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Best Budget Plotter for smaller yachts!


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B&G have released the Vulcan. It is a small (7") plotter designed for sailing boats. It has really great features. including Sailsteer (laylines etc), wifi screen clone to Apple or Andriod, Autopilot control, and more. Even better its $1300!!

It is not meant for larger (say 35 ft + ) boats. No networking, and No radar or other overlays (weather etc). For that you need the Zeus 11. Oh, and the Vulcan, I'm told, will soon include "Startline" - currently only available on the top of the range H5000 systems as used in the Volvo etc. Startline will allow you to "ping" the start boat and pin, and will draw the start line on the chart, as well as give you time and distance info! This is a really great unit!!

Send me a PM if you want one, I'll answer questions on here...

Pics and more info etc here http://www.bandg.com/en-GB/Product-Groups/Vulcan/

 

Matt

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Kevin, no comparison to most apps on andriod. They do not (normally) interface with the boats instruments, nor control them or an AP.No laylines, no recording of wind history/direction to get you on the right side of the shifts etc. They have no provision for Polars or boat performance configuration, and they don't speak NMEA2000. Of course the Andriod app for control of the Vulcan itself has exactly the same features as the Vulcan unit, but you cannot control the AP.

 

The andriod or apple apps only provide chart plotting.  It is the Sailsteer and the Startline functions the set this system apart from anything else currently available in this price range. Unless you have a ruggedised tablet, the Vulcan is also much tougher - IPX7 waterproof, solid mounting outside is fine. Runs off the boat power, so does not get flat, trodden on, dropped overboard. IMO tablets are fine as a backup, and sometimes convenient, but are risky for primary navigation. The Vulcan is a serious sailing and navigation tool. Standalone tablets are not. Again IMO.

KM, yes touch only. The Touch control is pretty advanced though - won't be activated by rain or spray, and seems to work pretty well. Pinch to zoom, and onscreen touch menus. Touch can also be locked so it won't inadvertently be changed. Simple short press of the power button to enable touch again. 

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Provided that your hands are not actually dripping onto the screen, this one works well in the wet. Shake off the drops, and away you go. That is what it is meant for! Even the Zeus 11 models are all touch screen now that the interface works well - the older models have both touch and buttons, but due to the interface improvements this is deemed no longer required...

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Hi Willow, is your Zeus an original or a Zeus 11? I'm not certain if the new software for the touch is applicable to the first Zeus. Either way, if your have not done a firmware update in the last 6 months, you should do one. There have been some good improvements that you can get with a simple firmware update.

On the subject of the updates - the Zeus 11 and the Vulcan have wifi included. Give them an internet connection (hotspot on yr phone?) and they will update themselves like your tablets and cellphones can do. Easy! It will be an update that ads the startline feature described above.

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