into 2 or 3 windows with say rolling road in one window and small scale/big scale charts in the other two, or whatever you like.

Other possibs are Furuno or Raymarine plotters but Furuno has fewer clever functions than Simrad and Raymarine are mostly portrait format not landscape and max two windows.

JFM
 

peterg

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I'd go for Garmin equipment in preference to most others as not only have I had no problems whatsoever with my fixed and handheld units but those who have had a problem have posted frequently re: the excellence of Garmin's after sales service (eg. new unit by return FOC even out of warranty period etc.) - they have just brought out a new range with almost 'paper' chart appearance on colour plotter screens (shown in this months MBM, Jake, can I have that freebie subscription now please?)

Fixed unit chartplotter with handheld GPS and/or plotter as backup would be my ideal and as Matt says an autopilot to hold a course so you can concentrate on avoiding hitting ferries/land etc.

Radar if you want but not as essential and handheld VHF as backup to main set in case you have a problem

Good luck with the new boat.
 
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Re: tellus more about superhawk

Have you got the boat already? I'm still surprised that there's *no* nav. What *does* it come with? Mind you, can't have any of cumbersome stuff or it'd slow down. Spose the same goes for the lightly-clad wimmin as in brochure. Or did you go for the wimmin option and hence no nav?
 

jfm

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Beware buying Garmin. you are then committed to Navionics charts which are raster scanned. CMap charts (fit Raymarine, Simrad, etc) are vectorised. This is much better, much smaller data files (so faster redraw when you zoom) and you can select any colour you like, you can have water >10m lurid yellow and the land flourescent blue if you want (and if you're mad). Also people on this BB have loadsa used Cmap chips for sale (Caribbean, Sydney Harbour, etc) left overs bort for their h/h plotters and used once on charter holidays.

JFM
 
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Before you decide have a look at boats in your marina or even Sunseekers s/h in Poole and check the equipment out. Find something you l like the look of and that you find easy to operate without RTFM. Personally I find Magellan software far easier to use than Garmin. It is your choice, you are going to have to live with your selection or make further investments if you get it wrong or even sell the boat (how much do you wnat for it????) IMHO radar is a must if you are considering channel crossings. Good luck
 
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Deleted User YDKXO

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I can't believe people are saying radar not important and dont bother with interfacing. Fog is a fact of life in the Channel. If you intend to use your boat at all, I guarantee you will find yourself in fog one day, probably sooner rather than later.
You need a radar more than you need a plotter and you need to learn how to use it properly. A plotter can be very useful as well because it's virtually impossible to do traditional chartwork on a fast planing boat at sea. Interfacing both plotter and radar to the autopilot is also worth doing (it costs next to nothing if you're buying new equipment anyway) firstly because you can then make the boat follow a predetermined track over the ground rather than just a compass heading and secondly, if you use physical objects as waypoints eg buoys, the radar will give you a visual confirmation that you are on track. If you are running in fog, knowing that the boat is being automatically piloted on the correct track leaves you more time to concentrate on collision avoidance on the radar
What you choose to fit depends not only on your budget but also the helm space you have available. If you only have a small space then you will probably have to fit a combined radar/plotter. If you have sufficient space, fit separate units as, if one goes down, you'll may still have the other.
Personally, I would'nt bother with colour units as I dont believe the extra costs justify the extra functionality and, as previosly mentioned, buy a plotter with C-Map cartridges as they can be exchanged or traded and are more likely to be useable in another boat
If it were my choice, I would go for Raymarine units throughout, spending more on the radar then the plotter with a small (Garmin?) handheld battery powered GPS as an emergency back-up. Dont bother with a handheld plotter as they're not worth a light
 

longjohnsilver

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Agree wholeheartedly with Mike, no1 priority should be radar. Not only will you be more secure in fog but also very useful nav tool when checking distance to land/buoys etc. Don't be tempted by all the bells and whistles - you'll probably never use them especially when trying to remember how to recall them in fog or rough seas.

I have garmin 235 which is a combined GPS/chartplotter/fishfinder which I think is a great piece of kit . Yes, redraw times are slow but so what, I can wait a few seconds. It also is relatively cheap (I paid around £400 a few years ago) which leaves you more to spend on the radar and auto-pilot.
 

jfm

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No. I'm not sure. Garmin may have seen the light and switched to CMap. I don't take much notice of Garmin stuff because I have never had much interest in it due to the navionics chips

Disagree with Deleted User on the colour vs b/w. Colour is zillion times better, if you have tried colour you would never go back to b/w, rather like a tele

JFM
 
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Re: interfacing

I didn't mean no autopilot. I simply meant that if you are in busy sea and nneding radar, then bit pointless telling the a/pilot to track - cos the moment anything comes up on radar you want to move well off track, with attendant bleeping and screeching from kit. Doesn't an autopilot on "auto" following the highway screen serve well enough? I have run over 8 hours this year in crash-stop vis, and can't say I was ever absolutely on track.

