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  Chart Plotter for 190 NANTUCKET, SmartCraft Mercury Outboard, U.S. Coastal Waters, No Price Limit

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Author Topic:   Chart Plotter for 190 NANTUCKET, SmartCraft Mercury Outboard, U.S. Coastal Waters, No Price Limit
Livingwater posted 04-09-2006 10:56 AM ET (US)   Profile for Livingwater   Send Email to Livingwater  
I have a 190 Nantucket which I would like to add a GPS chartplotter to the center console. I'm looking for recommendations for brands and sizes that you have found to work well on your boat.
Moe posted 04-09-2006 01:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
If you search the archives here and at [other websites where small boat electronics are dicussed] you can find multiple glowing recommendations for almost any brand and model of GPS/chartplotter.

I personally like the Garmin units for a couple of reasons. One is that their interface is widely recognized as the easiest to use, the "Macintosh" of GPS units so to speak. ;-D

I personally like it that if I buy their Bluecharts from the CD, rather than on a preprogrammed "chip," I can unlock a particular chart region on both a blank memory chip in a fixed mount and the internal memory on a backup handheld Garmin color GPS chartplotter, as well as have the same Bluecharts available for planning on my PC with the Garmin software. The "chip" option only works on the fixed unit, not the handheld, and doesn't give you the PC software.

If you go the preprogrammed "chip" route from Garmin, or other vendors, you can still plan on your PC and transfer waypoints and routes back and forth to the chartplotter using a wide variety of software. This includes MapTech's free "Chart Navigator" and all of theirs and NOAAs free coastal raster charts. You just can't use these free charts, or the new free NOAA ENC charts, in a typical commercial GPS/chartplotter.

We use the Garmin 178C GPS/Chartplotter/fishfinder/sounder on our 150 Sport and LOVE it! We almost bought the 188C which some here have, but the 178C fit better. Garmin now has some units that come with all their coastal charts internally installed and unlocked.

If we had the real estate of the 190 Nantucket, I'd get the largest GPS/Chartplotter that would fit and that I could afford. The bigger, the easier to read.

Hope this helps,

jimh posted 04-09-2006 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I like the Northstar unit, but at $11,000 it is quite an investment.

Did you have any guidelines for retail price you wanted to include in your request for recommendations?

chopbuster posted 04-09-2006 11:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for chopbuster  Send Email to chopbuster     
GPS/Chart plotters as an investment?

Where on the NYSE/NASDAQ are they listed?

Boats and electronic gear are toys.

tombro posted 04-10-2006 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for tombro  Send Email to tombro     
Another nod here for Garmin. I had a 188 mono on my 150 Sport, and now a 198c on my 210 Ventura. Fired it up yesterday for the inaugural run on the bay; still love it!
Of course, a 10" display on a bigger unit would be even better...$$$$.
JBCornwell posted 04-10-2006 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
The ROI is in peace of mind, Chopbuster. In some situations it is priceless.

I second Moe in recommending Garmin. The user friendliness in programming and use of the Mapsource software, cards and CDs is excellent.

I currently use a Garmin 276C for both my vehicle and my boat. It is my 4th Garmin. It offers all of the advantages Moe mentions except the larger screen.

If I had a Nantucket and deeper pockets I would definitely go for a 2000 or 3000 series Garmin. You would have to spend two to five times as much to get better features or performance.

Red sky at night. . .

jimh posted 04-10-2006 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Livingwater--Where are you located? Location makes a big difference in preferences for cartography.

Some vendors seem to also be in the chart cartography business, too. Their products are tied to their own charts. That is acceptable if it happens to include charts for your area.

Other vendors use digital cartography produced by companies who are just in the chart business, not in the chartplotter/GPS business. C-Map is a good example. Their charts can be used with several brands of chart plotters. They also make charts for almost everywhere on the planet.

I recommend you look at various devices in person and try them out. I have been surprised to find how small some of these devices actually are. They look bigger in their catalogue pictures than they do in person. I read many glowing reviews for a particular device, but after seeing it in person I found the screen was about the size of a cellular telephone screen--too small for my vision.

Also, what engine is on your boat? If you have a Mercury engine, you may want to look at the NAVMAN devices. Mercury engines use a closed system with proprietary devices (SmartCraft), and only chart plotters made by companies also owned by Brunswick seem to be able to display the engine data on the chart plotter. This type of electronics integration is nice, but you'll probably be able to find it only from Navman or Northstar.

Without some guidance on price range, your location, and the brand of motor you are using, it is difficult to make a recommendation.

drd posted 04-10-2006 10:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for drd  Send Email to drd     
My vote is also for garmin. I currently have a 172c. This is my second Garmin marine unit(I had a 188c on a previous boat) and 4th overall(also have a auto and handheld units) No problem with any of them. I would defiantly go with a color unit, and the biggest display you can afford/fit.
Livingwater posted 04-10-2006 01:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Livingwater  Send Email to Livingwater     
My homeport is Connecticut.

