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Old 03-16-2004, 12:59 PM   #1
weatherwatcher
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Default Plotters / GPS

Hi -

I am 100% new to this stuff, translation = no idea what I should be looking for.

I would like something that helps navagate the lake, especially at night. It would be great if the device could double in my car as a nav system.

Does anyone have a good recommendation?

Thanks
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Old 03-16-2004, 02:43 PM   #2
jrc
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I've researched this for a while and still haven't actually bought anything. Here are my opinions and findings:

1)The only good electronic navigation chart for the lake is Bizer's chart on a C-Map cartridge.

2)The only cost effective C-Map chartplotters are from Standard Horizon and Navman. Check their websites.

3) A black and white device is $350-$500 and color is around $650-$900. Depending what and where you buy. Check the stores or websites.

4) Today there is no system that supports the Bizer C-map cartridge and US roadmaps. It seems that this may happen someday as C-Map does have a roadmap product.

5) It may be possible with a pocket PC or a laptop, and some off the shelf software to make your own lake/land chartplotter. But it doesn't look cheap or easy.

I've been considering a Navman 5500 but so far I'm too cheap.
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Old 03-16-2004, 04:12 PM   #3
Will
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

Yes mainly you can go with any plotter that uses navionics or cmap charting cards. They are the only two people who have the lake winni map. As far as a unit to use. THe cp150 by standard horizon is a great little unit, external antenna, black and white 5" diagonal screen, real easy to use. It retails for about 370. and the cards runa bout 99$.

Good Luck
Email me with any questions
Thanks
Will
doral300sc@hotmail.com
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Old 03-16-2004, 05:34 PM   #4
Silver Duck
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I aree with JRC. If you're going to use the chartplotter to navigate on Winnipesaukee, you will be disapointed with anything other than the C-Map version of the Bizer map.

I have managed to put together marginally useable charts for my Magellan Meridian and for my Garmin 168, but I don't recommend doing this.

Silver Duck
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:09 PM   #5
boatmn
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I think jrc hit it right on the head. The only thing I can add is that I've ran with the Standard Horizon for the last two years and it's been bullet-proof.
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Old 03-16-2004, 07:47 PM   #6
Mee'n'Mac
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I think jrc has given a good summary. You might want to search the forum + archives for threads related to GPS. Garmin makes a removable (?street pilot?) plotter but with it's small screen and "poor" Winni chart, it's not the best for the lake navigation. I'd add the same for most plotting handhelds. I get by with a non-plotting handheld, which served its purpose the few times I've used it. Would it be nice to have a graphical depiction of my position wrt the islands and shore, even if it wasn't a good as Bizer's ... yup. Is it worth the extra $$$ to me ... nope (barely). YMMV.

There's one other option though, one I'm looking into mostly because it has high "gadget" quality. Maybe this is useful to you, maybe not. Bizer will sell you an electronic map on a CD which can then be used by a plotting program (OZi Explorer, Fugawi) running on a notebook. Combined with any basic GPS, you get Bizer's great chart + large screen + options not available on a dedicated chart plotter. Given I have the notebook this is just a little extra $$ for me. I think something similar can be done with IPaq's and their ilk.

I would say that navigating around Winni at night is not all that difficult, provided you're adept at doing the same trip during the day. I would not undertake a night trip, using GPS, that I was not familiar with (from daylight trips).
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Old 03-16-2004, 11:04 PM   #7
Richie
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

Check out MapTech.com. With their maps and charts you'll do fine. They have a CD of winn.
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:50 AM   #8
Captn'J
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

Will, when did Navionics start producing a chart for the Lake ??
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:25 AM   #9
skimmer
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

This topic shows up over and over again on the forum.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

personal or street plotters dont make good marine plotters for a variety of reasons... one being update speed. If you are traveling a road, or hiking, you dont need quick updates. If you are going 50 on a boat and want to use the GPS ... you need to know where you are now -- not where you were 1/4 mile back.

secondly screen size ... a road plotter only needs to know about road junctions... a marine plotter has a lot of information to tell you about whats a head ... you need a good size screen to see all that information

durability. Marine plotters can take some serious abuse. when you are in 4 foot waves slapping the hell out of your boat... you think your laptop is going to stay in one place and in one piece?

You will want a WAAS receiver... that is a drain on portable batteries and for WAAS to be useful you'll want a fixed antenna .. not a handheld

I personally love my Standard Horizon 170C with the bizer cmap nt chart... great combo for the lake
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:57 AM   #10
jasn
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I'd love one of those, a Standard Horizon CP170C, but at $1K after buying the C-chip they still seem like too much $$$ for a sport boat. And I'd still have the Bizer's hard copy out.

Maybe I need to go out on the lake with someone who already has one....
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:40 PM   #11
DR
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

Will had suggested the cp150 to me several summers ago and that was a good recommendation. I purchased the winni cmap chip. Only problem w/cp150 was my screen was fogging up. I spoke to the company and they had me send it to them. No questions ask. This must have been a concern that they were firmiliar with. Can't wait to try it now. Only other complaint is when it's sunny its hard to see the screen. Any suggestions??
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:50 PM   #12
skimmer
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

You will only need the hardcopy chart as a backup for when the GPS fails...

