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Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag


Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag

Old 12-15-2002, 09:17 AM
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Default Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag

In the spring I am taking delivery of a new Padebco 32 lobster cruiser. I am very excited [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img].

I am trying to finalize my plans for navigation technology. I have done as much relevant reading in the THT archives as I can find but still need your help.

Selected boat electronics:

Furuno 1933C/NT NavNet Chart Plotter/Radar, 3.5 ft open array
Furuno BBWGPS WAAS/GPS Receiver Antenna
Furuno BBFF1 Network Sounder
Furuno 525ST-MSD Thru hull transducer w/ speed+temp
Simrad/Robertson AP35 autopilot w/ RFC35R rate compass
Icom IC-M602 VHF


1. I would also like to get some PC-based navigation software. Not so much because I want to use a PC while navigating (actually I want the boat's primary navigation system to be in no way dependent on a PC) but more so I can plan trips while off the boat, particularly during the long New England "no-boating" season :'). I *do* want to be able to upload planned routes from the PC software to the Furuno chart plotter.

I am looking at software from Maptech and Nobeltech. Nobeltech seems to be the "if money is no object" favorite. Any good/bad experiences with either? It would appear that either can talk to the Furuno over a serial connection for uploading routes.

I have ruled out C-MAP planner as being useful as its only real asset seems to be writing directly to C-MAP user cards which C-MAP's web site says that Furuno plotters do not support.

2. I need a portable GPS for redundant backup for Furuno as well as ditch bag. I suppose simple is best. If I am sitting in a life raft in the Atlantic ocean displayed chart quality is not going to be my biggest problem :'). If I am using it on the boat because there is a problem with the Furuno some sort of at least rudimentary chart display (rather than simple lat/lon reporting) would be nice. I cannot help but be intrigued by Maptech's "Pocket Navigator". It seems like the coolest thing, plus it could be very useful for all sorts of "off the boat" activities (hiking, kayaking, etc). At the same time it is a relatively complex solution and does not even pretend to be marine ruggedized, probably a bad selection for the ditch bag, no? Is it, perhaps independent of whether it makes it into the ditch bag, a reason to consider Maptech as the correct answer for question number 1 (above)?

3. I have a very competent electronics dealer who will conduct the install of the stuff outlined above, but let me just get your feedback on planned NMEA connections:

1. Furuno GPS (out) to Icom VHF (in) to support DSC
2. Simrad AP35 (out) to Furuno GPS/radar (in) for heading data for radar/chart overlay
3. Furuno GPS/chart (out) to Simrad AP35 (in) to support chart plotter planned route driving autopilot

Does this make sense? Am I missing anything?

These forums are a truly valuable resource, I appreciate any help and look forward to contributing as I learn more.

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Old 12-16-2002, 09:13 AM
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Default Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag

Here's one idea.
maybe adding/ using in addition to what you have, a Garmin color gps/chartplotter to feed waypoint and gps position info to the Furuno radar/cp navnet. The Bluechart is excellent, and you can plot routes at home.

Give a call to Consumers marine electronics in New Jersey and speak to one of the techs. I believe this is possible.

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Old 12-16-2002, 09:28 AM
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Default Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag

I have been using Nobeltec VNS for 3 years and love it. I use their vector charts, in the San Juan Islands and British Columbia. My laptop is in the cabin and the display used is a Big Bay Tech 12.1 " Sunlight Display flush mounted at the helm. Its totally waterproof. I use a Garmin 17N as a GPS source. Only way to go.
Kemp Lindsey
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:14 AM
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Default Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag

I'll second www.consumersmarine.com and also www.GPSdiscounts.com [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img] I would look at the Garmine GPSMAP 76s. You seem to have a good handle on what you want. Have you looked at the same 'stuff' in Raymarine? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:02 PM
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Default Navigation technology for home, boat, and ditch bag

You can use NMEA 0183 with download from PC planner if the Furuno supports O183 transfer of WP data. My Raymarine unit software did not support the data card transfer (needs upgrade coming out about now) so I got a serial port adaptor and dumped the directly into the unit. What kind of map wiill the Furuno support? I have maptech's cd maps of East coast. If you plan to print out the data on your computer, don't plan to put too many points near each other. Raster WP inserts don't plot as displayed on screen. I have several pieces of map software and have been dissapointed in most. If you already have a C-Map card, the PC planner software is cheap for what it can do in terms of record keeping and color printouts.
Haven't tried Nobeltech.

Sapelo kat Rider
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