Charts and plotting software

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    • #2561
      The Endless Dream

      We have recently bought a Grainger 1220 cat called The Endless Dream which has visited the Kimberley in the past. I am looking to upgrade the navigation systems and would appreciate some advice. We have a laptop, an iPhone and an iPad and I have been told it is better to buy maps such as Navionics to put onto the laptop and connect it to the GPS.

      Can anyone advise me on the ideal system please? I will of course be taking a full set of paper charts as well. We are getting used to the boat for the next 10 months or so before heading north in 2019.


      John and Sue

    • #2562

      Hi John and Sue. Navionics is good on all 3 of your devices. It’s probably the most popular of the electronic charts used in Australia. With the phone and tablet, ensure you download all of the Navionics detailed charts you need by zooming closely into the areas you will be sailing into before you get out of mobile range. The detailed downloaded area will show on the chart as a lighter coloured area. They will then be stored on the device for later use. Once you are out of range, the details can’t be downloaded and you will only see a generic, basic chart.

      Have you got radar? If yes, I’d suggest looking into a dedicated Multi Function Display. You can then overlay the radar image onto the chart. This is very handy in the Kimberley, which is poorly charted in many places. I always have the radar overlay running because it shows up chart inaccuracies, and I trust the radar image over the chart every time. Very handy at night when sailing close to shore. (Not recommended in Kimberley coastal waters). An MDF also has other benefits such as depth sounder, which is a must have in the Kimberley. You can also easily link waypoints and routes created in an MDF based chart to an autopilot. However, with rapidly changing tech these days, you may be able to link your other devices to an autopilot anyway. Worth checking with your autopilot manufacturer.

      The only thing I use paper charts for in the Kimberley is to make it easy to see where we are going today on a large scale map. Coastal navigating with them in the Kimberley would be a last resort. I think some of them were last updated by Captain Cook.

      Cheers, Ross

    • #2563

      I like Navionics because it can do this.. .. from you boat or tender.

    • #2564
      The Endless Dream

      <p style=”text-align: left;”>Thanks Ross, that’s very helpful.  I do have radar and a chart with its own display.  I have an old Lorentz chart plotter which runs cmap nt+ and is linked to a tv monitor.  There is a separate depth sounder outside in front of the wheel along with a Raymarine wind instrument.</p>
      My thoughts were that I could use the laptop linked to the tv monitor with some flash charts from Navionics to have a big display. I thought I could add a dedicated fish finder to show the state of the bottom.  To get a big screen chart plotter which is what I think you mean as an MFD, would cost a fair bit more. Am I better to get it all in one or have separate units so that I don’t lose everything if it malfunctions?

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