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Chartplotter VS Gps

Old 10-02-2014, 04:35 PM
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Default Chartplotter VS Gps

Is the difference a gps will just show you where you are in the marine world and a chart plotter will actually show you "where to go"
Old 10-02-2014, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dimag333 View Post
Is the difference a gps will just show you where you are in the marine world and a chart plotter will actually show you "where to go"
GPS is simply a positioning system, based on orbiting satellites. You can get a receiver the gives you numerical info that you can plot on a paper chart.

A chartplotter incorporates a GPS receiver with an electronic charting system.

Neither will show you where to go, but you can plot a course/route on either and use the GPS information to get you to your destination.
Old 10-02-2014, 04:45 PM
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So a chartplotter will allow you to chart ON the gps where as a gps just shows you were you are. I am guessing there are chart plotters that you can bring past plots up. Trying to buy once, the boat that will be picked up thursday has a lowerance gps/depth finder. Was wondering if a chart plotter would be better.
Old 10-02-2014, 04:50 PM
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No- a chartplotter uses the GPS info to show you where you are based on an electronic chart.

In todays world, you'd be best served (IMO) with a chartplotter unit from one of the major manufacturers (Raymarine, Garmin, Lowrance/Simrad, Furuno). You can always set the unit up to "breadcrumb" your travels, so you have a way to tell where you've been.

GPS only receivers are used by commercial and military vessels, and boats that are large enough to run a paper plot concurrent with the chartplotter.
Old 10-02-2014, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dimag333 View Post
So a chartplotter will allow you to chart ON the gps where as a gps just shows you were you are. I am guessing there are chart plotters that you can bring past plots up. Trying to buy once, the boat that will be picked up thursday has a lowerance gps/depth finder. Was wondering if a chart plotter would be better.
it's probably a chart plotter.
Old 10-02-2014, 05:19 PM
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I will find out soon, I think it is pretty old, I plan on taking this winter and spending it in the basement learning how to read paper charts so it will be easy when they are on a small screen to understand what is what
Old 10-02-2014, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dimag333 View Post
I will find out soon, I think it is pretty old, I plan on taking this winter and spending it in the basement learning how to read paper charts so it will be easy when they are on a small screen to understand what is what
GPS Only= You enter Lat Long for where you wanna go, example a ship wreck or fishing spot. You will likely get a small electronic needle that points where to steer, a numerical heading and distance to the fix you have entered. The GPS Display will have the capability to display data such as vessel's ground speed, course etc but the information, with the exception of the pointer needle, will likely be numerical boxes only.

Chart Plotter will do all the above and also depict the position of your boat, the fix you are traveling to and lay the course between the two places over an electronically generated map that will likely have as much or more information then what a paper chart would have. Vessel will be depicted moving over the electronic map.

For any chart plotter to work it must have GPS information, hence it is possible that what someone is describing as a"GPS" could very well be a chart plotter. GPS only units have become rather scarce over the last decade, with the advent of compact,color chart plotters that have become very affordable, with rather impressive capabilities considering their small size and very reasonable price point.....

Last edited by Mpellet; 10-02-2014 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:11 PM
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ok so a chart plotter does exactly what I need as an un experienced boater. Are any of them or all of them "smart" and will account for depths and in water obstructions? Maybe even take tide into account?
Old 10-02-2014, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dimag333 View Post
ok so a chart plotter does exactly what I need as an un experienced boater. Are any of them or all of them "smart" and will account for depths and in water obstructions? Maybe even take tide into account?

Below is just an example of the information ones chart plotter can provide..that is Dallas Bank, Puget Sound.



Old 10-02-2014, 06:20 PM
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:25 PM
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I have actually watched those you tubes before! thanks again
Old 10-02-2014, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dimag333 View Post
I have actually watched those you tubes before! thanks again
Several good boat shows coming up..go get some great hands on use etc.
Old 10-02-2014, 06:35 PM
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Im up in nj and I think they are all done now, but I am going to go over to wet marine one of these days and find out, thanks for the help

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