Author Topic: GPS, Chart plotter, ipad, etc: if you use any, what are the pros & cons?  (Read 515 times)

BruceWoods

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Most of my sailing is in areas I don't need GPS, routes, charts, etc. I have paper charts for where I go, if I need to identify things or watch the depths.

Anyway, I have thought about tracking my sailing trips and have tried a few things on my iphone and Ipad. Some of the tracks just go onto a map view, but others will track over a chart view, which I prefer.

My little handheld GPS is nearly non functional for me. Too small and I can't see it if I don't hold it close to me, but that takes up a hand I don't have free.

Regardless, I was thinking maybe I would like a GPS that holds charts, and have mounts for my WR and for my CP 23. Then, I can just take it with me and be hands free but still see where I am going/have been.

Now, what say ye? Got something you like? A mount that I should consider? Screen size that works for hands free?

Thanks,

Bruce
Raleigh, NC WR 17
New Bern, NC Com-pac 23

Capt Ziggy

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    • Ziggyland Adventures
Go to West Marine's website, pull up the Garmins and be amazed. They have come a long way in a short time. The factory mounts are good but a Ram Mount is even better. I think they all have depth and many fish finders built in too. You won't need the biggest and best for the smaller boats. I love the auto pilot interface on my 34 fter. makes for lazy afternoons and much needed "extra hand" when solo sailing.
keep in mind the unit itself draws almost no power but the screen is a power hog. Bigger screen equals more power usage.
Ontario Yachts C&C Viking 33
Windrider 17
Perception Carolina 14.5
Peception Arcadia 12

demens

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Hi Bruce,
I used to use a handheld Gps, as you say, a pretty small screen, but it did enable tracking your route etc. After the sail, I  could then download the gpx tracks and play them back on google-earth, just for amusement.
However we sail in very thin water here, so a depth sounder became a priority for me.. During a west marine special sale I bought a Garmin 44dv which am very pleased with. Was a bit expensive, (aren't they all), but the unit and screen size, (has built in charts of course), are just about right for the boat. I didn't want a too permanent mount, so used the mount supplied screwed to a converted plastic electrical outlet box, which gets bungeed on the aft cockpit, using the cockpit cover bungee. Works great, and will give in case it gets kicked climbing in and out of the cockpit. The depth sounder works a treat, the transducer is siliconed inside the hull, just forward of the rudder. No thru hull holes to worry about. Its pretty accurate, within 6" I'd say, and also has fishing "modes" etc, if you're chasing moby dick or whatever.
To power it all, I bought a sealed 12V 5aH battery, 4"x3"x3.5" size, which I've never got near to exhausting. It gets mounted on a small wooden tray I built, all the way aft inside the aft cockpit. I think it'd last probably around 16hrs or so, using GPS and sounder. Could work it out, but haven't had any coffee yet. Another useful thing with the GPS, is the "info" menu's, where for example, you can get the tide times for your current position, on the offchance you forgot to look before sailing.
Anyway, all told, am very pleased with the unit.
Good luck
Colin
Colin, St Pete, Fl

BruceWoods

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Hi Bruce,
I used to use a handheld Gps, as you say, a pretty small screen, but it did enable tracking your route etc. After the sail, I  could then download the gpx tracks and play them back on google-earth, just for amusement.
However we sail in very thin water here, so a depth sounder became a priority for me.. During a west marine special sale I bought a Garmin 44dv which am very pleased with. Was a bit expensive, (aren't they all), but the unit and screen size, (has built in charts of course), are just about right for the boat. I didn't want a too permanent mount, so used the mount supplied screwed to a converted plastic electrical outlet box, which gets bungeed on the aft cockpit, using the cockpit cover bungee. Works great, and will give in case it gets kicked climbing in and out of the cockpit. The depth sounder works a treat, the transducer is siliconed inside the hull, just forward of the rudder. No thru hull holes to worry about. Its pretty accurate, within 6" I'd say, and also has fishing "modes" etc, if you're chasing moby dick or whatever.
To power it all, I bought a sealed 12V 5aH battery, 4"x3"x3.5" size, which I've never got near to exhausting. It gets mounted on a small wooden tray I built, all the way aft inside the aft cockpit. I think it'd last probably around 16hrs or so, using GPS and sounder. Could work it out, but haven't had any coffee yet. Another useful thing with the GPS, is the "info" menu's, where for example, you can get the tide times for your current position, on the offchance you forgot to look before sailing.
Anyway, all told, am very pleased with the unit.
Good luck
Colin

Thanks, Colin,

I like the mount idea, and frankly, maybe even the transducer & small battery idea. Mind elaborating on that battery? I'll be googling in the meantime. I see the unit you bought costs about 300. I'll have to save up! A friend once offered me his old Garmin. I think I'll discuss with him how we might make a mount on CP, and another mount for WR. I'd need to figure out the transducer part for both boats to use that function, and not sure he has one or even if they can be ordered economically. Worth figuring out, though!
Raleigh, NC WR 17
New Bern, NC Com-pac 23

rceballos

  • 2014 WR17 "Stand by me"
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Bruce,
You are getting some good alternatives....I can suggest an instrument mount/hood, that shades and splash proofs.  It can be sized to fit most instruments (gps. ipad,plotter, etc.).
All you need is:   Thin wall PVC pipe and follow direction in the pictures below. Also, a place to hang or mount the hood (I installed a grip bar to help get my but out of the seat and mount the instrument hood.

