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Thread: Chart Plotters

  1. #1

    Default Chart Plotters

    Hey guys,

    I've read a bunch of threads all over this forum about chart plotters. I'd like to hear some newer perspectives and since this is a forum, I figured some discussion could be nice.

    I'd love your opinions on the best chart plotter for river boats vs the best chart plotter for ocean boats. Anyone strictly using their iPad?

  2. #2
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I had a lowrance GPS years ago and I thought it was adequate. I've been using Garmin since and I have zero complaints. It's easy to use and shows what I need. I have no experience with any other brands, and I see no reason to change at this point

    Sent from my HTC One A9 using Tapatalk
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  3. #3
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I had Garmin I believe 740 touchscreen. While the unit worked great, I grew to hate the touchscreen aspect of it. Warm and dry it worked great. The boat I had then was a soft top boat that often leaked just enough to be damp. With cold wet fingers it sucked trying to get the touchscreen to do what I would ask it to do. As long as hands were dry and warm no problem. Just like working a cellphone. I now have Buttons again on my new garmin. No complaints about the unit. Worked awesome with warm dry fingers.

  4. #4

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    I've used Gaia GPS on my iPhone and iPad (only models with cell chip have gps antennas) a lot for running rivers in my little jet boat that doesn't have any electronics. Have followed tracks out in the dark with them no problem. The new IOS update allows the GPS antenna to work in airplane mode. As long as you kill all the apps and keep it in airplane mode with only your gps app running when you need it, the battery lasts for quite a long time. I hunted a long weekend with my iPhone this year and came out with 50% battery left, and never shut the phone off - only killed all the apps when not in use.

    Been using the Garmin Topo maps on my chartplotter this season on rivers/lakes, and am pretty happy with it. Still end up using my phone a lot. I really like how on my phone I can download detailed maps/charts and sat imagery for a given area before going out of cell range. Also like that they don't cost me anything! Also like marking waypoints on my phone so I can share them with friends or punch them in on a computer later at home (or work) without having to pull them off the boat. Has a cool function that you can just take a picture and that is the waypoint.

    I've also used the INavx app in the past. I think it is a more powerful chart app for marine navigation, but was more expensive. There may be better apps out there, but I've gotten used to Gaia and really like it.

  5. #5
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    The app GPS maps is amazing for both Marine charts and inland topo maps.

  6. #6

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    I have a garmin 70dv touchscreen, works great and I'll never go back to buttons.
    Doesn't matter if it's cold, wet, hot, dry, fish slime, blood, snowing, or whatever. Never fails, hands can be all the above and it's quicker than buttons.
    Year round use.
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  7. #7

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    A friend had the same experience as Ultrarider with the touch screen and my small Garmin Aera touchscreen doesn't like the cold. They aren't iphone grade touchscreen for sure but maybe the newer ones are better.

    I got an EchoMap 74dv, no touchscreen, on sale at West Marine. Big screen is nice, I wouldn't bother with the smaller screens if you are using it for both a sounder and GPS and want both displayed at once. Pretty easy to use the menu system is a little clunky but adequate. Don't bother with the expensive BlueChart upgrade, I got mine with a $200 rebate and there is no way it's worth $300, maybe not even $100. If you need a depth sounder folks are swearing by the CHIRP technology. Don't know about the inland marine maps. I like the huntinggpsmaps chip for land ownership.

    Didn't look too close but Cabela's has a bunch of units discounted in their Bargain Barn area right now.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    The app GPS maps is amazing for both Marine charts and inland topo maps.
    Is the GPS Maps app on iPhone? can't seem to find it in the App Store. Thanks

  9. #9
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I have used a garmin handheld for over 10 years (same unit). I decided to get a garmin for my riverboat this year and I wish I had done it years ago. One reason I chose garmin was to have the same maps on the boat as on my handheld which I thought would be nice for hunting when looking for areas just off the river, etc.

    Having a transducer on my trips this year was great to see water depth, particularly on the Tanana which is tough for me to read. Now I could see very easily where the channel was and it made back tracking on the return trip much easier.

    I put mine on a base mount, very easy to detach and then cover the connectors with their little covers to protect the unit.

    I think the one I got was the echomap 53dv. Something like that anyway. Not too expensive, and it does everything I wanted it to.

  10. #10
    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BQuad View Post
    Is the GPS Maps app on iPhone? can't seem to find it in the App Store. Thanks
    I'm sorry. I called it by the wrong name. The app I use and love is pdf maps from the Google play store. It's a free app for andriod. Not sure if it's offered for Apple products or not.

  11. #11
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theultrarider View Post
    I'm sorry. I called it by the wrong name. The app I use and love is pdf maps from the Google play store. It's a free app for andriod. Not sure if it's offered for Apple products or not.

    It it is offered for the iPhone. An excellent free app. It goes by the name... "Avenza PDF Maps".
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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