I wanted a depth sounder on this boat (always had a stand alone unit on my other boats) So instead of investing money for a Raymarine ST40 Depth sounder I chose the following:

With the SmartCraft guages and the Optimax 150XL I decided to purchase another product from the Brunswick family. I ordered the Navman 6500 combo unit.

This will provide me with GPS chart plotter, depth sounder, fish finder and it will interface with my SmartCraft electronics.

jimh posted 04-10-2006 11:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
NAVMAN--good choice for the integration with the SmartCraft engine data. The chart plotter uses C-Map cartography, which is available world wide. You never know when you might need a chart for Malaysia or some other exotic locale.

The other thing I like a about C-Map digital charts: they work in several brands of chart plotters.

Jerry Townsend posted 04-11-2006 01:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
But Jimh - the C-map system will not run on Garmin chartplotters.

I am surprised in that I have not seen a reference to Standard Horizon chartplotters which I am impressed with - in part because of the C-map system and also by their 3 year warranty and thereafter - a very reasonable flat rate service charge. The C-map system is very important for those in Canada - as maps for Canada are available. --- Jerry/Idaho

Moe posted 04-11-2006 07:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Canada is indeed an interesting case. Nautical Data International, has multi-year exclusive rights to the distribution of electronic Canadian Hydrological Services (CHA) charts. This isn't unlike that MapTech had with NOAA until not long ago.

In 2003, Garmin licensed the use of the entire NDI library for it's products.

NDI sued the Italian firms C-Map and Navionics for distributing Canadian cartography in violation of some agreement. IIRC, one of the Italian firms claimed their products weren't based on Canadian charts but on Russian charts of Canada.

Not long after, CHS unilaterally "terminated" the multi-year agreement and even posted that they were doing so on their website--until a Newfoundland Supreme Court ruled in NDI's favor, "restraining CHS from breaching and/or terminating the CHS Contract" until sometime in 2008.

All this sent NDI into bankruptcy, under which I assume they are still operating.


Plotman posted 04-11-2006 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
You will really like the Navman. I have one on my outrage, and I am very happy with it.

Make sure the unit you are buying comes with the MAX-NT (the newest cartography from C-Map) software on it. It should at this point, but an older unit in dealer stock might not. It is a free upgrade if you call Navman customer service (you pay for a chip with the new software, they send it, you plug it in and upgrade, and then they refund your $ when you send the chip back.)

I also like the ability to add fuel-flow data by just adding the transducers. Finally, you can also interface with other Navman instruments - I have a multi-3100 that I typically keep depth and speed data displayed on regardless of what is on the unit.


where2 posted 04-11-2006 09:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I'm eagerly awaiting my Standard Horizon CP180i... ($399) My current Standard Horizon CP150 has been a trooper, and the CP180i simply looked like more fun for the 15_Sport I have it mounted on. (Color, uses NT-Max charts, 3 year warranty, if it was any easier to use it would think for you)

Do I typically need GPS chart navigation on my 15_Sport? Not really, but I'm a map geek with a degree to prove it.

We have a Garmin 188c on our 25' Whaler-Frontier at work. I've been around Garmins of various models since my first Garmin 45XL (which still works). I still prefer my Standard Horizon.

Livingwater posted 04-12-2006 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Livingwater  Send Email to Livingwater     
For the last two years I've been looking to purchase a GPS chartplotter. The Standard Horizon was one of the models I was serious about but when it came down to this new boat I chose the Navman for numerous reasons.

The CP150 is a great unit!!!:)

White Bear posted 04-12-2006 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for White Bear  Send Email to White Bear     
For customer service it is hard to beat Standard Horizon. I've used their chartplotters and radios for years and have never been less than totally satisfied.
Livingwater posted 04-12-2006 11:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Livingwater  Send Email to Livingwater     
Anyone have a good source for purchasing C-map cards.

I'm interested in Long Island sound

FISHALLSPEC posted 04-13-2006 12:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for FISHALLSPEC  Send Email to FISHALLSPEC     
Just ordered a Simrad EX33 for my 18-Outrage.Top of the line unit but so are Whalers.I wanted the best I could afford because it is the most important navigational aid on the boat.I know a few fellow boaters using this unit and it is great.
Jerry Townsend posted 04-13-2006 03:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Livingwater - I have heard many good references for "brokenlegdave" . I have not used them, but all of the comments I have seen here on the CW website have been good. Basically all of the electronics and C-map, --- Jerry/Idaho
jimh posted 04-13-2006 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Thread closed.]

Readers seeking recommendations for their vessels should start a new discussion and provide some guidance re:

--price range
--area of use and cartography preferences
--need to integrate with other devices, such as engine instrumentation.

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