http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617104403.jpeg

Directions:
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617095620.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617100415.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617100948.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617101404.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617101959.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617102152.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617102337.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617102519.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617102705.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617102823.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617103009.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617103323.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617103438.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617103608.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617103747.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617103933.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617104124.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617104242.jpeg
http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/gallery/1/4424-050617104403.jpeg

Once you get the hang of working with PVC you can dream up other uses/mods.
Richard
USCG Master Chief Ret.   Scottsmoor, Fl.

demens

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Bruce,
here's a link to the battery I used
https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/sla12=5f

and Richard, I'd have to send my wife away for a few weeks to start broiling PVC pipe in her oven !
Nice job tho. Makes me think might be time for a 3d printer ..
Colin, St Pete, Fl

BruceWoods

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Wow, Richard, that's a cool hood. I do plan to look at the directions in awhile, but really, that would be a great thing for whatever I get. I wonder if that stuff would be good for helping me see the screen on my ipad, which already has a waterproof case.

Colin, thanks for the battery info, also. I like Batteries plus already, and once I decide what to power, I can see using this approach.
Raleigh, NC WR 17
New Bern, NC Com-pac 23

BruceWoods

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Anyone have a picture of how they store the battery on a WR 17? I am hoping to put one aft of the rear seat.
Raleigh, NC WR 17
New Bern, NC Com-pac 23

bobvanv

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Don't have a battery on the WR, but in my velomobiles (a streamlined type of bicycle that looks like one of the Bonneville racers of the 50's) I use a 12v LiFePO4 battery from Batteryspace.com that comes in a water bottle.  To mount the battery, I use an aluminum water bottle cage that is available at any bike shop.  It is 6.6 amp hours and powers the stereo, gps, lights, turn indicators, horn, phone, etc for a couple of days while I'm touring.  Recharges in about an hour, and weighs about a pound and a half.  With a charger, I think it runs about $125.

Bob
Bob Van Valkenburgh
2011 Windrider 17

jkd1000

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I used a 14.4v/2.6Ah Ni-MH battery from a Makita portable drill (bought the drill & battery for $10 as the drill was munted)
I cut the end off the drill & mounted that under the deck. So the battery can easily be connected/disconnected.
See here: http://www.windriderforum.com/smf/index.php?action=gallery;su=user;cat=337;u=6528
I just want to go 40knts. That's all.

Modified Windrider Rave
A-Class cat

demens

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I made up a small wooden "tray" to hold the battery. Mainly as I am more familiar dealing with wood than broiling PVC sheets ... I put a thin coat of epoxy over it, to stop it rotting.
It mounts behind the aft seat, and is just sealestic'ed to the inside of the hull. It did come loose after about 14 mths, but just sealisticed it back in again. It's only to raise it off the bilge to stop the battery getting wet.
Hopefully am enclosing a couple pictures, first try.
I also did a similar sealistic job on the transducer, mounted on the bottom of the hull. No thru bolts. Despite various posts on the web that it won't work, it works just great. I like the sealistic approach, as its easily pulled off again if you don't like it.
There were some old posts I remember, where some guys had lowered the battery, in a mount,  thru the inspection hatch in the forward seating position. Might be better for a larger battery ?



Colin, St Pete, Fl

rceballos

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Richard
USCG Master Chief Ret.   Scottsmoor, Fl.

BruceWoods

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Thanks for the cool ideas, guys.

I will get something once I figure out the GPS/plotter choice. For now, and going to mount the ipad somewhere and try to use it. I have a few charging options for it. We'll see if they work out.

Raleigh, NC WR 17
New Bern, NC Com-pac 23

Ricky

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  • FT Myers, SW FL - WR17 WR16 WR10 HAI HTI HWV HFC
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Anyone have a picture of how they store the battery on a WR 17? I am hoping to put one aft of the rear seat.

When I'm not using my Suzuki outboard, I use a 30lbs thrust trolling motor that I power with a 26ah battery. I keep the battery inside a heavy duty Hobie dry bag and shove it behind the aft seat. I've been using that battery since 2011 and I've never run out of power. It weighs 17lbs.




BruceWoods

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Anyone have a picture of how they store the battery on a WR 17? I am hoping to put one aft of the rear seat.

When I'm not using my Suzuki outboard, I use a 30lbs thrust trolling motor that I power with a 26ah battery. I keep the battery inside a heavy duty Hobie dry bag and shove it behind the aft seat. I've been using that battery since 2011 and I've never run out of power. It weighs 17lbs.




Well, that's awesome, Ricky. I think that would work great for me also. 
Raleigh, NC WR 17
New Bern, NC Com-pac 23