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ID: 210 Title: Lap top vs Chartplotter Replis: 3 Read: 1427 Author: 4
Name: Promedia  Posts: 7  **  Vancouver Time: 2004-11-5_5:38:11 Quote    Reply
I am anxious to hear from people who have made the choice between laptop and dedicated proprietary chartplotter. Are laptops compatible with the ocean environment and are they reliable. Is there a case for laptop versus desktop given that sufficient room is available on the yacht.
Name: Tony  Posts: 4  **  Vancouver Time: 2004-11-5_5:51:13 Quote    Reply
If it's within your budget i would say have both. I have a dedicated garmin gpsmap180 and also have a USB GPS mouse with maptech and maxsea software on a laptop. More expensive for us over here in the UK but if you use the free charts from NOAA then it's very cost effective. My chartplotter is in the cockpit and the laptop at the chart table. Hope this helps.
Name: Geoff Schultz  Posts: 36  **  Vancouver Time: 2004-11-7_10:12:39 Quote    Reply
Laptops are not compatible with the ocean if you're planning on placing one in the cockpit. One splash and it's a gonner. If you're looking at placing on down below where it's dry and secure, then you'll be in good shape.

Desktops would be OK except that they take up a lot of space and typically require 120V. You'd also want an LCD display that's securely mounted to a bulkhead. Also if you ever need to go into a cyber cafe to connect to the Internet, it's a bit much to haul around. :-)

I would go for a normal (non-marinized/ruggedized) laptop. You can find plenty of used machines coming off of lease or a referb unit and that should save a lot of money. Unless you're doing lots of heavy duty processing (such as LOTS of photo work or new games), a state-of-the-art system isn't necessary.

If you're looking for a chart plotter, look at the new radar/chartplotter/fishfinder systems that are available. I just picked up a RayMarine C-80 system off of Ebay to replace my Furuno 1621 radar system and to act as a backup chartplotter. It's amazing, and I got it for $900!

-- Geoff

Name: Talbot  Posts: 1  **  Vancouver Time: 2004-12-26_10:28:39 Quote    Reply
Totally agree that having both plotter and laptop for navigation is a good idea. The plotter can be sited so that it is visible from the helm, is normally waterproof, and runs on very little power. The ability to view your position at a glance (and easily confirm with radar, visual bearing or even depth) makes for a good deal of addirtional confidence, especially in tight passages when short handed. However, the average yacht plotter is normally too small to easily carry out passage planning - although 15" displays in large mobos are a different matter! This is where the laptop comes into its own. The larger display makes planning a lot easier, and with the addition of a USB/GPS/Mouse provides some additional redundancy in nav equipment, but will use a lot more power, it is also allegic to water. The laptop can also be used for weatherfaxes and for playing dvds when the journey has finished and you are relaxing in harbour (?watching "The Perfect Storm"?) The laptop is easy to stow and has the smallest footprint. However, it is possible to build a proper PC using a 12v system that will use less power than the laptop.