Have to disagree bout hh plotter - do u mean the little ones -in which case agreed. Have you had bad experiences? Jfm and I are having ongoiong magellan6000 v garmin175 which are the quite clunky gorilla-palm-sized ones. Neither of us can change of course, cos we have loads of chips for whatever we have. Magellan has one or two better features, Garmin tho seems to be gaining ground and good after sales. Magellan not the leader it used to be market-wise it seems.

Best thing is that hh can move from boat to boat, and since they're with you all the timeyou can use them on charters and get slick with them from setting waypoints and courses at home, and simply "know" the names of waypoints. Every time I go on someone else's boat, they ain't too slick on the fixed chart plotter, cos they can't play at home. What wd be quite good is a handheld with plug in to nice big (cheap) screen.
 

longjohnsilver

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Agrred colour looks better but analogy to TV screen false, the picture remains more or less constant and you aren't always looking at it - you should be looking where you are going!

Or is this just sour grapes because I'm stuck with boring old b/w!
 
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Deleted User YDKXO

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Re: interfacing

Depends if there's a cross tide or not and if you're entering a harbour which requires an accurate approach. I had a scary experience approaching Alderney this year in thick fog, a place I've been to many times. My plotter screen failed half way across the Channel but I had already plugged the waypoints into my handheld Garmin GPS (not interfaced to the pilot) so I was'nt worried despite the fog. Approaching Braye harbour, I was concentrating on the radar and keeping an occasional eye on the highway screen on the GPS. I knew the tide would be pushing us to the west but I didnt realise by how much and how quickly it could push you off course at the slow speed we were doing. The visibility improved just short of the harbour entrance and for a few seconds I could'nt work out where we were but then I realised we were well to the west of the harbour wall close to some nasty looking rocks. Whilst I'd been concentrating on the radar, I had'nt looked at the GPS for some minutes but in that time, the tide had pushed us well off track
Now, I do'nt blame anyone else for this situation but myself but the point is, had my plotter been working, and it is interfaced to the pilot, I would have been on Track Control which would have meant the boat would not have been so far off track if at all
Re handheld plotters I dont see that the screen can ever be big enough to give as much info as a fixed unit and this would limit their value to me anyway, especially as a lot of people seem to use a plotter as the primary navaid without even consulting paper charts ( I would'nt agree with this, by the way)
Yeah, I can see that you could get more familiar with a handheld plotter than a fixed one but I dont see that as an advantage which outweighs the disadvantages. Dont you have to cart all your charts with you for home use? What about battery life?
 
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Deleted User YDKXO

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I've been on a couple of boats with large colour plotters and, for sure, I'd rather have colour but the extra cost does'nt seem worthwile for the extra utility
Put it like this, I'd rather have a large screen monochrome plotter than a small screen colour one for the same money because I reckon it's the screen size more than the colour which determines the amount of useful info you can assimilate
 

jfm

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Re: hh plotters again

Matt, since MBY failed so miserably we should do our own hh plotter test and solve this garmin-Mag debate once and furall. Let's do a swap sometime? Either next season, or if you are chartering in the meantime to keep your hand in, lemme know if you're going to a place that I have a CMap for, which are

all UK s Coast, France, Channel islands
S Coast Ireland
Sydney NSW and rhs of Oz
Left side of Greece
Carribean islands, bottom half Guadeloupe and below
Blearix

You must be droppin by one of those places?

Owzaboutit? If you do a good write up they may publish it Bernard, err Mr Matthews, or whatever your name is. But you must promise to be objective, and therefore end your analysis with "Yep the Magellan is better than the Garmin"

JFM
 
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Re: challenge !

are there any others? if not, then not much good a test issit? And anyway a swap is no good, we needem side by side. I am going to greece from 19th oct 1 week, carib BVI for 2 wks from 17/12. Courier the thing over if you can spare it ona bove dates. I can lend you mine with entire med coastline France-spain-port-biscay plus poxy ecoast and CSth england, afterwards. My puter insurance will coverit if smashed up, lost, or so good i decide to steal it. Courier will coverit till arrives here, see webs for address.

I will try and work in the text as requested. To summarise, you can always tell if someone has bought the wrong model - they'll be smashed up on the rocks muttering "yep... etc.
 

jfm

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Re: challenge !

Are you ever not on holiday Duncan? OK I'll send it round (to office, address as per web) and you can do a side-by-side test. No there aren't any other models on the market. I need to check my diary just in case I go somewhere (charter) end October, in which case I'll send it for your BVI, and if not I'll send it before your Greece trip, but in either case in good time for you to order a chip if you need. Are you left or right side of greece?

JFM
 
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Re: Left or Right? what is this?

Proper terminology PERLEASE.

Let's not open that can of worms again or Matt's might get another mention in MBY or worse, write another blimmin article. It's port or starboard OK?
 
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