The GPS and electronic chart are that good.
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Old 03-17-2004, 05:56 PM   #13
chunt
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

You said navionics now has a chart of Winni? I have been waiting a long time for this. Where do I get one?
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:13 PM   #14
Mee'n'Mac
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

"I am 100% new to this stuff, translation = no idea what I should be looking for. "

In the case that our responses to date assume too much, I've found a few GPS Basics links that might be useful.

http://www.garmin.com/manuals/GPSGuideforBeginners_Manual.pdf

http://gauss.gge.unb.ca/papers.pdf/gpsworld.october00.pdf

http://gpsinformation.net/main/gpsauto.htm
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Old 03-17-2004, 09:38 PM   #15
Will
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

Yes, navionics released a chart for winnipesaukee last december. West Marine in woburn can order them and so can any other west. The price is around 129. Also fixed mount vs portable, first of all speed is not affected as far as accuracy goes, a waas reciver is a waas receiver. Also a fixed antenna does no more than a portable except if you have a hard top or an obstruction over you. Also the cp series is great but as said, you will get better pictures with the color version, its a 256 color screen where as the garmins are usually 16. You want the 256 for daylight. They also make the cp150c for 749 in fulll color. We also sell navman and lowrance and can easily find you a unit.
Give me a call or write an email and Ill help ya out with a unit.

Thanks
Will
West Marine
781-933-3290
doral300sc@HOTMAIL.COM
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:15 AM   #16
skimmer
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

A WAAS is a WAAS ... but when WAAS is enabled on a GPS that is running off of internal battery power... run time is affected. So, I prefer a GPS that is running on boat power. Preferably hard wired without cords dangling.

Secondly I did not say WAAS or precision had anything to do with speed... what I said is that of all units I have seen for automobile or personal use, the update speed is not acceptable for marine use. Most marine plotters I have seen have superior update rates. So trying to use pocket plotter or a car plotter in a boat is not as effective as using a marine plotter.

Lastly, with a fixed antenna mounted in the clear you have the best and consistent view of the satelites. Fixed antennas can also incorporate low noise amplifiers. An antenna on a handheld device mounted on the helm of a boat will almost surely be obstructed from the satellites intermittently as people walk around the boat, or the windshield or canvas suddenly block the satellites...
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Old 03-18-2004, 06:16 AM   #17
Belmont Resident
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

When buying a GPS, check out (gpsdiscount.com).
My wife bought a Garmin Map 76 from them and saved 100.00 over any other price she could find even with any discount's she got through Boat US or any other marine supplier.
They also sell accessories.
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Old 03-18-2004, 07:04 AM   #18
Wolfman
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I have that unit on my boat, have had it 2 seasons now, and I think it was worth every penny. Would definitely do it over again.
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Old 03-18-2004, 10:47 AM   #19
ladyslipper
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

In response to "weatherwatcher": Last spring, I was 100% new to a search for a device which would help me navigate the lake, especially at night, and also be usable as a GPS device for mobile use in cars, etc.

I already had a Compaq IPAQ 3800 series handheld pocket PC. I purchased (after some prolonged research)a GPS sleeve for the pocket PC ($199.00). This GPS came with detailed maps for the continental US and does a fantastic job as a mobile GPS unit including voice directions. It is very accurate. I also purchased the WinChart software by Chartwork and a C-Map NT compact flash-card for Lake Winnie. I am very satisfied with this option. It is versatile, portable and flexible. The reception could not be better. The unit has mounting attachments and can be placed anywhere that is convenient. There is a power cord which charges the unit from DC or AC power. The accuracy of positioning is within 2-3 feet. I added a memory storage card to my pocket PC which provides plenty of data storage space. The total cost excluding the pocket PC was approx. $400.00. The portability and flexibility of this option was well worth it for me.
Everyone who knows me will tell you that having a GPS in my car is an excellent idea. I have a knack for getting lost. I don't need to mention the security of having such accurate lake navigation capabilities.

I hope this helps you consider another option.
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Old 03-18-2004, 01:26 PM   #20
Boatman
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

As someone who has been installing these systems for years, so far the best I have seen are the "Standard" systems, using c-map nt. Navionics spent the entire Fall season mapping our lake and their map should be out soon or already is. I expect their map to be as good or better. Standard's color units are easily readable in any sunlite. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-18-2004, 02:31 PM   #21
Will
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I have never ever in my life heard of someone losing a gps signal when they stepped in front of it, maybe its just me though. Also if you use a street unit or a portable on a boat it will work fine you just need to make sure it will accept or already has the appropriate maps.

Will
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Old 03-18-2004, 05:51 PM   #22
breakinwaves
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

I have the Standard Horizon 150 color model and the Bizer C-map chip. Due to a longer than planned evening of dining in Meredeth, my family and I had to navigate to Alton in pitch dark. A spotter was posted at the bow to check for other boaters and then we were on our way. It's amazing how different the lake is at night. It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the mainland and islands. The numerous lights on the shore tend to obscure the lighted buoys. I have to admit that I was more than a little scared. I'm happy to report, however, that we made it to the other end of the lake without incident. The plotter performed flawlessly. It's the most useful accessory a person can have if you do any night boating at all.
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:04 AM   #23
weatherwatcher
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Default Re: Plotters / GPS

All - Thanks a ton for the advice. It certainly sounds like there is support for the Horizon c150 with Bizer chip.

Thanks and happy boating... soon I hope.
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